Joe has been an acupuncture patient for almost 20 years and I have helped him with many health concerns over the years. Joe originally came for acupuncture when he was 50years old for low back pain from various injuries. He responded very well to acupuncture and he became a loyal patient and benefited from treatment for his digestive problems including reflux, sinus problems, sleep disorders and other health issues. Joe also became very interested in natural, holistic ways to improve his overall well-being. In addition to using acupuncture Joe found a myo-fascial massage therapist, began a consistent exercise schedule, included yoga in his health regimen. Joe also regularly consults with a naturopath who goes over his blood work and helps regulate his diet and has put him on an individualized nutritional supplement protocol. In short he is a model patient.
Last year Joe, now in his early seventies, began experiencing severe back pain from arthritis and stenosis. He complained of difficulty walking for more than 5 minutes and couldn’t exercise. He was uncomfortable in bed and couldn’t sleep well, leaving him fatigued and depressed. He also developed urinary problems from an enlarged prostate. His conventional doctors recommended predictable therapies: Percocet and surgery for his back pain; medication and biopsy for the prostate inflammation. Joe was perplexed: how did these conditions get worse after the careful way he dedicated himself to wellness. When he asked his physicians he was told the same thing: “you’re getting old, Joe. What do you expect? Everyone develops chronic conditions as they age.”
When Joe shared this with me I recommended we renew our efforts toward natural healing using acupuncture, nutrition, massage, exercise and positive imagery to heal his back and prostate, avoid medication and thus surgeries. He started acupuncture treatments twice weekly, focusing on treatment to his lower spine and his prostate and bladder. His naturopath consulted with me and we created a diet that was completely caffeine-free, sugar-free with no white flour products or artificial ingredients, low on animal protein, high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. He worked with a trainer to create an individualized strength and flexibility plan to strengthen his core muscles and relieve tension in the back. He began to do gentle yoga regularly for strength and relaxation.
Joe improved quickly and steadily. His back pain was greatly reduced and he was able to be active, sleep well and felt more energetic and psychologically fit. Urination improved, no longer complaining of frequency and urgency. He went back to his long-time general physician who was amazed at the turn-around in Joe’s condition.
Joe’s doctor listened to his explanation about how acupuncture, nutrition, exercise, yoga and his positive attitude turned his deteriorating condition into high-level wellness. Joe knew that his doctor was very skeptical because he didn’t understand medicine that wasn’t evidence-based or supported by hospitals or pharmaceutical companies. He was surprised when his doctor encouraged Joe to continue with what he was doing, asked for our cards and said he would consider acupuncture and other therapies for his patients. I share Joe’s healing journey not so much as to advocate the benefits of acupuncture and holistic therapies but to highlight the possibility that healing and high levels of wellness are available to all of us who have the determination to create a team and pathway to health.