Western Medicine -Acupuncture

In my continued search to find alternative treatments options to help me live well with Lupus, my journey lead me to acupuncture. I have for many years heard people talk about this form of alternative treatment. However I hadn’t really given much thought to it – especially since I had heard it entailed being stuck with a lot of needles. Plus most alternative treatments (this one included) are not cheap.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and is a technique in which thin needles are inserted into the body through the skin by practitioners to stimulate specific points on the body.

Photo from rockycoastacupuncture.com

What is said about the effectiveness of Acupuncture

Results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease certain types of pain that are often chronic, such as the ones listed below and others seen in the picture above:

  • lower-back pain
  • neck pain
  • Tension/Migraine Headaches ( reduce frequency)
  • osteoarthritis/knee pain.

Side effects Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced, well-trained practitioner using sterile needles. Improperly performed acupuncture can cause serious side effects.

So assuming you find a good acupuncturist, this form of treatments should be a reasonable safe option for people with chronic pain to consider. Even though considered safe, the actual effectiveness of acupuncture have been somewhat  inconsistent in clinical studies.


  • Remember before you start any new treatments talk with your doctor first, do your research check the acupuncturist credentials you have are choosing and make sure he is licensed. 
  • Most states require a license, certification, or registration to practice acupuncture; however, education and training standards and requirements for obtaining these vary from state to state.
  • Although a license does not ensure quality of care, it does indicate that the practitioner meets certain standards regarding the knowledge and use of acupuncture. Most states require a diploma from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for licensing.

My Acupuncture Experience

So after doing my research, I decided it might be worth it to give acupuncture a try. I was looking for a relief from my current state of constant pain. So if this could do it I was all in……. I found a acupuncturist who with my first visit took the time (40 minutes) to just talk in-depth  about “me” as a person and not just listen but hear my medical history. He took a holistic  approach to my treatment looking at the physical and well as the mental. He spoke about being dedicated to healing the whole person and not just the symptoms. It was very pleasant being in a “doctor’s” office where you didn’t just feel like another file number.  Here I was with a “doctor” who seemed like he truly believed and trusted what I was telling him about my journey.

Administering the Needles

After talking to the acupuncturist for a while, he decided that he would like to start with a treatment to my whole body.  He left the room and I put on a gown and went to lie face down on the table.

After a few minutes he came back in and I was nervous for him to place the needles. He started to place a few needles from my neck going down to my waist. The first couple of sticks I didn’t really feel much – perhaps because I have gotten used to getting steroid injections in my head and face over the years (due to my Discord Lupus).


After he had placed all the needles, I was left in the room for about (15 minutes) to give it a chance to work. It was a restful 15 mins and there was a meditative music playing in the background. I felt like I was at the beach, and I could hear the waves hit the shore. I was relaxed and felt a state of bliss.

When the 15 minutes were up, he took the needles out, which was also pretty painless. I got dressed and we had a talk about my experience and about his recommended treatment plan for me. He also recommended taking some herbal treatment in combination with the acupuncture.

Later that evening I felt a bit soar from the needle sticks. I didn’t get much relief from my pain though, but I am thinking like with everything else, more than one treatment is needed to make a full evaluation. Hopefully this alternative treatment will turn out to provide me some relief.

Overall a great experience, so far to be continued…….

DISCLAIMER: The information provided and presented  is to meant to educate and inform visitors in their quest to learn more about this horrific disease. The research and information provided on this site are not meant to be used as a substitute for Professional Medical advice. Information is gathered from several sources via the internet, print and interviews with doctors and professionals and may differ from your physician’s advice.  Before attempting to change anything in your medical or health regimen, It is recommended that you first check with your personal physician.  

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