The mechanisms of pain relief with acupuncture continued to be studied and I have seen many people experience significant pain relief by using acupuncture.
However, if a blood vessel, nerve or tendon is punctured with a needle, there can be temporary discomfort from the irritation but this is usually experienced as a sharp pain or tingling sensation.
While traditional Chinese practitioners consider there to be as many as 2,000 acupuncture points, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified 361 acupuncture points in a report developed in 1991. That being said, there is a smaller subset of points traditionally used by acupuncturists as many of these very important points have multiple actions in the body.
For relief of migraines, several studies provide positive evidence for acupuncture, while that for daith piercing is purely anecdotal. A review of 22 trials involving almost 5,000 people revealed that acupuncture reduced the frequency of migraine headaches with effects similar to preventive medications. Headaches were reduced by more than half in almost 60% of participants.
Including lack of studies in daith piercing, medical professionals cite issues such as successful point location without the extensive training received by acupuncturists and the potential for infection. That being said, some migraine sufferers have reported benefit with daith piercings, but please keep the potential risks in mind.
Lupus along with other arthralgias belong to the category of ‘bi syndrome’. The goal of acupuncture in treating bi syndrome is to restore qi and blood flow in the channels to relieve pain, numbness, swelling of joints. Acupuncture can also improve energy to relieve fatigue.
Has the pediatrician considered other causes besides the obvious ones? Sometimes the cause of shoulder pain can be referred pain from something else going on in the body. The Mayo Clinic website lists over 20 potential causes of bilateral (both sides) shoulder pain.
If no physical cause can be found, are there any challenges, like bullying for example, that your son has encountered outside the house that would cause him not to want to venture outside?
Maybe a more comprehensive physical/emotional health exam with blood work would be helpful. If the pediatrician defers further exams, then perhaps seek out another GP.
Acupuncture shouldn’t be received be someone with a pacemaker or seizure disorder. It is not recommended to receive acupuncture if a person is intoxicated (drugs or alcohol). Also, avoid with a skin disorder, skin infection or bleeding problems from a condition such as hemophilia or on blood thinners.
Although there are great acupoints that can be needled in pregnancy, there are several points contraindicated in pregnancy.
Acupuncture can be used along with other medications (natural supplements, herbs or pharmaceuticals) in treating a cold. There are acupuncture points that build the body’s resistance to disease and boost the immune system. Other points direct their action in relieving symptoms such as congestion, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat and fever.
Some of the points that treat the common cold are contraindicated in pregnancy, so it is important for a woman to inform the acupuncturist if she is pregnant.
It is not uncommon to initially feel slight discomfort (numbness, tingling, spreading, heaviness) during acupuncture treatments. This transient sensation is a signal that the qi is doing it’s job of clearing away stagnation in the channels - a therapeutic response.
Sometimes needling into a tendon, blood vessel or nerve can produce discomfort as a result of the needling technique and is not a part of the therapeutic qi response. This is usually minor and resolves when the needle(s) are withdrawn.
Because the discomfort you describe has persisted over a week after your last session, it is possible that there was some mild irritation caused by needling. Numbness is most often caused by damage, irritation of compression of nerves.
Your description of the sensations are not severe (mild pain, almost numb), so it is likely no serious damage was done. You can try the following to help accelerate the healing process.
There are several essential oils that possess anti-inflammatory properties and also relieve nerve pain. Some of these include lavender, sweet marjoram, peppermint and many, many more (Check the internet for more options). Be sure to do a skin test patch of the oil you choose before applying it to your arm and dilute it in a carrier oil. Do once a day or every other day.
Hot and cold hydrotherapy could help. Plunge your arm into a basin containing hot water (don’t burn yourself!) and leave for 3 minutes. Then immediately plunge your arm into a basin containing cold water. Leave for 1 minute. Immediately repeat the process two more times. This will stimulate circulation and promote the repair process. Do this once a day.
Uterine fibroids are benign growths of the uterus that rarely become cancerous. Size varies from very small to quite large. Fibroids often appear during childbearing years, typically grow under the influence of estrogen and usually resolve after menopause. The Mayo Clinic website lists other possible causes as genetic changes in normal uterine muscle cells or changes in growth factors that stimulate the growth of tissues. Many women have found that using acupuncture/electro-acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary protocols and essential oils to be effective at helping to shrink fibroids.
Adenomyosis enlarges the uterus when endometrial tissue that lines the uterus invades the muscular wall of the uterus. The cause remains unknown, but also usually resolves after menopause. There is not a great deal of research on the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating adenomyosis, but a study published in the December 2014 issue of World Journal of Acupuncture - Moxibustion reports 100% effectiveness using acupuncture treatment of 23 cases of adenomyosis.
Initially having several treatments in a row (1-3 times a week for 3-4 weeks) is usually best. Sessions done closer together can build on each other, providing deeper and more sustained relief of anxiety.
After completing the initial treatment series, monthly maintenance sessions are often recommended. However, you may find that your current timetable of once every three months is sufficient to sustain the results you seek. Let that be your guide.