Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncturist

Neuromyelytis Victim, Continuous Muscle Contractions [20 or more per hour]?

My 77 year old wife suffers from Neuromyelitis Optica and was diagnosed 28 months ago. She has had 2-5 round Plasma Farisia treatments, 2-Retuximab infusions, Neurologist and Doctors have prescribed over 20 different muscle relaxers [and some sleep medications] to relieve all of these spasms and the pain. And all of them either 1) did not help at all 2) caused the number of spasms/contractions per hour to double, last much longer, and cause much more pain, and/or blackout.

She has not had a suffering/pain-free second for 28 months. She cries and screams from the pain all day long and all night long. Any ideas if acupuncture may help, or if there is/are some other treatments that can provide her relief?

Female | 77 years old
Complaint duration: 28 months
Medications: Telismartan, Zyrtec
Conditions: Neuromyelytis Optica

12 Answers

Acupuncture can be very helpful for these types of issues. I encourage you to book a session with your practitioner of choice to get help with relief.
I would contact a Functional Medicine Physician. You can look at and enter your zip code. Search for a certified practitioner near you. And you may also be fortunate enough to find an acupuncturist near you that can also help her relax and relieve the pain. I would start with the Functional Medicine Physician, though.
I am so sorry to hear of your wife’s pain. That sounds horrible! I would suggest daily Epson salt baths and acupuncture on a frequent basis. Acupuncture increases the hormone balances which relax the body and is pain. I would also suggest a daily dose of magnesium.
It is very possible that electro acupuncture could bring her some much needed relief.
Please read this book written by John Sarno. You might have clues. Most people read this book twice. Good luck.
I would most definitely find an acupuncturist near you and start getting your wife treated. It will take a series of treatments, but I have very successfully treated muscle spasms from other causes over the years. The cause doesn't matter in Chinese Medicine. We base our treatments on other things. After all, they didn't know about these diseases thousands of years ago, and yet they were able to treat everything under the sun.

I am not sure if acupuncture is going to be beneficial for your wife but since she tried everything from the allopathic approaches, maybe acupuncture is the next best option for her. Remember, acupuncture is not only alleviate pain but is also beneficial for many other conditions such as relaxation, reduces trembling and spasms and more. You may want to speak to a licensed acupuncturist near you for further clarification and directions.

Best wishes,
Dr. Khounh
Hi Sir,

I feel so sad to hear your wife's suffering, I recommend you let your wife to try acupuncture, it really can relieve her pain, but you need to find an excellent acupuncturist (doctor). Find nearby acupuncture clinic, I really think acupuncture can work well for her condition!
I’m very sorry to hear. Acupuncture has been proven with research to ease pain and anxiety. In surgery centers they sometimes use acupuncture as the anesthesia by manipulating the needles to ‘drain the energy.’ This may be the type of alternative medicine you may be seeking for your wife. There are also herbal supplements to address the spasming/contraction pains. But a practitioner should correctly diagnosis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and suggest the correct treatment.
Best of luck!

Live Happy,

In Oriental Medicine, we cannot isolate one symptom or one condition. We will have to review the medical history of each patient before we can make a full assessment. Acupuncture is known to reduce inflammation and pain. In the case of Neuromyelitis optica, it is possible to reduce the symptoms and treat the underlying condition.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
I think acupucnture can be very helpful but I would first recommend treatments of moxabustion only as the needles may irritate her muscle spasms.

Moxibustion is an herb that is burned on the skin (don't worry, we don't burn you!) and it activates the points similarly to how a needle would. Since the moxa itself doesn't penetrate the skin, it shouldn't irritate any muscle spasms, and the warmth and nourishment from the moxa may provide her with some immediate relief. I would recommend seeking out a practitioner of Japanese Acupuncture becuase that style works primarily with moxibustion and very gentle and superficial needling techniques.
First, I'm profoundly sorry you and your wife are having to deal with such a debilitating disease.

I've never dealt with a neuromyelitis optica patient personally, but the explanatory/diagnostic model of Chinese medicine is different from conventional and, after looking up NMO and getting a handle on the typical symptoms, I think I see what might be going on from the standpoint of Chinese medicine. That gives some hope that acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine might offer relief.

Given your wife's current level of pain, it might be better for both of you if she started with Chinese herbal medicine rather than directly with acupuncture. Often times when people are experiencing severe chronic pain, their entire body becomes sensitized and even the lightest touch is interpreted as painful. I suspect that, initially, the needles might cause increased pain or discomfort. Herbal medicine would provide the opportunity to reduce some of the pain which may make acupuncture more tolerable.

Here's what you need: a provider with an L.Ac. state credential and a Dipl OM national board credential. You can find folks with these credentials at by using their "Find a Practitioner" lookup - just plug in your zip code to get people local to you.

Get a list of local providers, and then call them. You're looking for someone who specializes in pain management and who has a good track record with neurological issues or neuralgia. Don't be super concerned if you can't find someone who has worked directly with NMO - like I said, the Chinese explanatory and diagnostic model differs from conventional medicine and we need a Chinese diagnosis in order to apply the appropriate Chinese treatment. Sometimes you can also find someone who will be willing to make a house-call. I suspect this will be much easier versus getting your wife out of the house.

So, yes, I think Chinese medicine can help. In this case, I'd start with herbal medicine and add acupuncture as some of the pain and other symptoms start to come under control. Best of luck to both you and your wife.