Acupuncture Success Stories: A Pianist Can Play Again

It’s easy for me to scream from the rooftops that acupuncture works, and that it can work for a wide variety of ailments. But it’s much more persuasive when you hear about another acupuncture success stories from another person’s positive experience firsthand, right?

I’m humbled and honored that one of my patients took the time to write the following piece about her experience during my treatment of her painful trigger thumb. For a professional pianist, this was more than simply an inconvenience–it threatened her livelihood and peace of mind.

Without further ado, here she is, in her own words.

Acupuncture Success Story…In One Patient’s Own Words

When I came in for a consultation with acupuncturist Robin Chapman, I had been suffering from a painful trigger thumb for a year and a half. The triggering made it impossible for me to bend my thumb at all, which essentially left me without the use of my left hand. I had been treated with a variety of methods of physical therapy, and had two cortisone injections which gave short-lived relief. My doctor told me after the second cortisone injection that I had reached my limit with that treatment and should pursue surgery as my next step.

Since I am a professional pianist, the thought of taking the risk of having surgery on my hand did not appeal to me at all. Yet for the same reason, I had to do something — I had not been able to play for 18 months and carrying out my teaching duties was challenging as well. I was beginning to think I would be forced to change careers.

Thus I made the decision to go ahead and let someone stick acupuncture needles in me. Just eight hours after my first treatment, I accidentally moved my injured thumb and was amazed to find that I could move it freely without triggering! Needless to say, I was very excited. The next morning when I got up, however, it had relapsed once again. After my second treatment I again experienced short-term relief and I had real hope for continued improvement.

After the third treatment, oddly enough the condition became worse than it had ever been. Between weekly appointments, I spoke with Robin over the phone about the deterioration. She told me that this was not uncommon in the course of acupuncture treatment, but that if it continued to be worse, I should come in for re-treatment. However, the next day I noticed that there was slight improvement so I decided to wait a few days until my regular appointment.

After that next appointment, my fourth, my thumb was left completely free of triggering. This is now the eighth month since that fourth treatment and I remain trigger- and pain-free with nearly normal range of motion. I am now playing and teaching piano with both hands and celebrating the everyday uses of my left hand which I once took for granted. For a few months I had follow-up treatments to maintain the thumb and to address other, less serious physical conditions. For the past ten weeks I have not had any treatments and my healing is still complete.

I came to acupuncture out of desperation, but I stayed for the unexpected side benefits. Since going through perimenopause and then menopause, it had been many years since I had slept through the night. Normally I would wake three or four times a night. After my very first treatment I slept through the night and I continue to enjoy uninterrupted sleep. My energy level has increased and my sex drive has returned; this is something I had given up on as lost long ago. I also lost sixteen pounds in three months by participating in Robin’s Healthy 2013 program.

Every treatment is like a mini-vacation, it is so relaxing and centering. Once my summer travels are over, I will be returning to continue treatments for more weight loss and for overall well-being. I am very grateful to have found Robin and to have benefitted from her knowledge and caring skills.