View Full Version : The hard-core skeptic ponders acupuncture.

09-11-2012, 08:16 PM
Let me preface this by saying I am pretty much the biggest skeptic of so-called alternative treatments. I am a huge fan of western medicine. Without it, I would have died from something as simple as my congenital heart defect (now gone!) or hypothyroidism long ago.

But I just read this article today in the New York Times about a large study that indicates acupuncture was successful for relieving pain: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/acupuncture-provides-true-pain-relief-in-study/

Pain is one of my biggest problems, especially in my legs and abdomen. Mobic and tramadol take the edge off, but I can't take anything stronger for it -- nor do I want to -- because I need to keep a clear head for my job. So this article made me think, maybe I should give this acupuncture thing a try. Heck, my insurance covers it (except for a $30 co pay).

Has anyone here gotten pain relief from acupuncture? If I could just go half the week without pain, my quality of life would be radically improved...

09-11-2012, 08:21 PM
I have heard great things about. I have never done it but I personally would try it if I only had to pay a co-pay. If you do try this please post about your experience!

09-11-2012, 09:13 PM
It is one of those things that some people find helpful but there is no "proof" that it does anything. There are studies that have positive and negative results. I know people that swear by it and people that saw it as a waste of money. Used in conjunction with meds and with doctors approval I see no harm in it

Please remember though that WHL is not a forum that advocates discussions on alternative medicines. It is actually one of the ways to get banned from the site simply because we never want to give new ppeople the idea that there is anything that will treat or cure Lupus except for proven meds prescribed by your doctor

How to get banned from WHL (http://forum.wehavelupus.com/showthread.php?11253-How-To-Get-Banned-From-WHL)

09-12-2012, 05:33 AM
Please remember though that WHL is not a forum that advocates discussions on alternative medicines. It is actually one of the ways to get banned from the site simply because we never want to give new ppeople the idea that there is anything that will treat or cure Lupus except for proven meds prescribed by your doctor

How to get banned from WHL (http://forum.wehavelupus.com/showthread.php?11253-How-To-Get-Banned-From-WHL)

Oh no worries-- I am well aware there is no way to treat lupus and other AI diseases beyond my morning pill cocktail. But that recent study I referenced is more generically about pain relief. So, just like some people use heating pads (I do!) or do yoga or even meditate to relieve or manage pain, I'm wondering if anyone here has had positive result from acupuncture solely for symptomatic pain relief.

I am definitely not implying acupuncture is any sort of cure or could be anything more than a temporary pain relief.

So, maybe a moderator could clarify on that point? I definitely support this forum's stance on alternative medicines, but I thought the point was so we did not present false information about quack cures that would lead people away from their effective and proven medications. But I don't understand why we shouldn't talk about things like acupuncture, massage, exercise, yoga, etc., that appear to be benign and and that we may be able to do as a possible way to manage the trouble symptom of chronic pain.

Anyway, can someone in charge clarify that discussions of non-medicine pain relief techniques are okay as long as they're clearly framed as a pain-management technique in addition to proper treatment, not as any sort of actual alternative? I feel like after Mari's post, no one is going to respond to my question for fear of banning, and honestly, my pain is horrible, and I'd appreciate knowing how people have managed pain when the medications don't completely make it go away. That recent study -- which is apparently quite reputable -- sparked an interest in learning more about acupuncture before I try it (if I do). I have an appointment with my internist today, and I plan to see what he thinks, too, and if he's not on board, it's not happening. But I did want to know if anyone here has had any success or if it's a waste of cash and time.

09-12-2012, 05:44 AM
I don't think Derrie was saying acupuncture would cure Lupus. Just that we all suffer from pain, and wondering if a certain method had helped anyone else manage their pain. I highly doubt she needs to get worried about being banned from the board for this!!

If anyone does find that acupuncture helps, I'd love to know, too. I know everyone reacts to treatments differently, but having some relief from pain and not being doped up on pain meds would be wonderful.

09-12-2012, 05:59 AM
About ten years ago, four years before my diagnosis, the pain started right next to my left shoulder blade and I went to see my family doctor, who happened to be Asien.
He didn't know what to think about that excrutiating pain and wanted to try the accupuncture. Well he did, the pain from the needles, deep in the muscle was so bad, that I almost had to vomit. He left the needles in for about ten minutes, it was the most painful ten minutes I can remember. Even after the needles came out, the pain lasted for days, like the needles where still in there.
A week later, he asked me if we should try it again, but I said "NO THANKS".
That of course was my experience, it doesn't mean that everyone will react, the same way.
By the way, today, ten years later, I still have the original pain, between my shoulder blades. The only thing, that ever took the pain completely away, was Prednisone. That convinces the rheumy, that the pain comes fron the Lupus.
I would think, it is worth a try.


09-12-2012, 06:05 AM
Actually a couple of us had this exact discussion yesterday, before your post so I will let you know what was decided.

WHL really has only 1 rule about what can/can't be discussed here and that is alternative/holistic type medicines and cures. Although we understand that some people use things such as acupuncture as a form of pain relief or way to stop smoking, stop eating, etc we also believe that it borders on the line of what is an allowed topic of conversation due to its nature. Of course yoga and massage (that you mentioned in your post) are completely different because one is a form of exercise and the other is a relaxation technique and not passing itself off as a way to heal anything as acupuncture sometimes is. While we want WHL to be a place where those of us with this disease can talk and share with each other we do feel like opening up to topics such as this that straddle the line makes it easier for others to push beyond that line.

We are very relaxed on the rules here but, after the discussion yesterday, we feel that we really need to be careful and begin to make it clear that these are not topics allowed at WHL. I understand the need and desire for ways to deal with pain in alternative ways (and other symptoms as well) but there are plenty of sites that are out there to discuss just that sort of thing and where you can get a lot of information on pain management.

I know those reading this think I sound harsh but this was not a post/decision that I made alone I am simply the one that did the typing. Please remember that, as moderators, we have to look at more than individual posts but also the big picture (as well as do the rest of our job) and sometimes the big picture may not be as clear when looking one post at a time.

I am now going to lock this thread.

10-10-2012, 01:17 AM
Discussions regarding alternative therapies are allowed here, with certain limitations. Those discussions may not infer (directly or indirectly) that alternative treatments can cure the disease - those discussions may not request time or funds from members - those discussions may not suggest that alternative treatments can be used to provide relief from symptoms in place of prescribed medication and/or treatment - those discussions may not reference any articles that claim that alternative treatments can eliminate, relieve, or lessen symptoms, or that alternative treatments can cure the disease.
Now, asking if anyone has tried an alternative treatment and, if so, to talk about their experience does not violate our rules. For me, one of the primary issues with the original post was in the fact that it referenced a source that made claims about the treatment and its affect on Lupus. This reference was very close to a violation of our rules. The responses that followed the original post were of a nature that our Moderator's felt could lead to overt violations. As such, the thread was locked and shall remain locked. If the original intent of the post was to simply ask about others experience, then that is allowed. But, please remember that the question must not include any of the above limitations.
If further discussion or explanation is needed, please send me a private message and I will be more than happy to go over our rules in length.

Peace and Blessings