My name is Rivas Nicoalza and I'm 53 years old. I suffered with lower back pain for six months. The early days, I went to the hospital to see if they could help me. The doctor said something was wrong with a disc in my lower back and I would need surgery to fix it. Several of my friends suggested that if I had the surgery, it would only be a short-term fix and I would soon be in pain again, so I tried to fight the problem with pain killers. This wasn't the answer - the pain killers didn't work.
Day by day my condition worsened and I couldn't move or sleep. Several times I tried using a chiropractor, but this didn't help either, so I stopped going there. At this point, I learned about the relative of one of my daughter's friends who had had the same condition as mine. She had been perfectly healed by using a Chinese doctor's herbal and acupuncture treatment. My daughter introduced me to Dr. Piao Zhen Guan of Beijing Acupuncture & Health Center. I didn't have any expectations that he would be able to help my condition and only went there because of my daughter's strong insistence.
At my first, it took two people to help me out of my car. They practically had to carry me into the office because my condition had gotten so bad. Dr Piao examined me and gave me my first acupuncture treatment. Afterwards, I was able to walk my myself! I was so shocked and surprised that this mysterious acupuncture actually worked that I hugged my daughter and cried tears of joy. After going to the clinic twice a week for a month and a half, getting acupuncture and Chinese medicine, my body felt perfect. I would now be able to live a normal life and able to prepare my dear husband's meals. He was sure glad to see my recovery.
I haven't needed to do to Beijing Acupuncture & Health Center for a year now because my lower back pain since then hasn't been a problem even though I've been working a lot. Dr Piao says that when your disc problems have been healed by Chinese medicine, you shouldn't have to worry about those discs again.
Because I started working hard again, I developed some pain in my shoulder. I went back to Beijing Acupuncture and Health Center and am pleased to report that I don't have any more pain in my shoulder after the treatment. I also had diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol so I asked them to treat me for those conditions too. They did and now they aren't an issue for me either. It's gotten so that now whenever I have any symptoms of illness, my daughter pesters me to go see Dr. Piao at Beijing Acupuncture & Health Center to get more acupuncture treatments. Whenever I'm sick, I consider acupuncture first rather then the hospital.
If there is anybody out there with lower back pain, I would strongly urge them to go to a doctor of Chinese medicine, especially one who uses acupuncture treatment, because I know what pain is like and how wonderful it is to be healed of it.
Patients with muscular pain and occupational diseases frequently come to our clinic. Our clients represent a wide variety of professions including dentists and athletes such as LPGA progolfer Grace Park who sometimes has muscular pain.
On March 2004, I was paralyzed on the left side of my face. I called the “NurseLine” for advice. A nurse said that I had symptoms of a stroke, and told me to go to the ER. At the hospital, I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. The doctor said that I had a viral infection, and gave me antiviral medicine. The following day, my left face was totally paralyzed. My ring and little fingers were also numb.
My left eye & lips bothered me the most. I could not close them. This presented a big problem, the eye in particular. It became extremely dry, which would cause corneal ulcer. I had to close my eyelid with my hand to keep the cornea wet. As for my lips, I had to close them while I took food or drinks.
I learnt that most people with Bell's Palsy recover completely within 3 months even without medical treatment, but a few can result in permanent damages.
My parents encouraged me to have acupuncture treatment. I agreed. Fearing that I might have permanent damages on my face, I tried to locate a skilled acupuncturist.
My first acupuncturist was a medical doctor who also performed acupuncture in Sun City. He used an acupuncture machine. There was also a medical assistance who read out the pressure point locations for him while he performed acupuncture. He used a pen-like tool connecting to a machine. When he pressed a button, a needle shot out and penetrated into the skin. He suggested 3 times of acupuncture per week. I left him after the 2nd week because the cost was too high, his hand was shaking and his eyes were closed when he inserted needles, and he inserted needles into the damaged side of my face. I learnt from a “Facial Exercise for Bell’s Palsy” webpage that damaged nerves should be left untouched until they start returning to their functioning state.
My second acupuncturist was a Chinese who studied acupuncture in China. He used disposal acupuncture needles. He suggested 3 treatments per week. Since he worked in 2 different locations, each week I came to see him 2 times in Phoenix and 1 time in Mesa. After almost 3 months of acupuncture treatments, I stopped seeing him for 2 reasons. First, he said he did not know why my face did not get better and he normally cured facial Palsy within 3 months. Second, he did not insert any needles into the healthy side of my face. I told him that according to the information from “YingYangHouse.com”, an Oriental medicine information webpage for students and practitioners of acupuncture, he should have inserted needles into a few pressure points on the healthy side of my face. I handed him a note with pressure point locations. He did not know what they were.
After 3 months and two acupuncturists, I saw no sign of improvement on my face. My primary doctor told me that what I had on my face was residue. At that time, my eyelid & lips could not close itself and my cheek could not move. I knew that I was among the people with severe Bell’s Palsy, and I would have permanent damages on my face.
At the time I realized that my 2nd acupuncturist could not help, my wife said that her fitness teacher at Glendale Community College suggested that I see Master Xiao. She told me that Master Xiao was a monk from the Chinese Shaolin Temple and he was very good in acupuncture.
At master Xiao office, I asked if he could heal me. I told him that I had been through 3 months of acupuncture from 2 different acupuncturists. He said since I had it for three months, I would need herbal medicine, also. He took me to doctor Piao, an Oriental Medical Doctor (O.M.D), a licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), and a herbalist (Dipl.C.H.). Two years later, I learned from Master Xiao’s webpage that he had much more qualifications as a healer than my previous two acupuncturists.
Doctor Piao asked me if my previous acupuncturists had inserted needles into the damaged side of my face. I said yes. He said they shouldn’t have done that. He then asked me if they inserted needles into the healthy side of my face. I said no. He said that they should have done that. And then he told me that he could heal me in 3 weeks. Of course, I did not believe him at that time. However, unlike my previous acupuncturists, he knew what he was talking about when he mentioned that no acupuncture should be performed on the damaged area. Rather, it should be done on the opposite side.
Before each treatment, Doctor Piao examined my face very careful and wrote down all of his observations into his computer. He told me to make all types of facial expressions to move my muscles to all different directions. My previous acupuncturists did not do this. And they missed most of the pressure points when inserting needles. I only felt pain from approximately 5 needle insertions out of 32. With Doctor Piao’s, I felt pain at every needle insertion. He said that no pain meant the needle missed the pressure points. After the 1st acupuncture treatment with doctor Piao, in the evening at home in front of the mirror, my left nostril’s muscle started to move a little bit. It never did that in 3 months. Doctor Piao also gave me herbal medicine. I took it once a day. I was on a fast recovery under doctor Piao’s care. My nose moved, and then my cheek moved. After that, my lower eyelid moved up to close the eye. After 3 weeks of treatment, my chin and lips still needed help, so I decided to stay under his care for 6 more weeks. I have recovered about 90% under doctor Piao’s care. The last 10% has been permanent damaged.
- A Western medical doctor who performs acupuncture could be the best doctor but may not be the best acupuncturist. I learned that Medical Doctors could get an acupuncture certificate after only 200 hours of instruction in needle insertion and point location. This differs from Licensed Acupuncturists who have a minimum of 3 years of education in Traditional Chinese Medicine and 500 hours of clinical practice. This translates to a minimum of 2000 hours of education and practical training in using acupuncture and herbs to treat disease processes.
- Not all acupuncturists who studied acupuncture from China are the best. My 2nd acupuncturist studied acupuncture in China but he was unable to heal my Bell's Palsy.
- Don’t give up hopes even when your primary doctor does. It is just about time to seek for a 2nd opinion.
- A good acupuncturist will give you a treatment plan on your first appointment. He/she will tell you how many times of acupuncture treatments you will need. If he/she says you need a total of 6 treatments, you should already feel better on the 2nd or 3rd treatment. If not, he/she may not be able to help you.