“I can’t do this anymore, Elen, I’m in so much pain, but I have to finish this job!” I was in tears, I was nauseated from pain, and I was used to it. My friend stopped her work to finish mine. The task? Counting pages in a book. I had been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome since 1992. Seven years later, I was still in pain. I would go home at night with both arms numb from fingertip to shoulder blade, take four ibuprofen, put splints on both my wrists, and settle in for a night of fitful, intermittent sleep.
After two more years, I went back to see a doctor. I couldn’t open doors or carry a dinner plate with my left hand, and my right hand was becoming just as bad. I couldn’t do my job. I was anticipating the usual advice, which amounted to “live with it.” This doctor, however, gave me an answer I hadn’t expected. She asked me if I had tried acupuncture. I agreed to, and when I met Stephanie, I was even more surprised to hear a healthcare practitioner say to me, “You’re healthy. You shouldn’t be in pain.”
But the real shock came with the first treatment. I had no expectations. Stephanie apologized, saying that I might not experience relief that day. Her apology proved unnecessary. After the first treatment, I went home and slept the most blissful sleep—for twelve hours straight! I wore no braces, and I was pain free for the first time in ten years. A year later, I type, mouse, squeeze my toothpaste tube, carry my own groceries, and I’ve even gone rock-climbing! It’s no exaggeration to say that acupuncture changed my life. (Written by C.P. patient at Acupuncture NW & Associates)