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Case Studies

chief complaint: neck and shoulder pain

A 45 year old accountant complained of muscle spasms of the neck and shoulders for 20 years. The pain was severe, stabbing, "like a knife", occurring every day. It was worse with stress, of which she had a great deal related to her job and her divorce. She also complained of jaw pain (TMJ), severe PMS with irritability and bloating, fatigue, and poor sleep even with sleep medication. She had been quite depressed for many years. 

Over the years, her treatment had included chiropractic, physical therapy, over the counter pain medications, valium, heating pads, and saline shots in the muscles. She used daily sleep medication and antidepressants.

We began her acupuncture care with 6 weekly sessions, and then changed to longer intervals. She reported 60% improvement after 4 sessions and 80% improvement after 7 sessions. Her treatment included ear and body acupuncture, cupping, moxabustion, and herbs.

Her PMS was also greatly improved by acupuncture treatment, with less irritability and bloating. Her energy was much better overall, and she was less depressed. Her constipation improved, and so did her sleep, though she still used some sleep medication. When she discontinued treatment, she was changing careers and doing great. She paid about $650 for her acupuncture.

text copyright @2001 by
Meredith St. John
Boston, MA