My good friend Nicki approached me on Lee’s behalf as she was at the end of her tether. Her partner, Lee, had been very unwell for several months and had been admitted to A&E on numerous occasions due to bouts of excruciating pain. Upon each admittance, he had been dosed up with morphine before being discharged a few hours later. The medics had been unable to come up with any specific diagnosis as preliminary tests had been inconclusive and blood tests had not shown up signs of any cancer markers.
Nicki asked me if I would be willing to treat Lee with Acupuncture, to which I agreed – they were both open to alternative therapies and were by now becoming increasingly frustrated with the apparent lack of progress via the conventional western medicine route.
When I saw Lee for the first time he was complaining of severe abdominal pain, had lost a huge amount of weight and was by now having difficulty breathing. He was unable to lie down and had been sleeping in an upright position for several weeks.
I decided that what Lee really needed first and foremost was for somebody to listen to what he had to say. He needed to be heard and understood – he also needed to get the treatment ball rolling as quickly as possible and to maintain momentum. It is at times like these that the wait for test results and follow-up appointments seems like an eternity, and the feeling of helplessness and lack of control can breed frustration, resentment and fear.
We therefore scheduled the first two treatments in very quick succession. I spoke at length with Lee about his medical history and of events in his life, both past and present. I was able to carry out two simple *‘clearance’ procedures and also needled just two points bilaterally, with the intention of strengthening his constitution.
After the treatments, Lee said he felt relaxed and energised and went out for his first walk in months. He cancelled his third treatment as he was admitted into hospital for chest x-rays and investigations (finally), whereupon it emerged that he had a very aggressive form of lung cancer (secondary), with the primary suspected in the large intestine. He started chemotherapy there and then, but expressed a wish to carry on with his acupuncture treatments as soon as he was able.
The aim of Five Element Acupuncture is always to keep the treatments as simple as possible and to use as few needles as possible. Each needle carries a distinct message and it would be very easy to overwhelm a patient by over-zealous needling at this early stage.
*Clearance procedures – ID’s and AE drain - intended to enable the patient to let go of unwanted, negative emotions associated with past traumatic events. Can be a block to treatment and self-healing if left untreated.