Complaints: Severe and constant right scapular muscle
spasm with a radiating nerve pain down the arm into fingers. She woke up with a
sudden pain 16 day prior. 800 mg of ibuprofen only relieved the extreme part of
the pain. The pain only allowed up to 4 hours of sleep at night. Out of
desperation, she had MRI and X-ray, which ruled out any structural problems. Acupuncture: Right-side yang horary points in
Wood-order of GB44, SI2, ST43. LI5, and ST36 (ST36 can be used instead of
UB40). Treatment process: The patient had 2 to 3 times a week
treatment for 10 treatments so far. The patient cried at the initial visit due
to such severity of pain. The first treatment in Metal-Order of LI1, UB66,
GB41, SI5, and ST36 did not produce any relief. A switch to Wood-Order on the
second visit had immediate relief for a half day. Although the pains still
fluctuated in intensity, frequency, and duration, the relief was evident
weekly. From the 7th visit, the patient gave a large and natural smile indicating that the pain was
not overwhelming any more. By the 10th visit, the pain was almost non-existent. When she had tension headaches, the
same acupuncture immediately relieved the pain without adding more points.
Discussion: The patient was skeptical with
acupuncture because it did not make any sense coming from a science background.
Out of desperation, however, she heeded the advice of her friends who had good
experience with acupuncture. My forecast is that acupuncture will be the first
option as a safe and conservative treatment in any society.