An elderly client in her early nineties called me in a panic. She thought that her hip had collapsed due to the severe pain she was getting across her lumbar area! Her speech is sometimes difficult and the words get mixed up, and since her elder sister had recently had a hip replacement, she immediately went off on an assumption that the worst was on the cards for her too. She was very fearful of the potential this problem could have for her. Her health up until recently had been great until she began to have problems with her speech. Her reading and writing had also deteriorated in the last two years. She lives alone since her husband died and she is fearful of losing her independence due to ill health.
I could see that her balance was being affected by the pain and as she walked she almost collapsed with the pain. She showed me where the pain was. It was at the level of L-4 and moved across the whole of her back with the most intense pain being on the left hand side. The pain felt deep and was not travelling into her buttock or legs.
I started the treatment with ten minutes of Abdominal Meridian System (AMS) opening treatment. These were then followed by using, Ren 12 (Zhongwan), Ren 9 (Shuifen), Ren 6 (Qihai) & Ren 4 (Guanyuan). Kid 13 (Qixue) was used bilaterally to treat the lower back and also to re-enforce the action of Ren 4 (Guanyuan) and supplement the Kidney essence. I used Sp 15 (Daheng) and St 26 (Hip) bilaterally, in order to treat the lower back and ease the affected muscles. I located and needled two ahshi points in the vicinity of St 26 (Wailing), the hip point on the more painful left side and when I checked how the pain was it had gone (see fig 1 above), leaving just an uncomfortable or tight feeling that was much easier for her to endure.
I consolidated the treatment with SI 3 ( Hou Xi) on the right with UB 62 (Shenmai) on the left in order to open the Du Mai and I also included Du 20 (Bahui) to send Yang Qi to her head and help to bring some clarity to this elderly lady!
After the treatment she was very happy and felt little or no pain, she still had an element of discomfort in her back. She contacted me two days later and informed me that later that day she had a walk with her dog and that she was still pain free with no discomfort or tightness. She was able to walk normally and climb stairs and was back to her regular dog walking and other activities. She felt relieved at the fact that this was not the start of a terrible decline in her otherwise good health.
Usually abdominal acupuncture works quite rapidly, often within moments of inserting the appropriate needle/s, this is true more so with younger patients and for acute conditions. I was pleasantly surprised that this ninety year old responded so quickly and that she had such a complete recovery, the full effect of the abdominal treatment only took a few hours to alleviate the residual tightness and discomfort and no further treatment was needed.