Really need some expert opinions here. I've been a believer in acupuncture for years and mostly positive experiences with it, mostly in the US. I live in India now, and have just had 3 months (20 sessions) of really problematic acupuncture here.
The problem I had was near term: sudden weight gain, pain in my knees and thighs, fatigue and chronic: a 2 year problem in the vaginal region - repeated infections, dryness, burning, itching (all in rotation). Loss of libido.
Being in India, where acupuncture quacks abound, I wanted a good doctor. So I found out about and went to an acupunturist who has received high awards and has been in the field for decades. An experienced staff doctor took my case. This was in late March. She said I had damp heat in the lower burner and said I should go in for acupuncture 3 times a week for a month and then reduce frequency. I more or less did that, and had ear needles put in when I went on trips. I watched my diet, and as she told me to, I cut out all dairy, all wheat, all juices, all tofu, anything cold. I stopped drinking even occasionally and also quit smoking (which I used to once a week when I had beer). Maybe twice since April I have had 3-4 glasses of beer and I felt so ill after that I did not do it again.
So, 2 weeks into the treatment, my knee pain was gone, sure. My sinuses began draining into my throat directly - and this draining continued non stop since April. Even now my damn sinuses are draining, into my throat. But even so, one nostril is always blocked.
*But* I was still getting vaginal infections (thrice since April) and when no infection, vaginal dryness, itching and burning. Zero libido as before. What's worse, in 2 weeks, I started getting serious upper abdominal pains, really bad, like I used to have when I had IBS - which was more or less healed (by a acupuncturist) 4 years ago. I told her this and she was pretty dismissive. She would look at my black tongue and say "Oh you must have had a tamarind chutney or a coriander chutney or a cola drink, that has given your tongue this colour". It was wierd how even when I hadn't done any of those things and I told her I knew the colour was coming internally, she did not want to acknowledge it. I suffered with this pain daily for 2 weeks and a feeling like hot, burning air was moving around in my lower abdomen and colon. And every time I saw her (3 times a week), I'd tell her this and she'd cluck and nod.
After 2 weeks after suffering daily with this pain I kind of emphatically asked her what the reason for this pain was, which I did not have before I saw her, and what was causing it. She got all defensive and said "Acupuncture cannot cause pain", told me I had "gastritis" and - get this - asked me to take antibiotics!!
I did not take antibiotics. I went to another acupuncturist instead. In one session, the abdominal pain was gone. But then - I started thinking that this new guy was less experienced, maybe I should trust the more experienced doc after all etc. Mistakenly perhaps, I went back to her. Again I started going 3 times a week. This time I started feeling air rising up into my throat every time she needled me - and a certain 'choking' feeling recurred thru the day. I started getting crackly, burning type pains in my wrists, ankles at night. I told her about it, she said its the changing weather (rainy season), damp is getting into my joints and I should start exercising. I did start mildly exercising, nothing changed. Then after 2.5 weeks of this, one day last week I started feeling itchy on the same joints and along my throat (where I used to feel the air rising). I go in and tell her - she clucks and does her needles.
When I went home from my session that day, I had a horrible, horrible attack of hives - huge red welts all over my lower body, my arms. terrible itching. Of course she was unavailble that evening and over the weekend, so i went to an allopathic doc who told me to take anthistamines, a single dose steroid and a seroid cream. I did, most reluctantly, as I know how harmful these are. But I wanted the itching to stop.
Two days since the hives broke out, the itching is a little better but it flares up in the evening again. I feel really really hot and my body temperature feels high (but no fever). It's just a feeling of great heat. The welts have reduced in size but they are still itchy. I have headaches. Terrible itch in my tailbone - redness and welts not helped there even by the steroid, the anti-histamine. I feel wind moving around in my head and tongue - I'm terrified I will have a stroke or get epileptic. Pressure in my jaw and a tic, sometimes. Itches and tics, sacrily enough, in the inner corner of my eye.
Now - what do you suppose she was doing wrong, that I go in with one set of problems as far back as April, I'm following the diet, going in regularly and I (a) still have the problems I went in with (b) have a bunch of other problems as well?
Should I just lay off acupuncture? I am so afraid that something is broken. Any advice or readings as to what may have happened will be most appreciated