first I would like to apologize for starting so many topics recently, but it seems I just have so many questions pop up this month, hopefully things will settle down soon... :)
I've had an unfortunate experience that I know rarely happens during
acupuncture, yet I was hoping I would never witness it personally. A
friend of mine suffers from lower back pain, and I did
acupuncture on her last week with no problems whatsoever. She has had
low blood pressure in the past, but that has been under control over
the last year. Her only other known medical condition is rheumatoid arthritis, she is in
her 50s, and physically quite fit. We've had some "heavy" weather this week in these
parts, however, she said she was feeling well upon arrival for
her second session. Her heart rate and pulse seemed even and strong, yet I am still learning how to read pulses well (she is aware of this).
The only thing we did differently is that she was not lying on her stomach (since that position hurt her back), but was sitting on a chair, leaning comfortably forward on some pillows on a
table - the position you've suggested to me, and which she found very comfortable and suitable. After inserting about 5 needles (I started with the BL points), with feedback from her that it felt quite good and comfortable, she pretty much collapsed, incredibly suddenly. She didn't pass out, but nearly, and she felt awful (incredibly dizzy, sweating, pale, very nauseous, tunnel vision, tingly hands etc), it came on within a second of her saying she is feeling great, and quite soon after we started. I of course immediately removed the needles and helped her to the bed, and did everything to help her current medical situation. It took her at least half an hour to feel better, and even by the time someone came to drive her home she was still not feeling well
(she energetically refused medical help, claiming it was probably just a low blood pressure attack - even though she never had something like this before; I encouraged her husband to take her to the doctor straight away, not sure if she'll let him).
I don't need to tell you how distressing this was for both her and me.
I kept my cool at the time, however, it was a very upsetting situation.
She is not blaming the acupuncture, however, I am sure acupuncture triggered this reaction (well, if anyone dares to tell me again that acupuncture has no effect, this clearly shows that a few thin needles can do wonders).
I remember learning that this sometimes happens during acupuncture, regardless of the ilness or needle positioning. Yet I don't remember it being explained to me "why and how". Do any of you know what the explanation is for this? How can acupuncture trigger such a collapse? What is the theory behind it? I feel that if I understood the theory behind it better, I could do more to predict it in the future and avoid it.