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Help! 8th Treatment for Dry Eyes/Irregular Periods


Hello -

I am new to acupuncture and I'm wondering when I should start to see some improvement with my condition. I am on my 8th visit with an acupuncture therapist (MAc, LAc) who is trained in Chinese Traditional Medicine and the cost of the sessions is starting to become a concern. Let me explain my condition:

- Dry eyes for the past 9 months (VERY SEVERE with lid inflammation for the past 2 months)

- Irregular periods since age 18 (have been taking birth control pills to regulate for the past 15 years - just 3 months ago I stopped the pill completely). Still no period, but had one very small one (3 days) 2 months ago. Husband and I would like to try to get pregnant soon.

- Cold intolerance (cold hands and feet)

- Prone to anxiety

Acupuncture therapist says that I have a liver/blood deficiency and since I have been on birth control for so long, my liver is taxed (damp?). I am seeing him once a week for the last 8 weeks and have only seen improvement with the anxiety. I'm taking the Chinese herbs: Angelica Dang GuiBlue Poppy Herbs "Change & Enrich" (Geng Nian Dan Zhi Xiao Yao San), Blue Poppy Herbs "Resolve Depression & Stabilize Sleep" (Jie Yu Ding Mian Fang), and Plum Flower "Free & Easy Wanderer Plus Teapills (Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan).

How many visits should I expect? Any words of encouragement/advice are greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


You should keep it up. A general rule of thumb is that for every year you've had a condition it takes at least one month of weekly treatments. You don't mention how long you were on the birth control pill, so you will also need to take that into acount as well. In China, people tend to have acupuncture daily until they start feeling better. If you can get acupuncture daily, you will see improvements much more quickly. One patient in particular had gotten acupuncture everyday for three years! She had been paralyzed, but with acupuncture treatments she could walk, talk, and even comb her hair.

As for the cost, just think of how much your heatlh is worth. Most people I know are willing to spend more money on maintaining their car than maintaining their health. I don't think their priorities are straight. How much do you typically spend getting your oil changed or giving your car a tune up? Is your health worth more to you than your car? Just think of these aupuncture sessions as a long overdue tune up for your body. It sounds like it's been damaged for quite some time, so it'll need some expensive repairs.

Also, I am assuming your acupuncturist is competent because, after all, you have seen improvement! You need to be able to take one step at a time, and healing is a gradual process.


15 years is a long time to have been on birth control. Certainly from a Chinese Medicine perspective this creates significant disruptions in your body that need some time to work themselves out. When I treat menstrual issues and/or fertility, we generally assume it will take 3 menstrual cycles from the onset of treatment to start having normal periods. We treat once a week and only do that for as long as necessary before moving people to bi-weekly or even less often.

Not knowing your whole history and knowing the length of time on birth control you might expect 3-5 months before your period would approach "normal". The anxiety and dry eyes should be significantly improved in that time frame as well. So perhaps 12-15 treatments if weekly. And, personally, I don't agree you need treatments more than once a week and we rarely do that - some of these conditions just take time to regulate naturally. What you are left with, though, is a more permanent change that is sustained by your body instead of a "fix" that goes right back to a dis-regulated stated after you stop treatment.

While it is difficult for me to question a practitioner without knowing the case I would suggest that he/she might take a closer look at the herbs you are on if you are not responding in the desired fashion. They are a mix of heat clearing, moving, and stabilizing herbs and sometimes using the properties one at a time instead of all together achieves better results. Again, it's difficult for me to say, but is is one thing to discuss.


without diagnosis you tongue and pulse, I can't say anything, but you cold is mean you yang deficiency, and you just stopped birth control pills no long time, so you have some side effection from that, maybe you can eat some ( ming mu di huang wan) health suppurt pills help your eyes. but not too much, 3pills/time, 2 times/day, separate from western medicine a least 2 hours when you take them.

Thank you


Feng Mei


The first thing is to talk to your practitioner and ask those questions. For another practitioner it is clearly impossible to make a diagnosis, formulate a treatment strategy and give you a prognosis from the little information that can be gathered online.

In general from clinical experience and what I have seen in the literature it seems that a three months (three lunar cycles) is an average when it comes to menstrual disorders. I also think that the eye symptoms should be clearing up much sooner if given the right medicine.

By talking to your practitioner you can ask how long they think it is going to take, how much training they have had and if they think their level of expertise is up to par!

As far as the herbal protocol it seems that their is some redundancy (one modified xiao yao wan, plus another one) and the combination Dan Zhi, while clearing heat in the liver/blood is not as specific for the eyes as Ju Hua, Qi Zi.

So good luck, you can always look for someone else to help.

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