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Over treatment of Hyper Sensitive patient



I started acupuncture treatments for the following complaints which I have been experiencing for several years; Insomnia, anxiety, pms, food intolerances, digestive issues.

My body is very very sensitive and when I experience a large amount of stress for a extended period of time, I have the above symptoms. Based on how sensitive my body is I have been following a diet high in non starchy vegetables with proteins coming from fish and eggs. As long as I follow this plan I have no issues but decided to give accupuncture a try to help my body heal faster and to hopefully aid in my digestion so I would be able to tolerate more foods(intolerant to all grains dairy anything processed as well as sugar) as well as to help me deal with anxiety, pms and insomnia which seems to come and go.

I expressed to my practioner that I am extremely sensitive and as a result always need to do less treatments ( must also do this with my chiropractor). She assured me the accupuncture was gentle enough to be done twice a week. I followed her advice. Within a 8 day period I had three treatments. That same week she wanted to do another treatment. Since receiving these treatments I have experienced no relief but a Huge Flare up. Despite eating foods that normally do not bother me I now am incredibly bloated to the point where I look pregnant. It may be worth mentioning that the first accupuncture treatment gave me my period almost one week early. I also have been experiencing water retention and weight gain for no apparent reason since starting these treatments. My breasts have also been swollen since my "early"period and despite finishing it over a week ago. After my fourth treatment I was overwhelmed by a variety of emotions: anger, sadness, agression, anxiety and these were all oddly experienced at once. Since my 4th treatment which was performed this Tuesday my symptoms have become even worse than last week. Despite expressing my sensitivity issues she kept the needles in for an hour which I found odd and on my fourth treatment she had them in for over an hour. She also seems to incorprate a technique where ever twenty minutes she twirls the needles deeper into my body. The points she commonly uses are the inner sides of my ankles, inner area of foot near large toe, the inner sides of my knees, directly in the center of my stomach (vertical), inner and outer wrists, as well as on my scalp.

I have two questions. First based on this information does it sound like I have been overtreated? Secondly will these symptoms dissipate after stopping treatment (I called her and said I will no longer be able to continue the acupuncture), or has she permantly done damage to my meridians?

Very Upset


I&#39m going to answer your questions, but you are probably not going to like my answers and I apologize in advance for this - for not having the skill to convey what I feel needs to be conveyed to you in better terms. My words are in no way meant to not acknowledge the level of suffering you feel, but to help you to reshape your thinking in more appropriate terms so you have the potential to actually be helped by someone.

"I have two questions. First based on this information does it sound like I have been overtreated?"

No. There is no such thing in the ultimate sense. People can be overtreated in the sense that the practitioner saw them too often to their financial benefit or overtreated out of ritual treatment programs, etc. but you cannot be "overtreated" in the sense that you are using the term. That is only you looking for the worst in the situation. Energy is energy - not good, not bad, think deeply about that, and keep that in mind. At the crux of that statement is both a mistrust and an ignorance of how the body works. What you are really asking is have you been overstimulated, and I would say you already are and your viewpoint on the treatments and fear of what may or may not happen simply adds fuel to this already strongly burning fire. You appear to be quite afraid of your body, to the point that, as you have indicated, everything appears to "overtreat" you. What you are really indicating is that nothing so far is helping you which is a very different but entirely honest statement. And that is a good starting point upon which to evaluate everything you have done thus far.

Statements like "my first accupuncture treatment gave me my period almost one week early" - are fear based and loaded with poor understanding of what may or may not happen with acupuncture. You no doubt had your period a week early, but the first treatment did nothing towards that end. Acupuncture doesn&#39t work that deeply or quickly on complex hormonal relationships. Stress responses do however, which have nothing to do with changes from the treatment but everything to do with your overall existing imbalance and a clear set of existing expectations.

"Secondly will these symptoms dissipate after stopping treatment (I called her and said I will no longer be able to continue the acupuncture), or has she permantly done damage to my meridians?"

There is nothing permanent in this world and the body has unlimited healing potential. Why on one hand do you know that you can feel better (we know this because you seek treatment) but then on the other feel like you can be "permanently damaged"? The framing is entirely wrong there and straightening that out is crucial for your healing.

What I would suggest to you is that you find a practitioner whom you feel you really trust, ideally if possible someone who does japanese style acupuncture and/or a lighter tcm style with herbs (ask if they are used to seeing children and then that practitioner will probably be ok with you). Then hang in there for at least 3 months - no matter what happens, no matter what you think is happening. No matter what your mind says. Otherwise you risk going from technique to technique and practitioner to practitioner and never getting any clear resolution.

From what you describe you have a range of commonly treated issues within Chinese Medicine, but it takes commitment, time and a proper viewpoint towards healing. Which admittedly will grow when you finally feel comfortable with a practitioner and start to see a reasonable response. Along those lines I will concede that while acupuncture is scientifically based it is still an art form and there is the human dynamic as well between practitioner and patient - so you will get different levels of responses from different practitioners - that is just the nature of things.

Tong Ren Therapy, our energy healing techniques, would also be a good addition to an overall plan of wellness. You can obtain free energy work online on tuesdays nights via our live broadcast or many times/day via . I would also seek counseling, ideally cognitive behavioral therapy to achieve a better understanding and relationship with physical symptoms within your body, and work in a very basic daily practice of mediation (15-20 minutes, no more) along with a daily walking program (ideally 30-40 minutes).

You will get better, but not if you let your mind run rampant. Again, I don&#39t doubt that you don&#39t feel well and that maybe this particular practitioner didn&#39t make you feel better, but it&#39s not about that. It&#39s about how you are framing the discussion, your expectations, your level of fear and your strong expectations of outcome (i.e. bad). You work towards changing that, with the help of a knowledgeable practitioner whom you grow to trust and you will be fine. It&#39s not easy, but I&#39ve heard all of these things before from patients with the same set of issues and performed conceptions that you are describing and we work through them.


I am both a practitioner and an extremely sensitive person. I empathize. Besides being frustrating and perhaps scary, your range of symptoms also illustrate just how versatile the body&#39s capacity for expressing its level of stress.

I strongly suggest that you learn what you can about the stress response and how to reduce it. There are many useful approaches that you can undertake by focusing on meditation, yoga, qigong, t&#39ai chi, and related disciplines that are meant to harmonize and calm the body. You might be surprised the degree to which focusing here instead of on symptoms will help you feel better. Perhaps working with a counselor to identify thought patterns that activate additional stress in your body would be helpful.

I think you would also find it helpful to learn more about the basic energy flows in the body - meridians, chakras, grounding methods, shifting from thoughts and "being in the head" to anchoring yourself more in your body. Donna Eden and her husband, David Feinstein, have a wonderful book "Energy Medicine" that I think you would discover to be of great benefit. You can find videos of Donna demonstrating exercises to unscramble energy and get out of a state known as "homolateral" on youtube. Doing these energy balancing exercises will decrease your overall sensitivity and your levels of stress, allowing your body to access its ability to heal, and making treatment less challenging and more effective. It will also give you a sense of participating in your own health rather than trying to delegate it to a practitioner.


I&#39m going to mention one thing... It may sound outside the realm of Chinese Medicine Terms but after reading the list of symptoms, I would consider ... Copper toxicity. It is very common now a days and runs the gamut of causing food sensitives, menstrual irregularities, emotional vulnerability, and adrenal fatigue. It doesn&#39t take copper in the environment to cause it, all it takes is an ongoing cycle of chronic stress.

( for TCM students... This would be like liver imbalance, heart qi agitation and deficient kidney qi... Then the cycle begins again... Calming the mind is key and will bring relief so you can have time to detox/regulate the liver and build the kidney qi back up if they are at that stage.)


Hi Sheila -

interesting contribution. Does one test for copper toxicity, and if so, how. Would it show up in bloodwork? Urinalysis? Is there any other way to find out if that is at play?



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