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What am i facing?


Dear Dr,
Im from Malaysia, and have been having a one sided headache for almost 10yrs, without a correct diagnosis, neither any cure, even after so many therapies(western&traditional). Some, say migraine, some say prolapse disc on the cervical spine area(which was supported by MRI scan, i am having cervical spondylosis). Btw, im 26 this year.
My left shoulder seems to be having like a bulging up muscles & it is harder comparing to the right side. Usually, my headache occurs, when the bulge area, starts to harden up and it became tensed, and the pain would usually goes up to the neck are up to the head (all one sided). And there is this feeling which bothers me everyday (even when im ok), i feel like there is a layer in between my outer/upper skin area connecting to the inside, which makes me feeling-less. For eg; i would know if someone is touching or massaging me, but i couldnt feel the actual feelings; like something is blocking it. Therefore, a real good masseur / perhaps my housemate would usually help me by using her elbow to press deeply into my pain area, and that actually brings me relief of pain, whenever im having the attack of the so called one sided headache.
I got to know of one accpuncturist and have been on accupuncture therapy for around 4 months. Initially, after treatment, i felt some slight reliefs, with the heat treatment (he has not started inserting needles yet) for about 2 weeks.
2nd month onwards, i started feeling relief and free from headache attack, for 1 month, and i still go for the accpuncture. But then since after the 2nd month treatment (which was about 5-6 times session), i started to have very bad tension headaches after 1 hour after treatment and it lasted until night, until i get some massage, it helps reliefs the pain better. (few sessions i experienced the same symptoms)
I have stopped accpuncture for about 1 and a half month then, due to my health, which i have been falling sick quite frequent; fever, flu, sore throat + lately gasping for breathe; due to my sinusitis, which is still inflammed after TCM and Western medication.
This time, my 4th month of treatment after stopping for a month, i went there with the same type of headache like b4 after felt relieved for the past 1 and a half month, i thought i was going to feel better, after the treatment, didnt expect that i felt even worst, which the one sided pain + the whole head feeling very tensed and other than that, having nausea + dizziness + loose stools and the next day, the pain ran to the right side, and pain free on the left, but still nausea and dizziness & diarrhea.
During this treatment, he did it differently bcoz i complaint of tension headache after the few sessions. He usually would insert the needles into the middle of my head and the back of the neck + the side of the temples + shoulder, (all on the left side) b4 this.
But, this time, he tried it on both side the same, except for the right side temples and right head, he didnt insert the needles in. And, this is the worst side effect of all the treatment so far that i have experienced during the whole process of treatment under him.
I wonder what is happening? Is this due to my body or the treatment given? And could the symptoms go away soon? I just am feeling very bad, with all these symptoms right now and it didnt help much with massages, or even elbowing. I would want to be free from all ugly symptoms that i had suffered since 10yrs back, yet couldnt find the cure afterall.
Pls advise, Doctor. Thanks to you in advance. Will apreciate it a lot.
Eelyn Soon


You have a complicated case in some ways and certainly if you have cervical spondylosis you can get a number of problems from that. At your age, however, without having some significant traumas I cannot imagine that it is to any stage where you wouldn&#39t benefit from proper treatment. That said, with proper treatment certainly the sinus issues, etc. are very often quite easy to treat and someone should be able to keep you out of pain at the least and slow the progression the degeneration at best. Without being able to see you personally there is not much one can offer in a forum, but I&#39ll offer a couple opinions.

First, nothing you have should be very difficult to treat from what you&#39ve presented, so you need to see someone else - ideally a practitioner who uses acupuncture, tuina (! important - very important for these types of issues - that&#39s "chinese medical massage"), cupping (also likely very important for your case) and herbal medicine (which will help with the more acute sinus symptoms, immune issues, etc.) - these are all things which any "acupuncturist" should do - they are standard treatments....

Second, any acupuncturist who doesn&#39t use needles ever or even within a couple weeks like the one you saw - stand up, say thank you, and leave immediately! Acupuncturists practice acupuncture, plain and simple, and someone who doesn&#39t do that isn&#39t an acupuncturist....

Third, you don&#39t mention anything that you are doing besides seeking others for help. Have you tried yoga, tai chi, meditation, etc. to help balance your nervous and immune system, some stretching to help resolve your tension? You may have, but if you haven&#39t it is crucial that you are actively engaged in your own healing process... (and I don&#39t mean have your "tried" - I mean are you actively doing...). There are no magic bullets in medicine, but what you have with some work on your part and a competent acupuncturist should not be any problem to help.

On the note of worse after your acupuncture treatment - there are posts all over the forum about this with my same response. Occasionally/rarely, (i.e. a treatment or two) there can be flare-ups - if this happens over an extended period of time what the person is doing is -not- going to work for you. Tension creates tension - relaxation creates healing - it is a simple formula. This doesn&#39t mean the practitioner is unskilled necessarily, but it does mean that the particular methods and approach they are using is not going to work for you. - Again seek another practitioner. You should steadily (perhaps slowly, but steadily nonetheless) get better with proper treatment.


For cervical spondylosis: first, keep away from cold and wet during your sleep, or close the air condition. Second, do not sleep too late at night, and find a comfortable pillow no too high or too low. Third, regular your life, do not smoke or drink. Fourth, try some sports movement such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Fifth, do not turn your neck circle movement. Sixth, sometimes the birth control pill also can cause one side head pain, you need pay attention some medicines&#39 reactive.


Dear Chad,

Thank you very much, for your advises :)

I am still experiencing dizziness (that seems to be coming from my back of the neck & the top of the skull; it seems like there is fluid inside, the top part of the skull), which i felt slightly better when i push my head against the wall.. Wonder if this is caused by the sinusitis? Or could it be due to some other complications? Have been having feverish occasionally, but it doesnt seem serious though.

I have tried tuina by one of my friend&#39s friend, for about 1month&#39s course, but it didnt seem to show any improvement. But not cupping. I wonder where do i find experienced practitioners here in Malaysia? and if u have any contact over here?

All we know, that Chinese traditional practitioners in Malaysia, where patients would go over to their homes to be treated & it is not easy to find those who could help me with my problems, as i have been trying on and off with western, as well as chinese therapies.

I am really clueless about chinese therapist in Malaysia.

Lastly, i would like to know how to deal with dizziness and nausea? What should i do when experiencing such situation? I cant sit straight, and i need something for my head & neck to lean on. Can i take cordyceps as well for my sinusitis? Thanks Chad.


Dear Mei,

Thanks for ur advises. Hmm... I am trying to tune back my sleeping hours lately.. Whenever i feel dizzy, i will try to sleep if possible. Im not on any birth control pills, neither any sexual activities.. Have just quitted smoking, and i realised now, that those problems came to me when i quitted smoke, wonder if they r related not?

Really wish that my body will be healthy and strong.. Have been living with it since secondary school and it really bothered me a lot, in work as well as in my daily activities..

Yeah, will try to look for some relaxation classes to join.. Thought of joining the gym..


I once read that one can&#39t cure without the symtoms becoming worse so maybe it just means you&#39ve started doing well. I&#39ve started to do Da Peng Gong having no teacher just following a book and I think just the positive feeling I have about all my effort to cure myself is helping me a lot. Just keep going and be patient and the result will come :-)

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