So over these past two weeks, I saw Maria roughly every other day to give her acupuncture. She has suffered from a debilitating constellation of low-grade fevers, muscle/joint aches and pains, sweating, and fatigue for the past 15 years. But it had worsened significantly in the past two years so she could barely walk a few minutes without getting wiped out. All that conventional medicine doctors could offer were painkillers, steroids and antidepressants - at one point Maria was told there was nothing they could do for her any more.
When I told my friend that of course Chinese medicine can help, it's because it sees auto-immune conditions as difficult but not impossible to treat. The incidence of auto-immune diseases such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis has been on the rise, and there is universal agreement among scientists that industrial toxins and chemicals in the environment are interfering with the functioning of our immune systems. According to the UK's National Health Service, fibromyalgia (a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body) is estimated to affect one in 20 people.
I focused on releasing the fever, lowering her temperature, removing toxins, and easing the aches and pains in her body. And over the past two weeks, Maria has got stronger as the sweats and fever abated and pain reduced. Chinese medicine focuses on lifestyle choices as well - part of Maria's work is making changes to the food she eats (her daily medicine!) and learning Qi Gong (Chinese internal exercises that focuses on breathing and simple movements) to circulate and generate energy, allowing her to get stronger and manage her condition.
It was wonderful to see the shift in Maria's energy levels in a short space of time. She was grateful because she hasn't felt this well in 10 years. But I was also grateful to have had an opportunity to see how intensive treatment can work with someone so committed to getting better.
Photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash