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Baxter

I searched the web for an accupuncturist who dealt with depression and withdrawing from drugs. found one! she helped balance my qi and my morning panic has never been as bad again. I went 2/week for a couple of weeks, 1/week for a couple of weeks, now once a season for a tune-up.

 

Accupuncture has been around for thousands of years because it works.

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Nadia

Acupuncture is the only thing that has consistently helped me feel better for a few hours or a day or two (I've gone a total of ten times only so far... i.e., the past 5 weeks). I go twice a week to a general acupuncturist, because I was lucky enough to find one that treats a lot of people at the same time in cubicles so I only pay about $16 a session (this is in Mexico, though). It's not ear acupuncture, just body (I'm sure there are probably different schools). She adds electrical stimulation, which is a first for me. I know a lot of the points she uses are for stress reduction, and usually she puts them symmetrically on both sides, but she changes it up. She leaves the needles in at least half an hour, which I also use to try to meditate. The times I felt it did not make me feel any better were the two times I went in the morning. Not sure if that is just a coincidence, or has to do with the morning anxiety.

 

In any case, I would really recommend acupuncture, particularly for anxiety. Even if I leave still feeling some issues, I feel more "me" and centered and able to cope afterwards.

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Phil

Does anyone have any advice of what to say when you see an accupuncturist?

 

I know that on an initital session they take down your history, and I would worry that they'd misunderstand the withdrawal issues.

 

Best to just ask for treatment for anxiety, maybe?

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Maybe

They should do nothing that arouses your nervous system. After 2 weeks of feeling back to 100% normal in mid 2010, I had two acupuncture sessions which brought me back to square one.

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Baxter

I had wonderful success with acupuncture. What I learned from fellow AD w/d sufferers before I went was make sure that they understand that you do NOT want detoxification. That can really cause problems while you're super-sensitive to chemicals of all kinds, including your own(!).

 

My acupuncturist knew about AD withdrawal, and she treated my symptoms: brain fog, racing thoughts, anxious/frightened feelings. She was also helpful with insomnia.

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alexjuice

My acupuncturist knew about AD withdrawal, and she treated my symptoms: brain fog, racing thoughts, anxious/frightened feelings. She was also helpful with insomnia.

 

I am looking for an acupuncturist like this but have no idea how to find one.

 

How did you find yours? And might you induce her to begin training MD's on how to recognize w/d... :-)

 

alex.i

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Altostrata

Make absolutely sure your acupuncturist understands you want calming treatments, not stimulating treatments. Some may make the same mistake doctors do, thinking your "depression" needs some kind of stimulation.

 

alex, asking around for referrals is a good way to find an acupuncturist. Can you ask your GP or other doctor? Maybe dentist or chiropracter? As a last resort, there are the reviews on Yelp.com.

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ajay

I have had good luck with acupuncture as well. I go to the clinics at New England School of Acupuncture. I like them, and there are probably NESA graduates practicing all over the place. [within the US you can check here] Though there's no guarantee that a good school makes a good acupuncturist.

 

You should expect to talk a lot with the acupuncturist, especially on your first visit. Some of the questions may seem a bit odd, since the theories are so different from those of western medicine. I would also be clear that this is your first acupuncture visit. And, as always, trust your gut.

 

I originally asked for help with insomnia. I think there were some times when I switched to asking for help with anxiety. But I told my acupuncturist the whole story of the zoloft withdrawal, because I thought she should know. She wasn't familiar with it but was receptive. The decision to focus on insomnia and anxiety may have been fortunate for me given Maybe's experience. My husband had a (very short term) bad experience with acupuncture after he'd had some alcohol - he quickly went pale and broke out in a cold sweat. He recovered soon after the needles were removed, but the take away message I got was: 1) acupuncture can be strong stuff, and 2) tell your acupuncturist everything, even if it seems inconsequential (like if you had a couple of beers with lunch or, for women, where you are in your cycle, etc.). I definitely second what Baxter and Alto said: no detox and no stimulating treatment.

 

Sometimes I have a strong reaction to a needle point, but I really like & trust my acupuncturist, so I'll try to sit with it for a bit and see if it calms down. It usually does within a few minutes. There was one time when she tried some new points and I started to feel a bit queasy, so she took the needles out.

 

My favorite point is right about where your "third eye" would be (slightly above the space between your eyebrows). I rub it with _light_ pressure when my anxiety starts to creep up. Sometimes I close my eyes and concentrate on that point... of course, who knows whether it's the point or the act of focusing that helps calm me down - I'll take whatever I can get.

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Altostrata

In all the years I've had acupuncture treatments, which would amount to hundreds of treatments, I've only had one bad treatment. It did make me feel worse. When I went back to my acupuncturist, he did something that reversed it. That was a couple of years ago.

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Phil

Well, I'm convinced enough to try some accupuncture now :) I'll ask them to focus on insomnia as that's a big issue for me. And no detox or stimulation.

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squirrel

went for accupunture yesterday felt dire had raging anxiety. She put 7 pins in and afterwards the anxiety settled (maybe it was gonna anyway i dunno) had a dreadful headache after it.She examined my tongue and said there was a lot of heat ? does anyone know what this means?

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Ucfgemini

I love my acupuncture! Sometimes I feel worse later in the day when I have treatment, but then I'm usually good to go for the next 5-7 days. I missed it one week and I could tell a huge difference. I have been going for about three or four months and she always amazes me! She just looks at my ears and will ask if my neck is sore or if I'm having stomach problems - she says the ear is her map of my body. She is actually the one that helped me with my tapering. My prescribing physician told me to cut my dose in half then discontinue after a week!!! I went down 5mg at time every 2 weeks with her and it made a huge difference. She did ear pellets instead of treatment when I would drop the dose to help with the zaps and dizziness and a treatment the following week. Make sure you tell her/him all of your symptoms because they can take care of so many things in one treatment. I'm so glad you had a good experience!

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Altostrata

Bumping this topic -- acupuncture can be very helpful for many withdrawal symptoms, such as palpitations, blood pressure irregularities, and nerve and muscle pain.

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alexjuice

I have my first acupuncture tomorrow. I hope it benefits me.

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Altostrata

Good luck, alex. Don't let the practitioner do anything that stimulates your nervous system.

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Nadia

I just read in the Wiki article for neurasthenia that the condition in Chinese is called "shenjing shuairuo". Neurasthenia, though not a diagnosis currently in use in Western psychiatry, is still in use in China apparently (although disappearing as well... read this interesting link about the history.

 

I was thinking it might be useful to mention it to my acupuncturist, because it is now thought to be what is referred to as "dysautonomia", and that seems to be similar to what is happening to us in prolonged withdrawal.

 

Apparently in Chinese medicine it is thought to have to do with deficient yin energy (see, for example, this herbal Chinese remedy for it).

Edited by Altostrata
fixed link

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alexjuice

Since this is my very first acupuncture ever, I think she plans to explain a bit. I don't know how much actual acupuncture we'll do tomorrow. I want to make certain she understands my situation before she starts away.

 

Hopefully, it is beneficial and this practioner skilled. It'd be great to have someone to bring things to, and her to customize her treatment to my condition. I am hopeful.

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Nadia

I really hope it helps, Alex! Stress that you want her to start really slow since you've had bad reactions to a lot of things.

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alexjuice

thanks for the tips...

 

Alex

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alexjuice

First one went okay, good enough to go back again.

 

It may have helped a bit. Nothing dramatic either way, but some signs of life.

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Altostrata

Here's what I found really improved with acupuncture:

 

- heartbeat and blood pressure

- temperature regulation

- relaxation

- tingling pain in arms, shoulders, and hands

 

It would make me sleepy sometimes, but that didn't really hold, that I could tell.

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Altostrata

Acupuncture relieves pain beyond placebo effect, analysis of studies find.

 

Acupuncture Does Help for Chronic Pain

By Nancy Walsh, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: September 10, 2012

 

Acupuncture provides more relief from various types of chronic pain than does usual care and should be considered a valid therapeutic option, the authors of a meta-analysis concluded.

 

For back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headache, pain scores among patients treated with acupuncture were 0.23 (95% CI 0.13 to 0.33), 0.16 (95% CI 0.07 to 0.25) and 0.15 (95% CI 0.07 to 0.24) standard deviations below the scores for patients receiving sham acupuncture (P<0.001 for all), according to Andrew J. Vickers, DPhil, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues.

 

But effect sizes were even larger when acupuncture was compared with no acupuncture, with scores of 0.55 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.58), 0.57 (95% CI 0.50 to 0.64), and 0.42 (95% CI 0.37 to 0.46) standard deviations lower (P<0.001 for all), the researchers reported online in Archives of Internal Medicine.

 

Acupuncture is recognized as having certain physiologic effects that can contribute to pain relief, but no plausible mechanism has been identified that could lead to long-term benefits for chronic pain, with the result that the treatment remains "highly controversial," according to the researchers.

 

Many controlled studies of acupuncture for pain have been published, but quality has been inconsistent and reliability has been questioned.

 

To provide more clarity about the effects of acupuncture on pain, Vickers and colleagues conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis based exclusively on high quality randomized trials.

 

Included trials required pain of at least a month's duration, with the primary endpoint being assessed at least a month after acupuncture treatment began.

 

The researchers were able to acquire the original raw data for 29 studies that included 17,922 patients.

 

.... if response was categorized as a decrease in pain of 50%, response rates would be 50% for true acupuncture compared with 42.5% and 30% for sham acupuncture and no acupuncture, respectively.

 

"The average effect, as expressed in the meta-analytic estimate of approximately 0.5 [standard deviations], is of clear clinical relevance whether considered either as a standardized difference or when converted back to a pain scale," Vickers and colleagues stated.

 

They noted that there was significant heterogeneity in a number of the analyses, particularly in the control groups of the various studies.

 

In some trials, for example, patients in the usual-care control groups were permitted to have rescue analgesics only, while in other studies there were exercise and physical therapy programs.

 

Moreover, in the sham acupuncture trials, different approaches were permitted, such as using nonpenetrating needles and using non-needle methods such as inactive electrical stimulation.

 

Other limitations of the meta-analysis included the possibility of bias when acupuncture was compared with no acupuncture and the use of different endpoints in some trials.

 

Nonetheless, the authors stated that their findings should be considered "both clinically and scientifically important."

 

They noted that many clinicians would be unwilling to refer a patient for acupuncture if the effects derived only from the nonspecific belief on the part of the patient that the treatment would help.

 

But the finding that true acupuncture had significantly greater effects than the sham procedure indicates that the effects of the procedure do extend beyond placebo, they observed.

 

This is "of major importance for clinical practice," meaning that acupuncture should be considered "a reasonable referral option for patients with chronic pain," they stated.

 

In an invited commentary accompanying the meta-analysis, Andrew L. Avins, MD, of Kaiser-Permanente in Oakland, Calif., argued that the benefits indeed were primarily those associated with the placebo effect, because the pain relief was so much greater when acupuncture was compared with usual care than when compared with the sham procedure.

 

But whether that should mean acupuncture has no value for patients, largely because of uncertainty as to its mechanisms of action, is a crucial concern, he pointed out.

 

"The ultimate question is: does this intervention work (or, more completely, do its benefits outweigh its risks and justify its cost)?" Avins wrote.

 

For acupuncture, the current meta-analysis offers "some robust evidence" that acupuncture does provide greater chronic pain relief than usual care, mechanisms of effect aside.

 

"Perhaps a more productive strategy at this point would be to provide whatever benefits we can for our patients, while we continue to explore more carefully all mechanisms of healing," Avins concluded.

 

Funding for this work was provided by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the Samueli Institute, and the U.K. National Institute for Health Research.

 

Authors and editorialist all reported no financial disclosures.

 

Primary source: Archives of Internal Medicine

Source reference:

Vickers A, et al "Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis" Arch Intern Med 2012; DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3654.

 

Additional source: Archives of Internal Medicine

Source reference:

Avins A "Needling the status quo" Arch Intern Med 2012; DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.4198.

 

 

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/AlternativeMedicine/34673

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Narcissus

Bumping this thread because acupuncture has come up again and there's some good advice here.

 

I'm going to try to see someone here in New Orleans, I will make sure to tell him or her to avoid any stimulating or detoxing treatments. Will let people know how it goes.

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basildev

Be very careful Narc.

 

I had a bad reaction to acupuncture that resulted in worsening of my sleep problem.

 

That was a while back though.

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Narcissus

Be very careful Narc.

 

I had a bad reaction to acupuncture that resulted in worsening of my sleep problem.

 

That was a while back though.

 

Yikes. Had you requested a particular kind of treatment? Was this before withdrawal?

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basildev

This was about 2 weeks into my initial updose from 11 mg to 20mg in February, and yes I was in wd.

 

I requested help for insomnia and stipulated that I was suffering from antidepressant withdrawal

 

Of course, he had no idea what I was talking about but promptly promised to 'cure my withdrawal symptoms'.

 

I didn't have the foresight to not ask for anything too stimulating though. Plus I was given some 'sleep drops', which I only took once. But Boy, if I thought I had sleep problems before that appointment I was in for some hell after it!

 

It's hard to say whether I would have gone downhill regardless of whether or not I'd kept that appointment. I WAS in the very early stages of withdrawal and had updosed by WAY too much so in hindsight, it was to be expected that my symptoms would worsen considerably before they improved.

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Altostrata

Very well could have been the "sleep drops" that caused the bad reaction.

 

I decline all herbal treatments from the acupuncturist. You can't know what in them or if you're sensitive to the ingredients.

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basildev

That's quite conceivable Alto. It could have been anything that set it off really.

 

But I'm not game to try a new acupuncturist just yet. And if I hear the word 'detox' I'm running for the hills.

 

Why is it that these healthcare practitioners are obsessed with detox? Next time I hear it I'm going to strangle somebody (most likely myself) :P

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Narcissus

It's hard to say whether I would have gone downhill regardless of whether or not I'd kept that appointment. I WAS in the very early stages of withdrawal and had updosed by WAY too much so in hindsight, it was to be expected that my symptoms would worsen considerably before they improved.

Yes, it's hard to tell what's safe and what isn't early on because the symptoms are so intense and irregular. I also think that the mind/brain searches frantically for external causes during the acute phase, and this can give rise to some mistaken associations. I'm not suggesting that this was necessarily the case with your acupuncture, as it sounds like acupuncture can be quite powerful. I think you're right to be cautious.

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basildev

No I think you're right Narc.

 

In the early days I was in a state of absolute confusion and panic.

 

In the past following a too fast taper, I'd ALWAYS gone back from 0 to 20mg and been right within three days.

 

This time it wasn't happening and, because I had never experienced windows and waves before (although I'd read about them and knew 'intellectually'), I was sure there had to be something else contributing to my misery.

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Altostrata

Alternative practitioners recommend detox the way a psychiatrist recommends antidepressants. It's a fix for everything -- NOT!!!!!!!

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alexjuice

I saw an acupuncturist for the last couple of months. I do not feel that warmly towards him -- we are polar opposites and I always seem to step on his toes or vice versa so our relationship remains like unbroken ice.

 

As to the acupuncture itself, I am not sure if I am benefitting or not. He has an electronic acupuncture scanner device which I find interesting and helpful and that's why I contineud to visit him. The scans are free...

 

I don't think he has a clue (which is not his fault exactly)... and I dont feel anything at all from his acupuncture, at least there is no discernable effect...

 

I not planning any more sessions.

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Narcissus

Thanks for weighing in alexejice.

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annelle

Hello everyone!

 

I just wanted to ask, if anybody has had the same experience I have had with acupuncture.

 

I have been seeing an acupuncturist for almost a year, and I think it has helped me somewhat.

 

But the last two times I have been unable to tolerate the needles in my hand and feet. They really hurt - so much so that she had to take them out again. I feel as if my peripheral nerves are so sensitive that any touch, let alone needle pricking, is very painful.

 

The same thing has happened twice when I was having blood drawn recently - this never used to bother me at all.

 

Do you think that this is part of the hypersensitivity of the nervous system during withdrawal syndrome - I haven't heard about anybody else having this problem, so am a little worried that it is perhaps something more serious - neuropathy?

 

I going to see the acupuncturist the day after tomorrow, and I am a little anxious about the pain, but want to give it another chance.

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