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Case Histories

Kailani, “Advanced Age” Infertility

Kailani, at 42 years of age, had been trying to conceive for 3 years.  She had consulted with a reproductive specialist, where an anterior follicle count showed only two follicles in her right ovary and none on the left side.  The specialist had given her the discouraging news that perhaps her ovaries were failing due to age.  Her husband was 41 years old, and his sperm parameters appeared normal. 

Kailani and her husband decided to pool their resources for one round of IVF only, and Kailani came to acupuncture to help prepare for their “one shot.”  At the initial consultation, we discovered that Kailani had a history of ovarian cysts; her menses had dark blood with large clots, and she suffered from PMS that included breast tenderness and irritability.  Other symptoms included low energy, bouts of hypoglycemia, abnormal weight gain in the last few months, feelings of heat and sweating at night, and borderline high blood pressure, all made worse by a very high-stress job and lifestyle. 

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Marvin, Post-Stroke Recovery

Marvin, age 56, had experienced a deep brain stroke 14 months ago.  Immediately after the stroke, he was hospitalized for two weeks.  Over the course of the next two months, with the help of rehab exercises, he regained some of his strength, began walking again, and could return to work.

Marvin sought out acupuncture because he was experiencing continued weakness on the right side of his body: writing was difficult, his face felt numb, the arms and legs felt stiff and weak, and his grip was poor.  He also had pain in the shoulders and toes, and all the symptoms were aggravated by cold weather.

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Rebecca, Fertility

Rebecca, a 39 year old woman, had been trying to conceive for the past 2 ½ years. Her past history included use of birth control pills for 20 years, though she has been off them for the past three years. Rebecca had a regular 30-day cycle; ovulation predictor kits showed regular ovulation, and she experienced stretchy cervical fluid on day 14/15.  She had PMS symptoms including minor irritability and breast distension. Rebecca and her husband had recently consulted with a reproductive endocrinologist.  Her husband was very healthy, and his sperm analysis was normal, but showed abnormal viscosity. Rebecca’s laboratory tests were all within normal limits. She had used clomid on seven cycles, doing IUI (intra-uterine insemination) on one of them, but all without success. Her basal body temperature (BBT) chart revealed a slightly cool follicular phase, but a normal luteal phase. She also complained of dry skin, constipation, cold hands/feet, and an overall chilliness.

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John, Shoulder Pain

John, 42, came to the clinic with a major complaint of right shoulder pain. 2 years ago he suffered a sports injury but waited too long for treatment. He had injured his rotator cuff, specifically a biceps and labral tear. He had surgery to repair the tears 6 months ago. However, he now has lots of scar tissue and inflammation. He has a difficult time raising his right arm and lateral rotation is poor. The pain is worse when he sleeps on his right side; it is improved with heat, and while in the hot tub.  The pain is compounded because John holds his stress in the neck and upper shoulder region.  John had been to physical therapy, but was still in a great deal of pain.

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Jessica, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Jessica, a 32 year old overweight patient came in with a main complaint of PCOS with amenorrhea (no menstrual periods). She complained also of acne, rosacea and persistent headaches. She had been to Weight Watchers and lost 26 lbs on their program. She presented with anovulatory cycles as per her body basal temperature charts and consistently negative ovulation predictor kits. During her first visit we did a complete overhaul of her diet to which, initially, she appeared skeptical. In addition to receiving acupuncture, she also started drinking a custom-tailored bulk Chinese herbal tea which nourished Kidney yin and yang, warmed the uterus, resolved phlegm nodulation, and moved the blood in the lower abdomen.

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