In October 2019, Mary, who is 75 years old, attended a holistic health retreat at Harkness Camp held by an organization called Prevent Heal Thrive Inc. Maggie was providing an ear acupuncture clinic in one of the rooms for the afternoon.
Prior to this back pain which began six months prior, Mary was walking her dog daily for greater than a mile. She led an active busy life filled with friends, activities, going to the beach and volunteering at Camp Harkness which she loved.
With the back pain progressing she found herself doing far fewer activities and feeling isolated. During last summer she chose to stay in her back yard to sit and read rather than take a walk to the beach. Stairs became harder and harder to climb and she could only do so while using the stair rail to lean on.
When Mary attended Maggie’s ear acupuncture clinic at the retreat, she asked if acupuncture would help her back pain which she described as getting increasingly worse over the last six months. She described it as a stiff, achy weakness which had progressed to the point where she felt like she was going to collapse if she walked more than one hundred feet. She was told by her doctor that it was arthritis in the back.
That day, just with a little ear acupuncture treatment for less than one hour, Mary said her weakness seemed to be significantly less and it was just a little bit easier to get up out of her chair and walk out.
Shortly after that ear treatment, Mary began seeing Maggie for treatments at Niantic Acupuncture where she received not only ear acupuncture, but also a more complete back acupuncture treatment with cupping and moxibustion (which is heating the needle with a heated herb stick)
After that first session Mary felt even better and the feeling of weakness was almost gone. She was able to walk her dog for a mile again without pain and without the feeling of having to collapse less than half way through the walk. Mary has had only four treatments over a span of two months and says with each treatment, she has felt better and better.
She is realizing that she is doing more and not avoiding activities. She says that she is actually surprised when she realizes she can do certain again without trouble, like tying her shoes or grocery shopping without help, or taking the stairs without needing the rail to cling to.
“ I am so glad I went to that retreat and tried acupuncture and then continued to see Maggie after that… I didn’t want to go to doctor after doctor and be offered medication or surgery or be told nothing can be done”
“One of the things I really like about acupuncture is how relaxing it is along with helping with the pain. I was really surprised by that.”