TL;DR – I’m not sure.
Before I went to receive acupuncture, I had one last appointment with another doctor at the clinic I’ve been going to. I was expecting encouragement to go see a surgeon about having the offending organ yanked out of my body.
So I was surprised to meet my new D.O., who was delightfully into more natural, less drastic approaches. She didn’t think I needed surgery, at least not right away. We had plenty of time to try other options. The gallbladder has stones, but they were not blocking anything, and it was not infected, just a little inflamed. She let me know that LOTS of people have gallstones, and never even know it. She thought it was probably the shingles that had aggravated my gallbladder, and felt that as the shingles continue to heal and subside, that the gallbladder pain would as well. So I left with instructions to come back in a month or 2 if the pain did not go away.
I received acupuncture 3 times. The first time, we talked a lot about my problems, and she checked out my shingles rash, and my gall bladder. She checked my “pulses” which feels like she’s taking my pulse, but apparently she’s getting a lot of other info as well. She agreed with the DO about the shingles aggravating the problem. But since the shingles are well on their way to recovering, she decided to just tackle the gallbladder inflammation.
It was surprisingly difficult to count how many needles she stuck in me. I’m going with 16-20. Some were in my ear, my stomach, around the sides of my flank, my leg, and in my feet. Each time there was at least 1 that kinda zinged when it went in, but that quickly subsided. Over all, it’s not painful.
Then she would cover me with a space blanket (nice and light so it doesn’t bother the needles) turn off the lights and leave for 20 minutes. Maybe some people might find it relaxing, maybe even sleep a little bit, but I found it incredibly boring.
Then she’d come back in, quickly remove the needles, and that was it.
The second time she said the inflammation was getting better. The third time she said it was almost gone. I agree with her, just based on my pain levels. After the third time, she told me that if the pain came back or if I had any other problems, just come back for another treatment.
So, did the acupuncture help? Maybe. Probably. But because the DO had said that it was probably going to keep getting better, there’s no way I can definitely say that the acupuncture solved my problems. Maybe it sped up the process? Who knows?
Would I do it again? Yes, because I’ll try just about anything to keep from having perfectly good organs yanked out when it might not be necessary.