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Acupuncture Part 2: Why I Thought It Wasn’t Working & The Cure



Confession: A month and a half ago I hit rock bottom. I wasn’t feeling well at all, in fact I was feeling worse than I did when I started acupuncture with joint pain but also digestive issues and I began having other strange symptoms as well like rashes, insomnia, diarrhea, and weight gain. I started feeling like a fraud. Like this “healthy lifestyle” and acupuncture really wasn’t working for me, and questioned whether in fact it was making me sicker?

Through this journey I’ve done a ton of research on acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and especially on what to eat. I looking deeply into all of the symptoms I was having, talking to my acupuncturist about the different things I was experiencing and asking her what I should be doing. One day as we were talking we started a conversation centered around my childhood. I explained to her how crazy it was growing up, I was sick a lot, but not just with a common cold but with really random diseases like the Measles, Chickenpox, Fifth disease, Cellulitis, Shingles, truthfully the list is exhaustive. It was a light bulb that shed brightness into the shadowed problem. This whole time we’d been focusing on eliminating a potential parasite or candida when in fact there were other problems specific to me that needed addressing.

She explained that on some level the diseases I had previously are still stored in the body on some biological level. On another level they are energetically bogging down my liver causing a slow metabolic function, weakness to my gallbladder connection and my digestion. The liver truly does rule all, and if it’s not working right the adrenals and kidneys can’t do their jobs properly either and then you’ve got a grand old mess.


I started looking deeply into every symptom I was having at this time which included: hot inflamed risen rash on my left knee, burning itching patches on my left arm, chronic fatigue, digestive upset, loose stools and increased joint stiffness and edema. I began correlating each of these problems to a stagnant liver which in Chinese Medicine indicates the Qi is not able to move through the liver in order to detox the body properly and in turn there is not enough blood flow for the metabolic function and everything is slowed down almost to a halt. If the liver is sluggish it cannot go through the natural process of cleansing the body and work in conjunction with gallbladder to produce bile. When this happens everything begins to slow down, your thyroid slows and your adrenals become taxed because all of their energy is begin pulled on to get the liver to a point where it can do its job. All the energy in the body is being depleted and used inefficiently as the liver tries to compensate for it’s sluggish state.


My acupuncturist described my symptoms as the cure. The cure in Chinese Medicine is easily explained this way, in order for something to be healed you have to first experience it. This is likened to a healing crisis. Similarly, experiencing “the cure” as she calls it means that your body’s energy is releasing (past illness in my case) so that it can forever be gone. These crazy symptoms were actually my body’s way expelling them. The reason we know it was the “cure” is because none of the symptoms stayed around very long, at most one would linger for a few days but after that they went and didn’t come back.


Once I realized that my body was actually responding the way it should to eliminate the past I had a completely new perspective. Before there was a lot of frustration and anger, which is expected for anyone going through the healing process. Half of the journey to restoring health deals with the emotional aspects and how you’re able to approach a problem. During these fragile times it’s all the more important to focus on love and self-care and set aside the annoyance and frustration. Sometimes we begin to feel worse before we can feel better and often we need these experiences so we can appreciate what it’s like to feel amazing.


Now I am feeling worlds better, I have no visible rashes, decreased swelling and little to no joint pain. I know I am free from arthritis. It does not control me, but my body was going through a lot in the past months to get rid of things. My encouragement to you is to never give up, you are doing so much work and it will pay off. Remember that there is no one destination to health but instead continual maintenance of well-being.





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11 thoughts on “Acupuncture Part 2: Why I Thought It Wasn’t Working & The Cure

  1. Thank you so much for this. I has RA for 5 years before starting Paleo then AIP. I experienced a lot of similar symptoms. How important do you think it s to continue taking medication while going through this healing crisis?

    1. Meg, thank you so much for sharing your story with me! The decision to take medication is HIGHLY individual, I say there is definitely a place for combing modern medicine and holistic approach to wellness together, but that it’s an individualistic decision on the basis of your recommendations from doctors and how you feel physically. I would absolutely LOVE to learn more about you and work together to get you to a place where you need to be. Have you checked out my coaching packages? I’d be happy to hop on a phone call with you to talk some more! <3 – Kari

  2. It definitely is frustrating when you are doing everything “right” and you don’t really see improvement at some point, or even feel like you took a step back. I realized that when such a thing happens I have to give even more love and patience to myself and sometimes let it all go, because additional stress that comes with worrying all the time is even worst.

    1. You are SPOT on Olga, we have to give more love to ourselves during these fragile times because the overwhelming feeling and stress can cause even further damage. It is so wonderful that you have this awareness for yourself <3

  3. This was fun to read. I can so relate to feeling frustrated when things aren’t going well despite ‘doing everything right’.. It’s a whole journey indeed. It makes sense as to why there is a lot of emphasis on soothing the liver and moving the qi in your case (Liver rules the tendons, associated with emotions, ETC!). Generally, the liver is prone to ‘attacking the Spleen’, and Spleen patterns involve dampness (heaviness, fatigue, foggy thinking, loose stools, etc.) and right on — many symptoms of adrenal and thyroid imbalance. . which fall under either spleen qi deficiency or some sort of a kidney deficiency (yin or yang). Sometimes if too much qi or dampness is moved a patient will feel terrible after a treatment.. a healing reaction, but if it’s severe then it’s not fun and the patient won’t want to come back. I really do believe too that past diseases/emotional trauma are stored in the body. Anyway, if symptoms are severe after a treatment less needles are generally used + MOXA! which can help to drain damp, warm and tonify 🙂 Have you had moxa and have you received tui na yet? So glad you’re feeling better after the storm! xx

    1. Yes Hayley, you’re spot on of course!! So much of it related to other problems going on with me. We had done some MAJOR clearing before all this set it in so it is important to know too that there were lots of other areas being released for me all at the same time. I just find it so interesting that I experienced all the same symptoms of previous diseases. I never really felt terrible after a treatment, I mostly felt better after them, maybe a little more tired than usual but overall I wasn’t feeling as well as I wanted to and was having those odd symptoms I didn’t yet know how to explain!! We do use MOXA all the time and it’s my FAVORITE part of acupuncture – I want some for myself haha!! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with all of us!! <33

  4. I really enjoyed reading your perspective on this – I think I have been going through something similar, but I know my body is fighting too. Thanks for the positive spin! <3

  5. Thank you for this Kari! I have recently going through the same symptoms and it is so hard to be patient with your body when you don’t know what’s going on! A few people have mentioned liver to me as well so now I just have to figure out how to help it best. I have Graves and it’s settled now so that’s the last thing I want to flare back up! I find stress is really the hardest mountain :s Thanks again for the encouragement in this post!

    1. Thank you for sharing with me Em! It can be so challenging during this times but it’s incredibly important to remember the purpose in everything and reflect on why we’re having the problems. HUGS!

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