Male Patient, early 50s, works as a mechanic. For two months, he had been experiencing numbness in the left thumb, index, and middle finger. Sometimes the numbness could come from the shoulder. The numbness was most severe at night after a long day of work. Due to the nature of his work, he used his left hand a lot to tighten bolts and nuts on different part of cars in the shop. When I squeezed his wrist, he could feel the numbness get more severe.
I was a little inexperienced at that time. There wasn't much change in the first visit.
On the 2nd visit, I tried a different method. His wrist didn't feel any better, but he felt I was onto something. According to him, he rarely sweated, but during that session, his arm pit was dripping the whole time.
After 2 failed attempts, I think, I generally would look for any internal imbalance that might cause the issue. Our body is a whole. It's difficult to say one thing isn't related to another. Upon inquiry, he had a sensitive bowel for 6 years. He could not eat anything that's not fresh. This included anything with additives or questionable ingredient, and anything microwaved. He also told me that he only felt hungry when he was in a good mood. So I prescribed herbal medicine to help the circulation of his arm and also to improve his bowel function, and, at the same time, kept trying and looking for an acupuncture method that worked on him.
On the 4th visit, his bowel was slightly better, but wasn't a good as I expected. So I adjusted the formula. It was a failed attempt. Each time after he took the medication, he would have a diarrhea. I was quite stressed out when I couldn't break the case and also caused unintended reaction from the medication. However, frustration came with break through. I realized what cause the diarrhea and also remembered a key point that patients had been telling me the whole time --- his mood. He was under a lot of stress for a few months already. There were a few round patches of bold spot on his head from the hair falling out from stress.
So on the 5th visit, I removed the ingredient that caused his diarrhea and added 3 ingredients to improve his mood and relief stress. I also found an acupuncture combination that worked for him. His wrist and bowel were much better after that.
On the 6th visit, I repeated the treatment and told patient to take the medicine for 2 more weeks, just to make sure we can maintain the treatment effect. His wrist was fully recovered since then. He was able to do his job without aggravating it.
The most important lesson I learned from this is to listen carefully. What a patient has been saying is usually the key to his condition. I am forever thankful for this patient trusting me and being patient with me until I figured out how to help him.