Case Study: Helping a Marine Corp Veteran Regain His Health and Wellness Within a Month


Lower Back/Arm/Neck/Shoulder Pain




Pain Free + Fixed Posture

Here is a testimonial left from a patient of mine, John:

“As a veteran from the marine corp, I have been suffering from chronic lower back pain and arm/neck/shoulder pain for many years. The pain in my arms wakes me up at the middle of the night, and I even have difficulty pulling up my blanket without a sharp pain. In 2004 I had spinal fusion in my neck and after surgery, I had constant tingling and numbness in my fingers. I had been treated for physical therapy at the Veteran’ Hospital for two years with no success. I was constantly on pain medication and muscle relaxants but still suffering from all my symptoms. I had a few people telling me to try acupuncture, and I drove by Dr. Xiong’s office road sign everyday and did some research online, and finally I made my decision to give acupuncture a try. The best way I can describe my experience over the past month after being treated by Dr. Xiong is: like night and day. I haven’t felt this good and stayed pain free in years! I had a knot in the lower right part of my back for many years and it caused excruciating pain from time to time,  it even prevented me from work. Now, my lower back is completely pain free, I can stand longer and taller and walk without shuffling my feet for a long distance. I couldn’t lift my arm above my shoulder before, and now I can easily raise both of my arms without pain with the full range of motion. Dr. Xiong is also helping me with my diet and weight with acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas, now my “budda” belly is gone! I have lost 16 pounds so far, and I highly recommend Dr. Xiong to anyone who is suffering from pain like mine.”

I still remember the first day John came into my office, shaking at every step he walked, and his face looked so tired because of all of pain he was dealing with. As a veteran from the marine corp, he was used to being strong and healthy, but now his health issues were causing him great amounts of stress and pain. 

IMG 0680Although this was not an easy-to-treat case considering the complexity and long history of his symptoms,  what concerned me the most was his heart health. After checking his pulse, I found out he had a very high chance of serious heart problem in the near future if he continued on this path. He followed my suggestions and went for a heart exam later and the doctors found an aneurysm of 4 centimeters. 

In this case, a lot of his symptoms were closely related to the insufficient circulation caused by a weak and over-exhausted heart. My treatment protocol for this situation was pretty straight forward, we needed to strengthen his heart function, decrease his chance of serious heart problems, and prevent more blood stagnation issues. In the meantime, we needed to find an efficient way to get rid of the existing blood stagnation. In Chinese Medicine terms, his case is combination of both excess and deficiency. In order to address the root of problem, we needed to rebuild the balance inside his body and strengthen organ functions so that he could restore and keep his balance. 

After the first two treatments, John’s chronic lower back pain was mostly gone. He almost couldn’t believe that the healing could happen this fast! 

The next step was to change his lifestyle and food structure, and this is the step where I always tell my patients that teamwork is super important. Thanks a lot to John’s collaboration, he really listened to my suggestions and implemented them in his daily life. As he started to lose several pounds a week, this eventually accumulated to 16 pounds within a month. This weight loss greatly alleviated the burden on his lower back, which allowed the results from my treatment to be sustained for the long term. 

As you can see, Chinese Medicine is an integrative system. When we look at a patient, we don’t just look at isolated symptoms, we integrate the symptoms and try to find the root of the problem. In John’s case, the root was from his heart. 

In my next article, I will talk in more detail about heart health, easily neglectful symptoms, how we can detect those early stage cases by using pulse diagnosis, and how can we treat it from a Chinese medicine point of view.  

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