Acupuncture/Chronic pain


Hi I have had chronic abdominal pain for 6-7 years. I don't have a clear diagnosis yet. One doctor Sally's I have porphyria. Another says no. Another says they think it is an auto immune disorder. Another says it is the abdominal wall problem. I had trigger point injections in my abdominal wall. After 5 years of pain I had no more pain for 1 day it was great. They following day after that it came back. I also have cluster headaches. I have had Those for 8-9 years. I am open to acupuncture. My question is does it hurt and can it correct abdominal wall pain. I don't think it will work for cluster headaches. But I am curious about the abdominal wall. Thanks.

Sean -

Sounds like you have really been "through the wringer" with this pain.  Chronic abdominal pain can often not be taken seriously by physicians once it is determined that the pain is not being caused by something that can kill you.  In your specific case I would want to know a lot more than is appropriate to discuss in a forum like this, but in general terms acupuncture might be helpful.  Does it hurt?  Much depends on the skill of the practitioner, but for the most part no pain but you might experience a grabbing or stinging sensation depending upon which points are used.  Definitely worth a try.

Regarding the cluster headaches, someone familiar with treating this type of headache should be able to make a difference using acupuncture.

I wish you well with resolving these issues.  

Mike Zanoni, L.Ac.


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Michael M. Zanoni, MS, LAc


I am knowledgeable about severe and chronic pain from musculoskeletal or neurological conditions, especially trauma, headache, and fibromyalgia. I can provide guidance that will assist healing and recovery after illness or surgery. I have a particular interest in long-term chronic conditions that are becoming progressively worse or intermittently severe (such as viral hepatitis, Crohn's, or Takayasu syndrome.) I have extensive experience treating endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid problems, where the primary condition is being monitored by a Western-trained physician, and cancer where there are specific treatment goals other than cure (e.g., decrease of pain; reduction of side effects of radiation and chemotherapy; lessening of edema; palliative treatment of associated conditions.) I do not treat or answer questions about infertility, ALS, or senile dementia.


I have practiced Oriental medicine for over sixteen years in a variety of settings. Much of my practice has centered around a busy clinic specializing in severe long-term chronic pain conditions and palliative care. For several years I worked in a hospice program. I also established a non-profit community clinic providing care to under-served and homeless patients. My work has found me in an HIV clinic in San Francisco, a busy private practice in Oregon, to traveling on muddy 4-wheel drive roads to see dying patients. I now teach acupuncture and Oriental medicine at a school in Hawaii.

My training was at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco where I received a masterís degree in Chinese Medicine. I have current board certifications in Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbology from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I also have certifications in Chinese tui na bodywork, Physical Rehabilitation Training, and biofeedback. I am licensed to practice acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. I also have BA, MS, and PhD degrees in subjects not directly related to Oriental medicine.

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