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Q: My wife has severe rectal pain,she has had haemorroids removed,had mri scan been to see various specialists,but they cannot find cause,do you think acupuncture could help to ease the pain.


A: This is a very difficult question to answer. Acupuncture has a long history of being used for chronic pain and for post-operative pain, as our factsheets


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describe. However, in a case such as you wife's, with a very specific and acute pain in an area which is not available for direct needling, we have to be a little cautious in whay we can say.
There is no doubt that the diagnostic techniques of Chinese medicine might give an insight into what is happening within the system from an eastern perspective, and there are both systemic problems and local blockages which might cause an acute symptom such as this. There is also the general premise on which eastern medicine is based that when a system is fully in balance everything functions as it should and symptoms tend to resolve. When someone has had local and specialised surgery, however, there may also be local neurological damage which could cause a severe symptom which might not manifest symptomatically.
Our best advice is to see if you can arrange a visit to a BAcC member local to you so that they can assess whether there is anything which presents itself as an obvious intervention which might help. There may well be tender or sore reflex points, for example, which present treatment options. Treatment certainly wouldn't do any harm, but we would advise that if you do decide to go ahead you should be very clear about measurable outcomes and frequent reviews. If there is no sign of progress after three or four sessions it may be worth exploring with the practitioner what other treatment options there may be.

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