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A patient’s acupuncture story | Hardin Acupuncture

A patient’s acupuncture story

Acupuncture treatment room

The following entry was written by a dear patient of mine. She went from being terrified of needles to actually looking forward to treatments! I hope her success story will help others who are curious about acupuncture and are afraid to try it. 

In mid 2012 I decided to try acupuncture for chronic pain in my lower back and other conditions. I had tried massage, herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals, meditation, yoga, physical therapy and, while there was some relief, it was short-lived. I also struggle with anxiety, depression, other widespread pain that has been attributed to fibromyalgia, significant sleep disturbances, and bouts of extreme fatigue.

I have an almost 6 year old son. He is the most incredible blessing I could ever ask for! I did not want to be the sick mom who could not keep up, play actively with him and complained of pain all the time. This wonderful little man deserved a mom who was present and as active as I could possibly be. I was also not interested in being (over)medicated which is all Western medicine doctors could come up with.

My first experience with acupuncture with a different practitioner was less than desirable. I expected a little discomfort from the needles but I had lived through several epidurals and figured “how much could needles the diameter of human hair placed just below the surface of the skin hurt”? Well, I screamed out in pain several times, cursed as a matter of fact – not something I usually do. After four sessions and increasing panic attacks before each, I ended my relationship with this particular acupuncturist. The symptoms I was having also did not improve with the treatments, which made the decision to leave even easier!

I mentioned my story to friends and was given the name Debbie Hardin. When we first met I shared details of my previous experience and the current fears of trying again! Her demeanor was very calming and understanding. She asked me if I would like to try to work with her to see if the experience would be any better. I agreed. Debbie tested a couple needles and left them in only 5 minutes to see if I could tolerate them. I was pleasantly surprised the pain I felt was mere discomfort compared to my previous experiences.

Over the next few sessions, we took it slow, using less than 10 needles and keeping them in only 10-15 minutes. She also stayed with me while I was having the procedure because I was afraid to be left alone (and forgotten while laying there with needles in my body!). Gradually, I began to not “think” before appointments and actually look forward to them! The number of needles and length of time had increased and the discomfort decreased with time as well! This last session I even let her leave the room!

So, why did I go to another acupuncturist if my first experience was painful and did not seem to work?! I had heard so many success stories and read a great deal about this form of treatment that I did not want to give up from one experience! I am so glad I did not give up! Now, I have pain relief (sure not ALL the time but greatly reduced pain!), and I am working on other symptoms and problems that acupuncture can help with.

Most importantly, Debbie Hardin is a caring, understanding, non-judgmental, and enthusiastic practitioner! She truly believes in what she does and works hard to always improve her skills which gives me confidence in her ongoing commitment to her craft!


(Photo of my treatment space by Veronica Varos)

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Hardin Acupuncture
1804 Chislett St
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Tue 10-6
Wed 12-7
Thu 12-7
Fri 10-6
Phone: 412.927.4768