By JOHN PRYOR
NEW YORK (UPI) – The United States’ first acupuncture center opened Wednesday and its first patient reported he felt better after undergoing the ancient Chinese treatment in which needles are inserted into the body to eliminate pain.
But Nicola di Virgile, 63, of New York said be would wait a few days before deciding whether the treatment had successfully dealt with his arthritis.
Eight others were waiting for treatment at the new acupuncture center of New York while Di Virgile was being punctured with 26 needles in the fifth floor facility in a plush high-rise section of Manhattan’s East Side.
Most were arthritic with no previous success in eliminating their pain. All agreed anything was worth the gamble.
Di Virgile, a retired porter. required about 15 minutes to have the fine needles inserted into his chest, stomach, arms and legs. He said he felt nothing.
After the treatment, the patient flexed his fingers with apparent ease and swung his right arm in apparent comfort. He said he was unable to do this before.
‘It feels better,” he said. Later, outside on the street, walking briskly, he said, “It feels much better.”
The second patient was Irving Lazarus, a cab driver from Brooklyn, who has long suffered from neck pains and persistent headaches. All previous efforts to get relief had failed, he said. I got to the point where was willing to try he said.
Although the treatment back some four years in China, the reason’s for its reported effectiveness in relieving pain are not fully understood.
Other ailments believed to be responsive to acupuncture treatment are migraine headaches, back pains, sciatica, high blood pressure, asthma, ulcers and insomnia.
Patients undergo physical examinations first to determine whether they are to be treated by acupuncture or conventional Western medical methods. The cost for acupuncture is very reasonable.