My experience with Dr. Zhu has been a miraculous one. Dr. Zhu is a “healer” as well as a beautiful human being. He and his staff relieved me of unbearable sciatic pain, and I was again able to walk, sit, and stand.
On July 19, 1999, six months after my wedding, I began experiencing the worst pain of my life. The left side of my body below my waist felt like a sharp electrical current radiating all of the way down to my foot. It was a sensation similar to the pain of a live nerve in a root canal of a tooth. I saw an orthopedic doctor, took anti-inflammatorys, muscle relaxants, and barbiturates. None of these reduced my pain. I had two epidurals. This is an incredibly painful and dangerous precedure, but I was desperate. The first epidural worked wonderfully for a total of two hours. I had to wait two weeks before a second epidural. And after the second procedure. I could not walk out of the office. When I applied weight on my leg, it would buckle under me. My left leg had no sensation for the next three days. I was terrified. I was unable to walk, sit, or stand for ten weeks. I had to sell my home and give up a very successful practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Rancho Mirage, California because my sciatic pain flares up when I sit too long.
On May 14, 2000 I had a surgical procedure that triggered off a severe sciatica episode and I was overwhelmed with pain. I could not sit, stand, or walk. Even when I was lying down, I was in severe pain and could not sleep. I went to an orthopedic surgeon who wanted to do surgery on my spinal disc. I opted not to do that and he put me on an anti-inflammatory. The pain never lessened in the days to come, so he put me on a more powerful anti-inflammatory. The pain continued to increase until I could not keep from crying. I begged the doctor’s nurse to get me a prescription for an epidural. I was given a prescription, however, the anesthesiologist that my doctor recommended was on vacation for another two weeks.
Two massage therapists recommended Dr. Zhu to me. One of the women told me that she went back to work as a massage therapist one day after a painful sciatica episode because she had one acupuncture treatment from Dr. Zhu. The other woman was an acupuncture student of Dr. Zhu at Five Branches Institute in Santa Cruz, California. She told me how gentle Dr. Zhu was and she told me of his impeccable reputation and worldwide fame. I protested because I HATE NEEDLES. I had had some acupuncture in the desert for a rotator cuff which was helpful, and a Chinese doctor came to the house for a couple of treatments for my sciatic problem, but the relief was minimal.
The pain continued to increase and I had no choice. Although I vowed not to take any western painkillers, I took one Vicodan to help me deal with the painful twenty-minute car ride. When we arrived at Dr. Zhu’s clinic, we were surprised to see that every chair in his acupuncture room and in the waiting room were filled. I crawled onto the floor and lay next to the secretary Eling’s desk and trash basket. I was in tears.
My husband and I were taken into a private area and there was a massage type table for me to lie on. Dr. Zhu and his assistant comforted us immediately. I sensed truth and healing immediately. I felt hope for the first time. Dr. Zhu put four needles into my lower back and told me to get up and walk across the room. I thought he was kidding since I hadn’t been able to walk for a week. I got off the table and walked across the room without pain. I couldn’t believe it. It was a miracle. The only problem that I had was a dizzy, weak feeling, which I knew was the effect of the Vicodan. I was convinced never to take western painkillers again. In fact, it never relieved my sciatic pain at all.
Since I had waited over a week, my sciatic inflammation was quite progressed and Dr. Zhu said that it would take more treatments than it would have if I had started acupuncture immediately. With each needle, I screamed, squeezed my husband’s fingers till they hurt, and sang “la la la la”. I felt very badly for the other patients who had to listen to my loud sounds. Dr. Zhu and Moyee were loving, kind, and consoling. Dr. Zhu has a fantastic sense of humor and my husband and I found ourselves laughing and happy with every treatment.
The day following my initial session was a Saturday, and after a full day of acupuncture, Dr. Zhu and Moyee were kind enough to drive to our home because I was again in overwhelming pain. Dr. Zhu put over forty needles in my back. It wasn’t a pleasant experience for them to listen to my screams. They were so patient with me. They couldn’t have been more caring and kind. Dr. Zhu trimmed and bent the needles and taped them down. I kept the needles in my back until Tuesday when I went to my next treatment. I continued to have acupuncture treatments every Tuesday and Friday and the pain lessened with each treatment. I was pain free after nine sessions with Dr. Zhu and Moyee.
I have such faith in Dr. Zhu and his staff that I have taken many Chinese herbs and remedies, which have all been helpful. Dr. Zhu has taught me the correct way to manage my chronic sciatic pain and to keep pain at a minimum. He instructed me to sit, stand, walk, and lie down for fifteen-minutes intervals. I made my condition worse by lying down most of the time. I continued maintenance acupuncture and I graduated to Dr. Zhu’s scalp acupuncture method. Thankfully, scalp needles were less painful for me and my sciatic pain would immediately diminish from one treatment. Dr. Zhu also helped my sinus and allergy problems as well as menopausal symptoms with his acupuncture technique.
There had times when I would pray to die when the pain was intolerable. Dr. Zhu was a savior in the darkest hours of my pain. Today, I thank God every day for the incredible change in my condition. I thank God for Dr. Zhu, Moyee and all of the wonderful people associated with Dr. Zhu’s practice. My only sadness is that Dr. Zhu closed his Santa Cruz office and Highway 17 is the dreaded road between my home and his San Jose office.
People fly in from all over the world for treatments with Dr. Zhu, and he also travels worldwide to help patients. We are so lucky to have this gentle healer in California. I am very grateful that this man came into my life.
Colette Bruno, MFT