Inspiring Stories from our Patients

Neil's struggle with vertigo

“There is nothing we can do about it.”

That is what Neil's doctor told him about his vertigo and dizzy spells.

An EKG showed a right bundle branch block near the right ventricle of his heart. The right bundle branch is a nerve circuit that connects the heart to the brain.  When it's blocked, the heart doesn’t send an adequate supply of blood to the brain which can cause dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and excess perspiration.

For Neil, dizziness and vertigo were the most debilitating of the symptoms because he was unable to walk.  When he would have a dizzy spell, he would be forced to lie down until it would go away. His biggest fear was suffering from a dizzy spell when he was in a situation where he would not be able to function.

“I have a big rescue dog I take on walks all the time,” says Neil. “I worried that we would be on a trail somewhere and I would get dizzy and wouldn’t be able to find my way back.”

Neil calls the fear associated with the diagnosis a hidden disability.

“Sometimes it’s more difficult to live with a hidden disability than an obvious disability because it’s really hard for other people to understand what you are going through.”

When it was first suggested to Neil to look into acupuncture he was a bit hesitant. He didn’t know much about acupuncture but was hoping it might help.

“I knew that acupuncture was effective at some things that regular medicine couldn't solve,” he says. “After a few more incidents I decided I would try it since nothing else would fix anything.”

He started treatment two times a week. He incorporated changes in his diet like like adding daily herbal supplements and Hibiscus tea to his diet. Gradually, his health improved.

Amazingly, Neil hasn’t had any dizzy spells since he started seeing Abby.

Just last week, he had his annual EKG appointment. The results were shocking.

“I asked the PA if she thought the right bundle branch block would still be there and she said I would have it forever,” says Neil

But a few minutes later, the EKG proved otherwise. There was no sign of a right bundle branch block on Neil’s EKG. It had completely disappeared.

“The EKG shows scientific proof that there are improvements,” says Neil. “I knew it was acupuncture that fixed the bundle branch block; this is more proof that acupuncture works.”

Neil now gets acupuncture once a month to maintain his good health and continues to take his supplements.

“My experience highlights the importance of better integrating traditional eastern therapies into modern western medicine to help make people more healthy,” he says.

Today, Neil is feeling great. He no longer worries about dizzy spells or vertigo impacting his everyday life.  He enjoys taking his dog on the trails for long walks. The only thing on his mind during his daily walks is composing haiku.

This haiku was inspired by Neil’s experience with acupuncture.  

“Your most important

Possession is your good health

Nurture it wisely.”


Deb's cancer survival story

Deb is a survivor. She faced cancer head-on and has been in remission for 15 years.

Her diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer were the most challenging times of her life; she credits acupuncture for helping her get through it and recover quickly.

“I knew that I wanted something to help me deal with the chemotherapy and all the toxins that were being put in my body,” says Deb. “I was amazed by how much acupuncture helped me physically and emotionally during that time.”

Deb had an acupuncture treatment before and after every round of chemotherapy. She says it helped her body and mind prepare for what was to come,  as well as recover more quickly.

“Abby knew what chemotherapy drugs they would be administering and she would educate me on what to do to get through it. She would tell me what food to eat, and what nutrients I needed so I wouldn’t feel dehydrated. She told me what to do to help my body heal, and it made things so much easier than I imagined.”

Astonishingly, throughout all eight rounds of chemotherapy, Deb never got sick.

“I attribute it all to my care at Des Moines Acupuncture,” she says.  “Abby was a godsend to me. I don’t think I could have done it without her.”

In fact, Deb, an avid horse rider was able to ride horses throughout her chemotherapy. Because of her good health, her blood count levels were always on target, and she never had to delay a round of chemotherapy.

“Not only did acupuncture help me physically get through breast cancer, but it also helped me mentally and emotionally deal with the stress associated with a cancer diagnosis,” she says. “I always felt so positive after my treatments with Abby, she made me feel like I could beat it, and when you are fighting cancer that is a huge thing.”

After Deb’s experience with breast cancer, she created a non-profit, Strands of Strength, to provide other women who are fighting cancer a high-quality wig, even if they can’t afford it. Their mission is to decrease feelings of vulnerability and provide greater self-esteem, resulting in the personal strength needed to successfully battle the disease.

“Along with wigs, I wish someday that all women battling cancer could also receive acupuncture treatments,” she says. “It helped me tremendously during my battle with cancer and I would love to provide that to other women too.”

Dave's road to recovery

Dave has been a hard worker his entire life. He is a farmer, mechanic, and equipment operator for a seed farm. His office is the great outdoors. He doesn’t even mind working through the cold Iowa winters.

Following a mechanical accident and battle with cancer two years ago, Dave’s health began to rapidly decline. Things went from bad to worse following his prostate surgery.

“When I woke up from surgery I couldn’t feel anything from my belly button down,” Dave recalls. “They kept saying the feeling would come back but it never did.”

Dave describes the numbness in his lower body similar to the tingly feeling you get when your foot falls asleep.

“You could touch my legs or hit them even and I couldn’t really feel it.”

As you can imagine, this made everyday tasks very challenging for Dave. He was determined to continue working as much as he could, but with little muscle control, simple tasks were becoming not only difficult but dangerous.

“I would fall a dozen times a day,” says Dave. “I figured I would need shoulder surgery because I would fall and land on my right side more than the other. My shoulder was constantly aching and hurting.”

Dave recalls trying to walk across the shop floor with tools in his hands. He would hear the tools hitting the concrete floor before he noticed he dropped them.

“I’m a mechanic. I use tools every single day,” he says. “I couldn’t work on equipment, climb in my tractor or get in and out of machinery. It was a big problem.”

The large scar on Dave’s stomach from surgery was also a source of discomfort. He couldn’t wear anything with buttons or zippers that rubbed on his stomach without severe pain.

“If something touched my scar it felt like someone was stabbing my stomach,” he says. “I had to wear gym shorts or sweatpants for two years. In the environment that I am in, that is not acceptable.”

Dave’s circulation issues made him feel constantly cold and uncomfortable. For the first time in decades, he would have to take breaks during work in his pickup truck.

“I’d be trying to warm up and I’d reach down for my coffee cup and bring it up to my lips, to realize that I actually never picked it up.”

He says his wife treated him like a little kid. She had to help him with countless everyday tasks like cooking food and eating dinner.

“My wife would make food for me and she would put it in certain dishes that I could open,” he says. “Without her, I couldn’t even open a lid on a can because I didn’t have the strength to pull the tab back.”

Dave was frustrated. He was tired of feeling sick and tired. He was desperate to feel better and take his life back. He worked with surgeons and doctors, but nothing seemed to help. His physical therapist, who helps Dave with movement and strength exercises suggested he try acupuncture. Dave found Des Moines Acupuncture, and even though he was skeptical at first, he had hope.

He started getting acupuncture treatments three times a week, and the results were life-changing.

“I’ve had more results with Abby in 6 months than I had with all my other doctors over the past 15 years,” he says.

Dave is starting to regain feeling in his arms and legs. He can pick up things more easily, and no longer falls multiple times a day. He is gaining sensation, muscle strength and dexterity with every appointment.

“I haven’t fallen down in over 2 months,” Dave says. “I used to not be able to drink a full glass of anything without spilling it everywhere, and now I can pick it up and do more things on my own.”

When Dave first started getting acupuncture he had constant pain nearly everywhere. Last week during an appointment he rated his pain at the lowest level he can remember, a level 1.

“I haven’t felt like this since before my accident nearly 20 years ago,” he says. “I haven’t been in this good of shape in years!”

While Dave has made leaps and bounds in his progress towards healing, he is taking things one day at a time. He has regained about 60% functionality and for the first time in decades, he is excited about what the future holds.

“My life has changed a lot over the past 6 months since I started treatment, and I know I will keep improving,” he says.

Without Abby’s help, Dave says his future would look much different right now. He thinks he would probably be unemployed and potentially struggling from more health issues.

“This is the best improvement I’ve had, “ he says. “It has been a very big deal for me.”

Most importantly, Dave says acupuncture has given him hope for a better life, which is something he didn’t have before.

Joan's recovery from chronic migraines

Joan first started suffering from migraines in the 8th grade. Over the next 20 years, her migraines became more severe, more painful, and more frequent.  Joan would have an intense migraine almost every single day. The pain was debilitating.

“If I had three or four days a month without a migraine, I was very happy,” she says. “I tried everything out there to help, but nothing gave me full relief from the pain.”

Joan saw a neurologist, she tried every pill and medication possible, she took shots, but nothing helped. She was still suffering from chronic migraines nearly every single day.

“When I had my migraines, I would have to just go to bed,” she remembers. “I tried to function as best as I could, I would ice my head and neck constantly, but I would always end up in bed, sometimes for days at a time.”

Joan’s migraines were impacting her life every single day. Many times she would end up in the hospital. She was anxious when she had to travel for work, not knowing if she had enough medicine to get her through her trip. She constantly stressed over the pain and how it would impact her on any given day.

But then, after much research, Joan found acupuncture. She had no idea how walking into an acupuncture clinic one day would change her life forever.

“I was in total shock,” she says. “I got immediate relief from my pain. I kept thinking, do I have a headache? Does my head hurt? Going a whole day without a migraine was indescribable! It changed my life.”

After more than 20 years of suffering, Joan found relief from her migraines with acupuncture.

“I woke up one day, and realized, I don’t have a headache today, and I don’t need to take a pain pill. It was amazing,” she recalls. “It’s like a burden has been lifted off my chest. I don’t constantly worry about it anymore, and I can just enjoy everyday life.”

Joan hasn’t had a debilitating migraine in nearly 15 years. She doesn’t take pain pills anymore either.  She receives acupuncture every four weeks and says she feels better than ever before.

“I am pain-free,” she says. “I can enjoy my life today. Acupuncture gave me my quality of life back. It’s a miracle.”


Elizabeth's fertility journey

As soon as Elizabeth and her husband got married, it was an easy choice for them to want to start a family. They never imagined how difficult it would be for them to have their own children.

“I have a natural maternal instinct, and I knew when I found the right person I wanted a family,” says Elizabeth.

But, after three unexpected early pregnancy loses, Elizabeth and husband wondered if their dream of having a family would come true.  

“It’s all-encompassing when you decide you want a child and it’s not happening,” says Elizabeth. “I got pregnant right away, but then a week or two later, I’d get my period.”

After three early miscarriages, Elizabeth went to her OBGYN and underwent a series of tests. From blood work to screenings and scans, genetic testing, and more, all results came back “normal.”

“Normal would typically be great, but in this case, we were looking for a reason.”

Next, Elizabeth and her husband were sent to a fertility clinic where the doctor recommended IVF. But, Elizabeth wasn’t ready for IVF just yet. She knew there was a reason she was unable to carry her pregnancies. After a lot of research and encouragement from her OBGYN, Elizabeth made an appointment at Des Moines Acupuncture to begin acupuncture treatments.

“I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on IVF if we didn’t need to since I felt we didn’t have trouble getting pregnant,” says Elizabeth. “I thought that maybe I just needed to shore up something with my own health.”

Even though Elizabeth has a fear of needles, she was determined to try acupuncture.

“Acupuncture with Abby specifically was so much more than just the needling,” she says. “I immediately felt like I had support and someone fighting for me in my corner.  We established a bond that I relied on heavily.”

Elizabeth says she always felt a sense of calm, healing, and hope during her treatments. Along with acupuncture Abby also helped Elizabeth make some dietary changes as well. As Elizabeth was healing, she was preparing her body to try and get pregnant again. About six months after she began acupuncture, Elizabeth was pregnant again.

“I was almost in disbelief as each week went by and my belly got bigger and bigger,” she says. “I had a great pregnancy and my baby girl was born on her due date.”

Baby Margaux was her pride and joy. Elizabeth and her husband waited much longer than 9 months for her to arrive, and becoming parents was everything they dreamed of.

They knew they wanted Margaux to have a sibling. This time, Elizabeth hoped that she would be able to carry a pregnancy on her own, but again struggled with two early pregnancy loses. She went back to Abby for help.

“I was little nervous this time because I was so sure acupuncture worked when I was successful with Margaux,” she said. “I didn’t want to prove it wrong if it didn’t work again.”  

Just like last time, Abby helped calm Elizabeth’s nerves and prepared her body for another pregnancy.

“Abby was so determined that it was going to work out,” she says. “Any time I would express doubt or nerves, she would talk to my belly and say ‘baby don’t listen to her, keep growing!’

That positive attitude and energy gave Elizabeth a sense of hope. She describes Abby as her safety net throughout her pregnancy. 9 months later, Elizabeth delivered a healthy baby girl Celine.

“Abby is a magical baby goddess,” Elizabeth laughs. “Acupuncture, the bond and emotional support Abby gave, along with the nutritional education I believe all worked together to foster healthy pregnancies.”

Out of 7 total pregnancies, the only two that were successful, were when Elizabeth received acupuncture.

“It was right for me,” she says. “I totally stand by it as being the reason my pregnancies with Margaux and Celine worked out.”

To say Elizabeth’s life is forever changed is an understatement. Her girls are happy and healthy toddlers that keep her busier than ever! Margaux is nearly 4, and Celine is 1-year-old. Elizabeth and her husband are living the life they always imagined.

“I feel almost lucky that I had those fertility issues, because discovering Abby, acupuncture and the eye-opening nutritional and health viewpoints I learned from Abby, really made an impact on my life for the better.”

Elizabeth says she has her happy ending - two times over.

“My heart is full and I really truly have Abby’s gift to thank!”


Becky's journey to overcoming anxiety

Becky has always been a happy-go-lucky person. She is funny, smart, and witty.

Faced with some very difficult life challenges, Becky began feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and full of constant anxiety.

Becky was caring for her sister throughout her battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), within months, her mother who lived thousands of miles away in Florida, was struggling with Alzheimer's Disease, and broke her hip. Becky was caring and worrying for her loved ones more than herself. She was overworked and overwhelmed.  She knew she needed help coping with the stress and anxiety she was feeling.

“I didn’t know what to do or where to go for help, but I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing,” she recalls.

Thankfully, a Physicians Assistant recommended that Becky look into acupuncture. What happened next, Becky herself still can’t describe.

“I can’t put into words what it did for me,” she says. “I went to the clinic and I immediately felt warm and welcome. I  laid down on the table and for the first time, I began to relax. The calmness I felt was overwhelming.”

Becky started getting acupuncture treatments regularly. Even during one of the most difficult times of her life, she was able to find calm and peace.

“It makes my body, my mind, and my nerves feel so much better,” she says. “The calm feeling I experience with acupuncture is something I have never experienced before. Acupuncture eliminated problems I didn't even know I had.”

Becky credits her acupuncture treatments with Abby for helping her learn how to manage stress and balance her life.

“She saved me,” she says. “It was such a low point in my life. I was emotionally exhausted all the time, but I was able to get through it without relying  on medication.”

It’s fair to say that Becky is back to herself. She enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, and swimming. Inspired by her experiences helping her mother through Alzheimer's, she started a business to help other seniors find quality housing and care. Today, she couldn’t be happier.


Liz's struggle with chronic sinus issues

Liz dealt with sinus issues for 10 years. It only took one acupuncture treatment for Liz to find relief.

“I don’t think I was lying on the table for more than five minutes when my sinuses just popped open,” she recalls. “I was laying there in total shock.”

It was Liz’s friend who first suggested she look into acupuncture for help with her sinus issues. After struggling with daily headaches, a stuffy nose, congestion, and pressure for years, Liz was willing to try anything. She had been on medication for years and even had a long and painful sinus surgery, but nothing helped.

Liz admits that she walked into her first appointment skeptical, but all that quickly changed.

“It was such a dramatic experience for me,” she says. “I hadn’t been able to breathe for such a long time, so when my sinuses almost immediately cleared I was just stunned. I could smell things again, it was a wonderful experience.”

Liz received on-going acupuncture treatments and cupping to manage her sinuses for years. She started more regular treatments when she faced a health scare a few years ago. Liz was diagnosed with Hepatitis A in 2012. She was in the Intensive Care Unit for days and on bed rest for months.

“I couldn’t do anything, it totally broke my system,” she says. “Abby was my first thought. I knew she could help me.”

Liz faced a number of health problems in the months ahead. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and had to have her gallbladder removed. Slowly, with acupuncture, Liz’s body began to recover.

“Slowly, I got back to where I was before,” she says. “Abby really looked at what was going on with my whole body. She notices things that no other provider does. I rely on her heavily for my health and well being.”

Liz now turns to functional medicine before seeking medical care anywhere else. She has encouraged her husband and two sons to get acupuncture treatments as well. She says they have all seen significant results over the years.

“Acupuncture has helped my husband with his knee, and my son with digestive and sleep issues when he was a little boy,” she says. “Abby’s acupuncture and her functional medicine knowledge have improved our health in so many ways."

Liz says she has been inspired to make diet and lifestyle changes as well. She says she is more aware of how her body is feeling or when something doesn’t feel right.

“Acupuncture has been a wonderful experience for me and my family,” she says. “We don’t rely on prescription medication like we used to, overall we are a more healthy family, and I feel better than I thought I could.”

Liz says her small investment in acupuncture treatments have made a huge difference in her health and well being.

“It's given me everything - I’m  feeling better, I can smell things again, and I’m more in tune with my body than I’ve ever been.”


Richard's battle with pain

Richard has been active in Taekwondo for 9 years. He is an athlete, instructor, and referee. He loves teaching his Dragons class (4 and 5-year-olds) - watching them accomplish things they never thought possible.

Not long ago, Richard wondered if he would ever be able to compete in Taekwondo again. Within a five day period, he suffered from kidney stones, urinary tract infections, full body sepsis, and 2 blown discs. He had excruciating pain in his hip which drastically limited his mobility. His ability to walk, get in a car, and even sit at his desk for work were all extremely painful.  His sleep was constantly interrupted. Taking his Taekwondo classes became impossible.

Richard spent the next few months undergoing a series of tests and labs. From MRI’s to CT and Bone Scans, Richard still received no answers.

“No one could seem to identify the cause of my pain,” he said. “I even had an epidural to try and alleviate my pain and it worked for a few days, but the pain came right back.”

It was then, that a friend of Richard’s suggested acupuncture. Richard visited Des Moines Acupuncture and immediately set up a treatment plan. After his very first treatment, the pain was gone.

"It was strange to notice that as each needle went in, a part of my pain began to dissipate,” he remembers.

He says he was extremely tense at the beginning of the treatment. Simply lying down in any position was painful for him. But slowly, needle by needle, his pain diminished and his body relaxed.

“The tension left and when I got up from the table, I was a different person than the one who came in,” he says. “I could move freely, and I began to sleep more comfortably,” he said. “Mentally, three months of constant pain had taken its toll on me, but I knew that would start improving too.”

When Richard was in pain, he couldn’t compete in Taekwondo. For someone who is very active and used to competing regularly, it was very challenging to sit on the side. After receiving a month of acupuncture treatments, that quickly changed.  Four weeks after his first treatment, Richard competed in the USA Taekwondo's National Championship. Richard specializes in board breaking. With just a month of training, he felt well enough to compete in the Black Belt - 33+ age group for Breaking. Richard is 52. Thanks to acupuncture, he took the mat with confidence and won the National Championship.

"In 2017, I won the Championship in the 'over 50' group, but in 2018, they combined everyone over 33 into one group,” he says.  “Competing against much younger and stronger men was already challenging, but one thing I did not have on my mind was the pain. I was free from it.”

Without the fear of pain, Richard could concentrate on his targets, his strategy, and on each board break.  30 boards later, he scored well enough to beat out all of his competitors.

“A few months before this,  I was ready to remove myself from the competition,” he says.  I love this sport. I love to compete. I want to be my best and bring out the best in those around me.  I am so thankful that Abby was able to get me back to the mats again."

Richard was able to referee and compete throughout all 7 days of the Taekwondo Competition and was completely pain-free.

“Acupuncture has given me back a part of my life that means very much to me,” he said. “ I am extremely grateful for Abby’s care.”

Click here to watch Richard in action!

Shelby's journey to overcome arthritis pain

When Shelby became a mom in 2015, she knew she had found her calling. She grew up playing with dolls, and from a young age, she always knew she wanted to be a mom.

“Sam has brought so much joy to our family,” says Shelby. “He loves playing pretend, putting puzzles together, helping me cook in the kitchen, playing with bugs, cars, and trains. He keeps us super busy and we wouldn’t have it any other way!”

When Shelby first started experiencing intermittent joint pain around Sam’s second birthday, she didn’t think much of it. As a healthy 32-year-old, she figured she hurt her wrist or hand playing with Sam or working around the house. As the pain started to get worse, and more frequent, Shelby’s journey to find treatment began.

“Doing simple everyday things with Sam were becoming more challenging,” she says. “At times my knee would be so swollen it hurt to sit on the ground and play with him or I would have to pick him up with my opposite arm because my wrist was so sore.”

She remembers one day after baking Christmas cookies with Sam, it was painful to move her hands for days.

“I saw a number of doctors and had countless tests ran, but they couldn’t figure out what was going on,” she says. “I knew my body was telling me that something was wrong, but I couldn’t find anyone to help me figure out what that was.”

After about 6 months, Shelby was told she “probably has early signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Doctors told her she would need to be on injectable medication for the rest of her life if she wanted the pain to stop and swelling to subside.

“I was so upset leaving that appointment, wondering what my future would be,” she says. “But I knew immediately, that I was not going to accept that diagnosis and take medication with high risks and dangerous side effects for the rest of my life.”

That’s when Shelby found Des Moines Acupuncture. She met with Abby, and for the first time felt like someone was going to help her find the cause of the problem, not simply try to fix the symptoms. After a number of visits, Shelby slowly began to find relief.

“I started having fewer flare-ups and they were less severe,” says Shelby. “And then the swelling in my knee started going down, which a previous provider told me would never happen without medication.”

Shelby calls the transformation life changing.

“Abby was able to address my whole body and mind,” she says. “I rarely have pain anymore, and I feel more relaxed and calm than I have in years. I will always be grateful for Abby’s kind and compassionate care during this scary time in my life. Now, I know that with acupuncture and functional medicine, my body can heal itself.”

Acupuncture helped Shelby find relief and recover her health. Now, she is happy to focus on the things that matter most to her.

“It’s a blessing to just do normal everyday things with my family, without the fear of pain. I feel like myself again thanks to Abby.”

Christy's path to motherhood

Today, Christy is a proud mother of three. Talking with her for a couple of minutes, it doesn’t take long to tell her children are her pride and joy. Her days are filled with carpools, practices, laundry (lots of laundry) and more giggles than you can imagine.

But, there was a point in Christy’s life where she didn’t know if she would be able to have the family she always dreamed of.

Her journey to motherhood began years ago with irregular menstrual cycles. It was something she never worried much about until Christy and husband started thinking about starting a family.

“I was irregular for nearly seven years,” she remembers. “I talked with a number of physicians but no one really had an answer or knew how to fix the problem.”

It was Christy’s mother-in-law who first suggested she try acupuncture. She had heard great things about acupuncture from a friend. Even though Christy was skeptical at first, she was willing to try just about anything.

“It was life-changing,” she says. “I was just amazed at how it made me feel.”

She couldn’t process exactly how it worked or why, but she knew it was working. After a number of treatments, Christy started having a regular cycle for the first time in her life.

Once her menstruation was regulated, Christy began fertility treatments. As part of her treatment plan, Abby worked alongside Christy’s fertility specialist.

“It was a hard time but I remember feeling like I was being taken care of by Abby,” she says.

Christy would get acupuncture treatments before and after her fertility appointments. Even though her hormone levels were not at the levels her fertility doctor had hoped, Christy was still able to get pregnant.

“That is a true testament to the care I received at Des Moines Acupuncture,” she says. “There is no doubt in my mind that acupuncture is the main reason I was able to get pregnant.”

Christy continued to see Abby for treatments throughout her pregnancy. Nine months later, she was overjoyed to welcome a healthy baby boy into the world.

“It was amazing what acupuncture did for me during my pregnancy,” she says. “I laugh that there is magic medicine on the tips of the needles. That feeling of relaxation that you get is so important when you are pregnant.”

A couple years later, Christy and her husband were considering expanding their family, and she came back to Des Moines Acupuncture once again. She knew how instrumental acupuncture was in her first pregnancy and knew she needed that along with her upcoming fertility treatments.

Christy began taking injectable hormones again and was preparing for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). She received acupuncture treatments during the same time.

“I could really see the connections, and how my treatments were working together,” she says.

To Christy’s surprise, she became pregnant with twins. As a high-risk pregnancy, it was vital for her to relax and take care of herself as much as possible. The number one thing Christy knew she needed was acupuncture.

“It made my pregnancy so much more enjoyable,” she says. “Acupuncture cured any ailments that I was having and made me feel better than I imagined I would.”

Her twins were born happy and healthy. Christy and her family were thrilled to bring a little boy and little girl in their lives.

“With twins and a c-section, my recovery was much harder the second time around,” she says. “Abby helped me postpartum and got me feeling better.”

Without acupuncture, Christy doesn’t think she would have conceived - not once, and especially not twice.

“Without acupuncture and Abby, I don’t think I would have any babies,” she says. “My three healthy kids are the best evidence that this works.”

Christy says she still can’t wrap her mind around how it works, but she is okay with that. She encourages other women and couples going through something similar to give acupuncture a try.

“There is so much pressure on a woman trying to get pregnant,” she says. “There is so much you are supposed to be doing or not doing, but there is something pretty amazing about being able to give it all up to someone you trust to help you. Just believe and have a little faith that it will work.”

Tricia's journey to better health

Over the past few years, acupuncture has helped Tricia with a number of health concerns. Today, Tricia says she feels better than ever.

“Since I started seeing Abby, my overall health has greatly improved,” says Tricia. “Abby is always fixing something or bringing something to my attention. I learned so much about my body and I’m still learning.”

Tricia first started seeing Abby when she was suffering from recurring kidney stones. The kidney stones were extremely painful and Tricia was frustrated with the care she was getting from urologists. She didn’t want to continue getting frequent CT Scans.

“I went in to see Abby when I was having a kidney stone flare up,” she says. “Typically, my doctors would prescribe hydrocodone but I didn’t want to do that for a small flare up. I went into my appointment with a lot of pain including severe sciatic nerve pain, and when I came out of the appointment the pain was gone.”

During the same time, Tricia was also experiencing knee pain. Her mother had two knee replacements, and Tricia worried that she would also need knee replacement surgery. She watched her mother go through a long recovery process and feared that was the only option to make her pain disappear. But, after a few acupuncture treatments with Abby, Tricia was surprised that her knee also started feeling better.

“I couldn’t exercise or do too much when my knee was in so much pain,” she recalls. “To not have any pain right now is pretty amazing. It’s a relief.”

Kidney and knee pain are in the same in the meridian. When Abby was treating one ailment, she was improving other issues at the same time.

“I could really see and feel how things were starting to balance out,” says Tricia. “I haven’t had any knee pain or a kidney stone flare up since seeing Abby about three years ago.

Since that time, Tricia has continued regular acupuncture treatments. She says Abby has helped balance hormones, improve immunity,  increase energy levels, and eliminate mood swings. She credits acupuncture with improving her mental health and stress levels as well.

“Our family has experienced some high-stress situations, and Abby helped me through all of it,” she says. “Without Abby, I don’t know if I would have been able to emotionally face those things.”.

Since Tricia started receiving acupuncture, she hasn’t been to her primary care doctor for any sickness or ailment.

“Overall, I just feel so much better,” she says. “The fact that I haven’t needed to go to a primary doctor for illness or pain, speaks to the effectiveness of her overall care.”

With continued acupuncture, Tricia has no plans to visit a doctor or other medical provider any time soon.

John's 20 year battle with insomnia

John has had a lifelong career in the United States Army. He is also a veteran of the Vietnam War.

While John has always been proud of his service, he began struggling with sleep deprivation following his deployment.

“I struggled with sleep deprivation, post-traumatic stress disorder, and wound issues,” he says.

John has struggled with these issues for more than 20 years. He averaged only 1-3 hours of sleep each night as he would frequently wake up with nightmares, pain or discomfort.

“I tried everything and nothing seemed to work for me,” John says. “I was given heavy prescription medication, I tried hypnosis, I did everything, but nothing helped.”

During this time, John relied on caffeine to get through the day. He drank 8-10 cappuccinos every day to function. He took high adrenaline jobs to stay active and alert. He continued on with everyday life as best as he could.

It was John’s wife that suggested he try acupuncture. She was a patient at Des Moines Acupuncture, and after talking with Abby at one of her appointments, she was convinced Abby could help John as well.

“It’s really hard for me to trust,” says John. “I did not enjoy my first treatment. I was anxious and jumpy. Because of my background, it didn’t calm me initially.”

But, John stuck with his treatment plan and slowly started seeing changes in his health with every appointment.

“It really works,” he says. “You just have to stick with it to allow it to work and your body to re-adjust.”

John is now able to get the rest he needs.  He sleeps about 5-6 hours a night, which is more than double what he used to be able to sleep. His blood pressure has gone down, he has reduced the medications he is taking, his pain from shrapnel wounds has diminished and he rarely drinks more than 1 or 2 cappuccinos a day.

“It’s had a marked positive effect on me,” he says. “I can go to sleep easier, and I actually have a more restful sleep. I get to REM sleep now, which I haven’t done much since Vietnam.”

John says he is finally able to relax and calm his mind and body. For the first time in his life, he fell asleep during his most recent acupuncture treatment.

“During treatment, it is the most relaxed and calm I’ve ever felt,” he says. “I want to continue this for the rest of my life.”

John says acupuncture has helped him enjoy his life again. He has the energy to work out every morning, target shoot, and go to the range as often as he would like.

While he now looks forward to his treatments, and the opportunity to relax, John says he will always be an adrenaline junky!

Ramona's path to end pain and improve health

Ramona first started seeing Abby for back pain about 15 years ago. Because of her great results and improved overall health, she hasn’t stopped since.

“At the time I was having a lot of back pain and sinus issues,” recalls Ramona. “I read an article about acupuncture in the newspaper and thought I should give it a try. I did, and I haven’t looked back!”

From that time on, acupuncture has played a key role in Ramona’s health.

When Ramona was working, she struggled with daily back pain. She was working at a computer, doing a lot of typing and by early afternoon she was in a lot of pain.

“Around 2:00 PM every day my back would start aching,” she says. “I would have to take a break and wait a bit until I could back to my desk.”

Every night when she got home she would take a pain reliever and rest as well as she could to prepare for the next painful day at her desk.

With regular acupuncture treatments, her pain started to go away.

“Acupuncture helped immensely,” she says. “I could go all day without any back pain. It made such a big difference in my life.”

Abby also helped Ramona with her sinus issues. Before visiting Abby, Ramona would get “really bad” sinus headaches a couple times a week. Within a couple weeks, those started clearing up too.

“My sinus headaches were gone after just a couple treatments,” she recalls.

Now, whenever Ramona feels a cold or sinus pressure returning she visits Abby.

“Last time I had a cold, I came in to see her and she helped me right away,” she says. “I had head congestion and it made such a big difference.”

Ramona is also diabetic, so she sees Abby monthly to stay healthy and in balance.

“Abby is really great at giving advice no matter the situation is,” says Ramona. “She is also focused on what I need and she has really helped my health stay on track over the years.”

Ramona says when she leaves a treatment she feels relaxed, almost as if she’s had a full body massage.

“She gives your body a whole new way of movement,” she says. “You are able to do things without the pain you had. She has made a huge difference in my health.”

Ramona says she will continue seeing Abby as long as possible, at least another 15 years!

“I believe in Abby and her practice full heartily,” she says. “It’s up to you to improve your health but she gives you the confidence and the push you need to make it happen.”

That support has pushed Ramona to better health for more than a decade.


Kindra's journey to expand her family

Kindra always knew she wanted to have children. She loved being a mom to 1-year-old Charlotte. Not long after moving back home from Minnesota to Iowa, Kindra and her partner knew they wanted another baby. They wanted to experience the joy and love another child would bring to their family, and they wanted Charlotte to grow up having a special bond with a sibling.

After going through Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) to become pregnant with Charlotte, they knew the journey to having another baby would be challenging, long, and difficult...but worth it.

As Kindra began to mentally prepare herself to go through fertility treatments again, she knew she wanted and needed more support.

“I’ve always been open to a whole body experience,” says Kindra. “I wanted to try something to naturally help myself too.”

Kindra found Abby after a friend, who also went through fertility treatments, recommended acupuncture. She began regular acupuncture treatments, taking supplements, and making diet changes. She felt healthy, strong, and prepared for the upcoming changes with her body.

She had acupuncture treatments before, during, and after the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process.

“It worked hand in hand with the fertility treatments,” says Kindra. “Abby is so knowledgeable, and I felt in really good hands. I know it helped my response to the fertility treatments.”

With the help of fertility treatments and acupuncture, Kindra became pregnant with a baby girl. The couple was beyond excited to expand their family. Throughout her pregnancy, Kindra continued her regular acupuncture appointments.

“It helped so much during my pregnancy,” she says. “In the beginning stages, we wanted to do anything we could to provide my body with additional support and give myself some peace of mind. It helped me mentally and physiologically, and I really enjoyed that special time to myself.”

Kindra says it also helped her immunity throughout her pregnancy. Whenever she felt like she was getting sick or under the weather, acupuncture helped her “fight it off” and stay healthy.

Four months ago, Kindra delivered a healthy baby girl, Sophie.

“We can’t imagine our lives without Sophie,” she says. “It’s pretty amazing how quickly life changes. I'm eternally grateful to Abby and all the people who played a role bringing her to us.”

Big sister Charlotte is loving her new role in the family as well. She always hoped for a baby sister. She loves helping her mom and taking care of her new little sister as much as she can. As an only child, it’s been extra special for Kindra to watch the two girls develop a relationship.

“Charlotte is a great big sister,” says Kindra. “First thing when she gets up she wants to hold Sophie, and after school, she runs in the door to see her. She always says I love you, Sophie.”

Kindra still receives acupuncture treatments. She recently had her first postpartum appointment to assist with recovery. She says she felt more balanced than before and enjoyed having the opportunity to gush about her new baby girl.

The couple has one embryo left, and Kindra says if and when they try again she will definitely incorporate acupuncture. She says the feeling of support felt during her fertility journey and pregnancy is something she will cherish forever.

“Abby is so gifted,” she says. “She is so knowledgeable and caring, she knew me and my story and everything going on at the moment physically and emotionally. She wanted this pregnancy to succeed for me and I could feel that from her every step of the way. I am very thankful.”

Jan overcomes two knee replacements to get back to doing what she loves

Jan and her husband love traveling. They’ve been to Europe, Canada, and Australia together, just to name a few. They love adventure, exploring other countries and experiencing new cultures together.

Their travel plans were recently put on hold while Jan and her husband both had knee replacements.

“The knee pain really did limit me,” says Jan. “Over the years you adapt to the pain or discomfort and you do less than you want to.”

Jan is determined that knee pain will no longer keep away from doing what she loves. Within the past year, she had both of her knees replaced. It was a painful process, but she says acupuncture helped her manage the pain and heal more quickly.

“Acupuncture helped get rid of the swelling and soreness quite quickly,” says Jan.  “That was the hardest part for me; you can’t begin to imagine what the pain from the swelling feels like, and to be able to get rid of that and get that out of my system, really helped me feel better overall.”

With the encouragement from a close friend who had experienced the benefits of acupuncture before, Jan had a few treatments prior to her first knee surgery. She returned to Abby just days after surgery, nearly as soon as she was released from the hospital.

“I was there two to three days later because it gave me significant relief,” she says. “It’s a big commitment to make it into the office when you aren’t feeling well, but it’s a very important part of my recovery.”

Not only did acupuncture help Jan with swelling and pain relief, but it also helped prepare her for physical therapy appointments, which is another key component of recovery.  

“It helped me get to physical therapy faster and do better when I was there,” she says.  “They were amazed that I could function so well and control my leg better than most people at that stage post-surgery.”

Many of Jan’s co-workers have gone through similar surgeries as well. As a former nurse, Jan and her colleagues spent long hours on their feet. A friend who went through the same surgery, but without acupuncture, decided not to have a second knee replacement because of the pain and slow recovery process. Jan recalls feeling the same way early on after her first knee surgery, but around 4 months post-surgery she scheduled her second knee replacement.

“I was encouraged by my physical therapists and doctors that I had great functioning capability, so I decided to do it again rather quickly,” she says. “Acupuncture was a big reason why I decided to get my second knee replacement.”

As an active 73-year-old, Jan (and her husband) are looking forward to getting back to their old routines and activities, this time without the pain. Jan had her second knee surgery just a few weeks ago and already has big plans for the future. Her goal is to get back on her recumbent tricycle again and start Nordic walking with some friends. Her husband is already planning their next trip.  

“We’ve really fallen in love with Canada,” says Jan. “My husband likes to find trips where we travel throughout the countryside but also by boat to smaller more remote communities too. My husband keeps asking me if I’ll be ready and I think I will.”

Jan and her husband are hoping to travel back to Newfoundland for a fourth time within the next year or two. In the meantime, Jan will continue with acupuncture and physical therapy. With her out-going positive attitude, determination, and strength, there is no doubt she will be ready for a trip of a lifetime.

From fertility to cancer...acupuncture helps Marsha heal

To say Marsha is a fighter is an understatement. Over the past ten years, she has faced a number of challenging health issues. From fertility issues to cancer, Marsha has overcome these challenges with a smile on her face, a positive attitude, and desire to help others.

While her health and wellness has been up and down the past few years, Marsha’s passion and dedication to acupuncture has never wavered.

“It’s a constant in my life that really has strengthened my belief in my myself and the body’s ability to heal,” she says. “I have learned there is nothing  more critical to health and wellness then investing in yourself.”

Marsha first started seeing Abby for acupuncture treatments about 10 years ago.  She has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which made it difficult for her to carry a pregnancy to term. Marsha was undergoing fertility treatments at the time, but they were unsuccessful. She says acupuncture treatments helped keep her calm throughout her fertility treatments and help make her dream of having a family become a reality.

“It was pretty amazing, after trying for so long we ended up conceiving with no fertility treatments at all,” says Marsha. “We had recently moved, and I was driving 2-hours back and forth to see Abby when I learned I was pregnant. She had introduced me to a number of supplements to boost my fertility and my body responded really well to them.”

Marsha says that Abby knew she was pregnant before anyone else. During one of her appointments, Marsha was explaining some of her symptoms, and after checking her pulse and ovulation dates, Abby was hopeful and so was Marsha.

“I went to my doctor the next day, and they confirmed I was pregnant,” says Marsha. “I told Abby immediately but she already knew it. It amazed me!”

It was a very exciting time for Marsha and her family. Not only was she pregnant, but the couple had just learned they were going to adopt two boys. After years of trying to start their family, their dreams were coming true, and fast! Within months the adoption of their two boys was finalized and their third son, Riley, was born happy and healthy, something they thought would never happen.

“It was so great,” says Marsha. “We got three birth certificates within a couple weeks of each other!”

Marsha was still a new mom when she was faced with her next health challenge. Her youngest son was just two-years-old when she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.

“When I started acupuncture all those years before, I had an intuition about what was happening in my body,” she says. “That led me to my diagnosis. I can credit acupuncture because my body was strong enough to get through it.”

Marsha received immunotherapy, which is a systemic treatment, for her cancer. Her body was strong, and she handled it very well. She suffered from very few side effects from immunotherapy. She also had a painful surgery to remove the cancerous lymph node in her leg. With over 52 staples in her leg, the recovery period from surgery was daunting. She wore compression stalkings and tried to rest her leg as much as possible, but with three small children, it wasn’t easy. But, Marsha was dedicated to making a full recovery for herself, her children, and her family.

“I just did the best I could,” she says. “I would have to prop my leg up and rest for 20 minutes and then I would get back to playing with kids. I knew how bad it could be and I wasn’t going to let it slow me down.”

Six months later, while still recovering from surgery, doctors found a reoccurrence of cancer in her brain. Marsha underwent surgery, radiation, and recently graduated from her last cancer treatment about a month ago.

“I did about two years of total treatment,” says Marsha. “I did acupuncture throughout all my cancer treatments as well. It really helped me feel strong and recover.”

After moving back to the Des Moines area, Marsha began having symptoms of lymphodema in her leg. The leg she had surgery on was visibly larger than her other, it ached, was constantly swollen, and painful. She knew Abby could help her again.

“The foundation that was laid when Abby and I first met years ago, really helped me get through this time,” says Marsha. “After seeing Abby for the two months, my lymphodema symptoms have dramatically decreased. My leg hasn’t had this little swelling since my surgery three years ago.”

Now that Marsha has graduated from systemic treatment for her cancer, she is facing new fears and challenges as a cancer survivor. Abby is helping her throughout this time as well.

“I’ve had a major perspective shift over the past few years,” says Marsha. “There is so little in our control, but I can control a few controllables. Acupuncture has helped control my anxiety and tension. It’s been a safe place to go and feel proactive about my health during a time of great unknown and instability.”

From fertility to cancer, Marsha was determined not to let her diagnosis label her. With the support of acupuncture, Marsha believed in her body and knew she could handle the treatments. Today, she is a strong, healthy, happy, vibrant young mom inspiring everyone she meets.

“Your body is an amazing masterpiece that is more powerful than we can grasp,” says Marsha. “Acupuncture has helped me embrace my body’s ability to harness and capitalize what my body is truly capable of.”

She wants to encourage everyone to invest in yourself and your health because….”you are worth it.”

Marsha is a shining example of how believing in yourself can change your life.


Gaye overcomes a decade of pain with acupuncture

When Gaye went to the dentist for a standard root canal procedure, she had no idea how it would impact her life for years to come. This common procedure would lead her to years of pain, discomfort, and agony.

Gaye’s mouth was sore following her root canal ten years ago. But, when the pain didn’t go away weeks later, she started to worry.

“It felt like I had a chronic toothache,” she recalls. “My right jaw was constantly sore and the pain would radiate to the front of my mouth. At first, I thought it was just pain and swelling from the procedure but the pain just wouldn’t go away.”

Gaye learned she had nerve damage to her trigeminal nerve. She was told the only way to treat the chronic pain was with anti-seizure medication or narcotic pain medication.

“I tried the anti-seizure medication briefly but it wasn’t for me,” she says. “As a nurse, I knew the side effects were terrible, and it didn’t help alleviate my pain.”

Years went by and Gaye’s pain remained constant. It was painful for her to talk or chew food. She was perpetually fatigued. As the pain continued to get worse, Gaye was forced to quit her job.

“The pain was just too severe to keep working,” she says. “I was constantly just trying to tread water and then I started getting facial numbness on the right side of my face, which made things even worse.”

The tingling and numbness began about 6 years after Gaye’s root canal procedure. She went back to her doctors, had an MRI and other tests but everything came back “normal.” Gaye was frustrated, in constant pain, and didn’t know where to turn next.

“It greatly impacted my whole lifestyle,” she says. “I would never go out to eat or socialize with friends and family because it just wasn’t worth the pain.”

At this point, Gaye was on a near liquid diet.  She had been in constant pain for ten years and was starting to feel depressed.

“You think, I’m only in my 50’s and I have to deal with this the rest of my life?” she says.

Around this time, Gaye found Des Moines Acupuncture. Slowly, her pain started to dissipate.

“Acupuncture really turned things around for me,” says Gaye. “When I first started getting treatments my pain and discomfort was around a 9 out of 10, and now I’m around a 2-3.”

Gaye is back to working full time. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, eating more solid foods, and even being able to go out to eat again. Her pain has greatly improved, and she is confident with more time for healing she will fully recover.

“Acupuncture has improved my pain symptoms and my overall wellbeing too,” she says. “Without acupuncture, I probably wouldn’t be working and I would be very unhappy.”

It’s fair to say Gaye is feeling like her old self again. Instead of being distracted with constant pain, she is now able to focus and enjoy the things that matter most - family, friends, traveling, and her beloved work.  She isn’t letting anything stand in her way.

How acupuncture and functional medicine saved Becky's life.

Becky first went to Des Moines Acupuncture with her daughter, Kayti, who was suffering from a knee injury. She had no idea, that years later, Abby would play an instrumental role in her health and life.

When Becky’s daughter, Kayti was 12, she hurt her knee during a basketball tournament. The pain was severe, and Kayti was forced to quit playing basketball while they searched for a remedy to her pain. Over the course of about 18 months, Becky took Kayti to more than ten doctors. Kayti had countless tests, exams, and MRI’s,  but no one could figure out how to help her.

“Her knee was so painful that it began impacting every part of her life,” says Becky. “She was a happy-go-lucky kid, and she went into a deep depression. She was constantly exhausted and in pain. As a mom, it was hard to watch.”

By the time Kayti turned 14, not much had changed. After pleading with Becky ’s internist to make an exception to treat a patient under 18, they finally started getting some answers. The doctor suspected Kayti had nerve damage in her knee and she was referred to Des Moines Acupuncture to try acupuncture treatments.

This was a new experience for Becky and Kayti. Becky was a pre-med student in college and had been an EMT, and she questioned if acupuncture could help heal her daughter. After just one appointment, her doubts were silenced.

“I took Kayti to the appointment, and when we walked out an hour later, she was a different kid,” Becky remembers. “Her color came back to her face, she didn’t limp walking out of the clinic, and she began sleeping peacefully again.”

Becky is convinced that Abby saved her daughter from unnecessary knee surgery or extreme diagnosis. Abby helped her daughter take back her life and enjoy being a teenager.

It was nearly ten years later before Becky would find her way back to Abby when her life was on the line.

Over the years Becky started struggling with some significant health issues. It began with depression and a few autoimmune issues.  Things slowly started going from bad to worse. At age 35 she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. She went through menopause a few years later, and at age 42 she was diagnosed with celiac disease and a number of digestive issues.

“All of my diagnoses were a couple of years apart, I couldn’t figure out what was causing it,” says Becky. “All of a sudden I was in my young 40’s with a number of autoimmune diseases stacking up.”

Becky began analyzing her lifestyle to try and determine what was causing her health issues.  She was a hazmat chemist for 25 years and even owned her own company for a decade. Over the years she had experienced a number of chemical exposures. One of the programs she led cleaned old chemicals out of school buildings across the state.  After two chemical exposures and one severe mold exposure within one year, her health rapidly declined. She realized her beloved work had been causing her illnesses for the past 25 years.

“A few months after I experienced those three exposures, my health went off a cliff,” says Becky. “I couldn’t get out of bed, I was experiencing word loss, brain fog, and I had no short term memory. My whole body hurt.”

She was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Mycotoxicosis, and early onset Dementia. Becky was scared, sick, and didn’t know where to turn. She remembered how Abby helped her daughter years before.

“I was so sick,” says Becky. “My hair was falling out. I had swelling anytime I ate. My depression was off the charts. One of the first things Abby did was help me identify some of my severe food allergies, which made a huge difference.”

Until she began working with Abby, Becky had no idea some of the things she was putting in her mouth were making her sicker and impeding her recovery.

“Through Abby’s functional medicine knowledge, she was able to identify a number of trigger factors for me,” she says. “All the work that I had done for 25 years was built up in my body and my liver couldn’t clear the toxins out because it wasn’t recognizing  them due in part to my genetic profile.”

There are months during that time where Becky doesn’t remember much because she was in so much pain. During that time, she wondered if she would ever recover.

“I really thought that I was going to die,” she says. “Abby was with me throughout it all. She would always look at the big picture and help me get through it.”

Slowly, Becky started to heal. She made dramatic but doable changes to her diet and lifestyle. She sold her business. She recently moved to a new house after identifying a number of triggers at her old home. This entire process took several years. Patience was key. There were ups and downs. The plan created for Becky was clear and she got her life back.

“Without Abby’s help I wouldn’t have identified any of these issues,” she says. “Her guidance and knowledge really helped me navigate through all of the medical issues my traditional doctors didn’t connect as a negative health pattern.  I’m convinced I would not be living any life worth living without Abby.”

Becky is still healing.  She takes a number of supplements,  is on a 100% organic diet, and uses an infrared sauna regularly. Her brain function is returning as well as her positive outlook on life.

“I have a year more of recovery until I’m truly healed,” she says. “My brain function is about 70% when it was about 20% a year ago. I don’t struggle with fibromyalgia pain anymore. It’s amazing how far I’ve come over the last 18 months.”

Becky has gained a new perspective on her health and her life. She has learned how her body functions at its best. The education she has gained will stay with her forever. She shares her story with family members and friends to help them avoid a similar illness.

“Abby is so deeply educated and knowledgeable,” says Becky. “She helped my daughter with her acute illness, and she also helped me with a number of chronic issues, issues no one else considered issues. There is no doubt that she saved my life. WIthout Abby, I wouldn’t have seen my kids follow in my footsteps and attend the University of Northern Iowa. ”