Ian, a 39 year-old ecologist, had recurrent joint pain without any reason for half a year. The pain moved round and could be in any joints such as hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips and knees, sometimes accompanied with swelling. The bottom of his feet also hurt, and his body felt cold easily. He had been to see specialists and was diagnosed with "palindromic rheumatism" - a form of an autoimmune disorder with unknown cause. Ian became very depressed when he found out this was a tricky condition, which means the treatment can be challenging. The doctor prescribed a medication to reduce the ability of his body's immune system. But he was so scared when he read about its possible side-effects that didn't want to take it. Finally he decided to try an alternative treatment - acupuncture, though he wasn't sure it would help or not. Amazingly, since he started having acupuncture, he didn't have any major joint pain again, apart from some mild discomfort in certain joints. After 6 sessions of acupuncture, he felt so good that he reduced the weekly treatment to every other week. After another 3 sessions he still felt good and he decided to have a break. It's been 7 months since then, and Ian hasn't come back.
 Palindromic Rheumatism is an inflammatory arthritis that causes sudden inflammation in one or several joints, lasts a few hours or up to a few days, and then goes away completely. The interval between recurrent attacks is extremely variable. For this reason, we can't make the conclusion that in this case acupuncture cured the condition. But it indeed helped to control the symptoms during flare-up.