The Desert Sun
Healing By The Healed
by Valerie Christopher
Palm Desert, California
April 26, 2007
Marie O’Connell used to be terrified of needles. But after coming down with severe back and leg pain on New Year’s Eve, she has become open to alternative medicine. Marie and her husband, Richard, who have been visiting Palm Springs from Montclair, N.J., every winter for the past eight years, never imagined she would wind up in the emergency room – taking MRIs, seeing neurologists and receiving a spinal epidural because of excruciating pain.
All the O’Connells wanted was for Marie to enjoy Villagefest without foot pain or be able to lift something without feeling as though she slipped a disc in her lower back. After being referred to an acupuncturist in Palm Desert, they haven’t looked at pain the same.
“Now I tell everyone about it,” said Marie lying in a tranquil state on a massage bed with several thin needles adorning her feet and lower legs. The needles didn’t seem to pierce or break Marie’s skin. To Marie they felt great.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Richard, as he sat patiently waited for his wife’s treatment to end so he could receive acupuncture on his back.
“All I know is Marie is 50 percent better and this is just the second treatment. She was walking at Thursday’s street fair, pain-free.”
Kimberly Shipman is the reason for the O’Connell’s new method of healing. Shipman is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist but has been on both end of medical attention.
At age 12, she was diagnosed with bone cancer in her left arm and was given only 6 months to live. After receiving chemotherapy and having her left arm amputated, Shipman made a miraculous recovery, pursued the health profession and has six children who range from age 7 to 23. For the past 10 years at age 44, Shipman has used acupuncture to help others live a pain-free life.
“Recently I had a one-armed patient and we joked about it,” she laughed. “I haven’t had any patients express concerns about the fact that I am missing an arm – if acupuncture is going to work, you must trust in your acupuncturist. I truly believe in the benefits of acupuncture. Some people won’t improve, but a lot will.”