Before trying acupuncture with Gina, I was suffering from chronic urticaria for over four months. Chronic urticaria is defined as hives that persist longer than six weeks. My hives usually came on in the morning and would sometimes flare-up again in the evening. The hives would itch and last all day long. After twenty-four hours many of the hives would bruise. They covered all areas of my body. Chronic urticaria is an incredibly miserable condition to live with. Your entire body feels inflamed, you constantly deal with intense itching, and medications to treat the condition like antihistamines make you tired and irritable. My condition began mid-July. The cause of the urticaria was unknown. Prior to the urticaria I would describe myself as an extremely healthy and active 33 year-old woman. The onset of my condition was in the form of angioedema, swelling of my lips and face. Hive outbreaks began several days later. Angioedema continued occasionally during the weeks that followed. Everytime I got angioedema I would make my way to an urgent care facility or a hospital ER for fear that my throat would swell and I would not be able to breathe. Shortly after my condition began I got cellulitis on my lower leg and had difficulty breathing daily. I was treated with corticosteroids to improve my breathing. The steroids helped with my breathing and temporarily stopped the hives for one week but I experienced terrible side effects from the medication, including horrible reflux, and my hives resumed with a vengeance after I came off the steroids. I had an excellent team of doctors following my condition, but after having two skin biopsies and extensive blood panels taken, that all came back normal, my physicians were unable to treat my condition. Biomedicine was just not working. My quality of life changed dramatically from the illness. I had to carry around two epipens and asthma inhalers everywhere I went. I was unable to exercise, take hot showers, and wear constrictive clothing. I felt sick and tired all the time. I was unable to participate in my normal daily activities and I felt like I was failing at work and as a mother. Concerned the condition was allergy related, I had the carpet removed from my home and the chimney in my house cleaned. I ate a no-preservative, gluten free diet. None of these changes helped to improve my condition. I tried thyroid medication as directed by my doctors that made me extremely ill. Desperate to feel better, I constantly searched the internet for treatment ideas. While doing so, I came across the blog of a woman who had experienced exactly the same condition. Like myself, at one time she was on nearly 15 pills of over the counter medication a day to treat the urticaria, reflux, asthma, and so forth. One day her angioedema got so bad she had to use her epipen and the adrenaline was just too much for her heart to handle so she ended-up in the ICU. I was terrified when I read what happened to this woman, knowing that her trip to the ICU was exactly my fate. My condition was worsening and my entire body felt inflamed. I felt helpless and was afraid to go anywhere that was too far from a hospital. The woman’s blog did, however, provide me with some hope. After being released from the hospital she went home, threw away all of her medications and began acupuncture. She said that the treatment cured her. I began acupuncture with Gina the first week of December. Gina agreed to treat me for one month. If the treatment failed she would not continue treatment. I would then have to begin taking a course of anti-malaria medication as recommended by my team of physicians. After my very first acupuncture treatment my body felt a sense of peace. I felt better than I had in months. Within one week of beginning acupuncture and herbs with Gina my condition improved drastically. The hives were decreasing daily. After two weeks of treatment I was nearly hive free. My reflux and breathing had also improved. After one month of acupuncture and herbs, I am down to one 5 mg pill of antihistamine, hive free, and have resumed exercise. I am so very grateful for Gina’s services. I truly believe she saved my life and she has provided me with a lifetime alternative to biomedicine. This holiday season Gina gave my family and I the best gift of all, my health.