WWII veteran who has suffered back pain since 1945 is finally cured after wife convinces him to have acupuncture
Mr Martin eventually went to have acupuncture after he gave in to his wife's naggingHe used to take 19 painkillers a day but now doesn't need to take any
12:48 GMT, 31 August 2012
A WWII veteran who has suffered chronic pain since he was caught in an explosion has finally been cured of the suffering after he gave in to his wife’s nagging – and had acupuncture.
Bernard Martin, 85, had been forced to take 19 painkillers a day to ease the agony of the injuries which have stayed with him for most of his life.
The father-of-one was caught in two lethal blasts in Malaysia and Germany in 1945, suffering spinal damage and contracting malaria and leptospirosis, while serving with British forces.
Bernard Martin, who served in the Royal Fusiliers in 1946 (pictured right), suffered from back pains and headaches after being caught in an explosion. He eventually found relief after following his wife Gloria's advice
While his injuries healed he was left with lingering pain in his back and headaches which have frustrated him for the rest of his life.
He refused to go to an acupuncturist for two years despite his wife Gloria, 79, constantly claiming it had helped her osteoporosis.
But he eventually gave in and has made such an incredible improvement medics have taken him off all his medication.
Mr Martin said his pain is now 'virtually non existent' and said he is overjoyed to be able to lift his right leg for the first time in 67 years.
The retired home furnishings store manager said: 'After the war I tried to put the experience behind me and get on with the rest of my life. I just felt lucky to be alive.
'But my injuries were bad and I have suffered severe pain over the years. The pain would stop me from sleeping and I would wake up in the middle of the night in agony.
'I used to be on so many painkillers a day, 19, and I would rattle.
'Now I take none, my GP is happy for me to stop the painkillers and the pain is virtually non-existent.
'I was a very sceptical man before I had acupuncture – I would never have opted for an ‘alternative’ treatment.
'My wife kept telling me to try it out for about two years. In the end she booked me an appointment and told me I had to go.
'It’s been amazing. I fell like I’ve finally got my life back. I am 85 but I do not feel it. It is brilliant to be able to spend time doing my hobbies and help my wife out with the chores.
'It is so much better not to be sat in front of the television – that is the quickest way to the junk yard.'
Bernard fighting fit in the army just after WW2 (left) was forced to take 19 painkillers a day to ease his pain in later life (right)
Bernard, from Stowmarket, Suffolk, served as a platoon sergent with the Royal West Kent Regiment and fought in Malaysia for three years during WW2.
The veteran was eventually classed as 60 per cent disabled because of his deteriorating condition and medically discharged after 15 years with the Royal Fusiliers.
Bernard lost his second toe on his left foot, caught malaria and leptospirosis, was left with crippling arthritis in his spine, lost his hearing and suffered from terrible headaches – ailments which all contributed to his lifetime of pain.
He was fit enough to manage a job as a general manager of a furnishing and carpet firm, but suffered extreme pain often waking in the middle of the night in agony.
Eventually Bernard decided to have acupuncture and alphastim, which uses electronic stimulation rather than needles, at the Pain Relief Clinic in Stowmarket, Suffolk.
Now he is fit and well and enjoys spending his time working on his hobby of wood carving and the treatment is even believed to stem the recurrence of malaria.
Acupuncturist Annya Stoddart, who treats Bernard, said: 'You cannot beat a days work when you are making a positive difference to people’s lives.
'We cannot help everyone, but I have treated many people like Bernard who arrive taking a bucket load of painkillers and leave not needing any.'