Let’s Describe Chronic Pain
Chronic pain refers to pain that is experience exists for a prolonged period without relief. But did you know that chronic pain can also lead to compound or systemic pain as a result? For example, someone who hurts their back might have to take time off work due to the pain or inability to perform the job adequately. It can lead to depression from being idle or not knowing when the pain will decrease for work to resume. It can also cause stress due to financial concerns from a lack of earnings from being out of work. All these factors can lead to a loss of sleep, which we all know will not help you feel any better.
There are various treatments for chronic pain, including pain block injections, creams, pain patches, oral medications that target pain, trouble sleeping, depression, and anxiety. Many of these options can be great for immediate relief from acute pain; however, most treatments listed only address pain symptoms and not the cause. Additionally, some of the medications can have side effects of their own or even lead to dependency. That’s where Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, comes into play!
Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is a holistic healthcare practice dating back more than 2000 years. This methodology takes a natural healing approach by stimulating the body’s healing abilities with attention to the body and its relation to the mind and spirit.
Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to balance the body through work on the external environment, emotions, and lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise. The balance comes by opening the body’s meridians, also known as energy pathways, to create an unobstructed flow of qi (pronounced Chee) or “life energy” throughout the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners see disease and chronic pain because of disruptions in the circulation of qi. There are many different treatment therapies practiced in Chinese Medicine to achieve this balance; let’s look at some of them.
Energy balancing therapies practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine include:
ACUPUNCTURE – The use of small needles inserted into the skin using specific patterns to stimulate different body parts.
CUPPING THERAPY – The use of heated glass cups applied to the skin that creates suction to stimulate the flow of energy.
HERBAL MEDICINE – The use of healing medicinal plants.
NUTRITION – Eating based on what the body needs versus what it craves.
EXERCISE – The use of lower intensity flow movements.
MASSAGE – Soft tissue manipulation.
Let’s discuss how Acupuncture works!
Acupuncture involves placing very thin needles in the body. It is essential to understand that the points chosen are strategically based on the type of pain being treated. At least 2000 acupressure points along the meridians—which you may remember- are the body’s energy pathways.
By targeting specific points, needling causes biochemical changes in the body to reduce the inflammation that causes pain. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, a set of hormones that act as the body’s natural painkillers.
Acupuncture can help
Acupuncture effectively treats various painful conditions, including pain from chronic ear infections, foot pain, pain resulting from chronic stress, tendonitis, and many, many other painful conditions.
The most common chronic conditions treated with Acupuncture include.
- Upper/lower back pain
- Knee pain
- Migraine pain
- Shoulder/neck pain
Interested in discussing Acupuncture for your pain, please contact our office or schedule an appointment using our online scheduler. I am a Board-Certified Acupuncturist. I was taught traditional acupuncture and adjunct therapies, such as electroacupuncture, dry needling, and Chinese cupping, and I look forward to talking with you.
Video demonstrations on acupuncture treatments for chronic pain
Back Pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqUuPkaHFDI
Knee Pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUVBnt54Yg4
Shoulder/Neck Pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=Orkrm_JIBlg
Kirkham, Derek. (n.d.). “What are Acupuncture Points”. 6/24/2018
Lagatree, Kristen. (n.d.). “The Role of Acupuncture in Treating Chronic Pain”. 5/28/2018