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Pain control by Chinese medicine

How does Chinese medicine help you with pain management? In Western medicine, it is pretty common to find that doctors cannot identify the real cause of the pain in patients even after different kinds of extensive examinations. In that case, the patients are often told: ‘There is nothing wrong with you,’ or ‘Sorry, we

can’t do anything about it, and you’ll have to learn to live with it or even ‘It is all in your head.’ It’s a poor practice for a doctor to make such comments to the patients; they don’t have to live in pain because it’s

impossible to live with pain for the rest of their life.

Fortunately, since acupuncture has acquired a very

a good reputation as a treatment for relieving pain, many

physicians are now referring their patients for an acupuncture

or herbal evaluation or patients are starting to

investigate the potential of acupuncture and herbal treatment

for themselves. Although TCM cannot solve every

kind of pain, it may at least be beneficial

for the pain.

In terms of pain control, the effects of Chinese herbal

and acupuncture could be:

• complete pain relief, or to give as much relief as


• reduction in pain levels

• improvement in the ability to deal with pain

• alleviation of accompanying symptoms

• regulation of the emotions

• increase in energy level

• an increase in the ability to perform everyday


• enhancement of the quality of life

• reduction in reliance on inappropriate medications.

How does acupuncture be able to do this?

According to TCM theory, Points from different channels are,

energetically connected to specific organs and

body structures. The purpose of acupuncture treatment

for pain is to use selected points on these channels to

tonify the Deficiency, relieve the Excess, and balance Yin

and Yang to activate Qi(which is another word for energy) and Blood circulation and

eliminate Qi and Blood stagnation. During the treatment,

herbal remedies, moxibustion, electric stimulation,

body and point massage are also often applied

simultaneously to strengthen the therapeutic results.

Among all these approaches, Chinese herbal treatment

and acupuncture treatment are the two main methods.

Acupuncture treatment for pain is varied and based

mainly on what is causing the patient’s suffering; acute and chronic pain treatments are often quite different.

The therapy that proved helpful for acute pain management may lose its effectiveness, be inappropriate, or even be counterproductive in chronic pain.

To achieve a better result, the Chinese

often use Chinese herbs and acupuncture simultaneously to alleviate pain; in most cases, when these two methods are applied simultaneously, the effectiveness

will be increased.

Combinations of herbs and acupuncture can treat the whole range of diseases encountered

in association with pain. These include hypertension,

hypotension, allergy, asthma, diabetes, stomach

ulcers, depression, infections, etc. Many

conditions respond better to modern medicine, whereas

some may respond better to Chinese medicine.

By: Sun Peilin, MD

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