Many people have experienced the benefits of pain relief or pain elimination with acupuncture. Indeed, one of the most common and effective use of acupuncture is for the management of pain.
Similar to western medicine, TCM treatment has to be preceded by a comprehensive analysis of the patient’s clinical information and a proper diagnosis. However, traditionally TCM does not review pain anatomically to arrive at a diagnosis.
PAIN MANAGEMENT FROM A TCM POINT OF VIEW
For pain relating to the locomotor system (also known as human musculoskeletal system), such as those relating to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, TCM classifies pain topographically according to the Meridians. Meridians are a network of pathways which connect various parts of the body, including internal organs, bones, muscles, skin, etc. According to the Meridian theory, there is Qi (life energy) flowing throughout these pathways, and pain can result from blockages along the Meridians which impede a smooth flow of Qi. The goal is to restore this free flow of life energy through stimulating specific localised and distant acupuncture points (also called acupoints).
For pain relating to other diseases, such as migraine, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, neuropathic pain, fibromylagia, rheumatoid arthritis, etc., in addition to classifying pain according to the Meridians, TCM analyses each individual’s condition based on syndrome differentiation, which is a unique TCM method of collecting and analysing the body’s constitution. This allows TCM physician to choose points along the related internal organ meridians to enhance the effectiveness of pain relief, as well as treating the root cause of the pain, and to alleviate any accompanying symptoms, such as nausea, poor appetite, difficulty sleeping, etc.
Besides the use of acupuncture, a Chinese medicine formulae of 8 to 12 herbs is often prescribed to treat pain conditions by invigorating the circulation of Blood and Qi and by adjusting the body constitution to rectify underlying imbalances. Depending on each individual’s condition, herbs may be chosen to nourish the Spleen, regulate the Liver, tonify the Kidney, or resolve Wind, Cold, Fire or Dampness Evil.
Another very effective pain treatment method - Tuina, which is a Chinese ancient form of massage, helps reduce pain by relaxing the muscles, calming the mind, improving the circulation, and reducing inflammation. Tuina also involves the manipulation of specific acupoints which have a healing effect similar to the acupuncture techniques.
AN INTEGRATED & HOLISTIC APPROACH
At Macpherson TCM, we take an integrated approach that combines both Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine perspectives. In addition to the use of traditional methods of diagnosis and treatments, including acupuncture, Chinese medicine and Tuina, we take a further step to combine western medical knowledge to eliminate risk of serious conditions that require more immediate conventional medical attention, and to monitor patients’ conditions based on the development and prognosis of diseases from western medicine perspective.
We also advise patients on the lifestyle changes required to better manage his or her pain conditions, which include rehabilitation exercises and diet changes. In doing so, patients can be assured of receiving a comprehensive and holistic treatment for his or her pain conditions.
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