Pain Management

Acupuncture Treatment for Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common complaints in the USA. In J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, Dr. Shen sees on average over 40 patients per week presenting with back pain of some form.

 

Chinese medicine views back pain very differently from these other therapies. Back pain is often seen as stagnation of qi (energy) and blood in the local area. Treatment is then based on moving qi and blood through the channels to ensure that free flow is maintained.

 

In combination with this, external pathogenic factors can invade into the area. For example, many patients present with a back that is stiff and feels cold, the pain is worse when they go outside in the cold, damp weather and is improved when they put a hot water bottle on it. This provides a diagnosis of cold, damp in the channels which the acupuncturist then tries to clear. For other patients, a hot water bottle aggravates the pain and so a completely different diagnosis and treatment principle is made.

 

So in the treatment of back pain, the type of pain (whether it is dull or sharp), the time of day it occurs and what soothes or aggravates it are all of diagnostic importance. This then leads to dealing with the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms.

 

In the case of severe disc trauma, acupuncture can be very useful when physical manipulation through chiropractic is too painful or undesirable. Here, we can often provide a very gentle but highly effective treatment.

 

In J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, combining acupuncture treatment with cupping treatment and Chinese herbal medicine, Dr. Shen can offer you a comprehensive service for your back pain. Besides that, Dr. Shen may also utilize heat lamps, Chinese massage and electro-acupuncture to achieve the best results. Most patients can get relief right after the first treatment. Usually after 5~10 visits, the problem could totally disappear. For some very difficult chronic pain cases, acupuncture also can decrease the pain and improve the patients’ life quality a lot.

Pain Management

Acupuncture Treatment for Sciatica

Sciatica is a symptom, not a diagnosis. Normally there is pain in the buttock, which then radiates down the leg. The pain either goes down the back of the leg, or down the side. In Traditional Chinese medicine this relates to the Bladder and Gall Bladder channels. This is not to say that there is a problem with your Bladder or Gall Bladder! Within Traditional Chinese Acupuncture it is possible (and very common) to have a problem in the acupuncture channel but not to have any problem with the related organ.

 

To treat this condition, acupuncture points are palpated in and around the troublesome areas and various points are needled. Good results are often achieved.

 

Frequently, sciatica-type pain is caused by muscle spasm impinging on the sciatica nerve. Acupuncture is very effective at reducing muscle spasm and the results can be instantaneous. The diagram below has a muscle marked in red. This is called the ‘piriformis’ and is often involved with sciatica-type pain.

 

When this muscle is in spasm, it will shorten and so increase in diameter. The sciatica nerve runs behind the piriformis muscle and in front of the pelvic bone, thus there is very little room for the nerve! When the muscle goes into spasm it presses on the nerve and refers pain into the buttock and down the leg. Interestingly, this muscle lies on the Gall Bladder channel!

 

This illustrates how Traditional Chinese Acupuncture can overlap with Western medicine. In Traditional Chinese Acupuncture we would say that there was a problem with the Gall Bladder channel, in Western medicine they would say that there is a problem with the piriformis muscle, and both are correct.

 

Dr. Shen began to treat sciatica patients since 1995 when she worked in the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. Combining her experience in the Acupuncture Center of Horizon Family Medical Group and J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, she has helped hundreds patients get rid of the suffering from sciatica. With her solid experience in treating various syndromes of sciatica, she can provide you the best treatment for your sciatica. In J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, combining acupuncture treatment with cupping treatment and Chinese herbal medicine, Dr. Shen can offer you a comprehensive service for your sciatica. Besides that, Dr. Shen may also utilize heat lamps, Chinese massage and electro-acupuncture to achieve the best results. Most patients can get relief right after the first treatment. Usually after 10~20 visits, the problem could totally disappear. For some very difficult chronic pain cases, acupuncture also can mitigate the pain and improve the patients’ life quality a lot.

Pain Management

Acupuncture for Neck Pain

What is neck pain?

 

Neck pain is a common condition — so common, in fact, that the expression “a pain in the neck” is an oft-used figure of speech in English. It can be mild enough so that it is a mere annoyance, or severe enough that it can adversely affect the quality of one’s life. Because of its position and range of motion, and because it plays a vital role in the support of the head, the neck is more subject to injury than any other portion of the spine. While it is much less frequent than back pain, neck pain can occasionally be severe enough to warrant attention from a licensed health professional.

Neck pain can have a variety of causes. Keeping your head in an awkward position can cause your neck muscles to fatigue and the joints in your neck to “lock” in place, causing discomfort, stiffness and limited range of motion. Neck pain can also be caused by a sudden force (such as an automobile accident), or a medical condition (swelling, disease, tumors, bleeding, inflammation, etc.). Some neck pain can also cause headaches (see the “Acupuncture for Headaches and Head Pain” section for more information).

 

Who suffers from neck pain?

 

Almost everyone will experience some sort of neck pain or stiffness during their lifetime; however, certain occupations appear to be predisposed to neck symptoms. Manual laborers, for instance, have more symptoms than office workers, and the type of work seems to affect the risk. A person’s age and a history of twisting and bending during work can also contribute. Workers who have been required to do repetitive tasks with their upper extremities, or who undergo periods of prolonged sitting with their head in a flexed position (such as typing on a keyboard at a desk) are at risk of developing mechanical neck pain.

 

What can acupuncture do for neck pain?

 

Studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in relieving certain types of neck pain, particularly those caused by whiplash. Some studies suggest acupuncture can treat degenerative neck disorders such as ankylosing spondylosis and cervical spondylosis; in many cases, acupuncture has worked for patients whose conditions could not be solved using conventional approaches.

 

Acupressure and herbal medicine are sometimes used in conjunction with acupuncture for neck pain. Applying acupressure to the neck muscles can reduce spasm and lessen pain, leading to a relaxed state and a heightened sense of well-being. Depending on the patient’s condition, certain herbal products can be used to improve circulation and blood flow and ease muscle contraction.

 

In J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, combining acupuncture treatment with cupping treatment and Chinese herbal medicine, Dr. Shen can offer you a comprehensive service for your neck pain. Besides that, Dr. Shen may also utilize heat lamps, Chinese massage and electro-acupuncture to achieve the best results. Most patients can get relief right after the first treatment. Usually after 5~10 visits, the problem could totally disappear. For some very difficult chronic pain cases, acupuncture also can mitigate the pain and improve the patients’ life quality a lot.

Pain Management

Acupuncture for Headaches and Head Pain

What are headaches? What types of headaches are there?

 

Simply defined, a headache is a pain in the head due to some cause. Headaches may result from any number of factors, including tension; muscle contraction; vascular problems; withdrawal from certain medications; abscesses; or injury.

 

Headaches fall into three main categories: tension-type, migraine and cervicogenic. Tension-type headaches are the most frequent. Patients who endure tension-type headaches usually feel mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. The pain is usually described as tight, stiff or constricting, as if something is being wrapped around your head and squeezed tightly.

 

While migraines affect far fewer people than tension-type headaches and have a much shorter duration, their symptoms are much more severe. They typically affect women more frequently than men, with pain that usually occurs on one side of the head. Migraines can be so severe that they can cause loss of appetite, blurred vision, nausea and even vomiting.

 

Cervicogenic headaches are the most recently diagnosed type of headache and are musculoskeletal in nature. They may be caused by pain in the neck or spine that is transferred to the head. Many times, cervicogenic headaches go undiagnosed because of their recent classification.

 

Who suffers from headaches?

 

Nearly everyone will suffer a headache at some point in time. They are one of the most common physical complaints that prompt people to treat themselves or seek professional assistance. Some estimates say that up to 50 million Americans suffer from sever, long-lasting, recurring headaches. While most headaches are not necessarily symptomatic of another condition, they can be very distracting and account for significant amounts of time lost from work.

 

What can acupuncture do for headaches?

 

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a very consistent and philosophically-based framework for headache etiology, physiology, diagnosis and treatment strategy. Acupuncture, as an effective treatment modality, has been applied to headaches from the earliest beginnings of TCM.

 

Acupuncture is not only effective for migraine headaches, but also works very well with tension headaches, cluster headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches that might be due to sinus problems, high blood pressure or sleeping disorders. The greatest advantage of acupuncture over Western medicine is that it does virtually no harm. Some medications can have serious side effects and can (in some instances) actually lead to patients experiencing a “rebound” headache. Unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches are much less invasive with acupuncture than with surgery.

 

References:

  • Carlsson J, Fahlcrantz A, Augustinsson LE. Muscle tenderness in tension headache treated with acupuncture or physiotherapy. Cephalalgia 1990;10:131-141.
  • Hesse J, Mogelvang B, Simonsen H. Acupuncture versus metoprolol in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized trial of trigger point inactivation. J Internal Med 1994;235:451-456.
  • Vincent CA. A controlled trial of the treatment of migraine by acupuncture. Clin J Pain 1989;5:305-312.
  • Vincent CA. The treatment of tension headache by acupuncture: a controlled single-case design with time series analysis. J Psychosomatic Res 1990;34:553-561.
  • Zhang L, Li L. 202 cases of headache treated with electroacupuncture. J Tradit Chin Med 1995;15(2):124-126.

Pain Management

Acupuncture Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

“Frozen shoulder” is often a term used to cover a whole variety of shoulder problems. The may be restriction of movement and pain in the shoulder. There may often be pain or shooting sensations that radiate either down the arm or into the neck. There could also be tingling in the hands. The symptoms are frequently worse at night. Frozen shoulders can occur very suddenly and often have no apparent cause or history of trauma.

 

Acupuncture can provide very effective treatment for most shoulder complaints. By assessing the nature of the pain, it’s location and the restriction of movement, an appropriate diagnosis can be made and treatment given. We can provide safe, effective and gentle treatment of the shoulder, often reducing pain and increasingly mobility in just a few sessions.

 

Between our clinics, we can offer a comprehensive service for shoulder pain. With acupuncture, chiropractic and physiotherapy in all clinics we aim to provide the best all round care. If necessary, we can carry our X-rays at our Harley St location.

 

Shoulder problems are predominantly treated with acupuncture, although herbal medicine may be used in certain situations. This may be combined with the use of heat lamps, Chinese massage or electro-acupuncture to achieve the best results.

 

Case Study 1

 

Edward had been suffering from shoulder pain for 6 months. He had restriction of movement and found it very hard to put his arm above his head or behind his back. The pain would wake him at night time, was worse with use and was worsened by cold weather. His GP initially suggested physiotherapy but unfortunately after 12 sessions his condition had not improved. His doctor then suggested either a course of strong anti-inflammatories or to try acupuncture. He chose the latter. After 4 treatments, Edward could move his arm fully but the pain had not subsided. A further four treatments which the use of electro-acupuncture and a heat lamp saw his pain go. One year later, Edward returned with the same problem in the other shoulder which we also resolved. To my knowledge there has been no re-occurrence of the condition since.

 

During her work in First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Horizon Family Medical Group as well as J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, Dr. Shen has helped a lot of patients get rid of the suffering from their frozen shoulders. Most of the patients can feel relief right after the first treatment, and the shoulder pain usually disappears after 5~7 treatment. The treatment usually lasts no more than 4~5 months. Combining acupuncture treatment, Dr. Shen also utilized cupping and Chinese herb to improve the treatment.

 

In J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, combining acupuncture treatment with cupping treatment and Chinese herbal medicine, Dr. Shen can offer you a comprehensive service for your back pain. Besides that, Dr. Shen may also utilize heat lamps, Chinese massage and electro-acupuncture to achieve the best results. Most patients can get relief right after the first treatment. Usually after 5~10 visits, the problem could totally disappear. For some very difficult chronic pain cases, acupuncture also can decrease the pain and improve the patients’ life quality a lot.

Pain Management

Acupuncture Treatment for Knee Pain

Pain in the knees can be caused by a variety of conditions. Whether through strains, trauma, arthritis or degeneration of the joint, this can be a painful and debilitating problem.

 

Diagnosis is made by the location and nature of the pain, assessing the aggravating and relieving factors and trying to get to the underlying cause. Acupuncture works by invigorating the flow of qi and blood throughout the area in order to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and promote the body’s own healing ability. With associated techniques of electro-acupuncture and cupping, the best results can often be achieved.

 

Dr. Shen began to treat knee pain patients since 1995 when she worked in the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. Combining her experience in the Acupuncture Center of Horizon Family Medical Group and J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, she has helped hundreds patients get rid of the suffering from knee pain. With her solid experience in knee pain treatment, she can provide you the best treatment for your knee pain. In J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, combining acupuncture treatment with cupping treatment and Chinese herbal medicine, Dr. Shen can offer you a comprehensive service for your knee pain. Besides that, Dr. Shen may also utilize heat lamps, Chinese massage and electro-acupuncture to achieve the best results. According to her more than ten years experience in treating knee pain, 90% patients can feel relief right after the first treatment and around 75% patients can get rid of their knee pain after 10~20 treatment sessions.

Pain Management

Acupuncture Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a painful condition characterized by pain on the outside of the elbow which can radiate up or down the arm. Medically known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is one of the most common injuries suffered by professional athletes, keen sportsmen and non-athletic people alike. Caused by frequent and over rotation of the wrist and forearm.

 

Acupuncture works by invigorating the flow of qi and blood throughout the area in order to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and promote the body’s own healing ability. With associated techniques of electro-acupuncture and cupping, the best results can often be achieved.

 

Often succeeding where physiotherapy cannot, acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of this condition and does not have any of the associated side effects of steroid injections. Usually a course of 4-6 treatments can see the problem resolved. Tennis elbow is one of the conditions which the World Health Organization states can be effectively treated with acupuncture.

 

Case study

 

Larry came to the clinic having suffered from tennis elbow for 4 months. A self confessed cynic towards acupuncture, he came in having had 8 sessions of physiotherapy with no improvement. He had previously had 3 steroid injections in the elbow, several years ago which helped for 6 months or so before the condition returned. His pain meant he was unable to play squash. Within 3 acupuncture sessions, Larry had considerable improvement and within 7 sessions the pain had gone. A couple of further treatments to fully address the underlying cause and the condition was fully resolved. Two years later on a follow up call, Larry has had no reoccurrence of the problem.

Pain Management

Acupuncture Treatment for Repetitive Strain Injury (RST)

Repetitive Strain Injury covers the whole range of problems caused by the overuse of any part of the body. Tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome can both be examples of RSI’s. The condition can leave the patient with pain, numbness or tingling in the affected area. There may also be loss of function, strength or movement.

 

With the increased use of computers, poor posture and seating positions along repetitive and long term use of the mouse and keyboard are common causes.

 

Acupuncture works by moving the qi and blood in the surrounding area. By increasing the blood flow, it can help reduce inflammation and pain. Acupuncture is generally used more than herbal medicine for the effective treatment of repetitive strain injury.

Pain Management

Acupuncture Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve in the wrist becomes impinged causing pain, tingling or numbness in the wrists, hands or fingers. There may be difficulty in holding or gripping objects. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by local inflammation of tendons and the surrounding area but is also often in the later stages of pregnancy and as a complication of thyroid disorders.

 

Acupuncture works by invigorating the flow of qi and blood throughout the area in order to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and promote the body’s own healing ability. With associated techniques of electro-acupuncture and cupping, the best results can often be achieved.

 

Often succeeding where physiotherapy cannot, acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of this condition. A course of 4-6 treatments can often see the problem resolved. Carpal Tunnel syndrome is one of the conditions which the World Health Organization states can be effectively treated with acupuncture.

 

In J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, combining acupuncture treatment with cupping treatment and Chinese herbal medicine, Dr. Shen can offer you a comprehensive service for your back pain. Besides that, Dr. Shen may also utilize heat lamps, Chinese massage and electro-acupuncture to achieve the best results. Most patients can get relief right after the first treatment. Usually after 5~10 visits, the problem could totally disappear. For some very difficult chronic pain cases, acupuncture also can decrease the pain and improve the patients’ life quality a lot.

Pain Management

Chronic & Acute Pain

What Dr. Shen can help you with your pain using acupuncture treatment?

 

Dr. Shen is expert in pain management. During her work in the Acupuncture Center of Horizon Family Medical Group and in J&S Chinese Acupuncture Clinic Center, Dr. Shen has successfully helped hundreds of patients get rid of the suffering from various types of pains, including:

 

  • Neck Pain, Low Back Pain, Sciatica
  • Tendinitis, Shoulder Pain
  • Migraine, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Arthritis, Fibrormyalgia, TMJ
  • Neuralgia, Sprain, Tension, Headache

 

The effective rate of her acupuncture treatment is 100%. Most of the patients can feel the relief of the pain right after the first treatment. Usually after 5~10 visits, the problem could totally disappear. For some very difficult chronic pain cases, acupuncture also can decrease the pain and improve the patients’ life quality a lot.

 

Pain and Acupuncture in Eastern and Western Medicine

by Kate Lauber

 

Acupuncture is an ancient medicinal art that has been practiced for thousands of years. Acupuncture today is mainly seen by Western medicine as a “new alternative” medicine (2). This basically means that while Western medicine acknowledges the value and positive medical research supporting acupuncture in many realms of medicine, for the most part it is not a practice that has been incorporated into ‘modern’ medical practices. One of the most consistently supported uses of acupuncture therapy is in pain treatment (14). Western medicine has often come up short when it comes to treatment of chronic pain. The dichotomy that is often suggested is that Western medicine is better at emergency situations and stabilizing patients in crisis, while Eastern medicine has more success with more long-term chronic issues such as pain (2). This difference mainly stems from the philosophy of both methods of practicing medicine. Eastern medicine, for the most part, is more interested in treating the whole person and finding the organic root of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms. While chronic pain is reaching epidemic proportions in Western society, few people are employing the benefits this type of medicine can bring. How does pain effect the nervous system? How does acupuncture help to alleviate this symptom? Is it possible to explain the effects of acupuncture through the language of Western medicine?

 

Acupuncture Theory

 

Acupuncture, very basically, is the insertion of very fine needles, sometimes in conjunction with electrical stimulus, on the body’s surface, in order to influence physiological functioning of the body (1). At the basis of acupuncture, is the theory that the body has a constant energy force running through it. This energy force is known as Qi. The Qi consists of all essential life activities which include the spiritual, emotional, mental and the physical aspects of life (5). People who practice an receive acupuncture therapy believe that a person’s health is influenced by the flow of Qi in the body. It is believed that energy constantly flows up and down pathways in the body called Meridians. When these pathways become obstructed, deficient, excessive, or just unbalanced, Yin and Yang (positive and negative energy in every person) are said to be thrown out of balance (4). This causes illness. Acupuncture is said to restore the balance (1).

 

Meridians are described as special pathways of energy. The Meridians, or channels, are the same on both sides of the body. The acupuncture points for each disorder are specific locations where the Meridians come to the surface of the skin, and are easily accessible by “needling.” (6) (3). The method of acupuncture usually used for pain relief and prevention is electro-acupuncture, which funnels very small electrical impulses through the acupuncture needles (1). For anyone who knows something about pain perception, the concept of Meridians is intriguing. It is also interesting how this Qi energy can be justified by the nervous system. Could it be equivalent to the constant flow and cycle of action potentials? Is it just how we describe these events in Western medicine as having a definite beginning and end that prevents us from seeing the body as an endless cavern of energy? How do pain pathways as described by modern medicine relate to acupuncture’s effects?

 

Western Pain Pathway

 

Noxious stimuli such as pain, for the most part, activates nociceptors in the skin. Nociceptors are specialized sensory receptors that provide information about tissue damage. Not all activation of nociceptors is necessarily perceived as pain (11). Pain is a subjective experience that doesn’t necessarily allow for a perfect correlation between nociception and pain perception. However, nociceptor activation is thought to be the first step in the process of pain perception (13).

 

Nociceptors are the least differentiated of the sensory receptors in the skin. They exist as free nerve endings that don’t have a peripheral structure. Pain is mediated by several different nociceptive fibers. A-delta fibers are small and myelinated, while C fibers are unmyelinated. It is the C polymodal nociceptor that is thought to be most sensitive to a variety of painful stimuli including thermal and mechanical. Both A-delta and C fibers are distributed in the skin and deep tissue of humans. A noxious stimulus activates the nociceptor by depolarizing the membrane of the sensory ending. The exact mechanism by which different types of noxious stimuli depolarize a nerve ending and activate an action potential is not known (11).

 

The afferent fibers of nociceptors terminate on projection neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Both A-delta and C fibers branch into two sections upon entering the dorsal horn. Branches of these axons ascend and descend for a few segments before their collateral’s synapse primarily in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord, which comprises the marginal zone (lamina I) and the substantia gelatinosa (lamina III). Nociceptive fibers then form connections with three classes of neurons in the dorsal horn: projection neurons that relay sensory information, excitatory interneurons that relay sensory input to projection neurons, and inhibitory interneurons that regulate nociceptive information to higher regions of the central nervous system. It is possible that acupuncture works by activating these inhibitory interneurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord (13).

 

Painful input to the dorsal horn is relayed to higher brain centers by projection neurons. Once in the thalamus, two major subdivisions of thalamic nuclei receive inputs from spinal projection neurons, the medial nuclear group and the lateral nuclear group. The response properties of the neurons in these two subdivisions are similar to those of the spinothalamic neurons that synapse on them. Therefore, some neurons in the lateral thalamus respond only to noxious stimuli, while others are able to respond to a wide range of somatosensory information. Neurons in the lateral thalamus project to several regions of the ipsilateral cortex and the somatosensory cortex where they are perceived as pain (13). Now that we have discussed the descending pain pathway we should examine suggestions as to how acupuncture causes analgesia in this pathway. Does it target the nociceptors? Is the dorsal horn and inhibitory interneuron the point of acupuncture analgesia? How can we try to relate a Western medicinal pathway with an Eastern medicinal philosophy that somehow has remarkable effects?

 

Acupuncture in Analgesia

 

A study performed by Malzack in 1977 showed a 71% correlation between trigger points for painful stimuli and acupuncture points used in pain therapy. In addition, observations in cadavers in China revealed that among the 324 points studied: 99% were within .5mm from innervation of a cranial spinal nerve such as the ones involved in descending pain pathways, and 96% were this closely related the peripheral nerves used in exogenous pain perception (12). These findings indicate a close relationship between the nervous systems pain pathways and acupuncture.

 

There are many theories as to how acupuncture has its analgesic effects. One theory of acupuncture analgesia suggests that acupuncture generates its analgesic effects through afferent sensory stimulation (14). According theories in pain stimulation, large A-Beta fibers which mainly carry touch sensation will inhibit transmission of small A- Beta C fibers which have been found to transmit pain (13). There is also a suggestion that acupuncture analgesia is caused through endogenous opioids that are released from the anterior pituitary such as Beta-endorphin. Beta-endorphin has been found to bind to analgesic receptors in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord causing pain inhibition (14). Additionally, acupuncture’s analgesic effects have found to be diminished by administration of naloxone, a pharmaceutical substance that blocks they effects of Beta- endorphin in the spinal cord (10) (8). Another theory of analgesia mediated through acupuncture suggests that Meridians that are so full of energy are closely related to the gap junctions of neurons (7). It is thought that these synapses that connect neurons are the places of highest energy in the nervous system and thus the place when Meridians must lie (9). This suggestion links acupuncture to pharmacology. Many drugs, including psychotropic and pain relievers have their effects at the synapses of neurons as a re-uptake mechanism or prolonging effect. This theory would suggest that acupuncture works on the nervous system by a similar mechanism to create analgesia.

 

The question that can be asked of all these theories and pathways is, is it possible? Is it possible to attempt a connection of a Western medicinal pathway that is as well established as the pain pathway and insert an Eastern medicinal philosophy based on energy and balance. Will the two ever connect? Or, is it simply typical of Western medicine to find something that works and attempt to explain it through or own mechanisms. It is possible that acupuncture cannot be explained by Western medicine? It is possible that we may just have to accept the Eastern explanation. When you think about it, the entire basis of explanation is in error when you attempt to remove a medical philosophy from it’s original context.

 

In Western society, for the most part, we do not believe that there is such a things as Qi and that diseases are caused by the lack of balance between the positive and negative energies residing in every person. Therefore, it makes it difficult to use another medical basis, such as a pain inhibitory pathway to describe the effects of this phenomenon that is based on another belief system. I believe at its core it is arrogance and cannot be done. While Eastern and Western medicine are often described as equal and opposite sides of the same coin, I question whether it is only our arrogance as a Western society that causes us to feel the need to explain everything from out own set of guidelines (2). Perhaps neurons and synapses can’t be related to pressure points and Meridians and perhaps we should stop trying to always make it fit.

 

In a time of great neuronal discovery where neuroscience seems to always be the ‘hot topic’ in medicine I think we may be getting a little ahead of ourselves. Yes, the brain may totally equal behavior and biology may totally equal disease in our culture, but these are our rules and methods of understanding and until Western medicine can speak intelligently about things such as energy and mindfulness and stress and all these things that seem to be keeping other cultures healthy, we have no right to say things such as acupuncture cannot be explained. They just cannot be explained RIGHT now by US. In my opinion, this is an important distinction to make.

 

WWW Sources

 

1) A Breif Introduction to Acupuncture

2) A Comparision of Eastern and Western Medicine

3) Clinical Point Explanation

4) A Reappraisal of Acupuncture

5) Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance

6) The Mechanism of Acupuncture

7) Neuronal Possibilities , Neuronal Diagram

8) Beyond Endorphins , Endorphins in Pain Mediation

9) Mechanism of Acupuncture: Beyond Neurohumoral Theory

10) Dr. L. Soh , Beyond Endorphins in Acupuncture Analgesia

11) Pain Perception

12) Chronic Pain Solutions The Scientific Basis Of Acupuncture

13) Molecular Insights into the Problem of Pain

14) What We Know About Pain

Pain Management

Acupuncture Arthritis Treatment

Acupuncture Arthritis Treatment: Using Acupuncture to Treat Arthritis

by Gordon Cameron

 

Acupuncture treatment for arthritis and joint pain has been with us for centuries. Acupuncture provides many arthritis pain sufferers with an alternative (or an addition) to modern arthritis medication – which can at best be unpalatable and, at worst, potentially toxic. Acupuncture arthritis treatment may not work alone for joint pain but it can result in powerful pain relief if your joints are angry or inflamed.

 

Acupuncture has been used for arthritis pain relief in traditional Chinese medicine for many thousands of years. It has recently become a widely used technique in western medicine – both by doctors and others. The use of acupuncture is not limited to joint pain – many other medical specialists now apply acupuncture’s benefits to a variety of diseases.

 

Many people who suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative arthritis and gout seek pain relief from acupuncture – either alongside, or instead of, their arthritis medication or other arthritis treatment.

 

So how does acupuncture work?

 

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into several points around the body. These acupuncture points are often near to the site of your arthritis pain and may be very tender to touch before the needle is inserted. Other acupuncture points used for arthritis pain relief may be quite a way distant from the affected joint – acupuncturists usually call these areas distal points. It depends on the particular style of practice used by your acupuncture specialist but you should expect to have anything between two and twenty needles inserted each time you go for arthritis pain relief treatment by acupuncture.

 

The needles used for acupuncture are extremely fine – not much wider than a human hair – and they are often left in your skin for more than twenty minutes during an acupuncture treatment session. On average you will need between three and six acupuncture treatments before you even begin to get relief of your joint pain. The number of sessions needed varies. Long-standing and complex chronic pain problems like arthritis might need one or two treatments a week for several months. There is no way to predict how much pain relief you will get from any one session of acupuncture – it really is a matter of try it and see what happens to your joints.

 

When you first go for acupuncture treatment, the initial session might last about an hour. Follow on appointments are often shorter in length. Anything between two and twenty very thin needles are put in place and left in the skin for several minutes. Having needles stuck in your body may not sound like fun but most people say that there is only a slight stinging sensation as the needles enter, and no pain at all after that. The acupuncture specialist may stimulate the needles by turning or rotating them quickly during your treatment session.

 

Most people do not experience side effects from acupuncture therapy but a few of us can have problems such as bleeding or mild allergy. You may feel dizzy after your first session if you haven’t had acupuncture treatment before.

 

If you suffer from arthritis pain then do consider trying acupuncture treatment – it could give you the arthritis pain relief that you have been longing for.

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