Treating Pain With TCM

All of us have suffered from pain in one form or another. Whether it’s the result of an injury such as a sprain or fracture, head-aches, menstrual cramps, nerve pain, toxemia, or even a burn, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help to ease and soothe it away.

“I think the benefit of acupuncture is clear, and the complications and potential adverse effects of acupuncture are low compared with medication,” says Dr. Lucy Chen, a board-certified anesthesiologist, specialist in pain medicine, and practicing acupuncturist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Pain can be complex, activating nerves, the spinal cord and the brain to interact with one another in alerting the body to stop what we are doing in order to lessen the pain sensation. It can be both physical and emotional. How you react to pain depends on what’s causing it as well as many personal factors.

In TCM, acupuncture, herbs, Tuina massage, and dietary changes can all be used to reduce and manage pain. Pain is viewed as an impediment, blocking the free flow of qi (vital energy) and blood, causing qi and blood stagnation and deficiency.

Studies have shown that acupuncture reduces pain by stimulating neurotransmitters, hormones or the immune system. Acupuncture can also help to release endorphins, which are the body’s own pain-killing chemicals.

TCM is gaining more attention because it provides safe, effective treatment methods for many conditions, and especially for pain. Discuss with your practitioner at the Tao of Wellness how you can develop a treatment plan to experience less pain with any condition you experience and feel more energized and balanced in your life.