Pain Management

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Why Do we have pain?

We all have pain. Headache, muscle tightness, Sciatica, frozen shoulder, stomachache, … Some are pain related to the organs; others are pain related to the neuromuscular system. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), pain is due to the blockage of Qi, the flow of energy in the body. The source of pain most commonly seen in clinical practice can be classified into the following types:

  • Cold type: characterized by tightness and limited range of motions. It is alleviated by heat.

  • Heat type: characterized by inflammation, red swollen skin and heat.

  • Damp type: characterized by soreness and feeling of heaviness, most common in obese people.

  • Blood-stasis type: characterized by sharp pain in very specific location(s).

Does any of the symptoms sound familiar to you? Many are taking pain killers but still cannot find relief. Just taking over-the-counter NSAIDs (like Advil, Tylenol, …) or prescription drugs (like Vicodin) might temporarily relieve the pain, but the source of the problem remains unresolved.

Why acupuncture is so effective in alleviating pain?

Patients often are amazed by the instant pain relief during the treatment and ask me: how does it work? To put in simple terms, I sometimes use the illustration of the sewer system. When it gets clotted, how do you unblock it? You need something to break through the blockage so the flow can be restored. Similarly, you could say that the function of the needle is also to break through the blockage of the flow of Qi and Blood in the body.

Another illustration is the traffic light system. When it is working properly, traffic flows. Once there is a problem, you need to send a policeman to direct the traffic. If there is a collision (a car crash), it needs to be cleared up in order for the traffic to resume. The function of the needle is similar to the police officer in directing the flow to resume its normal course.

Here is a quote from the Nei Jing[1], the authoritative textbook in Chinese medicine:

"When the five yin organs and six yang organs are diseased, it is like there is a thorn, a piece of dirt, a knot, or a blockage. Although the thorn may be longstanding, it can be removed. Although the dirt may be longstanding, it can be wiped away. Although the knot may be longstanding, it can be untied. Although the blockage may be longstanding, it can be opened up. [Those who] say that old diseases cannot be taken up speak wrongly. Those [who] use needles should look for [the cause of] disease. Then the thorn can be removed, the dirt wiped clean, the knot untied, and the blockage opened up. Even though a disease is longstanding, it can be stopped. Those who say [these conditions] cannot be treated have not yet realized their skill."

Why is the effect of the needleas so fast?

The function of all the biological systems in the body is controlled by the nervous system. If we know the right switch to trigger the nervous system, we can immediately relax the tightness of the muscles, reduce inflammation and activate the innate healing process. If the muscle is related to the head, the headache will go away. If it is related to the stomach, the stomachache will easy. In this clinic, we use a very effective technique: head acupuncture (also called scalp acupuncture), from the inventor of acupuncture anesthesia. The application of the needles is very safe and you hardly feel them.

If you are tired of pain killers and is seeking for a better solution, call us now at 408-830-9002 to book a complementary personal consultation.

The following are some example cases mentioned by the National Institute of Health (NIH)[2] where acupuncture is shown to be effective:

  • post-operative and chemoterapy nausea and vomiting

  • post-operative dental pain

  • addiction

  • stroke rehabilitation

  • headache

  • menstrual cramps

  • tennis elbow

  • fibromyalgia

  • myofascial pain

  • osteroarthritis

  • low back pain

  • carpal tunnel syndrome

  • asthma


[1] Divine Pivot. Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing); Chapter 1. [2] Acupuncture. NIH Consensus Statement 1997 Nov 3-5; 15(5):1-34.