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Pain Management through Traditional Chinese Medicine


Suffering from chronic pain or recurring headaches and not getting a satisfactory treatment result? Learn about what TCM might have to offer.

Why Does Pain Exist?

Without a pain signal, we would continue to harm ourselves until damages are beyond repair. Therefore, we must understand that the pain is basically an alarm system that acts as a protective self-defence mechanism to prevent us from continuous injury and also to help us to identify the source of the problem.

Chronic Pain Conditions Include:

  • Injuries from Sports or motor vehicle accidents or other types of accidents

  • Injuries from repetitive movement injuries

  • Migraine and other headaches

  • Gynecological issues (i.e. menstrual pain)

  • Fibromyalgia and Arthritis

  • Post surgery pain

  • Pain associated with digestive issues, infections, or tumours

Other Symptoms Associated with Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is not a symptom that exists on its own. It is accompanied by other physical and emotional health conditions:

  • Reduced flexibility in movement

  • Mood changes, stress, anxiety and depression

  • Fatigue & sleep disturbances

  • Decreased appetite

  • Weakened immune system

What are the Benefits of TCM for Chronic Pain Management?

  • Encourages natural healing and repair

  • A treatment free of pharmaceutical drugs

  • Offers non-addictive and non-invasive therapies

  • Improves the quality of life and cultivates long term well being

  • Fosters mind-body connection

  • Provides customized pain management & health care plans

How does TCM Treat Chronic Pain?

In TCM theory, Qi (vital energy) travels throughout our entire body in channels or meridians reaching every aspect of our body. The Qi flow also dominates the circulation of blood. It is said in Chinese Medicine:

"If there is free flow of Qi, there is no pain; If there is no free flow of Qi, there is pain."

This is a principle concept of TCM to treat any kind of pain no matter what the original cause is. Therefore, the main agenda of acupuncture and other TCM treatments is to unblock the stagnation of Qi and blood and to promote self-healing and self-repair, ultimately eliminating chronic pain.

It is clinically proven that Chinese medicine and acupuncture are very effective to manage chronic pain.

What Causes Qi Flow Blockage and What is the Treatment?

1. External Factors: The human body is part of mother nature; therefore, our body is directly affected by changes in mother nature. When our defensive Qi or immune system is weak, we become more susceptible to external invasions through the pores of our skin. An external invasion of wind, cold, dampness, or heat may invade our body and cause stagnation of Qi and blood.

This is the reason why some people would suffer from more pain (like Arthritis or headaches) with changes in weather or living environment. TCM treatment: will be to first identify why your defensive Qi is weak and what problems exist in your surrounding environment, then will proceed with a holistic treatment protocol to rectify the root cause of the pain.

2. Physical-trauma: The Qi and blood can stagnate due to physical trauma like lifting, repetitive strain over time, an accident, or similar sprain that causes not only tissue damage but also blockage of Qi.TCM treatment: will first encourage self-healing and self-repair of injuries meanwhile helping to remove Qi blockage.

TCM treatment: will first encourage self-healing and self-repair of injuries meanwhile helping to remove Qi blockage.

3. Internal factors: The depletion of Qi can be caused by poor diets like eating a lot of inflammatory food or malnutritional food, insufficient rest coupled with too much activity or overwork, i.e. busy life-style, excessive stress, poor sleep, general aging, etc. This insufficiency of Qi will cause weakness of specific internal organs’ Qi, and further causes sluggishness or stagnation of Qi flow throughout the channel(s). TCM works to recognize the root source of deficiency to determine why the pain is occurring. For example, when a kidney’s energy is depleted, people often suffer from low back pain without any physiological reasons; when spleen energy is depleted people often experience muscular aches (like fibromyalgia). This TCM medical theory would explain why there are many cases of chronic lower back pain where there is no relief from pain killers or surgery because pain is not originating from a structural problem, it is from a weakness of internal organs.

TCM treatment: will include an assessment as well as guidelines for lifestyle and dietary changes, will work to identify the deficiency of which organ(s)’s Qi is causing your pain, and will provide a holistic treatment protocol for you.

Techniques Used in TCM Treatments may Include:

  • Acupuncture, herbal medicine

  • Cupping / Scraping/Moxibustion/Tuina (Acupressure, Massage)

  • Dietary and lifestyle guidance