Pain management is the bread and butter of TCM. Whether the pain is acute or chronic, TCM offers patients a safe, effective, non-addictive and non-invasive pain relief. There are many approaches to pain relief. Some of my favorite pain management and orthopedic modalities are trigger point, Master Tung, Muscle-Channel Technique, cupping, and guasha.
Numerous randomized controlled trials show that acupuncture, especially electro-acupuncture, plays a significant role in injury recovery. These studies indicate that with regular administration of acupuncture during the recovery process, the patient can expect pain relief and increased range of motion, and a much faster turn-around time before the patient can return to normal physical activities.
When an injury has compromised range of motion, the most effective protocol is to combine physical therapy with acupuncture, as shown in this study.
Also known as dry-needling, trigger points or “knots” are stimulated and released, encouraging proper neuro-muscular activation.
Master Tong system of acupuncture quickly became my favorite when I discovered how effective these points are. These points are frequently coupled together in specific regions to send a stronger neuronal signal to the brain. Frequently the diseased area is not needled directly and distal points are chosen instead.
Cupping reduces pain and inflammation, and increases range of motion by utilizing negative pressure, which enables increased blood and lymphatic circulation to injured tissues.
Arthritis and Degenerative Disc Disease
Acupuncture, especially electro-acupuncture, combined with moxibustion, and other modalities such as cupping, can be an effective and safe remedy for chronic pain.
When it comes to degenerative conditions, supplementation is essential. In these stubborn, degenerative conditions, acupuncture will relieve symptoms for a few days, up to a week, so regular acupuncture visits is recommended. For chronic & degenerative pain conditions, the best results come when combining acupuncture with supplementation of collagen, non-psychoactive CBD or high dose turmeric. This is especially true in the elderly and auto-immune patients. This combination is effective for nourishing the joint tissues, mitigating systemic inflammation, and preventing further degeneration.
Clinical story: I have had patients who came in weekly seeking pain relief for arthritis, and after adding a good collagen supplement, the pain was no longer an issue, and we were able to work on other pressing issues.