Pain Relief

From the viewpoint of Eastern medicine, pain results when the flow of blood and qi energy is impeded. In essence, the thinking is:

If there is free flow, there is no discomfort

If there is no free flow, there is discomfort.

As long as blood and energy flows freely and smoothly, there is no pain in the body. If, for any reason, the flow is obstructed, there will be pain. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that something is hindering or blocking the free flow through the channels and vessels, and the second is that there is insufficient qi and blood to maintain the free flow. The first condition could be compared to a clogged artery that does not allow the blood to flow, and the second to the diminished blood flow caused by a weak heart that does not have the strength to pump the blood.

Pain caused by obstruction is often acute and sever, and is usually an excess condition. If the pain is due to qi or blood deficiency, resting makes it worse, and activity decreases the pain. With deficiency pain, the pain is worse at rest because there is not sufficient energy or blood to keep things moving. Moving the effected area helps to move the blood and energy through it. Deficiency pain tends to be chronic and usually takes longer to resolve than the excess or obstructed type of pain.

The type of pain experienced with qi stagnation is different from blood stagnation. Qi stagnation feels like distention or soreness that changes in intensity and location. Qi stagnation often occurs with strong emotional changes. Blood stagnation pain is experienced more as a swelling or stabbing, sharp pain at a fixed location. A bruise is an example of blood stagnation.

The job of the practitioner of Eastern medicine is to find the cause of the obstruction, and restore the free flow. Acupuncture is very effective for the treatment of pain. Other useful and frequently used tools are herbs, moxa, cupping, and massage.

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