One of the common complaints brought to my acupuncture practice is pain. Whether due to work or play incidents, or the fall out of chronic stress, our bodies can react to trauma in ways that make us wonder if life will ever be enjoyable again. Acute pain may easily develop into chronic pain if not treated correctly. And just the emotional drain of hurting is enough to distance us from a place of healing.
The good news is we can live mostly, if not entirely, pain-free. We are all equipped with an innate healing mechanism. The solution comes in unwinding the plethora of messages the body is sending and then acting on this important information with the support of well-trained professionals. Our feeling is no one should have to rely indefinitely on pain medications!
WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL?
At our clinic, you will work with practitioners who have special training in pain-resolving modalities. The first step is an in-depth review of your medical history, lifestyle, goals and needs. Then, based on this information, we will establish a multi-disciplinary treatment plan which may include a combination of any of the following:
Acupuncture activates Qi (energy) to rebalance organ, circulatory and nervous function and to repair tissue. Most patients report an immediate sense of relaxation, relief and improved outlook.
Electro-stimulation is the application of a microcurrent to the needles to disrupt the pain cycle. TENS and other non-invasive techniques are used for patients not comfortable with needling.
Massage therapy has become one of the most popular tools in alleviating pain. Patients may be prescribed a series of massage therapy sessions using case-appropriate modalities, such as Neuromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point, Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Tui Na, Deep Tissue or sports massage. Therapists are fully trained and certified.
Nutritional support and proper diet are essential to the healing process. Some of the everyday foods in the American diet can actually increase pain levels and prevent healing! Knowing which foods reduce pain and improve health is a first step; the healing process can be accelerated and intensified by including appropriate whole foods, supplements, Chinese herbal medicine and other remedies.
Core strengthening involves reeducation of muscle groups which are under- or over-utilized, either due to imbalance in use or patterns of compensation. Often weak abdominal muscles cause overwork to the back and neighboring muscles. Once the core, or trunk, muscles are properly supporting the skeletal structure and burdens placed on it, then all muscles can perform their jobs appropriately. Reduced muscle tension or torsion results in increased circulation, better nervous system performance and therefore, reduced pain. Rebalancing exercises, stretches and other movement training are provided via classes and individualized (home) exercise programs.
Orthopedic supplies, such as braces, heel lifts, support tape or traction devices, may be available through your doctor to stabilize your injury during healing.
Hot and cold therapy may alter the perception of pain, as well as increase circulation or decrease inflammation.
Microcurrent sessions may be recommended for resetting pain patterns and improving circulation and healing.
Cupping and moxibustion are two non-invasive treatments which can also move Qi and alleviate pain.
Emotional support is important in the transition from identifying as a person in pain to a person living the fullest life he or she can imagine. The body follows where the mind goes. Sometimes necessary lifestyle changes are fraught with mental and emotion resistance or fear. Guided imagery, education, humor and compassion are just a few of the vehicles our practitioners bring to their respective practices to help patients move forward with their healing.
We are able to work alongside your Western physician and/or physical therapist. We shall refer you for further testing or treatment if we determine that it is in your best interest.