TCM has a long and successful history treating both acute and chronic pain. Practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine.
It has gained increasing acceptance in the U.S. since 1971, thanks to New York Times reporter James Reston. He underwent emergency surgery in China and was enormously impressed by the Chinese doctors who used needles to successfully ease his pain. This was probably many Americans first exposure to using Traditional Chinese Medicine for pain relief. With increased globalization, available travel to China, and instant world-wide communication, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture has increased in popularity and acceptance at an amazing rate.
In my Chicago practice, I treat a wide variety of aches and pains. Often patients have very quick and effective relief, particularly with acute pain. Sometimes with more chronic injuries, lasting relief takes a longer period of treatment.
Some examples of painful conditions that respond favorably to acupuncture include: arthritis, myofascial pain syndrome, dental pain, neck and low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, PMS related symptoms, sports/dance strains or aches, and headache and migraines.
In addition to needling local points (those in the area of the pain), I have had great success needling distal points (points not in the area of pain). With my techniques, working with distal points is equally effective and can be more relaxing because I stay away from touching the specific pain site. I also combine electric stimulation and cupping with acupuncture treatments when I believe that they will aid in pain relief.
Tomorrow, I will tell you about some athletes that are using acupuncture for pain relief.