Updated: Mar 27
Pain is the most common reason why people consult for conventional medicine as well as alternative or complementary medicine. And although this is a common reason for seeking medical help, often the results are unsatisfactory. Physiology and biology teach us the changes in the nervous system in cases of chronic pain and even acute pain. Pharmacology teaches us how drugs modify or block the nerve impulses that cause the sensation of pain. Pain specialists have an arsenal of techniques and technologies to thwart or modulate painful sensations. But “last resort” approaches are used too often and often fail to relieve pain completely.
For those who are suffering, for those whose pain has taken a prominent place their lives and who just want some relief, it is difficult to navigate the jungle of health care where everyone has their own proven method? Is there another way for these people?
The answer is yes. There are many alternatives and paths to explore.
The first thing to know is that it is not enough to mask the pain, you have to go to its root cause. Often, that’s where it gets complicated. Different people practicing different approaches will have different and sometimes contradictory explanations about the causes and origin of the pain. The good judgment of everyone is required to distinguish what makes sense from what does not. Whichever approach you choose, ask the therapist about the basics of her approach and her understanding of it. If the explanations do not seem satisfactory or convincing, consider going elsewhere.
The vast majority of pain comes from muscles and their fasciae, not bones, disks or nerves. It does not matter if the pain results in a burning sensation, numbness, tingling, stiffness, cramp, stabbing or irradiation, the origin is more often than not of myofascial origin (muscles and their fascia) . An approach that does not take into account the origin of pain is unlikely to provide lasting relief.
Also, many of the factors that sustain our pain come from our lifestyle, including our diet. There are many foods that trigger or maintain inflammatory mechanisms in our body, and these mechanisms can continue for 3 to 4 weeks after exposure. Some food choices may also decrease the effect of certain medications or therapies. It is important to adjust your diet to allow your body to heal as easily and quickly as possible.
Sleep is also very important. It is during sleep that the body regenerates itself. Sleep also plays on mood and stress response, two factors that influence the modulation of pain. The role of hormones is also important and hormonal balance plays a vital role in the treatment of pain.
A complete and effective treatment of pain should consider all these factors in his approach. Nutrition, muscle and fascia, sleep and lifestyle habits, the physical environment (and often the social / emotional environment), appropriate use of medications and supplements, stress and emotions and attitudes, as well as many other factors that may influence pain and healing.
Chinese medicine offers a holistic approach that considers the individual as a whole and his environment. By combining acupuncture, tuina massage and Chinese herbs, our acupuncturists will be able to help you in your healing process and guide you through all the steps of your approach to health.
* This article is an adaptation of an article by Hal Blatman, M.D.