- Written by Louise Stevens
PAIN - is subjective, tiring, all consuming and comes in all sorts of disguises.
Headaches/migraines, injuries/trauma, lower back pain/sciatica, arthritic conditions, osteoporosis, neuropathy, period pains.... the list goes on.
In Chinese medicine any pain means there is a blockage of Qi and/or Blood and our primary treatment principle is to move this stagnation. Our secondary treatment principle is to find the cause of the stagnation. This could be from the elements of Wind, Damp and Cold - often seen in arthritic conditions.
The nature of Cold is contracting (freezes Blood flow), it gives a tight, vice like pain and is worse for cold. Damp will give a heavy dull ache often with some swelling. Wind can give 'wandering pains' or pains that come and go, usually in the upper parts of the body. Wind is associated with tics and tremors too.
Other causes of stagnation can be emotional. Stress or worry 'knots' the Qi, slows down the movement of energy and thus slows down the blood flow until eventually it creates stagnation and pain. This can often be a factor in menstrual problems.
When the energy slows down and creates congestion, the blockage can produce Heat. Think of the analogy of a traffic jam causing road rage. The nature of Heat is to rise up and this can cause headaches and migraines - perhaps associated with PMT or periods, or times of stress.
Acupuncture is very good a moving Qi and energy and getting the flow going again. Herbs may be necessary if there is a more substantial blockage (Blood stagnation) or some other pathogen like Wind Damp or Cold involved.
As you can see Chinese medicine is always looking for patterns of disharmony and seeks to alleviate the symptoms but address the underlying cause to prevent recurrence.
In this way many seemingly dissociated conditions are often related in Chinese medicine.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more about how it could help you.