Pain is not just a symptom it is your body’s way of communicating to make a change. In Chinese medicine not all pain is the same. The behaviour of a complaint gives clues to the underlying cause of the problem. Once this cause is identified it’s easy to make the change the body as asking for. Acupuncture is a great way to get blood moving. It also supports the organ systems in the body to help alleviate most pain complaints.
Pain that is localised to one point and is sharp and ‘grabby’ is typical of blood stasis.
Anything that gets the blood moving helps relieve this:
- heat pack and,
- light gentle exercises like walking.
This pain often is worse after being still for a while and feels better after warming up.
A dull achey pain often indicated an underlying deficiency. This could be caused by long days consuming Qi and nutrients of Blood, poor dietary habits decreasing the nutrients in blood, or overuse of an area such like RSI injuries. Acupuncture can be used to help strengthen organ function and help nourish the affected areas to help, eating small regular meals without distraction as well as try to break up long tasks such as sitting for extended periods at a desk, needle work, cooking etc.
The odd pain you get that feels like it wanders, one day it’s on the left, then it’s on the right often coincides with emotional stress or strain. The Liver helps process and digest emotions and supporting the Liver can help alleviate this pain as well as improve your overall wellbeing. Needling acupuncture points which support the Liver is a great kickstart and it can be assisted by getting moving and active and eating warm cooked leafy green vegetables.
Sometimes pain isn’t the right word. It could feel like a discomfort is better described as heavy or pulling downwards feeling or like you warm up a few steps before you can get going. This is typical of a dampness type pain. It is feels hard or uncomfortable to get going but once you get going the discomfort starts to improve. If you’re experiencing this pain your body has already given you a clue as to how to improve it; light movements regularly throughout the day helps get the dampness moving try so to get up regularly at work, limiting excessive sugar, gluten, dairy and fried foods limits ‘fuelling’ the dampness and acupuncture can get the circulation moving and support the Spleen and other organs to help resolve the dampness pain.
Written by Tori Cherry
Practitioner of Chinese Medicine