In Chinese Medicine it is said that ‘all pain must have stasis’, meaning that where there is pain there is a blockage. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas work to remove the blockage thus relieving the pain.
Medical doctors have become increasingly open to the use of acupuncture for pain relief. In recent Western studies of acupuncture, it has been found that acupuncture reduces pain by triggering the release of endorphins (the body’s natural morphine like chemicals); stimulates the nervous system that then releases a chemical that aids in fighting inflammation; releases the body’s own cortisone; and releases other substances that help wounds heal faster and others that promote nerve regeneration.
In 1997, the National Institute of Health recognized acupuncture as a viable medical modality. The NIH has come out with a statement endorsing the use of acupuncture for conditions such as carpal tunnel, low back pain, post -operative pain, and osteoarthritis, and knee pain.
Pain is generally called a Bi Syndrome in Chinese Medicine. ìBiî means blockage of pathways or channels. In western medical terms, Bi Syndromes can correspond to diseases such as rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, bursitis, neuralgia, systemic lupus, gout, traumatic injuries, and fibromyalgia, just to name a few.
Bi Syndrome is divided into four categories:
Hot Bi Syndrome is when joints can become painful, red and swollen and are hot to the touch. Other symptoms may include irritability, thirst, dry mouth and fever. The pain is relieved with cold and is aggravated by warm damp weather.
Cold Bi Syndrome is characterized by such symptoms as stiffness, stabbing or shooting pain and it is fixed at one site. The pain improves with warmth and is aggravated by cold weather.
Damp Bi Syndrome pain is caused by dampness and it is in a fixed area of the body-i.e. the knee. You will often see swelling at the pain site with possible deformity of the joints. This condition can be aggravated by living in a damp climate, humidity, rain or a damp musty home.
Wind Bi Syndrome is a condition that actually displays symptoms similar to the wind in our environment. It is characterized by movement and change. Pain due to wind tends to arise suddenly and it moves from one area of the body to another. The type of pain can change- it can be a dull achy pain one day and it can abruptly change to a sharp shooting pain the next.
Proper diagnosis is critical in treating pain. When a person begins their treatment at Goldstone Acupuncture & Whole Health, LLC, they are carefully diagnosed so that their treatment reflects maximum effectiveness in pain relief. Chinese herbal formulas can also play an important role in one’s recovery from pain. A person’s diet is evaluated as well. For example, coffee can aggravate pain. Vegetables in the night shade family such as potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, and eggplant aggravate pain associated to arthritis. Dairy, gluten and sugar are also causes of inflammation that lead to pain.
Chinese Medicine is a time honored medical system that has been proven to be effective in the relief of pain and pain management. Susan B. Goldstone, LAc, AP, Dip.Ac, has been treating acute and chronic pain for over 30 years as a massage therapist and acupuncturist. She is certified in Acupuncture Sports Medicine so she can zero in on the problem and get you back to living your life. She will refer you to the appropriate practitioner, if further evaluation or additional treatment is deemed appropriate. So if you or someone you know is in pain, contact Susan B. Goldstone, LAc for a free consultation. (970) 227-1906.
Originally Published in The Art of Well Being 1999. Updated June 24, 2016