The musculoskeletal system is the pillar of our body. The combination of muscles, bones, nerves and all the other surrounding soft tissue provides our body with protection, movement and structural support. Muscle strain, tendonitis, torn ligaments, bursitis, nerve impingement and bone fracture are varied types of pain that can be experienced by the musculoskeletal system. These aches and pains may be accompanied by stiffness, tightness, inflammation, difficulty in movement and even immobility. Whether its pain and tension in the neck and upper back after prolonged hours of desk work or acute back pain from heavy lifting, acupuncture can be a safe and effective alternate treatment to ease pain and discomfort.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been used for more than 2500 years to bring healing to the body and mind. In recent years, acupuncture has gained more recognition and popularity throughout the world. The World Health Organization recognized its effectiveness in treating sciatica, shoulder pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel, osteoarthritis, etc. The Chinese have used acupuncture to treat all sorts of musculoskeletal pain for thousands of years. It benefits both acute and chronic conditions. This Chinese methodology is based on a system of energy and meridian pathways that connect the body and the mind together. The meridians are pathways that allow energy to travel throughout the body. When there is a blockage along the meridian, energy flow has been disrupted, and pain is experienced. Similarly, when acute sciatica occurs, the energy in the lower back is blocked. Therefore, needles are inserted in the lower back and distal area to stimulate the body to increase the healing processes.
Inserting the disposable filiform needles along the energy points and the trigger points of the strained muscles helps to reduce swelling, reduce tension and reduce pain. When the needles are inserted into the muscle, they also serve to increase blood circulation and energy flow to the local area. Treatments for the more chronic types of pain should be combined with other therapies such as massage therapy to enhance the soft tissue healing and speed up the recovery process. Patients should also try appropriate exercises and stretches to strengthen the injured muscles.
Cindy Huang, RAc, BSc (Kin)
Acupuncturist in Vancouver