C. Zinnia Maravell, MBA, Dipl. OM, L. Ac. | Article

Acupuncture and Pain Relief

I’m in Pain. When should I go to the Acupuncturist? As soon as possible. Acupuncture, like other treatment modalities, works best when it is started as soon as the problem occurs. If you fall and sprain your ankle, or twist your wrist playing tennis, or your back goes into spasms for no reason, make an acupuncture appointment immediately. The sooner you start treatment, the faster you will recover. Pain that has become chronic takes longer to resolve.

As a general rule pain that is the result of trauma can be treated with a few visits. The sudden back pain, although an acute condition, is usually the result of an underlying deficiency. That will take longer to treat than the injury since the deficiency must also be addressed. Pain that is chronic will require many treatments because the longer you have had a pain before seeking treatment, the longer it takes to cure it.

When the doctor gives you a diagnosis of pinched nerve, muscle spasm, plantar fasciatis, it is a good time to go to an Acupuncturist. We have a lot to offer. A pinched nerve is often the result of a muscle spasm. Rather than take muscle relaxers with all their negative side effects, go for an acupuncture treatment. The acupuncturist can relax only the muscles that are spamming, not the whole body. Furthermore acupuncture treatments usually have beneficial side effects. You came in for pain relief but you notice that you feel better in some general but nonspecific manner after the treatment.

I see many people who have been given the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis which merely means that the fascia on the bottom of the foot are inflamed. There is no good way to test for this condition. Acupuncture deals well with inflammations.

Essentially all treatments involve moving the qi and blood in the meridians where the pain is occurring. The acupuncturist will examine you and determine where the pain is located, and from this will determine which meridians are involved.

Then he/she will ask you questions about the onset of pain, the nature of the pain- dull, sharp, traveling, its intensity, its frequency and other questions designed to determine if the pain is caused by an excess or a deficiency. Pain from excess is more quickly resolved than deficiency. Pain that is acute, sharp and recent is most likely an excess condition.

Long standing dull pain is usually the result of a deficiency. Pain from a deficiency takes longer to resolve and may involve some life style changes to correct the deficiency. The acupuncturist may suggest you rest or exercise more, or eat a more balanced diet.

Acupuncture has many treatment options for both pain and swelling. Acupuncturists do not only use needles. They may use moxa, an herb, which is either burned on the needle or a tiny thread set on the skin and removed before it burns you. They may also use cups which are set on the body through the creation of a vacuum. Patients usually experience acupuncture, moxa and cupping as pleasant.