Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described by the patient in terms of such damage. Common symptoms seen in clinic including arthritis, headaches/migraines and low back pain.
Arthritis is a general term for a number of conditions including painful, swollen and/or stiff joints.
The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease, and osteoarthritis, which is an age-related degeneration of joints.
TCM categorizes arthritis as a blockage in the smooth flow of qi and blood throughout the energetic pathways in the body, which is indicated by pain and reduced range of motion. Conditions such as arthritis are therefore called "painful obstruction syndromes" in Chinese medicine, and are commonly treated by acupuncturists.
As an impediment that affects the bones and joints, arthritis is called "bi syndrome" or "bone bi" in TCM. Bi syndrome manifests as pain, soreness or numbness of muscles, tendons and joints The immediate cause of bi syndromes is environmental - the result of the body being "invaded" by the climatological factors: wind, temperature & humidity (equivalent to or plus microbes such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses in modern medicine), which are said to penetrate the body's defenses and lodge in the muscles, tendons and joints. Long-term bi syndrome can lead to deformities of the bones and joints.
TCM targets both the manifestation (i.e. joint pain) and the root cause of arthritis. Acupuncture is used to restore harmony to the body and correct the imbalance. If the systemic imbalance is not too severe and/or the patient is strong, acupuncture may offer a cure. However, if the arthritic process is already very deep-rooted, acupuncture may be able to offer pain relief and help prevent further progression of the disease. In any case, the patient is able to avoid the side effects of western medical treatments.
Both Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine recognize two categories of headaches: primary and secondary. A primary headache is a clinical condition, not a symptom of another disorder. Primary headaches include tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by other medical conditions such as sinus disease, allergies, dental disorders, head injury or brain tumors. Acupuncture is used to effectively treat primary headaches, namely tension and migraine, which are the most common.
TCM has an effective, philosophically based framework for headache etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, acupuncture has been used to treat headaches for thousands of years. The greatest advantage of acupuncture over Western Medicine is that it does virtually no harm. Unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and the procedures for treating headaches are much less invasive.
Some headaches may be signs of a serious medical condition. These include headaches after trauma, headaches in the elderly, or headaches with any of the following symptoms:
Low back pain affects 60 to 80% of the adult U.S. population at one time or another. Low back problems affect the spine's flexibility, stability and strength, which can cause pain, discomfort and stiffness. It is one of the most frequent causes of missed work and one of the most costly conditions to treat in the United States.
Back pain can be caused by a variety of problems. It can even be caused by conditions that occur in other parts of the body, with pain being transmitted to the back via the nervous system. Most back pain is muscular in nature. It can be caused by strain from lifting, bending or twisting. Some low back pain may be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as infection, arthritic condition or ovarian cysts. It can be caused by a ruptured or bulging disk. Fractures of the spine can also cause low back pain, especially in those with osteoporosis. Furthermore, poor fitness, smoking and mental/emotional issues increase a person's risk for low back problems. The majority of backache sufferers complain of pain in the lower back. The other common area of discomfort is in the base of the neck. The National Institutes of Health recommend acupuncture as a reasonable treatment option for back pain. An acupuncturist's management of low back pain will involve a comprehensive approach including electro-stimulation acupuncture (a machine that produces a mild electric current is attached to the acupuncture needles with clips), Tui Na (acupressure, manipulation), application of warming techniques (herbal oils, herbal patches, moxibustion), and patient education.
Acupuncture is generally the treatment of choice in acute cases of back pain and can play an important role in the reduction or elimination of chronic back pain by reducing recovery time and preventing a condition from developing. It can help avoid more invasive surgical procedures. Acupuncture can also lower the need for pain medication, which can lead to addiction and unwanted side effects.
Western (allopathic) medicine tends to rely on relieving the uncomfortable symptoms of allergy sufferers such as itchy eyes and throat, sinus congestion and sneezing, asthma, and even diarrhea with the use of medications. While this approach may provide temporary relief, there are often unpleasant or even intolerable side effects. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that the best way to control allergies is to address their causes by treating the whole person and balancing the immune system.
TCM, including a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, is a safe, natural and effective option for treating allergies. The goal of all TCM is to promote the healthy flow of qi (vital energy) that travels through the meridians of our bodies. TCM interprets the cause of allergic rhinitis, referred to as "bi yuan," as an imbalance in the distribution of qi. The blockages, excesses, deficiencies and imbalances that can occur in each of the meridians and organs need to be identified and corrected in order to eliminate allergy symptoms.
When we treat someone for allergies, we also look for constitutional or more deeply rooted signs. The idea is to treat the person as a whole. According to TCM, people with chronic allergies often show signs of spleen or kidney deficiency as well as lung problems. The goal of the practitioner is to develop a treatment plan that will alleviate the patient's acute symptoms while addressing the underlying immune system imbalance at the root of the allergy. Treatments often include lifestyle and dietary recommendations. There are also excellent Chinese herbal formulas that help to treat allergy symptoms and strengthen immunity.
Allergies are definitely treatable. TCM provides an alternative that doesn't require taking western-style medications, which can have unpleasant or even serious side effects. If you suffer from allergies, you may want to consider the natural approach offered by Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Insomnia is defined as "difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both" and it may be due to inadequate quality or quantity of sleep. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake.
A doctor of Chinese Medicine will focus on the Heart, Liver, Spleen or Kidney organs and channels when insomnia is a patient's main complaint. In Chinese Medicine, the Heart and Liver both house a specific aspect of the spirit or "shen". When these two organs are out of balance, the spirit may wander from not being housed properly. Chinese Medicine also states that when the Spleen is injured, the subsequent blood deficiency will lead to insomnia. The Kidneys are in charge of generating the Yin fluids or calming aspects of the body. When the Kidneys are disrupted, there will be more relative heat at night, causing insomnia.
Menopause is the permanent end to menstruation and fertility caused by the change in the levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This typically occurs in a woman's late 40s or early 50s but may occur earlier. The time of change is called perimenopause or menopausal trasition. It can begin several years before the last menstrual period and last for 1 year after the final menstrual cycle. Menopause is different for each woman. The signs and symptoms may vary greatly. Some women may have hot flashes and sleep problems while others may hardly be aware of a change at all. In addition to hot flashes and sleep problems, women many also experience mood changes, problems with the vagina and bladder, and changes in sex drive. A woman's body may also change. Her waist could get larger. She could lose muscle and gain fat. Her skin could get thinner. She might have memory problems, and her joints and muscles could feel stiff and achy. Are these a result of having less estrogen or just related to growing older? Experts are not sure. Furthermore, osteoporosis and heart disease are two common health problems associated with menopause and aging.
TCM can be an effective adjunct or even alternative therapy for menopause. It is a safe, effective and durable treatment for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
Stress/Anxiety is a healthy response to something people feel is out side their control. When the body is healthy and the stress is only temporary the body can withstand it without too much damage to the person’s health. However ,continuous stress, extreme stress or both of them can cause serious emotional and physical problems to one’s healthy. And, this needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
TCM can relieve feelings of anxiety or depression. As the heavy feelings of stress are relieved, a person feels more confidence in his ability to cope with the negative aspects of life and make necessary changes. This in turn can eliminate dependence on sleeping pills, tranquilizers and antidepressants.
Obesity is defined as "increased body weight caused by excessive accumulation of fat." People are considered obese if they weight 20 percent or more above average for their height and build. They have high risk of serious of chronic diseases including hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and diabetes. A morbidly obese person is one who weighs two or more times their ideal body weight. It is a life-threatening condition.
There are two reasons for overweight and obesity:
There has three basic concepts and theories in TCM to reduce weigh: A).Balanced Spleen, Kidney and Stomach. B) Increase the speed of metabolism and allow body dehumidification. C) Regulation of bowel movement creates a balance of consumption against elimination.
Treatment by TCM:
Oriental medicine and acupuncture are successful methods used to convert cigarette smokers as well as to treat the side effects caused by the years of smoking. Withdrawal symptoms like moodiness , restlessness, jitters, can be alleviated with acupuncture, which will make the body feel more relaxed during the withdrawal process.
Issues such as epigastric /abdominal pain, vomiting, hiccup, diarrhea etc are common gastric intestinal (GI) tract symptoms in clinic. These can be caused by:
TCM use acupuncture or/and herbal to treat these problems.