Acupuncture and Pain Relief by toriola1


									                                                    Presented by Daniel Toriola

        Acupuncture has been known to stimulate defense mechanisms of the body to fight against disease. It
    continues to gain popularity in this country because it is an effective treatment of acute and chronic backache.
                                           Acute pain can often be cleared up
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                                                         Acupuncture and Pain Relief
                                                          By Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc

    Acupuncture and Pain Relief by Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc

In my later years of medical school, I thought that pain treatment was below me. Even though
acupuncture was best known for its effective pain relief, I thought that the Western medical world was
simply behind as usual. We were amazed to learned all the other diseases we could treat with
acupuncture, like neurological problems, immune system dysfunction, anxiety, and depression, and I
thought, "Anyone can treat pain. I'd rather focus on something more interesting."

As I wrote about Chinese medicine on the Pulse website, I thought, "It would be more beneficial for
acupuncture's image if I focused on something like psychology. And, people really need to understand
the complexity and power of our herbal medicine system."

So talking about the treatment of pain wasn't really on my list.

Western vs. Eastern Pain Relief
But, I couldn't help seeing that Western medicine didn't have great pain relief solutions. They always
have the side effects of some drugs, and the addictive potential of the opiates (their most powerful pain

My wonderfully well-read wife subscribes to a journal called The Pain Practitioner
( After reading that for a few months, I suddenly
realized that they never mentioned acupuncture. That's crazy, I thought. After all, it competes with
drugs in terms of effectiveness and doesn't cause side effects. Plus, it's superior in permanently
removing neurogenic pain, and preventing temporary pain from going through the "grooved into the
brain" process that leads to chronic pain syndromes.

When you think of acupuncture, the first thing that should come to mind is "Superior for treating pain."

Higher Standards for Pain Relief with Acupuncture
I've found that many acupuncturists do not enjoy treating pain. I think this may be because they haven't

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                                                                                                                            Page 1
                                                 Presented by Daniel Toriola

learned a style of acupuncture that treats pain effectively and quickly. In October 2002, I began a
mentorship with Robert Chu, who had learned a quick and powerful pain-relieving acupuncture system
from a student of the famous Taiwanese acupuncturist, Master Tong.

Dr. Chu has taught me several acupuncture systems that are not currently taught in acupuncture
schools. His goal is immediate pain relief, to some degree, and immediate relaxation or a sense of well
being in other diseases.

This is a high standard - we can't always achieve total pain relief with one treatment. It may take ten
treatments to make a permanent dent in some situations. But I like having big goals. I think I'm more
likely to make progress that way.

Location and Cause of Pain
In the clinic, first we find out where your pain is. If you've been in an accident, or there are
nerve-related issues, we do a physical examination to discover the nature of the problem. For example,
your pain may be due to a problem in the spine, messages from the brain, one of your internal organs,
or because you've bruised a muscle, tendon, or ligament.

Sometimes, we can't find an obvious cause, even with X-rays, MRI's, and lab tests. We have to
assume then that the cause is neurogenic- from the brain, nervous system, or even the psyche. Pain
can be a manifestation of emotion. There's nothing wrong, or less valid about that kind of pain.

Actually, Chinese medicine is well-suited to treat that. And people with pain of a psychological origin
may find their Western physician less sympathetic, because they always have to look out for addicts.
Acupuncture, conversely, can treat addiction.

These are not the only causes of pain. It is important to know the cause, and not just blindly attempt to
relieve the symptoms. Otherwise, ineffective treatments could be due to a missed diagnosis. Also, we
may approach pain from a vertebral problem differently than we do pain of unknown origin.

Rating the Pain & Measuring Progress
For each pain location, I have patients rate the severity on a scale of 1-10. A "10" would be the worst
pain possible, like giving birth or a kidney stone. Once we know the degree of pain for each site, we
can assess how much the acupuncture treatment changed it. It's nice when there's an immediate
improvement of 20-30%, or even 100%, which happens in some cases.

Sometimes, the patient can't reproduce the pain on the table because of posture, so we have to wait
until the treatment is over. If possible, we can needle so that measuring progress is easier. For
example, if your pain is worse when walking, we can needle your hand (this is distal needling- needling
away from the site of pain- another topic entirely) while you walk around. Then we can tell immediately
if we're on the right track or not.

Complementary Pain Management
At the same time, you may do other therapies. You might be looking into surgery, or other solutions- for
example, than is a synthetic knee injection for people with very little knee cartilage. The synthetic fluid
lasts for several months.

Interestingly, researchers have found that back pain does not always correlate to changes in the spine.
They've found many people with vertebral problems that have no pain at all, and that some people with

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                                                  Presented by Daniel Toriola

constant pain have no obvious structural changes.

To me, this underlines the primacy of the nervous system. Your brain interprets and creates nerve
signals. Sometimes pain has to be "unlearned." This process may be accomplished with acupuncture
alone, or in combination with counseling, meditation, or hypnosis.

In some situations, physical rehabilitation is indicated. Specific exercises prescribed by a trained
physical therapist may help you regain strength and function in the affected part of the body. You may
also avail yourself of the slow, demanding, and healing movements of Taichi.

The Process of Pain Control
For some people, pain goes away immediately, and they are otherwise healthy. In that case, their
partnership with the acupuncturist may come to an end.

But, others are stuck with chronic pain, and need continual treatment to experience a better quality of
life. In these cases, it may be better to see the acupuncturist every other day for concentrated therapy-
we're more likely to shift the body's neurological patterns that way. If that doesn't work, the
acupuncturist may help you purchase a microcurrent or tens unit- these are electrical stimulator pads
that you can use at home (or, in fact, anywhere) to keep the pain at bay. The pads are applied to
specific points according to the theories of Chinese medicine.

For those whose pain is cause or greatly influenced by emotional and mental factors, Chinese
medicine can recommend dietary changes and new emotional habits. Taichi and meditation can have
a normalizing effect on the nervous and immune systems as well.

 Acupuncturist, herbalist, and medical professor Brian B. Carter founded the alternative health
megasite The Pulse of Oriental Medicine ( He is the author of the book
"Powerful Body, Peaceful Mind: How to Heal Yourself with Foods, Herbs, and Acupressure"
(November, 2004). Brian speaks on radio across the country, and has been quoted and interviewed by
Real Simple, Glamour, and ESPN magazines.

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                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola

                                    Acupuncture And Pain Relief: The Way Forward?
                                                            By Peter Wellington

 How adept is the human frame at coping with pain? Pain is a natural function of the body and though
we may not like pain the normal process of our physiology is to let us know that something is not quite

Just visit any ward of chronically sick patients and you will soon attune to the moans and cries of the
human condition. These poor people are quite simply in communication with their own systems.
Chronic pain of the muscles or skeleton is the highest form of priority communication, warning us of
dangers - seen and unseen.

Yet much of modern medicine is unable to help us with the bodies communication system - the
nervous system - as it delivers vital messages to our psyche: and that is what pain is.

There is another way however, an ancient and mysterious way, a way that is often veiled and hidden;
and that is the way of alternative therapies. Many of these ancient forms of pain relief have stood the
test of time and some such as acupuncture have also stood against the intrigue of modern, scientific

Acupuncture for pain relief has been around for many thousands of years and it is an extremely
efficient and effective way of dealing with aches and pains. It has proved to be especially effective
when dealing with pain in the back. A great deal of this type of pains due to muscle contraction and
acupuncture shows itself as able to deal with this kind of pain.

How does Acupuncture and Pain Relief Work Anyway?

In simplistic terms acupuncture deals with the flow of natural energies around the body. In olden times
this energy force was referred to as "chi" or "Gi." They discovered that natural human energy would
flow through the body along pathways, which they referred to as meridians. Now when this natural
energy flow is interrupted pain is relieved, reduced or simply stopped altogether. A healing of the body
often precedes the interruption of the meridians. Of course we find that much of modern medicine is
dismissive of the claims of alternative therapies such as acupuncture for pain relief. However, don't let
that opinion put you off in the least.

When you apply acupuncture for pain relief you are in essence righting the flow of painful energies that
are pulsing through your body.

There are many benefits to acupuncture and pain relief is just one of them. It is also highly effective
when used in conjunction with other forms of pain relief treatments. Acupuncture for pain relief is also
safe and relatively non-invasive as the needles used for acupuncture are only designed to sit in the
skin and sometimes reaching the layer of body fat, occasionally the muscles are also reached. The
needles used are always fresh, hygienic and sterile when dealing with acupuncture and pain relief. In
addition the needles are disposable and FDA approved when applied by a reputable acupuncturist.
These needles are so fine that they can be compared to human hair in thickness.

Often you will find that upwards of 20 needles may be used for acupuncture and pain relief and mostly

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                                                Presented by Daniel Toriola

several treatment sessions will be required. Once the needles are inserted they may be left there for up
to thirty minutes, sometimes being twisted by the hands of the skilled acupuncture expert.

The amazing thing about acupuncture and pain is that the acupuncture needles themselves cause no
painful sensations. This is quite surprising for many patients ho are expecting a degree of pain due to
the insertion of the needles into the skin. On the contrary, and quite often, patients will feel a deep
sense of relaxation during the procedure and some will even fall of into a quite relaxing sleep.

During acupuncture for pain relief the natural pain relieving, electromagnetic signals being relayed by
the bodies system are speeded up and the pathways improved.

Acupuncture for pain relief has also been successfully used for fibromyalgia, chronic headaches and
pain in the neck as a result of whiplash; painful conditions of the hip and knee caused by arthritis are
also good candidates for acupuncture and pain relief. For many people with chronic abdominal pain
and asthma, acupuncture has been their salvation and finally but not in the least is pain caused by
shingles, for which sufferers will also find relief from niggling pains.

Peter Wellington writes for, a website providing a comprehensive
archive of free information and guides on the ancient art of Chinese Acupuncture.

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                                                 Presented by Daniel Toriola

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