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TCM Pain Management

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

How does TCM help in pain management?

Pain is an unpleasant subjective sensory and emotional experience that can easily affect an individual's quality of life. Pain can be divided into two major categories, which is acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is usually short-lasting and happens rapidly, and may also be recurrent, while chronic pain lasts longer, and some chronic pain can be caused by diseases, such as trigeminal pain, post-herpetic neuralgia, and etc. Pain in the long term not only affects the patient's physical, psychological and social functions, but also affects their families and even society.



According to TCM theories, pain happens when ‘Qi and Blood did not pass through’ and ‘lack of nourishment’, indicating that the blockage of Qi and blood or the lack of Qi and blood will lead to the occurrence of pain. The term ‘did not pass through’ refers to various pains caused when Qi and blood in the body's meridians are blocked, which is called "excess pain" in TCM, and ‘lack of nourishment’ refers to the lack of Qi and blood in the body's meridians, which is called "deficiency pain" in TCM. Therefore, in clinical practice, TCM physicians will treat various pain symptoms according to different syndromes such as cold or heat and excess or deficiency. TCM pain management has a wide range of indications, including:

  1. Bone and joint pain: Orthopaedic disorders such as lower back and leg pain, cervical spondylosis, lumbar disc herniation, knee osteoarthritis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome, heel pain, etc.

  2. Tissue pain: Soft tissue disorders such as acute and chronic lumbar sprain, lumbar muscle strain, lumbar dorsal fasciitis, piriformis syndrome, frozen shoulder, tenosynovitis, tennis elbow, etc.

  3. Headache: Migraine, cervicogenic headache, muscle tension headache, etc.

  4. Neuralgia: Intercostal neuralgia, sciatica, pain after nerve injury, etc.

  5. Cancer pain: Late-stage cancer pain, bone metastases pain, etc.

  6. Dysmenorrhea, chronic pelvic pain, etc.


Three main pain management solutions of TCM that can ease your pain immediately!

  1. Acupuncture: According to the theory of TCM, the meridian and collaterals are the channels that run Qi and Blood, connecting the viscera and the whole body. When the meridians are blocked, Qi and Blood unable to run smoothly, will eventually lead to pain and numbness. Acupuncture can dredge the meridians to achieve the purpose of activating collaterals and relieving pain.

  2. Moxibustion (Fuyang penetrating moxibustion): Moxibustion refers to a therapy that irons or smokes on acupoints or affected areas after moxa leaves are ignited. Fuyang-penetrating moxibustion is a type of moxibustion with a wider coverage, which can stimulate the body with warmth and heat with the help of pure yang heat and pharmacological power of moxa fire. It can penetrate deeply into the meridian and acupoints, and through the function of meridian conduction, it is able to balance the Yin and Yang of the viscera, dispel cold and dampness in order to relieve pain.

  3. TCM herbs: Both internal and external use of TCM herbs have good curative effects. Taking TCM herbs orally can adjust and improve the circulation of Qi and blood in the patient's body, so that the physiological functions of viscera is able to function normally, and able to resist the invasion of external pathogens, while the external application of TCM herbs can reach the diseased area directly, it can promote blood circulation and improve the nutrition of surrounding tissues to achieve the purpose of relieving pain.



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