My doctor recommended Lin to me and at that time I was on quite a high amount of prescription drugs. During my time in Lin’s care I have experienced unprecedented levels of pain relief and am virtually free of medication. I cannot praise Lin highly enough and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to anyone in my situation.   —- Eileen

Acupuncture plays an important role in reducing pain. We see it as one of the best choices when it comes to various acute and chronic pain conditions. In our practice, we have an approach that meets different needs. It is our goal to make the pain reduce greatly or relieve completely after one treatment.

About Pain

Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. It may be sharp or dull, off-and-on or steady, localized (such as back pain) or all over (such as muscle aches from the flu). Sometimes, pain alerts us to injuries and illnesses that need attention. Although pain usually goes away once the underlying problem is addressed, it can last for weeks, months, or even years. Chronic pain may be due to an ongoing condition (such as arthritis) or to abnormal activity in pain-sensing regions of the brain, or the cause may not be known.

To relieve their pain, many people take over-the-counter medications—either acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, including aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen). Stronger medications, including NSAIDs in higher dosages and narcotics, are available by prescription only. People may also try non-drug approaches to help relieve their pain, such as acupuncture. (Source: NCCAM)

About acupuncture

One basic theory of acupuncture is meridians (or some call it “channels”). There are twelve principal meridians, eight extraordinary vessels and many other collaterals. All those meridians, channels and collaterals intertwined with each other in a similar way of a web, only with more logic. Qi, some call it the energy of the life, circulates along the system of meridians. Qi flows smoothly along the meridians as water does in the river. However, when blockage occurs, the flow of Qi is interrupted. What will we do when there is a blockage? We unblock. How? Acupuncture is the answer here. Therefore, we say, whenever there is an obstruction, there is pain; when an obstruction is removed, pain is relieved.

Acupuncture for pain relief

The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002 released a report entitled “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials”. This report states that acupuncture “can be regarded as the method of choice for treating many chronically painful conditions.”

According to WHO, acupuncture’s effective rate in the treatment of chronic pain is comparable with that of morphine. Acupuncture has been shown clinically to trigger the central nervous system to release pain-relieving chemicals, such as endorphins. Many neurotransmitters are also affected by acupuncture, and changes in these may affect pain transmission from irritated nerves.

Our acupuncture approach in pain-relieving

We use different acupuncture techniques in pain conditions. Why?

  • First, we understand everybody is unique. Different person has different response. One technique that is great to one person might only be ok to another. Everyone deserves a great solution.
  • Second, we prefer giving our clients some non-invasive methods during the interval of acupuncture session so their pain won’t return to its original level.
  • Third, we understand that there is no such a method that is for everybody. There are always certain people who don’t respond.

Here are the techniques we use in pain-relieving acupuncture:

  • Balance method acupuncture: This is the part often asked by our clients – why needle my hand while I have pain in my foot? This is balance. We often see pain reduce in minutes after needles are inserted.
  • Auricular acupuncture: We may use needles on your ear during the session if necessary, Or, we may only put on some ear press platters at the end of the session to prolong the effect during the treatment intervals.
  • Battlefield acupuncture: An amazing technique offering pain relief within minutes without side effects. It has been used in the US military. See here: Military turns to acupuncture as alternative to prescription painkillers
  • Korean hand acupuncture: Another micro-system within our body. We can use it during the session or/and during the intervals of treatments.
  • Moxibustion: While using needles, either normal needles or auricular needles, in distal (non-injured, unaffected) area, we often use moxibustion, either moxa stick or moxa box, in the local (injured, affected) area to reinforce the effect of treatment.
  • Chinese herbal medicine: We don’t see it as necessary on most painful occasions. However, when pain is only one symptom of a much more complicated condition, such as MS or endometriosis, we will suggest Chinese herbal medicine as a better way to treat the underlying cause of the pain.

Clinical notes

  • No matter which technique we use and how good the result is in the first session, further sessions are necessary. Acupuncture is not magic, it has accumulative effect. Pain may return after the treatment often at a lower intensity level.
  • Not everyone experiences quick pain relief. Some have slower response than others. Generally speaking, it depends on a) the length and severity of the patients, b) the age and constitution of the patients.
  • It is our advice that you should take it easy even when there is a massive reduction in pain as certain movements and motions may aggravate the affected area.

Conditions may benefit from acupuncture:

  • Joint pain: neck pain, shoulder pain, scapular pain, elbow pain (tennis elbow/golf elbow), wrist pain (carpal tunnel syndrome), hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain
  • Back pain, lower back pain, sciatica, buttock pain
  • Sports Injuries, repetitive strain injury
  • TMJ, dental pain
  • Arthritis, osteoarthritis
  • Migraine, headache, trigeminal neuralgia, peripheral neuropathy, intercostal neuralgia (shingles)
  • Heartburn, stomach pain, abdominal pain
  • Menstrual cramps/dysmenorrhea, endometriosis
  • Postoperative pain

Further reading – Pain Management archive