It’s an unfortunate truth that injuries are a part of life, but with the multitude of therapies and knowledge available today, there are a lot of ways to treat them. As we discussed in Part 1: How Does Acupuncture Work?, Acupuncture is powerful for pain management. It stimulates the release of pain blocking substances in the affected area and in the brain. With injuries, there is often decreased mobility and you can’t stretch the way you want to because it hurts. This is where acupuncture treatment is useful to help move the “stagnation” (For more on this concept check out Part 2: How Does Acupuncture Work?). Stimulation with needles increases blood flow and lymphatic circulation in the area to help your body heal quickly.
Hot & Cold Therapy
Chinese medicine discourages the use of ice for injuries after the first 24-48 hours. During this first 24 hours, ice helps to alleviate pain and make sure the swelling doesn’t get too extreme. After this initial window, however, heat should be applied or a combination of heat and cold always ending with heat. Heat increases circulation to an area to break up stagnation and make sure the area gets all the blood flow it needs to heal.
The Power of Herbs
Treatment of acute injuries isn’t just about getting rid of the pain. It should also focus on getting you back to your full strength so you don’t hurt that area again. Herbal medicine can be used topically as ointments, creams or lotions, for pain management and injury recovery. Additionally, herbs taken internally support bone health, strengthen ligaments and tendons, and repair damaged muscle. Using acupuncture and herbal medicine we can support areas of the body that are weakened or deficient to decrease the likelihood of future injury.
Stay tuned for Part 4: How Does Acupuncture Work? I will explain how Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are a vital part of treating chronic pain conditions.