East Asian Medicine: Pain Management and Acupuncture


I believe we can all agree that life is not easy. Every day the body is striving to keep the body in balance and in rhythm to remain healthy. Yet life is not that simple because with it comes pain. 


The definition of pain: 

  1. Physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury 

  2. Mental suffering or distress 

In East Asian Medicine, pain is viewed as a condition where the energy of the body (Qi) has become stagnated or stuck in an area where the energy flow has become diminished. It may be difficult to understand Qi but imagine that it’s the juice of a battery, or the visual of an EKG of a heartbeat; if there is no juice then we have a flat line. 


Keeping it simple, it’s our Qi that moves our blood; so, if our blood is stagnated or stuck or perhaps not enough blood is given to a particular area; pain will arise. When the body is managing pain, it does a great job in letting you know. The pain becomes the castle of

body, and it will create a moat to guard and protect it. Pain becomes king or queen of the castle and in some ways, the king/queen is saying back off. This impedes the qi/blood flow leading to stagnation or diminished qi/blood flow to this area of the body, therefore leading to signals of pain. 


Acupuncture is a modality which aids the body in healing itself. If the body is guarding a particular area; it’s usually saying the pain is here. Acupuncture allows the body to work through these guarded areas or through the moat around the castle. The needles are used to invigorate the qi to move the blood through the area or to draw qi/blood to an area that has weakened support. The needles are placed distal locations in connection with the affected area to communicate with the healing aspects of the mind and body. 


No one likes pain but pain is the communication of the body that something is off and not right. The body is amazing in the sense that it becomes really good at what it practices daily. It does not matter if it’s good for you or not; the body will become good at whatever it practices. The body is resilient with the ability to manage pain signals until somethings just becomes normal and then breaks down. 


Before the body breaks down, and pain becomes too much, listen to it. Acupuncture can help reduce pain intensity significantly.

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