Acupuncture and Acupressure by Dr. Yong Q. Luo kept me from having surgery. After a diagnosis of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, my doctor recommended that I have surgery on both wrists. To get another opinion, I consulted with Dr. Luo. A series of acupuncture treatments by him brought me relief and the ability to use my hands without pain. There has been no recurrence since my treatment eight years ago. I have only the highest praise for Dr. Luo's knowledge and skill as well as his gentleness and compassion....
Nancy K. Cannon - Retired School Teacher
Treatment of Pain using Acupuncture
Why is acupuncture an effective treatment for pain? Similar to acupuncture's treatment of other conditions, the treatment of pain is achieved through the meridian system. The surface of the human body has 14 major meridians paths. Each meridian contains varying points, called acupoints, which correspond to different tissues and organs of the body. However, the correspondence between these entities is neither simple nor mechanical, but a systematic and complex connection.
The knowledge of this connection has been validated through thousands of years of continuous exploration, discovery, and numerous clinical practices. Chinese medicine recognizes that the human body has comprehensive self-protective and repair mechanisms. Acupuncture, in the treatment of pain, works to enhance these self-protective and repair mechanisms within the body. It stimulates the meridians to adjust the connection between the points on the meridians and the corresponding tissues and organs thereby facilitating support and energy flow.
Modern research supports this view. According to reports within journals of Chinese medicine, meridians are closely linked to systems in the body that include: bio-electricity, nerve segment, and central nervous and neurohumoral systems. Regarding pain in the body, the link between the meridian and neurohumoral system confirmed that neurotransmitters play an important role involved in acupuncture analgesia. These theories have been supported within some western Medical journals and the National Institutes of Health.
Acupuncture has a positive effect on the following causes of pain:
1. Neuropathic pain: pain due to inadequate nerve nutrition, nerve inflammation, tumors and other stimuli, resulting in nerve sensory abnormalities. Such abnormalities include herpes zoster, facial pain cause by trigeminal neuralgia, sciatica nerve, cervical spondylosis, disc herniation, and occipital neuralgia.
2. Immunological pain: pain caused by autoimmune diseases and allergic diseases. These diseases include rheumatic disease, dermatomyositis, and polymyalgia rheumatica.
3. Inflammatory pain: inflammation originating from chemical and biological causes, such as arthritis, pharyngitis, gastritis, and enteritis.
4. Endocrine pain: pain caused by endocrine diseases, including female dysmenorrhea, menstrual headache, and premenstrual syndrome.
5. Traumatic pain: pain caused by external injuries, such as slip and fall, car accidents, and other trauma that causes soft tissue damage.
6. Vascular system pain: pain resulting from vascular spasms, stenosis, and blood blockages, such as angina, migraine headaches, and thrombotic phlebitis.
7. Dysmetabolism pain: pain resulting from metabolic dysfunctions, such as gout, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, and osteoporosis.
Additionally, Acupuncture can Help Alleviate Pain for Cancer Patients. Patients in their mid to late stages of various cancers generally experience pain, approximately 70% of the patients suffering from cancer in the late stages experience extreme pain. Acupuncture can help to mitigate the pain in various parts of the body that have been affected by various cancers including liver cancer, lung cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer.
Does acupuncture treatment serve only as a pain relief or can it cure the disease as well?
The answer is that acupuncture's pain treatment is twofold: One treatment targets the cause of pain, the other targets the symptom itself. By eliminating the cause of pain, the patient moves towards the cure of the disease. On one hand, the meridian points near the end of extremities have a strong regulatory function on the overall body, so these locations are often used as a treatment for the cause of the pain. On the other hand, local lesion points are often used for the symptomatic treatment of pain. For example, when a patient suffers from chronic gastritis (Deficiency of spleen-stomach), the majority of the pain is experienced in the upper abdomen. The treatment that focuses on the symptoms of the pain will include the insertion of needles in the abdominal acupoints such as Ren11, Ren12, St20, and St19. Additionally the treatment that focuses on the cause of the pain will include the insertion of needles in the lower part of the body such as acupoint Sp6 in the leg and acupoint Sp4 around the big toe to tonify the Qi and to strength the spleen.
In the end, it depends on the patient's specific circumstances such as nerve malnutrition, inflammation, endocrine disorders, and soft tissue injuries. Through the needle treatment, the patient can achieve recovery by affecting the cause of the pain. For certain pain symptoms, such as changes in spinal joints, disc changes, and bone hyperplasia of the nerve, the patient needs a combination of acupuncture and Tui Na (Chinese massage) to change the pathological environment in the body that is causing the pain. This combination lessens the pressure of the nerves to achieve the purpose of healing. For other conditions, such as pain caused by the bending of the spine or joint deformation, acupuncture can only play a role in mitigation.
Does acupuncture's treatment of pain cause harm to the body?
Strictly speaking, every effective treatment has been associated with some risks varying in number and in gravity. From this perspective, acupuncture is very safe for several reasons. First, the accuracy of the acupoints have been established by physicians through thousands of years of exploration and verified through repeated clinical practices. Second, the anatomical structure of the acupoints is scientifically studied in detail through the teachings of modern anatomy. There are strict requirements for the exact location, depth, and angle in the acupoints especially for certain vital parts of the body, such as the head, face, and the neck. These same requirements also apply to the projection points on the meridians such as the chest and the back that correspond to vital organs. Finally, all needles are disposable to avoid cross infection. All registered acupuncturists utilize clean needle techniques which ensure that the needles do not infect the patients during treatment. Additionally patients, for their own safety, should require that their acupuncturist provide them with valid qualifications prior to treatment.
In Dr. Luo's daily clinical practice, many patients come to seek treatment for pain. Through his many years of clinical experience using acupuncture, he has successfully treated patients with conditions that include: cervical spondylosis, lumbar, sciatica, frozen shoulder, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, stomach pain, soft tissue sprains, cramps, knee pain, heel pain, lumbar muscle strain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and ganglion cyst.
The following are some case examples of patients Dr. Luo has treated for pain
Example 1. A 34 year-old female came to the clinic with pain due to Humeral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Dr. Luo began her treatment in January 2011.
Chief complaint: She was suffering with pain in the tip of her right elbow, which radiated to her forearm for three months prior to treatment. She experienced little relief with repeated rests. Further, the pain became unbearable when she performed regular household chores.
Examination: It was determined the patient had tenderness in her right arm near the epicondyle of the humerus. The wrist muscle tension test was positive. Her diagnosis was Tennis Elbow.
Treatment and Result: Dr. Luo utilized a combined treatment of acupuncture and cupping (a technique that creates a vacuum, thereby enhancing circulation) twice weekly for two weeks. The treatment changed to once weekly. In addition, the patient was advised to rest and relax her right upper extremity by refraining from any heavy lifting. Pain dissipated completely after 10 treatments with no recurrence after a two month follow-up.
Example 2. A 41 year-old male came to the clinic with pain in his Sciatica area. Dr. Luo began his treatment in March 2009.
Chief complaint: He was suffering with pain in his low back and the left lower extremity for more than six months. His pain was extreme and radiated along the posterior lateral left lower extremity, with a burning sensation and increased pain when walking and bending. This patient received physical therapy and chiropractic treatment with no significant changes. His pain symptoms increased in the month prior to acupuncture treatment.
Examination: He entered the clinic with severe cramping which caused him to limp. He had tenderness in the left hip, thigh mid-point, back of the knee, rear leg lateral, and lateral ankle. Tenderness in his hip was especially evident. Straight leg raising test: left side 30 degrees. His diagnosis was Sciatica pain.
Treatment and Result: Dr. Luo utilized a combined treatment of acupuncture, cupping, and Chinese herbs, twice weekly for two weeks with significant reduction in pain. His treatment changed to once weekly, with improvement of the lower extremity in two months. The patient was able to walk properly, straight leg raising test improved to 60 degrees. Pain dissipated completely after three months of treatment without recurrence for the past two years.
Example 3. A 52 year-old male came to the clinic with cervical spondylosis. Dr. Luo began his treatment in May 2008.
Chief complaint: He was suffering with neck stiffness and left shoulder pain with numbness in the left thumb, index finger, and middle finger that lasted for six months prior to treatment. Due to his long work hours in the computer field, pain began to appear in the neck, left shoulder, and the back towards the end of 2007. He also experiences shock-like feelings in his left thumb, index finger, and middle finger when turning his neck. He refused surgical treatment at that time.
Examination: Upon initial examination, there was tenderness in the paravertebral numbers five, six, and seven, with increased pain on the left side. The neck-arm traction test was positive. His x-ray examination report shows paravertebral numbers five, six, and seven with varying degrees of hyperplasia, left foraminal stenosis, and nerve root compression.
Treatment and Result: Dr. Luo utilized a combined treatment of acupuncture and Tui Na (Chinese massage) twice weekly for two weeks. Treatment changed to once weekly in addition to daily intake of Chinese herbs. Pain dissipated completely after 24 treatments. Five more treatments were added for reinforcement purposes. No recurrence of pain after a six month follow-up.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, nothing in the human body functions independently. Pain serves as the body's warning system. If one ignores their body's alarm, more problems may soon form. In Eastern Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic, Dr. Luo often tells his patients that one benefit of acupuncture is that it is an efficient way to identify and minimize pain because acupuncture allows the doctor to immediately examine a person's response to the treatment and adjust if necessary. If you have any questions regarding Treatment of Pain using Acupuncture, please contact Acupuncture for pain relief clinic in Atlanta, Georgia (404)255-2558 or Acupuncture for pain relief clinic in Canton, Georgia (770)720-1398, let Acupuncture expert Dr. Luo, who works directly with you, return you to a healthy, happy, active, and pain-free life.