Acupuncture in Sydney: Pain Management with Chinese Medicine

If one were to look back to the earliest texts within the Chinese medical tradition they would see that many of the methods used were for the treatment and management of pain. In 1973 the Mawangdui manuscripts were found in a tomb that was enclosed in 168 BCE. These scrolls had massage, cauterisation, and puncturing methods for lumbago, neck pain, shoulder pain, abdominal and back pain, leg pain and so on. The primary medical text to follow this, the Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic) systematically identified the causes and treatment of pain with acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal approaches, and lifestyle changes. These methods are still used in contemporary clinical practice.

Pain, whether acute or chronic, is never easy to deal with. As pharmaceutical intervention has it's place many of the medications deal with blocking the sensation of pain and do not deal with the underlying cause. Naturally, this depends on the cause - which may be physical trauma, stress, posture, et-cetera. So why would acupuncture and Chinese medicine be any more effective?

This all depends on the practitioner and style of medicine employed. So, sometimes it is effective and sometimes it isn't. In my experience if a practitioner needles according to form and structure only then the result will not be great. On the other hand if the practitioner attends to the internal function of the body, takes into account every element of the patients constitution, then the result will be great and long lasting. This is a fundamental lesson from the Chinese classics. In addition, in the west there seems to be a habit of seeing a patient once per week, however, some disorders (such as acute pain) need more intensive treatment over a shorter period of time.

In the Neijing Acupuncture approach to pain both the physical terrain and the internal terrain are addressed. What this means is that a multitude of techniques may be used in one session. One disorder can present with many symptoms and even multiple causes. Each needs to be addressed in a systematic and individual manner.

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David White Classical Acupuncture

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