PAIN IN TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
Pain is something that everyone will experience at least once during their lifetime. It is probably one of the most commonly seen symptoms in the clinic. In Western Medicine, pain is one of the hallmark signs and symptoms of inflammation in addition to warmth, redness, and swelling. According to Mosby's Medical Dictionary, "Pain is a subjective feeling and an individual response to the cause." So what is pain in Traditional Chinese Medicine?
In TCM, we analyze all signs and symptoms according to the TCM eight principles which are derived from the theory of Yin and Yang. These eight principles include interior-exterior, excess-deficiency, cold-heat, and of course Yin-Yang. The symptoms and the progressive development of a pathology fit within the guidelines of these eight principles when TCM practitioners analyze a patient's case and ask the patient questions.
Our body consists of carefully constructed, invisible lines which we call acupuncture meridian pathways. These pathways, just like highways, run up and down, left and right, and in and out of our body forming networks and a holistic communication system throughout our entire body. Along these pathways, there are certain areas where the Qi (vital energy) and blood are gathered the most, more superficial, and easier to access. These areas are called acupuncture points. The acupuncture points are used to regulate the functions and vital energy of our body.
The Chinese say that "if it is impassable, then there is pain; if there is no pain, then it is passable." Pain occurs when there is an obstruction which is an excessive condition. Pain could also occur when there is malnourishment of the sinews and tendons which is a deficient condition. There are treatment protocols for each condition on a case-to-case basis. It is noticed, however, today it is very difficult to draw a clear line as to what category a person's pain belongs. It is usually a combination of two sides of the parameter or parameters. The above guidelines are only the first step in analyzing the pathology. The progression of the disease as indicated is usually very complex and multidimensional. TCM practitioners would use the eight principles to properly assess, diagnose and provide a treatment plan for their patients.
To learn more on how to get treated for your pain syndromes with acupuncture, please contact Tee Acupuncture. We are here to help and would be happy to discuss and answer your questions or concerns
Dr. Kang P. Tee is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, New York State Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Diplomate of Acupuncture and Herbalist by NCCAOM. His interests include musculoskeletal