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Western Pain Diagnosis Through an Eastern Lens

Western Pain Diagnosis Through an Eastern Lens


The following content was presented by Physician Leong at the Helping CHEN Summit by Pfizer on 11 May 2019.

Many people have experienced pain relief with TCM treatments, but often don’t understand why they felt their pain go away. In this article written for allopathic doctors (or any curious audience, really), we will cover:

 

  1. What are the ‘western medical names’ for pain conditions identified in TCM?
  2. Acupoints that are useful for pain relief

 

If one does not have access to a certified acupuncturist, you can also do acupressure massage on these points for relief.

 

Ethiology  (TCM)Common Corresponding Issues/Symptoms
Acute

Stagnation of Qi and Blood in the lumbar region

  1. Traumatic Injury, Soft tissue Sprains and strains
  2. Bone Spurs
  3. Pain usually fixed and aggravated upon movement and/or pressure
Chronic

Invasion and retention of pathogenic cold/wind/damp in the meridians (Urinary Bladder (UB), Gall Bladder (GB) and Governing Vessel (GV) Channels)

  1. Bone Spurs
  2. Slipped Disc/Nerve Irritation
  3. Sciatica Pain
  4. Pain began after exposure to pathogenic cold/wind/damp (symptoms could be weather related)
  5. Heavy sensation and pain in the lumbar region
  6. Stiffness of the muscles with possible limitation of movement
Chronic

Deficiency of the Kidneys

  1. Osteoporosis
  2. Pain is not severe – experience a sensation of soreness
  3. Weakness in the lumbar area as well as in the knees
  4. Ageing symptoms – fatigue, frequent urination, blurry vision, cold hands and feet

 

Principles of acupoint selection: 

  1. Patient’s condition: The ability to lie down? Tolerance of pain?
  2. Acute vs Chronic Pain

 

 

Principles of acupoint selection:

  • Etiology of Pain
  • Acute vs Chronic Pain
  • Patient’s condition: Ability to lie down? Tolerance of pain?

 

 

Localised Treatment

  • Huantiao (GB 30)
  • Yaoyan (Extra 9)
  • Shenshu (UB 23)
  • Dachangshu (UB 25)
  • Yaoyangguan (GV 3)
  • Mingmen (GV 4)

 

 

Distant Treatment

 

Etiology & Pathology (TCM)Corresponding Issues/Symptoms
A

Stagnation of Qi and Blood in the lumbar region

  • Traumatic Injury, Sprains, Contusion
  • Bone Spurs
  • Pain usually fixed and aggravated upon movement and/or pressure
B

Invasion and retention of pathogenic cold/wind/damp in the corresponding channels and collaterals

  • Bone Spurs
  • Slipped Disc/Nerve Irritation
  • Sciatica Pain
  • Pain began after exposure to pathogenic cold/wind/damp (weather related)
  • Heavy sensation and pain in the lumbar region
  • Stiffness of the muscles with possible limitation of movement
C

Deficiency of the Kidneys

  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain is not severe – experience a sensation of soreness
  • Weakness in the lumbar area as well as in the knees
  • Ageing symptoms – fatigue, frequent urination, blurry vision, cold hands and feet

 

Etiology & Pathology (TCM)Distant Acupoints to Resolve Root Causes
A

Stagnation of Qi and Blood in the lumbar region

  • S1-S2 pain, difficulty in rotation – Houxi (SI 3), Wanshunyi (T 22.08), Wanshuner (T 22.09)
  • Pain above L2, bone spurs – Yaotongxue, Zhongbai (T 22.06), Xiabai (T 22.07)
B

Invasion and retention of pathogenic cold/wind/damp in the corresponding channels and collaterals

  • L4-L5 pain/Sciatica – Weizhong (UB 40) Xuanzhong (GB39), Dabai (T 22.04), Linggu (T 22.05) Bleeding for UB 40.
  • Sciatica with bone spurs – GB 30, Yanglingquan (GB 34), Quchi (LI 11)
  • Expels cold – Yaoyangguan (GV 3), Huofuhai (T 33.07), Jianzhong (T 44.06)
  • Dispel wind – Fengshi (GB 31), Shouwujin (T 33.08), Shouqianjin (T 33.09)
  • Dispel dampness and bone spur – Minghuang (T 88.12), Tianhuang (T 88.13), Qihuang (T 88.14)
C

Deficiency of the Kidneys

  • Nourish kidneys – Taixi (KD 3), Guanyuan (CV 4), Qihai (CV 6)
  • Improving weakness in the knees – Shenmen (HT 7), Shaohai (HT 3), Yanglingquan (GB 34), Weizhong (UB 40)

Do you have issues that may require a physician?

Contact us at +65 8742 2163 or drop us a Whatsapp to make an appointment.

 

 

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