Treatment of Pain
Pain can have a very debilitating effect on one’s life, preventing people from enjoying normal daily activities. A lot of sick leave from work can be because of pain. A survey done by IBEC in 2010 stated that “The average number of days work lost per employee averaged at 5.98 days (per annum) across 502 respondent companies. When we extrapolate this figure to the economy generally, the total cost to the economy of days lost through absence was around 11 million days”. According to the HSE “It is estimated that as many as one in five people experience chronic or persistent pain. According to the Prime Study, (Raftery, et. al. 2012) in terms of economic impact, chronic pain costs an estimated €4.6 billion a year, or 5 per cent of GDP.”
So painful conditions not only effect the individual but can have a major effect on the economy. The western medical model relies on pain medication for relieving pain but long-term use of these can have serious side effects.
Chronic or persistent pain can be as a result of a variety of reasons. Accidents can leave people with constant pain and also medical conditions can cause daily pain for sufferers such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nerve damage
- Back pain
How acupuncture can help
A detailed consultation is taken on the first appointment and from this the therapist will get an insight as to what are the main issues. They will make a Chinese medicine diagnosis, for example what are the main organ or organs involved, whether it is a condition as a result of an excess or deficiency in the body, is it a hot or cold condition. Based on the diagnosis they will insert very fine needles in acupuncture points throughout the body and at times around the site of the pain. At all times your therapist is trying to identify and correct the imbalance in the body that is causing the pain.
Other therapies that may be used are :
Moxibustion – this is a technique used in TCM in which moxa, a Chinese herb, is ignited and placed above the skin over specific acupuncture points. The purpose of moxibustion is to stimulate the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), Qi is translated as life energy and to strengthen the blood and maintain general health. Moxa has a wonderful warming effect and works very well for painful conditions.
Cupping Therapy is often used alongside acupuncture treatment. It involves the placing of cups onto the skin with a vacuum being formed. Cupping causes fresh blood and nutrients to come to the site of the pain helping with reducing inflammation and easing pain. Cupping can be used for a variety of conditions and is very beneficial in the treatment of pain.
Electro Acupuncture is whereby a small electric current is passed between pairs of needles to stimulate the flow of Qi in the body. It is particularly useful in the treatment of pain related conditions.