There is no need for anyone to experience pain. Clearing pain and treating its cause are key uses of acupuncture.
What is pain?
In traditional chinese medicine we view pain as obstruction. Your qi (energy), blood and other body fluids are not flowing smoothly and easily through your body. As a result your muscles and joints become stiff and sore and your organs don't function properly. Your mind can become closed or 'one track', you may become depressed and unmotivated.
Pain is an umbrella term for many symptoms and sensations. Weakness, numbness and tingling can be included as well as soreness, aches, stabbing pain, dull pain and so on. Addiction, depression, long term or recurring anxiety, worry, grief and anger are emotional expressions of pain. Strong aversions to change, withdrawal from society and compulsive or obsessive behaviours are all pain.
What they all have in common is obstruction. This obstruction of the body, mind and spirit stops us from living life with a great sense of wellbeing and with full use of our limbs.
Physical pain can be felt anywhere and it can move around the body or seemingly disappear for a while before coming back in the same or a different place but with a different quality. Perhaps it is duller or there is accompanying weakness. Many people experience pain that moves from one side of the body to the other.
In traditional chinese medicine we would not view these as different problems but as the one problem expressing itself in different ways as your body tries to heal itself. The only instance where this would not be the case is if there was a new injury causing the pain.
What will acupuncture do?
Acupuncture will open up the channels of energy flowing through the affected area and allow blood and other body fluids to flow smoothly and freely again. By removing obstruction the body can start to heal itself more effectively and the pain will go. This is for all forms of pain.
Your acupuncture session(s)
Most people will need more than one session. 4-10 sessions would be typical. Dr Tan's Balance Method is very effective at clearing pain. Most people will feel a difference after their first session. During the session the pain may move - let me know so I can adjust the needles and 'chase the pain' thereby clearing it more effectively.
For people with strong pain sensation I would recommend having 1-2 or even 3 treatments per week. Each session builds on the previous and having them close together means the body will heal more quickly as it has no time to slip back into old patterns or ruts.
I insert the needles away from the sore area in a part of the body that mirrors the obstruction and pain. This means that I do not aggravate the already sore area and the client is able to test by movement if pain is still felt and if range of movement has increased while the needles are in.
Will acupuncture work?
The short answer to this is yes. In the majority of cases pain can be cleared completely and as long as you don't re-injure yourself it will not recur.
The number one rule of thumb is that pain that is treated early on will heal more quickly than pain that is left to develop. Get treated as soon as you can!!
Most commonly for athletes or people who work long hours at the computer or who work in jobs that require a repetitive movement, use damaging equipment or spend the majority of their time driving the pain will eventually come back. These clients can either change their lifestyle so that they no longer do these things or find some method of stretching and exercising that counter-acts the cause of their pain. Alternatively or additionally clients can come for acupuncture on a monthly basis to keep the pain away.
People who have undergone surgery and have had the structure of their body changed may only be able to manage the pain rather than get rid of it completely but each case will be different and I would still recommend trying a course of acupuncture treatments.
Fibromyalgia responds very well to acupuncture and in addition I sell magnesium transdermal supplements that are highly recommended in that situation.
Emotional pain and lack of mental clarity
Acupuncture is very good for clearing these types of obstruction but it can be a slow process depending on how long people have been suffering for and how much medication people take. Diet and other lifestyle changes are also recommended. It is common for clients who come for a physical symptom to notice changes in their mental and emotional states after a few sessions. Often they had not realised that they were obstructed in these areas and the more 'upbeat' and calm emotional state is a wonderful relief to their daily lives.
In addition to acupuncture and magnesium supplements I always recommend a diet free of processed food and primarily plant based.
The healing crisis is the term used to describe the different symptoms a person may have while healing. It may sometimes happen that the day after the first one or two sessions the pain comes back strongly before clearing. This is a natural part of healing and is not to be viewed negatively. The pain may also come back part way through your course of sessions before clearing again. I find that these experiences indicate a deep healing within the body and clients report the pain to be significantly reduced after these experiences.