Pain Is the Most Common Symptom We Treat
Pain—it comes in many forms and levels of severity, but no matter what, it reduces your quality of life. It’s associated with poor mental health, can prevent you from physical activities you enjoy, diminish your concentration and productivity, and reduce your ability to share time with loved ones. Pain is the most common symptom we treat at Cherry Blossom Healing Arts, and we’re ready to help you to start feeling better.
Our Approach to Pain Management
Some types of pain, especially chronic or low-level pain, is not always taken seriously. Our acupuncturists take all pain seriously. Even minor pain can have a significant impact on your life. We take a holistic approach, working from causes (wrong shoes? poor desk setup? repetitive strain injury?) to symptoms.
Our acupuncturists use all modalities of Chinese medicine to fight your pain. Acupuncture and cupping/gua sha are the primary tools, but depending on the type and severity of pain, moxibustion herbal medicine, and nutrition changes can make a big difference, too.
Types of Pain We Can Help You Manage
From acute sports injuries to postoperative pain to long-term chronic pain, our acupuncturists can help. Pain, in all its varieties, is the single most common symptom treated at Cherry Blossom Healing Arts. And, its treatment is often covered by insurance plans!
- Headaches and migraines
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Jaw pain
- Shoulder pain
- Elbow/wrist pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis/golfer’s elbow
- Frozen shoulder
- Hip pain
- Leg pain
- Knee pain
- Post-operative pain
- Ankle strains, sprains, or breaks
- Sports injuries, such as stress fractures or
- Plantar fasciitis
- Joint pain and arthritis
- Neuropathy, nerve pain, and neuralgia
Acupuncture For Pain
Pain is the single most common thing our acupuncturists treat, and they’re pain experts. They know traditional techniques like Balance Method which are excellent in treating pain. They are also familiar with the strong body of empirical research supporting acupuncture’s ability to resolve or reduce pain. Because of all that research, almost all insurance plans have acupuncture benefits that cover pain diagnoses! If you’d like, we can check your insurance benefits. We’re in-network with CareFirst/BlueCross, Aetna, and the VA Community Choice Network.
- Acupuncture for Chronic Pain
- Acupuncture for Acute Pain
- Acupuncture for Sport Injuries
- How Does Acupuncture Work to Relieve Pain?
Acupuncture for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a regular or recurring pain that has lasted for 12 weeks or more. It often starts as acute pain and then just won’t go away. Chronic pain can be debilitating and diminishes your ability to do important things. If chronic pain isn’t resolved, it can lead to other symptoms like depression.
Your experience of pain starts in your brain—your body sends a chemical message to your brain that alerts you something is wrong. Like other bodily systems, it can misfire, especially in situations with chronic pain. Acupuncture can be effective in helping your brain to stop processing these haywire signals that are no longer helping your body heal.
In other cases, the chemical message is correct that you have a problem. Acupuncture can still help by increasing circulation, healing soft tissues, increasing range of motion, and helping your body resolve the inflammation common to chronic pain.
Acupuncture for Acute Pain
Acute pain is a recent or new pain that is often more severe than chronic pain. It can be related to injuries or overuse, and often is accompanied by inflammation and swelling.
The first thing acupuncture does for acute injuries is reduce pain. One emergency room study found that acupuncture is more effective than morphine for pain relief, in part because it helps the body release endorphins and enkephalins, which are natural painkillers.
That’s just the start! Moxibustion promotes blood flow, which helps to reduce inflammation and heal faster, while Chinese herbal medicine can target specific problems in the body to reduce the body’s inflammatory response.
Acupuncture for Sports Injuries
Acupuncture can help sports injuries heal faster and assist in preventing them in the future. Most sports injuries, like sprains, strains, and tears, are acute and have significant inflammation. Acupuncture can reduce that inflammation, promote blood flow, and increase your range of motion again.
Acupuncture can also be preventative. It can aid in recovery after workouts or contests to keep the body functioning at a high level and prevent future injuries.
How Does Acupuncture Work to Relieve Pain?
There are two perspectives on how acupuncture relieves pain—one biomedical, the other from the tradition of Chinese medicine.
From a western perspective, acupuncture helps your body to release its internal painkillers, such as endogenous morphine (endorphins) and enkephalin. Acupuncture also increases circulation to an injured area, which can help bring biological resources to reduce pain and promote healing.
Traditional Chinese medicine was founded long before people knew the details of cellular and brain chemistry, and so a very different system was established to explain how it works. Channel theory imagined a series of channels flowing through the body, and “breath” flowing within them.
Where there is pain or injury, the channel is being blocked. Specific acupuncture points can be used to unblock the channel to get things working normally again. The key insight was—where there is pain, there is stagnation. Where there is no pain, there is free flow.
Herbal Medicine for Pain
All of our acupuncturists are board-certified herbalists, and their herbal knowledge extends your pain relief from your in-person treatment through your week.
Many Chinese herbs are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and promote blood flow that can reduce pain and help healing. What’s more, Chinese herbal formulas utilize guide herbs, which direct the herbs to the correct spot in the body to maximize healing.
The safe and natural character of Chinese herbal medicine makes it a great alternative to long-term or frequent NSAID (like Tylenol or Aleve) use, which can harm the liver or kidneys.
Cupping Therapy for Pain Relief
Cupping can treat many types of pain, from your neck to your ankles. It offers some of the fastest pain relief our acupuncturists can provide through breaking adhesions in the fascia and relaxing muscles. This can increase your range of motion and help reduce inflammation in the injured area. Cupping is also often used by athletes to help in their recovery.
Gua Sha Therapy for Pain Relief
Gua sha is very similar to cupping: it breaks adhesions in the fascia and increases microcirculation to help reduce tension and pain in various muscles and connective tissues. Because gua sha involves rubbing a tool across the skin rather than a cup, it is much better at relieving pain in areas where cups are hard to place, like the neck and face. This means gua sha is very good at reducing sinus or headache pain.
Nutrition and Pain Management
Nutrition heals from the root causes of problems, making it a long-term approach to pain management. Especially with certain types of pain, such as migraines and arthritis, a change in diet can help reduce pain or resolve symptoms.
Like all nutrition changes, we prescribe realistic changes and help you figure out how to implement them. In conjunction with acupuncture and herbal medicine, nutrition is effective for resolving and preventing the incidents of certain types of pain.
Your Acupuncture Treatment Plan
Your journey to better health begins before you step through our doors. You'll be able to easily schedule an appointment online as well as fill out your health history form before you arrive at our office—maximizing conversational and treatment time with your acupuncturist.
At your first appointment, your acupuncturist will discuss your health history, get input from you on what your treatment goals are, and develop a treatment plan. They'll then treat you using whatever services are best suited to your specific symptoms.
Although plans vary depending on the patient, most typically run for four weeks. At the end of your first visit, your acupuncturist will give you a written treatment plan. At subsequent visits, you'll discuss your symptoms and whether they've improved, regressed, or stayed the same. Your acupuncturist will adjust the treatment plan based on your input and their ongoing diagnosis of your condition.
When your main complaint is resolved, you can reduce treatment or work on another symptom. Still thinking it over? Take a look at our Testimonials page to see what other patients are saying.
You CAN Live Pain Free
You don’t have to suffer from pain, and you don’t have to resort to long-term use of pain medication. Our acupuncturists know safe and effective strategies to help resolve your chronic or acute pain and get you back to living your life the way you want.
Ready to experience this for yourself? Head to our booking page and schedule your first appointment. If you’d like us to check your insurance benefits, we’d be happy to take care of that for you. We’re in-network with CareFirst/BlueCross, Aetna, and the VA Community Choice Network.
The Cherry Blossom Team