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Dao Clinic - hand pressing on low back to release low back pain


In Western medicine, pain is classified into two main categories: acute and chronic pain.

Acute pain typically has a sudden onset and is often associated with a specific injury, surgery, or illness. It is generally short-lived, lasting from a few moments to several weeks or months, depending on the cause. Some examples of acute pain include:

  1. Post-operative pain

  2. Broken bones

  3. Burns or cuts

  4. Dental pain

  5. Headaches or migraines

Chronic pain, on the other hand, is persistent pain that lasts longer than the expected healing period, usually beyond three to six months. Chronic pain may be related to an ongoing injury or illness, or it may have no identifiable cause. Some examples of chronic pain include:

  1. Back pain

  2. Arthritis

  3. Fibromyalgia

  4. Neuropathic pain (e.g., diabetic neuropathy)

  5. Cancer pain


Chinese medicine approaches pain holistically, focusing on the root causes and imbalances contributing to the symptoms.

Pain is generally considered to be the result of a blockage or stagnation in the flow of Qi (energy) and blood in the affected area. Some common imbalances related to pain include:

  1. Qi stagnation: Emotional stress or physical strain can cause Qi stagnation, leading to pain and discomfort.

  2. Blood stasis: Injuries, surgeries, or other disruptions to normal blood flow can cause blood stasis, resulting in pain, swelling, and bruising.

  3. Cold or damp accumulation: Environmental factors or an imbalanced diet can lead to cold or damp accumulation, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling.


Chinese medicine practitioners use various techniques to address acute and chronic pain:

  1. Acupuncture: Stimulating specific points along the meridians helps regulate and balance the flow of Qi and blood, improving circulation, reducing inflammation, and relieving pain.

  2. Herbal remedies: Customized Chinese herbal formulas can address the root cause of pain by promoting the flow of Qi and blood, warming cold accumulation, and draining dampness.

  3. Cupping: By creating suction on the skin, cupping can improve blood circulation, release muscle tension, and alleviate pain.

  4. Moxibustion: The application of heat through burning moxa (a dried herb) near specific acupuncture points can warm the affected area, promote circulation, and relieve pain.

  5. Tai Chi and Qi Gong: These gentle exercises combine movement, meditation, and breath control to enhance the flow of Qi and blood, promoting overall health and pain relief.

By addressing the root causes and promoting overall health and well-being, Chinese medicine can provide valuable support for individuals with acute and chronic pain. It's essential to consult with a qualified practitioner to develop a personalized treatment plan that suits individual needs and conditions.

No-one has to live with pain...

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