Acupuncture for Back Pain
As the final installment of our series on treating back pain in Shanghai, our TCM doctors share how acupuncture and cupping can aid in relieving back pain. Body & Soul’s holistic approach to health brings together the best of east and west to get you the best results. Many medical practitioners around the world now commonly employ acupuncture and TCM techniques for pain and other conditions. Fortunately, those of us in Shanghai have access to the rich expertise of top TCM doctors.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture is a healing method which consists of placing needles in the body, along the meridians. The meridians are channels in which Qi flows between the connected organs. Normally, they ensure the body’s proper functioning through a free flow of Qi, which the body needs to function at its best.
The acupuncturist inserts needles, usually made of stainless steel and measuring from 13 to 70 mm, on defined acupoints. The process helps restore a free flow of Qi so that it can nourish the tissues and organs to bring harmony to the body and relieve pain.
How Acupuncture Reduces Back Pain
Acupuncture is widely used for relieving pain from muscular or neurological disorders (headaches and migraines, neck pain, low back pain, etc.) and to help control tension and stress. It promotes general wellbeing and supports healing.
Numerous studies have shown that patients find back pain relief with acupuncture treatment, especially when used in conjunction with other manual therapies. Western medicine proposes that acupuncture works because the needles stimulate the nervous system which generates the production of certain chemicals in the body. Those chemicals are the body’s natural painkillers and can have a significant effect on the perception of pain.
Wondering if it will hurt or what you’ll experience during acupuncture? Check out our TCM series article for all your questions about acupuncture.
Complementary Therapy: Cupping
Cupping is a complementary therapy to acupuncture, working on similar principles. The Chinese used it as early as 1500 BC, creating a vacuum with animal horns to improve Qi flow and remove stagnations and toxins.
Today, cups (most commonly made of glass) with negative pre ssure, typically created with heat, are applied to the skin in affected areas. The cups create a vacuum that sucks the skin in. The glass cups stay on the skin for 10 minutes and help to promote blood flow, stimulate Qi and drain excess fluids and toxins. According to TCM, this eliminates cold stagnation. Western science might cite benefits from increased blood flow and nutrition to the muscles.
Cupping for Back Pain
Cupping relieves pain and internal inflammation, especially as related to cold wind stagnation. Cupping is particularly effective for joint and muscle pain. Common examples are neck and back pain associated with sitting in a draft or stiff neck. Cold joint pain and frozen shoulder benefit from cupping. If putting a warm hand or heat on the area of pain feels like it helps a bit, cupping should do wonders.
Suffering from back pain? Contact Body & Soul for a back pain treatment plan. Comprehensive services range from osteopathy, chiropractic and physiotherapy to TCM massage, acupuncture, and cupping to provide immediate pain relief and support long-term healing.