Health Care

How Acupuncture Can Help with Pain Management

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If you’re looking for a natural way to manage the pain of an injury or chronic condition, you might consider acupuncture. Acupuncturist Chirstian Disla from AdventHealth Wellness Center and Spa Celebration is here to share his expertise on how acupuncture can help with specific health issues such as knee pain, shoulder pain and headaches.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. It’s being used more and more for overall wellness, including stress management.

Acupuncture and Knee Pain

Since the knees are hinge joints, they play a crucial role in our forward movement whether we’re walking or running. Since they’re often used, these joints are the most common area to feel pain. The knees are most commonly affected by arthritis, overuse or injury to the tendons and ligaments, as well as inflammation. When the knees are facing these various conditions, it’s hard to be mobile, and activities as simple as walking become dreadful.

According to Chirstian, “In acupuncture, we have a commonly used point for knee pain called Zu San Li which translates to ‘Leg 3 Mile.’ The intention of the point is to give you the energy to go the extra mile while strengthening and supporting the knees. Aside from relieving knee pain, this point is excellent for improving digestion and helping with fatigue. It’s every acupuncturist’s number one point!”

This acupuncture point is found below the knee on the outer portion of the shin bone, or tibia. If you run your finger up along this bone you’ll notice a protrusion that causes your finger to stop. Just to the side of that landmark is the point. Still, there are many other acupuncture points that address this issue. Various exercises and eating habits can also assist with this condition. You can ask a personal trainer or your dietician.

Acupuncture and Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can either refer to pain within the joint, like a torn rotator cuff, or pain within the muscle of the trapezius. This ailment is often due to overuse, sprain, strain or overall tension from stress or poor posture. You know the phrase, “carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders?” No wonder, because the shoulders are a key part of our bodies for carrying, lifting and support.

Chirstian says, “From a physical point of view, it’s measurably difficult to apply strength to the arm when the shoulder is severely injured. From an emotional side, our bodies hold onto the burdens and stress that life has to throw at us resulting in tension within the shoulders. This is where both movement and relaxation are imperative to overcoming the problem. When there’s pain from a Chinese Medicine point of view, it’s safe to assume that circulation has been impeded in some way. Both trauma and stress can impede blood circulation and fluids in our bodies, resulting in pain or discomfort. With movement, circulation will improve, and with relaxation, the muscles that are contracted around the vessels will no longer be restricted. Then, they can have the opportunity to flow properly.”

How can acupuncture help? Chirstian explains, “Acupuncture already has the natural ability to promote both circulation and relaxation. When a needle is inserted, the body perceives it as a sort of injury. The brain responds by activating its own healing factor: increasing blood flow to the sight of insertion and releasing pain-relieving hormones. The vessels also dilate. With that, the body falls into a relaxed state. With fresh blood circulating to the pain site, in this case, the shoulder, the impacted area has the opportunity to heal.”

Acupuncture and Headaches

To put it lightly, headaches are a nuisance. For some of us, popping a pill is enough to alleviate that pounding sensation. As for others, very little can be done to help with headaches.

One of the worst types of headaches is a migraine. A migraine isn’t your typical headache. Until you’ve experienced one, you can’t fully understand how debilitating it can be.

Chirstian relays his experience with a migraine headache: “I’ve only experienced one migraine in my life, and I’m grateful that I never experienced one again. What did I do? I got acupuncture, and the relief was almost instantaneous! I was fortunate enough to address this issue as soon as the onset. The sooner an ailment is treated, the less treatment will be needed. Since it was my first migraine and I had only been experiencing it for a day, it took only two treatments to rid myself of the discomfort. An individual who has been experiencing this condition for a longer time period will most likely need more treatments.”

When treating migraines, or any other type of headache, points on the hands and feet are often used. This style of treatment derives from a reflexology point of view, in which stimulating a particular area of the body provides an effect elsewhere in the body, in this case the head. “Although these points are sensitive,” says Chirstian, “they provide great results.”

Feeling Whole is Something to Celebrate

At AdventHealth Wellness Center and Spa at Celebration, your wholeness is our top priority. Visit us for acupuncture and much more. Check out our page here.

About the Expert

Christian Disla graduated from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in 2013. He received his National Certification in 2014, as well as his license to practice. He has been successfully practicing as an acupuncture physician for the past five years. After working at a chiropractic office, Christian gained a strong interest in treating pain management cases.

  • Certified in Five Element Acupuncture
  • Dr. Tan Balance Method
  • Florida state-licensed acupuncture physician
  • Masters in Oriental Medicine, Pacific College
  • Tong-style acupuncture

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