From the category archives:

acupressure

Some good posts on pain

by Ed

There are some interesting posts, including mine on frozen shoulder, at the August Pain-Blog carnival, over at How to Cope With Pain.

More on Fighting Fatigue

by Ed

My post on qi gong for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue is part of the blog carnival over at fighting fatigue.org. Check out the other great posts in the carnival.

Wave goodbye to frozen shoulder

by Ed

Time To Run
Creative Commons License photo credit: blentley

Frozen shoulder is limiting and it can be painful. In Chinese medicine it is called 50 year shoulder because people tend to get it at middle age. Now you can learn how to avoid it, and how to to recover from it.

The most important thing in avoiding frozen shoulder is keeping it moving. Do gentle range of motion exercises every day, to keep the shoulder joint fully mobile. If you injure your shoulder, get treatment to heal it quickly. Avoid putting ice on it. Ice, though popular in the West, is considered harmful by the Chinese medical practitioners. It causes blood to coagulate and tendons to stiffen.

Treating Frozen shoulder

If you already have frozen shoulder, the therapy obviously changes. Exercise to increase range of motion, although painful, is vitally necessary. See an acupuncturist who specializes in injury management, or a physical therapist, for a good set of exercises targeted to your limitations. Regular deep massage, to break up the adhesions is very helpful. Use moist heat on the shoulder joint, daily. Wrap a hot moist towel around the shoulder and leave it in place for about 15 minutes.

Using Chinese herbal plasters and liniments: There are many liniments and herbal plasters designed for

701 Plaster

701 Plaster

various stages in injury management. 701plasters are the best plaster for frozen shoulder. It comes in a long roll, and you can cut off a piece with scissors. You may want two or three pieces at a time, as it won’t stick as well going around the joint. Peel off the plastic and place the plaster on the joint. You can leave it on for 24 hours. After a break for a day put another one on. Some people don’t like to walk around smelling like Chinese medicine, so they only leave it on over night.

The most easily available liniment that is useful for Frozen shoulder is Zheng Gu Shui. Like 701 plaster, Zheng Gu Shui is very warming, it panetrates the muscles and improves blood circulation. Massage the liniment in to the shoulder and the tight muscle around the shoulder, twice a day.

Click image to buy

Click image to buy

As both 701 Plasters and Zheng Gu Shui are very warming, they should not be used on acute injuries, or

when inflammation is present. However they are useful other chronic injuries and arthritis, and other aches and pains that are worse when it is cold.

Acupressure Points for Frozen Shoulder

There are a number of points on the body that you can press or massage, that speed the healing of frozen shoulder. Generally it is best to use the point on the opposite side of the body from the frozen shoulder.

TH3 is on the back of the hand, between the last two bones of the hand, just above the fingers. The point should be tender.

TH3

ST38 is on the shin, just outside of the crest of the shin bone, half way between the knee cap and the ankle.

ST38

GB39 is one hands width above the outer ankle bone, just in front of the leg bone that runs down to the ankle.

GB39

Press or massage each of these points for about one minute, two or three times a day. Do it immediately before massaging liniment into the shoulder.

Check out Tom Bisio’s book, A Tooth From The Tiger’s Mouth, for more on treating yourself for frozen shoulder and other chronic and acute injuries.

Book Review: A Tooth From The Tiger’s Mouth

by Ed

A Tooth From The Tiger's Mouth

Discover the secrets of Chinese martial arts masters for treating injuries. Whether you are a football player, a golfer or a weekend warrior, you are bound to get injured from time to time. This book will give you the tools you need for a quick and complete recovery.

For many centuries, martial artists have been studying injury management, known in China as Hit Medicine. Their wisdom and expertise, which sometimes conflicts with modern Western thinking, leads to complete recovery faster than any other system of treatment. A quick and complete recovery is important, not just to get you on your feet again, but also to to keep you healthy throughout your life. When an injury does not heal well, it can lead to problems in that area years and decades later.

A Tooth From The Tiger’s Mouth offers, for the first time in the West, a complete guide to these ancient Chinese healing techniques. The book starts with a comparison of modern medicine with traditional Chinese medicine and teaches diagnostic basics from both traditions. One example of the difference between the two is the use of ice. The Chinese say, “Ice is for dead people!” Ice causes the blood and fluids in the injured area to coagulate, causing stiffness and swelling, that can take a long time to diminish. The coagulation can also lead to adhesions, tendons and other tissues getting glued to each other. Chinese medicine offers superior alternatives for bringing down the initial swelling and inflammation.

You will also learn:

  • Therapeutic exercises for health maintenance and injury rehabilitation.
  • Herbal liniments, oils and plaster for various stages of injury.
  • Acupressure points and techniques for treating injuries.
  • Dietary advice for the healing process.
  • Unique Chinese techniques, such as momxibustion and cupping.

The section on treatment strategies includes specific chapters on ankle sprain, tendonitis, back strain, tennis elbow, sciatica, pulled hamstring, carpal tunnel syndrome, jammed finger, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tear, and many more.

This is a must have reference for anyone with an active lifestyle. In fact many injuries covered happen to people who are inactive as well, so put this valuable book on your bookshelf and use it.

A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth: How to Treat Your Injuries with Powerful Healing Secrets of the Great Chinese Warrior (Fireside Books (Fireside))

Why A River Won’t Get A Migraine

by Ed

Delaware River

Image credit: Nicholas_T

According to the 5 element system in Chinese Medicine, Migraines are a result of a disruption in the Wood element. The Wood element is responsible for smooth flow and for maintaining all of the cycles in nature. In humans, the Wood element’s flow management system is disrupted by a lack of exercise, poor diet, and, on an emotional level, by anger, frustration, and suppression of feelings.

Learn to flow like a river and your Wood element will be happy. But going with the flow is not necessarily what people think it is. Rivers are powerful: Sometimes they go around obstacles and sometimes they overcome them, but they always get where they are going.

Here are 5 techniques to overcome your migraine by going with the flow:

  • The first one is essential for the others. Learn to just feel. Feel sensations in your body. Feel emotions come and go. Notice how everything flows. When we try to damn up our feelings, both physical and emotional, we create stress in our bodies.

For 5 minutes, 4 or 5 times a day, close your eyes and practice just feeling what ever is happening in your body. Continually soften and let go. Let everything be. Sometimes this exercise is helpful during a migraine, but sometimes it only intensifies the pain, so be gentle in your exploration.

  • Become aware of the effects of food on your body. As you practice the above exercise you will become more aware of subtle changes in your body. Start paying attention to how you feel after eating. You will find that there are certain foods that your body does not like. Avoiding them will help reduce your migraines.

I have a few foods that my body doesn’t like, but I have found that the level of intolerance changes all the time. Generally, if my stress level is low and I haven’t eaten any offending foods for a while, I can get away with eating one without bringing on a migraine or other uncomfortable reaction. For the most offensive foods I always eat a small bite then check in with my body to see how it is reacting. If my body is not happy, I don’t eat any more.

  • Practice abdominal breathing. When the breath is restricted, everything is restricted. A good time to practice is at the beginning of the first exercise. Spend about two minutes breathing deeply. As you inhale allow your belly to rise more than your chest. I also like to practice before getting out of bed, after getting into bed, and during mindless chores like dish washing.SJ 5 acupressure point

  • Try acupressure on yourself. Search for tender points between the bones of the hand and foot. Massage or hold them for a minute or two each.

The two points in the pictures are particularly good. The first one, SJ 5, is between the two bones on the arm, about two inches from the wrist. The second one is between the last two bones of the foot, outside of the tendon that goes to the baby toe.

Also check out my acupressure First Aid post and this one on headaches. GB 41 acupressure point

  • Do the inner smile meditation. At the end of it, imagine breathing emerald green light into your liver. As you exhale imagine smoke coming out of your liver. The liver is the main organ of the wood element, and green is its color.

This meditation can do wonders for lowering your stress and improving flow in the Wood element. And that will reduce the severity and frequency of migraines. Do all of the above and you may eliminate migraines all together.