A Look at Chronic Pain & Injuries through Traditional Chinese Medicine

A Look at Chronic Pain & Injuries  through Traditional Chinese Medicine

ALL ABOUT PAIN:

“BU TONG ZE TONG, TONG ZE BU TONG”

“OBSTRUCTION CAUSES PAIN, IF THERE IS NO OBSTRUCTION THERE IS NO PAIN”

4 Aspects of Pain:

  1. Location– what specific channel, where pain radiates, etc

Localized: Phlegm, Blood stasis, obstruction of Cold/Dampness

Moving pain: Qi stagnation, Wind in the joints

  1. Nature– heavy, tingling, sharp, dull, etc

Mild: Deficiency (due to malnourishment of channels-alleviated by rest)

Sharp/severe/intense: Fullness (due to obstruction of channels by

Pathogenic factors-see below)

Pathogenic factors that obstruct the circulation of Qi & Blood causing pain:

  1. Exterior pathogenic factor
  2. Interior Cold or Heat
  3. Stagnation of Qi
  4. Stasis of Blood
  5. Dampness
  6. Phlegm
  7. Retention of Food

Types of Pain:

-Soreness: Deficiency (four limbs or trunk) or Dampness

-Pain with heaviness feeling: Dampness or Phlegm (limbs, head or whole body)

-Distending pain: Qi stagnation (hypochondrium, chest, head)

-Pain with emptiness feeling: Qi & Blood deficiency or Kidney deficiency (head)

-Pain with cold feeling: Cold or Yang deficiency (limbs)

-Burning pain: Heat or Empty-Heat (limbs)

-Spastic pain: Liver-Blood deficiency with Liver-Qi stagnation (limbs), Liver Yang

Rising (head)

-Pulling pain: Liver-Wind (head)

-Throbbing pain: Liver-Yang rising (head)

-Boring pain: Blood stasis (head, chest, hypochondrium)

-Lurking pain: Qi & Blood deficiency or Empty-Cold in the Interior (lower back)

  1. Timing– first wake up, at night, constant, random, etc

Daytime: Dysfunction of Qi and Blood

Pain at Night: Yin deficiency or Blood stasis

Intermittent Pain: Qi deficiency or Qi stagnation

Continuous Pain: Blood stasis

  1. Response to pressure and temperature– better when rubbed, dislike touch, aggravated by cold and rainy weather, heat helps the pain, etc. 

Worse with pressure: Full condition

Better with pressure: Empty condition

Better with warmth: Cold or Yang deficiency (low back, joints)

Better with cold: No pain generally, except acute joint sprains

Better with movement: Qi stagnation or Cold

Worse with movement: Qi and Blood deficiency

Better with rest: Qi and Blood deficiency

Worse with rest: Qi stagnation, Blood stasis, Cold

TREATMENT:

In channel problems, the use of local points only might sometimes be sufficient but it is much more common to balance the local points with distal points. The distal points actually play an important role in clearing the channel from obstructions. Obstructions may be from exterior Cold, Dampness or Wind or from stagnation of Qi, Blood or Phlegm. 

Channel pairings: (Great for balancing unilateral pain with paired channel on opposite side of the body). Unilateral good to move qi and blood. Bilateral to tonify qi and nourish qi and Blood. 

Yangming LI-ST

Taiyang UB-SI

Shaoyang: GB-SJ

Taiyin: LU-SP

Jueyin: LV-PC

Shaoyin: KD-HT

Anatomical Mirrored connections:

Shoulder-Hip

Elbow-Knee

Wrist-Ankle

Herbs & Supplements at LCA to help with Chronic Pain & Injuries 

Cal-Amo

Alkalosis, joint pains, bursitis, allergies, asthma, system acidifier. COMMENTARY: Systemic acidifier, acid forming salts of the blood stream, calcium and ammonium chloride. This is an acidifying compound. It provides the chlorides which maintain the acidity of the system. Alkalosis is involved in conditions of asthma, allergy, arthritis, bursitis, joint issues, infections, etc. If the fluid of the body is too alkaline, calcium precipitates out of solution and forms deposits in various places throughout the body. So calcium forms deposits if the pH is too high, as well as in a deficiency of phosphorus. Actually, the deficiency of phosphorus would be a contributing factor in the alkalosis. Phosfood Liquid would be used in addition to Cal-Amo if phosphorus was low. 

Calcifood Powder

Osteoporosis, broken bones and bone deformation, dental problems, protein – mineral – enzyme deficiencies. Provides calcium and phosphorus. COMMENTARY: Calcifood is biologically active through careful cold processing. Supports bones, teeth and related tissue. Source of calcium and phosphorus, protein, enzymes (all raw). This is calcium and phosphorus as provided by nature. It’s made out of bone, so if you want to build bone, this is what you use. For building bones and teeth, Calcifood POWDER is ideal – calcium and phosphorus in the correct proportion. Can help people that are nervous and jumpy with no energy, fatigued and worn-out all the time. Calcifood helps build red blood cells as those are built in the marrow. It’s our best single product for supporting bones and teeth.

Calcium Lactate 

Use for soft tissue repair, hemorrhage. Someone with a calcium deficiency getting dental caries, rheumatoid type of arthritis and deteriorating bones. Fevers, infections, cramps, hyperthyroidism, osteoporosis, herpes, canker sores, coughing, insomnia, during pregnancy, child supplement, physiological relaxer. SYNERGISTS: Cataplex D, Cataplex F COMMENTARY: There is more calcium in the human body than all of the other minerals combined. More calcium supplements are sold than any other mineral, but most of them are not absorbed from the GI tract. Calcium Lactate is a very absorbable form of calcium and magnesium in a 5-1 ratio. It is a source of ionizable calcium, magnesium, muscle contraction, nerve impulse and blood coagulation. This is not a dairy product as it contains no whey or lactose and is safe for people allergic to milk products. 

Cataplex B 

Nerve conductivity disturbance, anemia, bundle branch block, skipped heart beat, blood sugar imbalances, hypotension, poor muscle tonicity, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, twitches and vasomotor control, drug and alcohol use, depression and anxiety. SYNERGISTS: Organically Bound Minerals, Cataplex G (other vit B complex), St. John’s Wort 1.8g COMMENTARY: Alcohol soluble B vitamin complex factors, source of vitamin B, increases nerve motor conductivity, vasoconstriction, carbohydrate metabolism, oxidation of lactic and pyruvic acids. The primary factor is called vitamin B4 (an anti-paralysis vitamin) vitamin B4 is a nerve-promoting factor – it improves the transmission of nerve impulses. 

Cataplex E2 

Angina pectoris, muscle fatigue, tissue oxygen starvation, aerobic type exercise, high altitude discomfort. COMMENTARY: Heart and muscle oxygen modulation. This product is a phospholipid, which enhances oxygen utilization by the body. JOHN COURTNEY: This is a special fraction of the vitamin E complex. Most cramps are due to calcium deficiency. However, tissue oxygen starvation is also a factor. E2 gets oxygen into the area to relax the muscle. This can be used to relax any muscle cramp, but it’s especially effective to relax cramps in the muscles of the heart. 

Cataplex G 

Numbness, hypertension, angina pectoris, paresthesia, liver disease, stress syndrome, B vitamin related mental illness, hyperactivity, pregnancy, nerve regeneration. SYNERGISTS: Organically Bound Minerals. COMMENTARY: Cataplex G contains the vitamin B complex factors, which are not soluble in alcohol. You can see that G is made from different food sources than Cataplex B. Cataplex G contains the lipotrophic factors, such as Choline and Inositol (factors that metabolize fat). Cataplex G is a vasodilator. It opens up the blood vessels by relaxing the nerves in the vessels. Cataplex G is for a person with high blood pressure — the tense, coronary-type person. Nerve relaxing B vitamins, vasodilation, fat metabolism, supports nervous system.

Cod Liver Oil 

General immune and body systems support, Source of Omega-3 fatty acids and natural occurring vitamin A and D, Diabetes, Pain and inflammation, Breast health, Bone health. COMMENTARY: Most Cod Liver Oil products on the market have been stripped of their naturally occurring vitamins, essential fats, and other natural co-factors. They add back synthetic vitamins and EFA’s in order to show extraordinarily high levels of vitamin D and EFA’s that gives the product a great label claim. Standard Process Cod Liver Oil has not been stripped of its naturally occurring properties, so you have the added benefit of supplying not only an excellent source of naturally occurring Omega-3’s (vitamin F, DHA, & EPA) but also the natural vitamin A factors. It also has natural vitamin D factors and coenzyme Q10. There is a vast difference between the clinical performance of the cod liver oil and purified or synthetic Vitamin D.” This product is great for children as well – the perle can be punctured and it tastes excellent with the natural lemon flavor. The research dates back several hundred years proving the benefits of CLO for curing Rickets and many other conditions. Modern research has shown CLO is very effective in supporting many conditions such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Breast health, and Pain and Inflammation.

 

Great Mender

Jin Gu Die Da Shang Wan *Contraindicated during pregnancy or while taking blood thinners.* 

Western Symptomatology: Occasional muscle spasm, injuries to bones/tendons/ligaments/muscles.  Systemically aids the body in healing of traumatic injury and the strengthening of the tendons and bones

Actions: Promotes blood circulation, moves Blood stasis, clears Heat, nourishes the sinews, bones and tendons, nourishes the Liver and Kidneys 

Pattern: Blood stagnation, Kidney and Liver deficiency 

Meridian Circulation 

Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang 

Pain, discomfort, soreness, achiness, numbness, cramps, swelling, impaired flexibility. Limitations of movement that affect the lower and upper back, limbs or joints. Chronic arthritis, chronic low back pain, sciatica, post-operative pain. Raynaud’s disease. Autoimmune diseases Actions: Expels Wind Damp Cold from meridians, benefits Kidney and Liver, strengthens tendons and bones, alleviates impediment (Bi) pain 

Pattern: Wind Damp Cold impediment, Bi Syndrome with pain, vacuous Kidney and Liver, weakened tendons and bones 

Meridian Comfort 

Gui Zhi Jia Ge Gen Tang & Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang 

Chronic pain, achiness, numbness, cramping or heaviness in the muscles, tendons and joints of the neck, shoulders, back or lower extremities. Difficulty moving, rotating or bending. Fibromyalgia, severe neck tension, tendonitis, repetitive strain injury including post-surgical pain. Chronic fatigue syndrome, connective tissue disorders and post-viral syndromes. 

Actions: Expels Wind, Damp and Cold obstructing the meridians and moves the Blood. Balances interaction between nutritive Qi and protective Qi 

Pattern: Wind Damp and Cold obstruction in the meridians, Blood stagnation, disharmony between nutritive Ying Qi and protective Wei Qi 

Meridian Passage

Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang & Mo Yao Xiang Sheng Dan 

*Contraindicated in pregnancy or hemorrhaging* 

Chinese Symptomatology: Immobile, stabbing, severe pain, traumatic injury. Shoulder pain, upper or lower back pain, sore legs, entire body pain. Injury, sprain, torn tendons, broken bones, cramps, soreness, sharp pain in skin and muscles, sports injuries. Ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and fibrocystic breast disease 

Actions: Quickens the Blood, dissipates congealed Blood, opens and penetrates the meridians, reduces swelling, promotes healing, alleviates pain, reduces feelings of separateness 

Pattern: Congealed Blood with pain, swelling and masses, traumatic injury, fractures 

Phosfood Liquid

Parasympathetic Nervous System dominant patients, hypothyroidism, calcium carbonate deposits, joint stiffness, bursitis, excessive secretions, gout, osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, elevated blood viscosity, tartar accumulation on teeth, kidney stones. COMMENTARY: Excess dental tartar levels are a classic sign of phosphorus deficiency. Elevated blood calcium, high blood viscosity, calcium stones, and calcifications are indicators of possible need. Source of ortho-phosphoric acid with Inositol, normalizes calcium/phosphorus ratio (10/4), lowers blood viscosity, Sympathetic Nervous System support, systemic acidifier, Krebs energy cycle stimulant, gland accelerator, kidney support. 

Turmeric Forte 

Provides a bioavailable form of curcumin through the use of a specialized ingredient known as Curcuma-Galactomannosides (CGM) which, by combining Turmeric rhizome with Fenugreek seed extract creates “free curcumin”. Several clinical studies have demonstrated the enhanced absorption and bioavailability of this curcumin-fenugreek extracted ingredient compared to “unformulated” curcumin. Traditionally used to support healthy joints. Supports the body’s normal detoxification and antioxidant processes.

Topical Herbs at LCA to help with Chronic Pain & Injuries

Cut & Sore Ointment 

This formula is a modification of Sheng Ji Yu Hong Gao (“Engender Flesh Jade Red Ointment”) found in Shang Ke Zheng Zong (“Assembly of Orthodox Traumatology”). 

Functions: Clears heat and resolves toxins, moves the blood and stops pain, engenders flesh and eliminates putridity 

Contraindications: Do not apply to profusely weeping or suppurating sores. 

Method of Use: Apply to open cuts or sores one or more times per day. Both olive and castor oils resolve toxins, engender flesh, and eliminate putridity. For external use only. Not for internal consumption.

Dr. Bob’s medicated oil

Adults and children two years of age and older: Apply to affected area not more than 3-4 times daily. Chinese Symptomatology: moves the qi, quickens the blood, disperses inflammation and stops pain and itching.

Western Symptomatology: Arthritis, Bruising, Fractures, Joint Pain, Sprains/Soft Tissue Injuries (acute, sub-acute or chronic). 

Actions: move the qi, quickens the blood, stimulates the qi and blood, cools and clears heat, warms and frees the flow of the channels and vessels, when used topically, it also resolves toxins and emolliates and softens the skin.

Pain Terminator herbal patch

Topical Analgesic with menthol and wintergreen

Indications: For the temporary relief of minor aches of muscles and joints associated with: simple backache, arthritis, strains, bruises, sprains, menstrual pain. 

Directions: For adults and children 6 and older. Clean the affected area before use. Can be cut to size. Peel off film and cover affected area with patch. Keep on for up to 8 hours under normal conditions. Users with sensitive skin should test on a small area first.

Po Sum On Oil or Balm

Adults and children 2 years of age and older: Apply to affected area not more than 3 to 4 times daily. Apply this Chinese herbal medicated oil to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains of muscles and joints due to simple backache, arthritis, strains, bruises and sprains. For the temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscles and joints due to: -simple backache -arthritis -strains -bruises – sprains. Ingredients Menthol 15%, Baikal Skullcap Root, Chinese Licorice Root, Cinnamon Oil, Dragon’s Blood Resin, Peppermint Oil, and Tea Oil.

White Flower Oil

White Flower Analgesic Balm (also called Pak Fah Yeow) is made from a traditional blend of aromatic herbs such as lavender and mint. 

Functions: Moves qi, invigorates blood, dredges and opens the channels and collaterals, relieves pain. 

Indications: Use as a topical liniment for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with simple backache, arthritis and strains, and for wind cold damp bi syndrome causing stiffness. It can be applied to joints and lower back for aches and pains. It can also be applied topically to the temples to relieve headache, and to the sides of the nose to relieve nasal congestion/sinus headaches.

This cooling balm helps relieve pains made worse from poor circulation or inclement weather. It is also effective for alleviating itching and discomfort associated with mosquito and bug bites. 

Wu Yang Plasters 

Cut to size, remove plastic backing and apply. Contraindications Not for internal use. Certain skin sensitive patients may react to this product: remove in the event of heat or itching so as to avoid a skin reaction 

Chinese Symptomatology: Bruising;Swelling;Traumatic Injury;Sprain;Fracture;Backache Western Symptomatology: Bone fracture;Sprains;Arthritis 

Actions: Invigorates blood, breaks up blood stasis, clears heat, subdues yang, strengthens tendon and bone, dredges and opens the channels and collaterals, relieves pain. 

Chinese name: Die Da Zhi Tong Gao English name: Traumatic Injury Stop Pain Plaster

Yunnan Baiyao Capsule

For wounds, pain, and hemorrhage. Stops bleeding, dispels blood stasis, disperses swelling, clears heat, resolves toxins, relieves pain. Use internally for swelling, bruising or bleeding in acute trauma. Also useful in other bleeding disorders including postpartum hemorrhage, nosebleed, blood in urine or stool, bleeding ulcer, and menorrhagia. Can be used internally for infected wounds or for postpartum blood stasis. Also used for wind-damp bi syndromes (arthritis and rheumatism), and promoting circulation in the muscles. Apply topically as an emergency or first aid medicine to stop bleeding in traumatic wounds, and to prevent infection. This product is antibacterial as well as homeostatic. Cuts heal quickly with even a single application, and with a butterfly bandage it can help seal smaller wounds that might otherwise require stitches. It heals oozing wounds and damaged blood vessels, while expelling pus and counteracting toxins. It is also used for traumatic swelling or bruising, or for other blood disorders including thrombocytopenic purpura and leukemia. Unlike Western pain drugs, Yunnan Baiyao does not turn off pain centers in the brain, but instead facilitates circulation, bringing oxygen to the injury. In various clinical studies, it has shown to reduce clotting time by 33% to 55%.

Zheng Gu Shui (spray)

Zheng Gu Shui means “bone-setting water/liquid.” This external analgesic is known to relieve blood stagnation, promote healing, and soothe pain. Promote the healing of broken bones. If the skin is not broken, applied topically to relieve pain until the bone is set at the hospital. Injuries, including those involving muscle and nerve pain. The most common indications are traumatic injuries, bruises, and sprains. Carpal tunnel, arthritis. Relaxes tendons and muscles, and reduce swelling. Camphor, menthol, alcohol, polygonum cuspidatum, camphor wood, fragrant angelica, moghania, zedoary, san-qi ginseng, and water.