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TCM Pain Relief

Pain-Free Living: Exploring TCM’s Approach to Pain Relief

The demands of modern life in Singapore have made high stress levels and weaker immune systems very common problems many face today. But while you’re in the pursuit of a better quality of life, health should still remain at the top of your priorities. If you’re suffering from pain or discomfort as a result of poor lifestyle habits, look no further than the time-tested methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for pain relief! In this article, we’ll bring you closer to the wisdom of TCM, sharing how it views pain in the body and the effective strategies it employs to restore balance and promote comfortable living. 


Understanding Pain from a TCM Perspective

From a TCM viewpoint, the smooth flow of energy (Qi) and Blood is vital for good health. It is believed that when there is stagnation or blockage, problems may arise. Pain is seen as a manifestation of the obstruction in the flow of Qi and Blood, which can cause various discomforts and ailments too. 

Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, ensuring that they reach the tissues and organs to support their function. This also contributes to healing processes and alleviating pain associated with tissue damage or inflammation

There is a TCM saying that emphasises a vital principle: “不通则痛, 痛则不通” which translates to “if there are blockages in the body, there will be pain”. Once the meridian is obstructed, the smooth flow of Qi and blood becomes compromised. Consequently, the affected area lacks sufficient nourishment, leading to sensations such as pain, tingling, stiffness, bloating, or numbness. By ensuring the smooth flow of Qi and blood, one can achieve relief from pain. In fact, many techniques used in the practice are designed to address this imbalance

1. Acupuncture


Acupuncture is the representative treatment employed in TCM that can help with many issues including pain management. Whether you’re suffering from a headache, allergies, chronic pain, or even infertility and anxiety, this method can be useful. It involves inserting thin needles into specific acupoints on the body to stimulate the meridians and encourage energy flow. For example in the treatment of headaches, local acupuncture points such as Bai Hui (top of the head), Shuai Gu (above the ear) together with distal acupuncture point He Gu (on the hand) can all work together invigorate Qi in the head to relieve headaches. Not only do they increase Blood circulation, they also trigger the release of endorphins—neurotransmitters that serve as the body’s natural painkillers—to reduce pain perception and induce a sense of well-being. 

Learn More: Acupuncture vs Dry Needling: What Are the Differences?

2. Cupping Therapy


Cupping therapy focuses on increasing Blood circulation and eliminating toxins from the body, offering many benefits to your health. As multiple cups act as suctions, it pulls up the skin, creating more space in fascia. This encourages more blood and oxygen flow, breaks up scar tissues and muscular knots. It also removes metabolic wastes and brings more blood and nutrition to the muscles for faster recovery. This technique can help with relieving inflammation, pain, and muscle tension, as well as removing stagnation. 

3. Moxibustion


Moxibustion is a therapeutic technique that involves burning dried mugwort near your acupuncture points. What it does is it warms the meridians in your body and dispels Cold and Dampness to enhance Blood circulation and facilitate the smooth flow of Qi. It is an alternative and complementary solution for those seeking relief from menstrual cramps, joint pain, neuropathy, and more.

4. Gua Sha

Gua Sha On The Body

We know that gua sha has been trending in recent years for its ability to slim the face and contour the body. But beyond its aesthetic purposes, gua sha techniques can also be used to improve Blood and Qi flow. It alleviates muscle soreness and addresses common issues such as neck, back, and shoulder pain. This technique helps alleviate tension, loosen tight knots, and enhance blood circulation by employing a scraping motion on the myofascial layer surrounding and supporting muscles. By releasing blockages in Qi (vital energy), gua sha proves to be an effective method for relieving pain. A 2011 study published in the journal Pain Medicine demonstrated that gua sha provided short-term pain relief for individuals dealing with chronic neck pain, often accompanied by migraines.

In the journey towards pain-free living, TCM offers holistic solutions rooted in time-honoured principles to help you experience bodily harmony. Keen to embrace a comfortable life through natural pain management approaches? Thomson Chinese Medicine can help! 

Thomson Chinese Medicine is a TCM clinic in Singapore that specialises in a wide range of TCM solutions, designed to restore balance in your body for a better quality of life. Schedule your appointment with us today.

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