With the circuit breaker, TCM treatments that require close contact with patients such as acupuncture, cupping, guasha and tuina are now prohibited. Considering the current situation, what can you do at home to manage your pain during this period?
Our physicians share some simple ways to help ease your pain for common issues such as headache, stiff neck and shoulders, lower back pain, trigger-finger, heel pain and menstrual cramps.
What Causes Pain in TCM Terms?
Pain is usually caused by some form of obstruction in meridians. In Singapore, a common root cause of pain issues is dampness and cold that results from either the environment you surround yourself in (such as air-conditioning) or over consumption of cold drinks and food. The general idea of treating pain problems due to cold is to provide heat. Heat can improve the blood circulation and unblock the meridians by expelling the cold thus relieving pain.
Acupressure Points and Lifestyle Tips to Ease Pain
A simple way to ease your pain is by stimulating several acupressure points that can be easily located on yourself. Using your fingers, press firmly onto the acupressure points for a minute or two. You may feel a sore and heavy sensation. Take deep breaths and relax as you are stimulating the points. For best results, remember to press them every day.
Apart from these specific guidelines, it is important to avoid cold drinks, ice-cream, cold vegetables (e.g. bitter gourds and Chinese cabbage) and cold fruits (e.g. watermelons, pineapples, kiwis).
Stiff Neck or Lower Backache
- Apply a heat-pack on the problem area until the pain is eased. If a heat-pack is not available, a hair dryer can also be used.
- Apply some rheumatism paste on the problem area and use a porcelain spoon to perform simple scrapping/guasha until the spot turns slightly red.
- For low back pain, acupressure on the acupoint Yao Tong Dian 腰痛点 may also help to relieve the pain.
Location: This is a pair point. On the back of the hand, find the midway between the wrist crease and knuckle joint. The points are located between the second and the third metacarpal (finger) bones, and between the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones. Four acupoints in all on both hands.
Trigger-Fingers and Heel Pain
Prepare a pail of warm water – this water should be as warm as possible, but without burning yourself. Soak both hands and/or legs into the water, and gently move and stretch affected area until the water cools off. It is recommended to do on a daily basis before you sleep.
- Use a heat-pack to cover the belly button area
- Apply moxibustion “heat” therapy technique:
- Burn one end of a moxibustion stick
- Keep a distance of about 3cm above the skin and hover in a circular movement surrounding the belly button area.
- Keep the moxibustion stick further away if it gets too hot, and continue for about 10 minutes. Remember to tap off excess ashes while doing as it may drop onto the skin and form blisters.
Use these 2 acupressure points to ease headache.
- Location of He Gu合谷: On the back of both hands, between the first and the second metacarpal bones, approximately in the middle of the second metacarpal bone on the radial side. Basically, the sore point between the wedge of the 1st and 2nd. Caution: Avoid pressing He Gu 合谷 acupoint if you are pregnant.
- Location of Zu San Li 足三里: On outer sides of both legs. 4 fingers width below the lower border of the knee cap and 1 finger width away from the shin bone.