Before Surgery, Get a TCM ‘Second Opinion’
By Dr. Teresa Shen
Typically with Allopathic (Western) medicine, when you go to the doctor with a significant issue that doctor will recommend pharmaceutical drugs or surgery … or both.
Chronic pain in Chinese medicine, simply put, equates to a lack of energy. When the body is deficient in energy (qi), there’s a lack of oxygen to the cellular structures creating the feeling of weakness, even powerlessness. When the body and mind have been in pain for a long time, a nerve pathway is formed; whereby, the chemicals produced build a new threshold for pain, so neurologically, chemically and emotionally you’re wired for pain. This routine response and pathway has to be broken, likened to a path you have traveled 1,000 times, your body, mind, and spirit will naturally fall into that groove without you even trying.
If you change the way your body moves and the way you think, starting from the time you wake up, you can create the changes necessary to break the pain cycle and foster healing. It has been found that taking time to nurture yourself with deep breaths of gratitude, focusing on what “feeds you” and trusting that there is a light at the end of the tunnel you can find some peace.
- Journal what you’re feeling and release it by writing or speaking your truth
- Make time to absorb the beauty of the outdoors
- Rescue an animal if you can, or volunteer
- Don’t make excuses, make plans and dare to dream
- And most importantly, be easy on yourself, laugh really hard everyday – find ways to feed the positives!
No one said this was going to be easy, but remember, it took a long time for your body to get to where it is, now we want to go in reverse. If you want real change you have to decide that, and celebrate every small change you make, that’s Life-giving.
Chinese medicine can be the perfect companion on your journey to optimal wellness and can kick-start your “qi” and unblock “stuck” energy wherever we find it and quicken the process of healing. Stuck energy is also directly related to our habits…which will be discussed in another post. At EMC we combine either acupressure, craniosacral therapy, or cupping to move the circulation and create lymphatic drainage. We can also pair these with acupuncture, to stimulate and awaken the natural energy that is lodged in your body’s “channels.” Stagnation directly affects your health and your life in general.
How do I determine the energy channels I will use to facilitate health? I will explore your history, down to your personality, and go as deep as you want to to address the root causes of your chronic pain; you will be completely respected. The more I can learn about you, the easier it is to find the channels we want to balance.
So with this type of low energy (chronic pain) body, do invest in yourself and in multiple, consistent treatments. If your kitchen pipes were clogged with accumulation of heavy-duty fat due to regularly treating your pipes with precautions and natural pipe-cleaning remedies, the system stops flowing altogether, or becomes inhibited. The time to dislodge blockages in the body and generate qi will depend on how we address the process. Please do not give up because I will not give up on you. EMC will be your support system and help you keep the right mindset!
In terms of postoperative pain control, acupuncture treatment can:
- Completely relieve or provide relief by reducing pain levels
- Improve the ability to deal with pain by assisting your emotions
- Control local tissue swelling
- Shorten the resolution of hematoma
- Regulate the appetite
- Strengthen energy
- Increase participation in usual functions
- Enhance your quality of life
- Minimize side effects of the anesthesia
- Lower the dosage and reliance of painkillers post-op
- Minimize use of other medications associated with pain and side effects
- Stimulate rapid recovery to functional activities after the operation
Our goal at Eastern Medical Center is to raise awareness about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine as a “second opinion” before undergoing costly and traumatic surgery or starting an oftentimes lifelong regimen of taking toxic drugs. There is a totally natural option in many cases that saves money and health.
This could be a chronic illness or a bad knee or a shoulder problem. Whatever the diagnosis, people need to know that their body is intelligent and understands how to heal itself. There’s likely just some sort of block preventing energy and blood flow from reaching the affected area.
Healing happens naturally … and we’re here to give the body the help it needs to heal without radical medical intervention. Because when the body is brought back into balance—when the root of the problem is reached—all those symptoms go away.
Sometimes surgery is necessary. Even then, in the case of surgical procedures to correct degenerated, bulging or ruptured discs of the neck and lower back, acupuncture helps the management of post-operative pain.
So, the next time you hear someone say they need surgery or have been prescribed drugs by their doctor, mention they might want a “second opinion” from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which, by the way, has been in practice 4,000+ more years than Allopathic medicine.
For more information, please see Dr. Sun Pei-Lin’s book, The Management of Post-Operative Pain With Acupuncture.
Acupuncture combined with Laser Therapy and CranioSacral Therapy (CST) has proven to be very effective in accelerating your recovery and reducing pain levels.
THOR Laser Therapy:
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is one of the most important developments in life sciences since the discovery of penicillin. It dramatically reduces musculoskeletal pain, and inflammation as well as promoting tissue repair and enhancing the immune system wherever the laser beam is applied.
It is a common misconception that medical laser treatments are destructive or tissue-heating procedures (such as cauterizing, ablating or excising tissue). The effects of LLLT are not thermal, they are photochemical. It is not a destructive procedure but is more comparable to photosynthesis in plants.
The mechanism can be described in three steps:
Secondary effect: The primary effects lead to a cascade of indirect effects on cell signaling such as exchange of calcium ions, secretion of growth factors, activation of enzymes and other secondary messengers.
Tertiary effect: Neutrophils macrophages mast cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, keratinocytes and leukocytes have all been shown to be influenced by LLLT in-vivo. This is true for all cells with mitochondria, but results depend on the local environment. Healthy cells show little or no response whereas cells in hypoxic or other stressed states are more likely to show some change. There are also measurable changes in blood flow, a reduction in apoptosis, necrosis and protection of cells after ischemic injury.
The three main clinical benefits in musculoskeletal injuries and wounds are:
Tissue repair: Rapid regeneration of skin, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone and neural tissue. Inflammation: Resolution of inflammation at least equal to NSAIDS but without the side effects.
Analgesia: Temporary inhibition of nerve conduction in small and medium diameter peripheral nerve fibers.
Eastern Medical Center’s three step treatment method:
Local: Stimulation of a wound or injury with LLLT will promote repair and reduce inflammation. Lymphatics: Stimulation of lymphatics reduces edema and stimulates the immune system.
Spine: Treatment of the spinous process’ induces a 48-hour neural blockade (analgesia)
reducing central sensation (pain memory).
LLLT: Has undergone over 1,000 published laboratory studies and is already proven in over 100 successful random double blind, controlled clinical trials published in peer-reviewed medical journals. These trials include pathologies as diverse as osteoarthritis, sports injuries, neuropathic pain syndromes, back and neck pain, diabetic and venous wound healing.
Packages: We offer numerous cost-saving packages