In this article, I will explain how you can get the maximum benefit from your treatments, specifically acupuncture combined with massage and how they can complement each other.
Acupuncture is an ancient holistic treatment which can work very well alongside a variety of western medical therapies.
Sports massage fights stress, tight muscles, pain and eases muscle fatigue. Acupuncture looks at re-balancing the whole body and uses various techniques to relieve pain.
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
The theory of acupuncture is that energy (Qi and Blood) flows through 12 meridians throughout the body. Any blockage or disruption to this flow leads to an imbalance in the body and resulting ill-health. An acupuncturist like me uses very fine needles on specific points on the body to connect with this energy and clear or redirect the Qi or if necessary reinvigorate it.
WHAT IS SPORTS MASSAGE?
Sports massage is designed to assist in treating imbalances and problematic areas in the soft tissue. These are caused by repetitive and strenuous activity, factors that affect everyone in their daily life, not just athletes!
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE HELP MUSCLE/JOINT PAIN?
When dealing with muscle or joint pain, I would first diagnose which of the meridians are experiencing problems and look at relieving the problem. This is why your practitioner may put a needle in your foot or your hand when dealing with shoulder pain.
I would want to know how the pain feels to you. Is it burning, boring, aching, shooting?
These descriptions give me a strong indication as to whether I’m dealing with
- an excess problem, e.g. blood stagnation within the muscles which I have to relieve
- or whether we are looking at muscle fatigue whereby I have to nourish and strengthen the muscle.
WHICH OTHER ACUPUNCTURE TECHNIQUES WOULD A THERAPIST USE?
I often use Gua Sha when dealing with muscle or joint pain. Gua Sha is a scraping technique which brings heat and stagnation to the surface. Although in some cases you might require several treatments, relief is often immediate.
Cupping has a similar effect to Gua Sha but can pull out stagnation from deeper in the body. I often use sliding cups, attaching them lightly to the body and then moving them up and down along the meridians. This helps clear blockages and improves the energy flow.
Moxabustion can be used to warm and nourish muscles and joints. I have found in the past that if a patient is suffering from pain having had metal put in following an injury moxa warms the area and helps dissipate the pain.
Electro-acupuncture is another treatment which may be used for muscle or joint pain.
Tuina Massage is a massage style based on Chinese acupuncture points and meridians. An ancient healing art, it uses the hands to press on key points on the surface of the body to stimulate the body’s own natural healing process. Practitioners utilise and direct Qi through their hands into points along the channels. When they stimulate these points, they release tension and increase the body’s circulation of blood and nutrients to help the body heal itself.
HOW TO USE ACUPUNCTURE COMBINED WITH MASSAGE
Your practitioner may advise you to try a different therapy to complement what they are doing and sometimes they will be able to recommend someone to you.
Make sure that your therapists are communicating with each other (with your permission of course), to ensure that the treatments they are giving you are working together to achieve the desired outcome.
PREPARING FOR AN ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT
About Jackie Graham Acupuncture in Ealing
Jackie Graham is a licensed acupuncturist working in Ealing W5 and W13. She is passionate about helping people towards good health. You can also find Jackie at the Bridge to Health Ealing clinic. To discuss your condition and to book an appointment call her on 07733 274745