Traditional Chinese Medicine: Exercise & Stretching Acupuncture for Pain Management

North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine - Acupuncture Clinic in Beverly, MA

Traditional Chinese Medicine: Exercise & Stretching

Acupuncture for Pain Management

For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture have been used for the treatment of pain conditions. When acupuncture is combined with regular exercise and stretching the effects of acupuncture are even more powerful. Cardiovascular exercise is typically seen as a benefit within TCM, however, according to TCM too much vigorous exercise is depleting. This is especially true during the summer months, as sweating/perspiring too much depletes Qi energy. Qi energy is necessary for vibrant health.

What types of exercises should I do?

Brisk walking: According to American College of Sports Medicine, adults should exercise at moderate-intensity for at least 30 minutes five days each week. Multiple studies have found that walking reduces risk of cardiovascular events by 31%! People who walklonger distances, walk at a faster pace, receive the greatest protection against cardiovasular events. If you are suffering from knee pain or osteoarthritis, walking has been shown to rebuild joints, as cartilage is compressed and decompressed, which restores vital nutrients back into the joint. Additionally, walking helps you lose weight, which takes pressure off of the joints. Less pressure equals less pain.

Acupuncture and TCM recommends regular movement and exercise to sustain adequate Qi-energy flow (blood flow and circulation), additionally, the effects of regular movement and exercise can also correlate to improved mental health and overall wellness. By exercising regularly there is not only an increase in vital flow of Qi-energy, but also a reduction in dampness within the body. Dampness can be seen as excess weigh, and can affect mood by causing patients to feel more sluggish, foggy headed, and even depressed. It is not advised to sustain continued vigorous exercise for long durations of time or to participate in exercise that promotes excessive amounts of sweating. This type of exercise can deplete the amount of Qi and Yin in our bodies. Yin plays a large role in the amount of blood and other vital fluids that are contained within the body and acupuncture meridians. Vigorous exercise is depleting of this vital energy source and this negatively impacts physical and mental health. Acupuncture and TCM is all about balance, and this is true even when it comes to exercise. Some amount of vigorous exercise can be recommended in bursts, but is typically not recommended to be sustained. Whereas, brisk walking is seen as a balance to both ends of the extremes.

Stretching: Flexibility is extremely important to your health. Regular stretching helps you stay flexible and move better as you age. According to ACSM stretching each major muscle group at least two times per week is recommended. Stretches can be either dynamic stretches or static stretches. Dynamic stretching is typically performed prior to exercise, and is performed to prepare the body for exercise. Static stretching on the other hand is typically performed post-exercise as a means for recovery. Both dynamic and static stretching increase range of motion (ROM) and improve overall flexibility. If you are having postural or activities are becoming a problem, make a habit to stretch those muscles regularly. Unfortunately, for those who work in a sitted position all day, you make have side effects such as, overall back pain, neck pain, and lower back pain. Fortunately, acupuncture and regular stretching can provide pain relief!

Acupuncture for Pain Management:

At North Shore Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, we utilize acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, craniosacral therapy, and Reiki to provide relief from your pain conditions. Acupuncture works to treat the root of the condition and not just the symptoms. Therefore, we use acupuncture points across multiple meridians and not just at the site of the pain. The effects of acupuncture can be felt even after one acupuncture treatment, and there are limited to no side effects. Acupuncture is an excellent choice for those looking for pain relief without drugs or surgery. During an acupuncture treatment, you will likely experience a sense of calm, relaxation, and mental-clarity. The reason for these experiences is that acupuncture works to reset and restore harmony to the central nervous system. In addition to pain, acupuncture works to lower stress, anxiety, and many other health conditions that can promote disease and illness, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Disease and illness within the body interfere with sleep, work, and overall quality of life. The interference can lead to additional stress, anxiety, and even depression further impacts your quality of life.

Make the choice today to manage your pain, so you can live a vibrant life full of health and wellness! Learn more about our acupuncture clinic located within the heart of the North Shore community.