Acupuncture for Injury
Acupuncture is used to speed up the healing process by removing blood stasis, clearing heat, reducing pain and swelling, and invigorating the affected channels. Acupuncturists who have been trained in Traditional Chinese medicine view injuries in a different way than do MDs or physical therapist. Physical therapist and MDs follow the lead of athletic trainers in determining the best way of treating injuries, where as acupuncturists use techniques to treat injuries developed by Taoist monks trained in martial arts. This healing art is known as dit da yao or tieh ta yao which basically mean "hit medicine"
CHINESE HERBAL HIT MEDICINES
Three Stages of Injury
Treatment will vary for each person and circumstance and must be appropriate for each stage.
First stage treatment can employ electro-acupuncture as well as internal and topical herbs to increase flow. If the affected area is red or swollen, points are chosen to drain the excess. Ice is seldom used as it restricts flow at this critical stage. Flow is encouraged to reduce stagnation and swelling. Soaking is discouraged when swelling is present, as it will worsen the swelling. Swellings can be addressed with acupuncture and herbal poultices that disperse damp and vitalize blood and qi. Heat is also not generally applied in the first stages, especially if the injury looks red or feels warm to the touch.
In the second stage we continue to promote flow, and begin to strengthen the qi of the tissue. Acupuncture will vitalize blood to promote flow, relieve pressure and loosen stagnations. Herbs used to promote the flow of water and disperse energy at the surface will be added to reduce possible swelling. Massage, painful in the first stage, is much more useful here to aid the movement of energy and fluids.
In the third stage, the site of the injury will be weak due to long-term insufficient nourishment. At this stage, acupuncture is both supplementing and vitalizing, moxabustion (heat) treatments are most helpful as they supply the missing qi in the form of heat energy.
Topical Herbal Medicine for First Stage Injury
Topical Herbal Medicine for Second Stage Injury
Topical Herbal Medicine for Third Stage Injuries
Points are selected according to the location of the injury. At least three points are used. One on the spot of the injury, called the ashi point. This need not be an actual acupuncture point. The second is an actual acupuncture point near the site of the injury. The third is on the channel, distal to the injury. For example, a shoulder injury might use a point on the shoulder exactly where the pain is, plus LI 15 OR 16 and LI 6. (see picture)