A seven point formula — for all types of pain. Add other points according to the location of the pain, i.e., shoulder, knee, low back, ovaries, and according to other signs and symptoms.
1. Shenmen — pain in Oriental medicine is due to stagnation of Qi. There are many factors that can lead to this stagnation, such as Heat, Cold, Blood deficiency, and more.5 The Heart according to Zang-fu theory governs the Blood and is responsible for its movement. The Qi follows the Blood, thus Stagnation and its clinical manifestation of pain can be treated through the use of Shenmen, which is analogous to treating the Heart.
2. Sympathetic — the Sympathetic point stimulates the dilation of blood vessels, thereby reducing swelling, congestion, and inflammation, common characteristics of pain.
3. Diaphragm — this is a major point for treating Qi and Blood Stagnation that lead to pain. The Diaphragm point assists breathing, and this moves the Qi of the Lungs and Liver by way of the control cycle. The use of the Diaphragm point is equivalent to opening the Dai channel, a channel regulating Qi and Blood flow throughout the entire body by way of the three Jiaos. Use the Diaphragm point to promote homeostasis and redirect the Blood back to its proper pathway.
4. Brain — the Brain point regulates all body systems thereby reducing pain, shock, and inflammation that are characteristics of pain.
5. Adrenal — the Adrenal point is used for pain, shock, and inflammation. It regulates hormones that may be involved in the pain manifestation.
6. Liver — Liver promotes free flowingness of Qi, thereby regulating the Blood. The lack of such patency produces pain.
7. Relax muscle — this is a special point within the Liver area that addresses the muscular component of pain by relaxing the muscles.
Perform an ear needle treatment in the office to activate the flow of Qi and Blood and to reduce pain. Tonify or sedate based upon the characteristics of the pain, i.e., whether coming from excess or deficiency. Do an ear pellet treatment in the opposite ear for treatment at home. Retain the take-home treatment for 3 to 5 days, and have the patient press on the pellet 3 to 5 times a day for 3 to 5 seconds. If the patient is needle sensitive, only needle the Sympathetic point or the point that you think might bring the greatest relief, or simply use pellets. If the patient’s complaint is due to a disorder that requires surgery, explain to the patient that the ear modality is being used for pain management until surgery, and has not been provided to mask the pain or to replace surgery. If the pain is in the chest or heart and there is a Phlegm component, do not use Shenmen.
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