It is estimated that back problems affect about 70% of our population.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), seven out of 10 people have back problems during their lifetime and this cause has become the second leading reason for going to the doctor. Back pain is also responsible for 50% of cases of physical disability in the adult population, leading 400,000 Portuguese to miss work per year.
Note that Sciatica is the name given to the pain you feel when inflammation of the sciatic nerve (a large bilateral nerve that extends from the lower back to the feet). Depending on the location of the affected vertebra and nerve, this pain is usually felt from the back or lateral side of the thigh and may extend to the feet. In addition to pain, there may be numbness and difficulty in moving and controlling the leg. The pain is usually concentrated in one leg.
There are different causes for sciatica, including spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back) and the most common, the existence of disc hernias (often located between L4-L5 or L5-S1).
Treatment in Western medicine includes anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, lumbar injections and physical therapy. In more severe cases, surgery is indicated.
In traditional Chinese medicine, a natural and holistic approach, the combination of some techniques such as acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping therapy and / or massage is often used. In our view, it is first necessary to know and understand how pain manifests itself: when it arises, when it gets worse, how it improves, if it tends to get worse with cold (or with heat), if the client wakes up better or worse from the pain. among several other issues. In my opinion, it is also necessary to review dialy routines, which often include inappropriate postures that aggravate the problem. Also overweight may be one of the reasons for the manifestation of this symptomatology.
It should be noted that this is undoubtedly one of the main reasons that lead someone to seek help in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, seeking answers to the most often chronic problems, without improvement or evolution. The quality of life the customer regains is quite significant and the success rate of our approach is quite high.
The World Health Organization (WHO) itself recognized this methodology as effective and published that acupuncture contributes to pain relief in 82% of back pain cases and is 72% effective in low back pain.
© Ana Sofia Rodrigues | All rigths reserved
Winter - the organs, symptoms and emotions of this season in the light and perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Finally winter seems to arrived. With it, many symptoms and diseases tend to manifest themselves. Examples are colds and / or sciatica pain - as the cold contracts the tissues and muscles, aggravating the pre-existing condition.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, winter is associated with the Water element, Kidney organ and Fear emotion. It is also the most Yin season of all, symbolizing a time of conservation and introspection. It is therefore natural for the human being to feel more introspective and withdrawn. By recognizing each season's own energy we can better understand our own disposition. Nature “speaks to us” by mirroring these and other conditions that can also be verified in the Human Being himself. This is what this ancient medicine tells us, whose observance of universal laws and nature has allowed us to better understand our body and its behaviors, as well as the predisposition to certain diseases or symptoms and, consequently, choose the most appropriate and effective treatments.
This season of cold and rain can aggravate some conditions as already mentioned. Many tendon-muscle pains and disorders, or even pathologies such as arthritis, can worsen in winter as the cold "contracts" and the humidity "weighs" and even tends to "stagnate" the circulation.
In these cases it is important not only to relieve pain but to strengthen and warm up the vital areas and energy of the body. Of the various treatments in Chinese medicine, acupuncture to regulate meridians and relieve pain is often associated with herbal medicine and moxibustion for internal heating and toning of affected organs / systems.
Colds and flu are also common at this time, especially if you already have some weakness in your defensive and immune system. Once again Chinese medicine has a quick and effective response to such symptoms. If treated on the first or second day, only acupuncture and cupping therapy in one session will be sufficient to eliminate flu symptoms, thus preventing not only the aggravation of the disease but also taking more “aggressive” medication for the body.
Ana Sofia Rodrigues © All Rights Reserved
Headaches and Migraines are very common symptoms and complaints in our society, affecting about one million Portuguese, with a higher incidence in the adult and female population.
There are different types of headaches and these may be associated with different causes.
Stress headache is more associated with stress and anxiety, occurs later in the day, and pain is usually mild to moderate.
Neuralgia is more uncomfortable and persistent, affecting the malar, frontal, ocular and temporal regions. The pain can be intense and very severe and can even affect a person's daily life (eg Trigeminal Neuralgia, which occurs from nerve inflammation or viruses).
Migraine headaches generally affect the female population and are usually triggered by stimuli such as menstruation, stress, alcohol intake, or ingestion of certain foods such as chocolate and citrus fruits). The pain may be moderate to severe and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or general malaise may occur. Although episodic, migraine recurs and tends to be chronic if left untreated.
In Chinese medicine, migraine (and other headaches) are also differentiated by their onset, triggering or aggravating factors, as well as their associated signs and symptoms.
A common clinical migraine pattern is associated with liver energy stagnation and is associated with menstruation - as this is the organ responsible for the distribution of menstrual blood. Chinese medicine thus uses its natural therapeutic methods to regulate liver energy, relieving pain and treating its cause. In addition to acupuncture, it may be suggested to remove some foods that are found to be the trigger for pain or to prescribe some combination of therapeutic herbs to complement therapy.
Headaches are still differentiated by their location, as this corresponds to a certain energy level and in turn to a certain organ or organs that are affected, thus facilitating the diagnosis and respective therapeutic strategy to be used by the Medical Specialist. Chinese
The following explanation corresponds to such differentiation as illustrated in the image.
- Tai Yang (occipital area): often associated with cervical and spinal problems or also with colds and flu;
Yang Ming (frontal area): Stomach or Intestines problems and disorders, such as digestive difficulties, gastritis, heartburn, reflux, among others;
- ShaoYang (lateral area / sources): association with menstrual or emotional disorders; gallbladder (and affinity, liver) disorders; often the pain is accompanied by a throbbing sensation;
- Tai Yin (medial area): Frequent pressure and weight sensation, often associated with moisture and mucosity, and symptoms of respiratory or digestive alterations;
- Shao Yin (medial area): may be associated with nervous or cardiovascular system problems such as anxiety, fear and palpitations; common feeling of distension or rise;
- Jue Yin (vertex): This area corresponds to the liver and is often associated with menstrual and / or emotional disorders.
It should be noted that the above is only exemplary and indicative, and the diagnosis should be made by the Specialist, in order to identify the disorder in the body and choose the appropriate treatment for each case.
© Ana Sofia Rodrigues