Japanese Acupuncture

Do not go again the nature and the flow of the river. Follow the seasons.

What Is Pain
From Wikipedia
International Association for the Study of Pain (JASP) defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage…Pain of any type is the most frequent reason for physician consultation in the United States, prompting half of all Americans to seek medical care annually. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, significantly interfering with a person's quality of life and general functioning. Diagnosis is based on characterizing pain in various ways, according to duration, intensity, type (dull, burning or stabbing), source, or location in body.

What is pain according to Oriental Medicine
Oriental Medicine always focuses on the root cause of illness. It is called the Tai Qi Treatment (Tai Qi = Oneness). It is the teaching that states any object or solid cannot exists if separated from the whole, and as long as it exists, it has a relation to the whole. For example, a simple headache cannot be cured with a local treatment unless the whole body is not treated for the balance.

Acupuncture taps into the natural healing powers within (read appendix on urinary track infection) and cure illness. “Med” in medicine, for Oriental Medicine, means, “strengthening the natural healing power.”

Oriental Medicine regards illness or disease not a particular entity but the imbalance of the Blood flow. Most of ailments are due to the stagnation in the body. Pain is the blockage of normal flow of physical elements and the energy of the body. It could be a dysfunction of neurotransmission, blocked passages of interstitial fluids. Acupuncture, however, stresses especially on the Blood flow.

Unique to Oriental Medicine is the meridian lines. We may call the lines as energy channels. It is my humble opinion that if the energy channel idea is incorporated into western science along with the circulatory, endocrine, muscular skeletal systems, it becomes a better science.

Pain is due to the blockage of meridian (the body energy) channels. Most of pain will manifest along the lines.

Pain is also a part of emotional elements.

Nature of Pain
Pain is shutting and congealing in nature. We internalize and personalized it, and we choose to suffer through. When pain enters our subconsciousness, it becomes a part of our emotions and actions. It maybe an underlying cause of worry, fear, and anger (“I don’t know why I have the pain, therefore, no one can understand me.”). Once internalized, however, it becomes highly addictive. We tend to cling to the emotion that pain produces, and some people cannot image living without it, and for others, it becomes. Pain controls our lives. Are you one of the people?

All pains are abnormal and negative. We need to act: sooner the better.

What Can We Do About Pain
First Defense:
1) Drink water as medicine: drink at least 1/2 to 1 gallon a day
2) Have a good and healthy diet, and have a good attitude toward pain
3) Do light exercise
4) Attune to yourself and the body (see a supplement on How To Attune To Your Own Body)

Attitude Required:
Patience: Everybody wants to have a quick fix. But seeking chemical drugs or surgeries are often times not the answer or cure for ailments. (Many take drugs, but we are still getting sicker). Be patient and consistent.

Learning: Learn how to improve conditions. Get your mind going. Set your goal.

Admit That You Need Help:
Asking is a beginning of relationship. Acknowledge that you need help (you will be surprised how many people don’t take this first step toward healing) and connect with holistic health care personnel, and make some friends. Attend seminars, read books, etc.: the frontal cortex must be stimulated for longevity.

Ultimate: An ultimate goal is to have a quality of life, happiness, & longevity even though you may still have some ailing and painful symptoms.

Seeking Help
Are you addicted to pain? If so, you need to reassess what you want in your life, and start thinking that you can let go pain and have a better life.

Learn to know different disciplines and what they can do for you. However, finding a good practitioner is hard. You must invest money and time to find one.
Once you find the person, stick with him/her.

One caution here is that you will receive many different opinions from different disciplines. Do not get confused. Set your mind and make selections.

Most excuses for not receiving help and treatment are:
I don't have time. & I don’t have money.
In this case, nobody can help. You will be saying the same thing ten years from now. You must make a first step: to call a practitioner. Asking is a beginning of relationship. Start now. Make some friends.

How To Choose A Practitioner
The best way to find a right practitioner is to try many different ones. As with anything, you need to invest time and money: acquiring knowledge and experience to discern a good from a bad. Second best is by referral. Ask your friends and relatives if they ever had, say, an acupuncture treatment and how the experience was. Third best is to call and talk to a practitioner.

Do not make a decision on practitioner’s credential and fees alone. Inexperienced practitioner will cost you more in a long run, and credentials sometime do not mean much when the skill is concerned. Don’t make a decision on availability of insurance. When you need help, you should have a plan and a budget. Insurance coverage helps, but it is not an answer to your cure or healing. Once you decide on a certain practitioner, stick with him/her. However, if there is no significant change in fifteen to twenty sessions, choose an another. Keep in mind that some conditions prevent from having a perceptible improvement: over medication, addiction to pain, mental blockage, extreme deficiency, very chronic case, etc.

Coping and Preventing Pain

1: Drinking Water As Medicine
Find good spring water (not distilled or municipally available ones)
Add minerals (preferably, angstrom sized): we all need minerals
Place a charcoal stick in the water (best ones are made in Japan): charcoal will soften the water and absorb some chemicals.

2: Proper Diet
Eat foods that have proteins but fewer calories, such as turkey & soybeans. Avoid cheese. Cheese is phlegm. Phlegm causes stagnations in the body. Remember, most ailments are due to the stagnation. Read appendix on anti-aging diet.

3: Light Exercises
Move the limbs. Walking is the best: 30 to 60 min. Swimming is good: 30 to 45 min (heated pool preferred, if not, take a hot shower soon after getting out of pool)

Liniments & Plasters For Local Pain Reduction
General precautions for topical remedies:
Do not use on wounds or on irritated or damaged skin. Do not use on abdomen if pregnant. Avoid contact with the eyes or mucous membranes. Do not apply adhesive plasters on hairy skin without shaving first. Stop using if excessive irritation or allergic reaction occurs. Keep out of children.

Zheng Gu Shui: warming
For temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain. Especially effective for acute condition. Caution: this product may discolor the skin.
Ingredients: menthol, alcohol, Chinese herbs

Po Sum On: warming
For temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain. Acute and chronic conditions. Could be used for massage.
Ingredients: menthol, Baikai Scullcap root, licorice, cinnamon oil, peppermint, tea oil.

Tokuhon: cooling
Famous Japanese plaster. For temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain. Easier on the skin (slight temporal discoloration of the skin is common).
Ingredients: camphor, menthol, methyl salicylate, zinc oxide, ester gum, natural rubbers.

Stick On Moxa (Chinese herb)
General precautions:
Do not burn the skin. If your skin is sensitive, apply wax or cream before moxibustion (burning of moxa). Make sure it is completely extinguished before trashing. Do not use on wounds or on irritated or damaged skin. Do not use on abdomen if pregnant.

Choseikyu Moxa Or Ibuki Moxa: warming and very moving
Comes with heat shields to adjust heal level. Usually applied on acupuncture and shiatsu pressure points. Need to study the points. But can be applied directly on painful area (except ulcerative colitis and others: if not certain, seek professional help).

Effective for various ailments, pain reduction, digestive problems, prevention, longevity, immune system, etc. (Read a supplement on moxa points). Read instruction well.

Tsubo-Shin – Spring Modulator with Magnet
Press and stimulate tsubo (shiatsu word for acupuncture point). Must know acupuncture points to be effective.

Portable electric stimulator. It contains ceramic crystals which create a tiny electrical charge. Use as pain reduction and prevention.

Pellets: For local pain, or stimulation of acupuncture points. Good for
blood flow.
Hand/Foot Bracelet: For wrist and ankle/foot pain. Good for whole
body balancing

Chinese Herb Formula
There are numerous products. Here, I would like to suggest one formula I really like.
Ba Wei Di Huang Wan by Honso Company (aka: Rehmannia Eiight Formula): for anyone over 50 years old.
Any kind of kidney ailments, diabetes, difficult and frequent urination, fatigue (especially due to the kidney weakness), edema, Alzheimer, sore lower back and the knee pain, veritigo, tinnitus, night sweat, cataract,
Presbyopia (difficult focusing), cold hand/cold feet, increase libido and sperm counts, anti-cancer, etc.
Ingredients: rehmannia root, cornus fruit, dioscorea rhizome, alisma rhizome, moutan bark, cinnamon bar, hoelen, and processed aconite root

There are numerous magnetic products (including a bed) and massage items.
I recommend essential oils for emotional pain and balancing. Research in
internet., or call me for specialists.

How To Attain The Quality Of Life And Live Longer
1) Proper Diet: most important
Eat high protein low calories foods. Eat foods that are easy to digest. Eat till the stomach is 80% full. Do not overeat.

2) Light Exercises
Move joints, and help the circulatory system (Remember, most of ailments are due to stagnation) and strengthen the heart. Know which exercise is good for you. In general, walking is the best. In Asian, it is said that we age from the foot.

3) Get Rid Of Pain ASAP
Many wait too long to get help (Remember, asking is a beginning of relationship. Seek out friends who can help you). When you feel pain, get rid of it as soon as possible. Know what to do when pain comes in. If not, see a health care practitioner. Don’t let pain linger on. It affects your mind and body. It ails you fast. Nothing pleasant or good about pain.

4) Reduction Of Stress: tantamount to the importance of diet
Stress causes the blood acidic level to go up, resulting in more calcium deposits, offsets the adrenal system affecting the hormonal balance and emotions. It is the cause of death for many.

5) Increase The Immune System
By proper diet, exercise, supplements, and help from health care practitioners, you can attain illness free life style. Study diet and foods. Know what supplements to take (Many take too many. I recommend that you limit to six or less. You can always take different supplements alternately).

Know what to do and what to take when you start feeling sick. If you feel like getting worse, seek help and get treated as soon as possible. Many wait too long. Read the supplement on How To Attune To Your Body. Start sensing your body and be good at it.

For example, drink less alcohol and eat less greasy foods before the flu season starts. Take vitamin B6 and B12 (the foundation of DNA). Drink lots of water.

5) Balancing Emotions
There are many, but here, I would like to focus on three: worry, fear, and anger. Good health cannot be attained without the emotional balance. Seek spiritual assistance; know who you really are, and find your destiny. Try to turn each emotion into the exact opposite. For example, turn worry or sadness to joy, anger into love, and fear into excitement.

In Oriental Medicine, worry is a Spleen element; anger is a Liver element, and fear is a Kidney element. If Spleen, Liver, and Kidney are in balance, most of ailments and disease are preventable or treatable. When the three organs are well functioning and balanced, emotions too are at rest and work in synchronicity.

Example: Alcohol weakens the liver. Weak liver will make anger to rise or depression to set. The liver imbalance is a start of tragedy for many. Oriental medicine from the very beginning (about 2000 years ago) always included emotions as causes of ailments. Therefore, acupuncture is always spiritual. Physiological improvement is just a part of oriental medicine. A good practitioner always brings your mind and body into balance.

6) Have A Hope
Believe that there is always a hope. Have a hope or a purpose in your life. Be content. No matter what circumstance you are in, live in the moment, here and now. Smile a lot and be happy. Have some fun. Seek out friends to help you. Strengthen your inner mind (I have seen many who are physically strong or have high IQ, but very weak minded): become a boulder that never move.

We all die alone. It is up to each of us to know what happiness, abundance, and love really mean in the given time. There is a Japanese saying: if the ending is good, all is good.

© 2008 Dr. Y. Frank Aoi/Japanese Acupuncture 480-246-0624

Author's Bio: 

Dr. of Oriental Medicine (NM), L. Acu (AZ), Dipl. OM (NCAAOM), MSOM, BA, LMT