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  • Writer's pictureAndre Shih

Instant Pain Relief Acupuncture For Back Pain

Back Pain

Female patient, 40 year old, has been taking care of her two young boys while working a full time job. The stress has been causing her back pain along her right erector spinae muscles. She heard about acupuncture treatment, but she never tried it before.

For acu-virgins, I always have to tell them what to expect before treatment begins. I have to tell them, "The therapeutic effect of acupuncture is usually immediate, but that doesn't mean you are completely healed and can have vigorous exercises. In each treatment if there is at least 50% reduction in the pain level or improvement in the range of motion, then we have achieved our goal of the session. Even though there is no guaranteed result for everybody, it worked out to be better than 50% improvement most of the time so far (knock on wood). Because our body doesn't work in a linear fashion, the treatment result will last between a few hours to 3 or 4 days after the first session. The pain or condition will come back, but it's going to be a lesser degree. As we go along the treatment course, the result will last longer and longer. For an acute problem, which just started recently, will recover much faster than a chronic problem."

Good thing about Dr. Richard Tan's Balance Method Acupuncture is the result is immediate. Patient can feel the pain relief right away because we don't insert the needles in the area of pain. For pain on the Erector Spinae Muscle, the needles are inserted in the upper forearm of the opposite side of the pain. We palpate the left forearm to look for tender points corresponding to the right side back pain and insert the needles at those points. These are called Ashi points (Ah-Yes points).

She felt the relief of her back within a few seconds. I made a joke that it's a distraction method because she now felt a bit of ache on her arm. Because the result was too fast, she was worried that if I removed the needles the pain would come back. I re-assured her that it wouldn't in most cases. (In rare occasions, it does come back after the needles are removed, but let's not get into that right now). She felt so much better after the session. Two weeks later at the following session, she told me she was pain free for a good 3 to 4 days.

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