How it works...
According to Chinese Medicine (CM), in general, pain occurs when there is some kind of stagnation in the body. The quality of the pain depends on the type of stagnation present. For example sharp, fixed stabbing pain that is aggravated by touch is a result of stagnation of the Blood whereas dull, diffuse, often chronic pain which is relieved by touch is a result of stagnation of the flow of vital energy or Qi. There are many other causes of pain including Heat, Cold and Dampness, all of which can be a result of either excess or deficiency.
It is the CM practitioner's job to discover the root cause of each unique case of pain through detailed examination. Once a pattern has been identified, a treatment that addresses the pattern is then applied.
In most common cases, the pain relief occurs as a result of promoting movement of Qi and Blood in the area of the pain by inserting acupuncture needles or massaging appropriate points that relate to the area of the pain. In other cases, there may also be techniques applied in order to clear Heat, warm Cold, resolve Damp, tonify deficiencies and reduce excesses in the organs. It is this process that sometimes allows CM to resolve pains that have not been successfully treated by other methods.
Maciocia, Giovanni (2004) "Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide". Churchill Livingstone.
Evidence Based Acupuncture: https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/present-research/acupuncture-scientific-evidence/