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A local Melbourne man has big, hard, and painful nodes in his shoulder and neck for 3 years! Acupuncture helps to cure it.

S.L. is a 50-year-old white man, also a regular customer of Zen5 Beijing Chinese Medicine (Highpoint Branch), who has Chinese massage regularly to relieve his long-term neck and shoulder pain. Neck and shoulder pain is a common problem of modern people, which usually would not attract people’s attention. Most patients choose massage or hot compress for relief when the pain really affects their work or life, but once feeling a little bit better, they will throw the problem aside. This case is special in its luck that when the man came to Zen5 in July for only massage service as usual, he happened to meet Dr. Claire, an experienced traditional Chinese medicine doctor.

Dr. Claire is quite professional and noticed that S.L.’s neck had limited movement and could not rotate freely at the maximum angle like normal people. By hand-touching, Dr. Claire found his both shoulders were as stiff as stones, and there were nodes as large as small eggs. S.L. reported that since the onset of shoulder and neck pain, migraine has also followed, and this situation has lasted for at least 3 years! S.L. divorced a few years ago and since then his emotion became fluctuated and unstable. He was always feeling angry and irritable, companying with tinnitus and heavy night sweating. Although he looks like a healthy person, physically and mentallly S.L. has suffered great pressure for a long time.

When basic information had been obtained., Dr. Claire explained the problem to S.L. from TCM perspective.  S.L. has been doing regular shoulder and neck massage for a long time, but it can only temporarily alleviate the pain, which means massage itself cannot solve the problem completely. Namely, it is to treat the symptoms rather than the root causes. Although shoulder neck stiffness and pain are very common, there are different causes from TCM syndrome differentiation. If the neck and shoulder strains are caused by sedentary lifestyle like watching the computer and mobile phone for a long time, massage is a good way to relax; but if some underlying causes are involved, only massage cannot completely solve the problem. What’s worse, some people receive massage for years, but more and more hard nodes appear and the conditions become worse. Based on the basic rule of TCM, different treatment methods should be given according to syndrome differentiation and where the disease locates.

Patient’s pulse: The pulse of left hand which represents the liver feels stringy and thin, indicating that the liver “Yin” blood is insufficient to nourish the muscles. At the same time, there is stagnation of “Qi” and blood, resulting in blocked channels and collaterals; In addition, the phenomenon of tinnitus and night sweating also shows that there is an upward extension of false fire, resulting in anger and bad temper.

Diagnosis: “Yin” deficiency of liver and kidney, “Qi” stagnation and blood stasis.

After communicating with Dr. Claire and knowing the root causes of his long-term shoulder and neck pain, headache, tinnitus, irritability and other problems, S.L. took the initiative to ask Dr. Claire to formulate a TCM treatment plan for him. After the first session of treatment, excitingly, S.L. reported that his situation was 10 greatly improved! The long-term migraine does not occur again. Occasionally, there is headache, but the duration is very short and the pain is not as sharp. Up to now, S.L. has had four sessions of treatment, and he has basically recovered. The effectiveness is very significant – the shoulder and neck nodes have subsided, and the neck twist is no longer limited. The patient commented that “Since starting to receive acupuncture treatment, shoulder and neck pain and headache have been significantly reduced. At the same time, tinnitus has improved, night sweating has gone completely. Now my emotion is stable, sleep quality has been enhanced, the overall quality of life has also been improved!”

Rationale of TCM Treatment

Dr. Claire took local points and remote points respectively for acupuncture. Several typical points are selected below for explanation.

(1) Local acupoint selection: Ashi acupoint. This kind of acupoint is generally determined by the disease, mostly located near the lesion, or in the part far away from it. There is no fixed position and name of the Ashi acupoint. The selection method is to take the

pain point as acupoint. For this patient, the acupoints were taken at the shoulder and neck nodes on both sides where are considered as meridians blocked with local “Qi” and blood stasis .

(2) Remote acupoint selection:

  1. SJ3: To unblock the Sanjiao meridian which passes through the shoulder and neck. GB20: To unblock the liver and gallbladder maridians, and to treat headache, nose blockage and tinnitus.
  2. LI4 & LR3. Known as ” four gates”, the function is to soothe the liver and regulate “Qi”. LI4 is also an important point in treating headache.
  3. SP6. This point is where the three “Yin” meridians converge, governing the liver, spleen and kidney, and treating the deficiency of “Yin” blood of the liver and kidney.

Other acupoints may also involve. TCM doctors need to select appropriate acupoints based on diagnosis. Additional or different points may be chosen when patients’ conditions change. Dr. Claire concluded that traditional Chinese medicine treatment is an overall treatment based on systemic syndrome differentiation rather than a simple local treatment. It is necessary to find the causes of the disease and treat both symptoms and roots, not only treat the muscle pain when patients complain muscle pain. TCM see human body as a holistic system and the ultimate effect of traditional Chinese medicine treatment is to make your whole condition better.

Profile of Dr. Claire:

Dr. Claire is Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner-Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and Herbal Dispenser. She is an experienced, gentle, and caring practitioner with special interest/experience in pain relief, digestive disorders, respiratory problems, emotional conditions, women’s health, and other general internal/chronic diseases.

Appointment with Dr.Claire:

Time:Monday,Saturday,Sunday11am – 5pm
Location:Zen5 Chinese Medicine Centre, Highpoint shopping center

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