Acupuncture and Chinese Sports Medicine
Acupuncture for Injury
Acupuncture is helpful for injuries, and research confirms this. Though much investigation has never been translated from the Chinese, one study in German, measuring the effect of standardized acupuncture programs in the aftercare of accident patients by Rabl V; Bochdansky T; Hertz H; Kern H; Meng A From: Unfallchirurgie, 9: 6, 1983 Dec, 308-13 agrees.
In this study 153 patients suffering from pain were divided into nine groups. Edematous conditions, and impaired movement following traumas sustained in accidents were treated or after-treated with acupuncture. In all 9 groups, improvement of the painful condition was significant. Acupuncture proved itself to be an effective form of therapy for after-treatment of accident patients, presenting a valuable supplement to the field of rehabilitation.
Acupuncture is most effective when used according to the well established principles and guidlines of traditional Chinese medicine. Many of these injury treatments were devised to treat injuries sustained by monks and other practitioners of the martial arts. The general principles and practices are summarized below:
ANCIENT CHINESE MEDICINES FOR INJURY and TRAUMA
Three Stages of Injury
Injuries change as they heal. We divide the course of healing into three stages. The first stage lasts up to a week after the injury. The second stage may last a month. Older injuries are considered third stage injuries. Treatment will vary for each person and circumstance and must be appropriate for each stage.
First stage treatment can employ electro-acupuncture as well as internal and topical herbs. If the affected area red or swollen, distal points are chosen to drain the excess. We tend to avoid the use of ice, as ice restricts flow at this critical stage, and may result in a rougher healing. Flow is encouraged to reduce stagnation and swelling. Massage is appropriate if there is no fracture or bleeding. Soaking is discouraged when swelling is present, as it will worsen the swelling. Swellings can be addressed with acupuncture and topical poultices containing herbs that disperse damp and vitalize blood and qi. Heat is also not generally applied in the first stages, especially if the injury looks red or feels warm to the touch.
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