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Friday, October 17, 2008

Chinese Medicine - Rehabilitation after Injury

Marcey Basel has been working with herbs, acupuncture, western formulas and nutrition for over seventeen years and has been writing on the science and practice of healing through Chinese Medicine for the West County Gazette for the last several years. I'm hoping to help spread her wisdom beyond her practice in Sebastopol and the readership of my print edition by putting her on the WCG webs site as well.

Recently in my practice I have seen many patients with work comp injuries along with injuries due from everyday physical labor. Currently I see an Arborist, a Medical reporter and several professional gardeners. The main problems seem to be neck and shoulder injuries along with pain radiating into the arms and hands. In Chinese Medicine, there are numerous channels, which innervate all of these areas and travel into the scapula, deltoid muscles, clavicles, neck and cervical vertebrae. In body symbolism the shoulders indicate strength and power. They represent the power to do, to act, and to perform. It is always necessary for me to make a detailed study of the pain according to the local area as well as looking at if this is a recent or an older injury. Many times the Qicannot go through the shoulder barrier without entering the trunk.

Under certain circumstance the Qi can create either sharp pain, dull pain or just be aggravated by use. Pain in the upper shoulders can radiate down the arm on both the posterior and anterior sides and can cause burning or stinging pain. The pain can also be sensitive to weather changes; especially dampness and can also cause headaches which progress from front to back. The treatment principle is to open up the channels, and create the circulation of Blood and Qi. I currently have a patient who is a gardener who not only suffered from neck pain but also had severe pains in both of her arms and hands. Since she is right handed, she also suffered from severe pain in her hand due to pruning during the spring and summer months. Not only has she had great success in her healing but she also comes in during certain seasons every two weeks so that she is able to always work every day without any pain.

There are so many muscles and nerves, which surround the shoulder and go down different parts of the arm into the hand. The Levator muscle is in the scapula, the Scalene muscle is in the neck, the Supraspinatis muscle is the top of the shoulder and the Triceps and Deltoid muscles are in the arm. Depending on which muscles are affected than different parts of the hand can also experience pain. This pain can lead to carpal tunnel, degenerative joint disease, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis and trauma. All of these are totally treatable with acupuncture and I have personally witnessed patients being 100% healed of all of these problems. I currently have a female patient who had such terrible neck problems that she couldn’t even turn her head to the right without it pinching and hurting down through her scapula. After coming for two months, she no longer experiences that as a problem at all. By using a combination of acupuncture and herbs she has had great success in a short amount of time.

I believe many people go to physical therapy sessions to heal many problems and that acupuncture and herbs can go even deeper than this type of therapy and make lasting changes due to the herbs and treatments. In Chinese Medicine, it is important to tonify and build up the physical body so that none of these problems reoccur. I feel in Western medicine this is never done although patients still get better they sometimes experience life long problems later on down the line. The therapy spent after you are hurt is the most important time. Please make sure that the treatments are for a beneficial amount of time so that the actual healing is forever.

Marcy Basel is currently in private practice in Sebastopol, California. She has been working with herbs, acupuncture, western formulas and nutrition for over seventeen years. To make an appointment or to schedule a free fifteen-minute diagnosis, please call 707-824-8747. The office is located @435 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol, Ca. 95472.