If you are like most people, you probably have an assortment of over-the-counter painkillers in your medicine cabinet. They’ll often do the trick for a common headache or a minor injury. If you have a chronic condition, you may have a prescription pain reliever or two at hand. But what if your pain is ongoing and debilitating, yet defies most modern drugs and treatments? What if your pain is neuropathic in nature?
The term neuropathy (or neuropathic pain) is a catch-all for pain that originates in the somatosensory nervous system, as opposed to the more common pain that is a direct result of an injury, like cutting your finger or being hit with an object. Neuropathic pain can vary from mildly irritating to very debilitating. Carpal tunnel syndrome, phantom limb pain, and the numbness & tingling that diabetics experience in their hands and feet are just some examples of neuropathic pain.
Depending on the cause of your neuropathy, it is sometimes curable, but in most cases it is not. That’s why finding pain management that works for you and best enables you to enjoy your life is so important. There is an array of pain medications available that specifically target neuropathic pain, as well as physiotherapy and massage. Using several of these methods together may be the magic elixir for you.
One highly effective option is acupressure, a traditional treatment with it’s roots in Chinese medicine. Practitioners use the same pressure points as in the ancient practice of acupuncture, but without the needles, to bring balance and relief.
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has understood that an energy called qi (pronounced ‘chee’) runs through the body. When this energy becomes blocked or slowed, it can result in pain and those channels need to be cleared to restore natural energy flow.
An acupressurist will apply hand pressure at specific points on the body to release the qi, restore the natural flow of energy, and thus relieve the pain. It feels similar to a deep tissue massage, creating an over-all feeling of relaxation. By targeting your body’s trigger points, acupressure massage is particularly adept at relieving the tingling, prickling, and burning sensations often associated with neuropathic pain. As a component of body massage, it can also help to alleviate the dull pains and stiffness.
Western medicine has more recently understood that targeted massage of these areas can stimulate effected nerves, influencing how the brain understands pain signals, specifically, neuropathic pain. There are studies suggesting that acupuncture and acupressure could be serving to release pain-relieving molecules in the brain, and still others are finding a link between acupuncture/acupressure and healthy immune function. This would support the ancient Chinese theory that acupressure and acupuncture are working in conjunction with the body’s own natural abilities to heal itself.
Whether you approach it from a scientific or traditional perspective, there is growing evidence that acupressure can have a positive effect on your neuropathic pain. Being both drug-free and non-invasive, it may prove to be a worthwhile addition to your pain management regimen.
If you are looking for a reputable practitioner to help you with your neuropathic pain management, the massage specialists at Easy Cozy Wellness in Abbotsford, British Columbia, are highly trained and skilled in the technique of acupressure.
Call to book your appointment today and start your path to a more pain free life.
Easy Cozy focus on Acupressure (Body) Massage and Reflexology (Foot) Massage which are good for both males and females within any age range.