What is Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a long-lasting pain that stays around for three to six months or even longer. Correspondingly, healing also takes longer than usual.

What is Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a long-lasting pain that stays around for three to six months or even longer. Correspondingly, healing also takes longer than usual. It is a lingering pain that can range from a migraine to back problems or pelvic pains. Contemporary medicine typically manages chronic pain through the use of medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but those often come along with side effects. Fortunately, an increasing number of clinical research suggests that certain alternative healing approaches, such as hypnosis or hypnotherapy, acupuncture, mindfulness meditation, massage, tai chi, and yoga, may help to relieve and address some painful conditions. In our clinic, we have natural healers who are experts in these modalities to help you effectively address acute and chronic pain.

1. Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain & Digestion

Originating from ancient Eastern cultures, mindfulness meditation is now being adopted as an effective alternative approach to improve chronic pain conditions as well as other physical and emotional challenges. Knowing how to effectively tune into your body and connect with the elements around you, can slow down stressful body or mind functions. It will then increase our self-awareness and reduce the pain, stress, anxiety and depression that we experience. The intention of meditation is to train you to know how to shift your reactions to pain. Studies have shown an eight-week course in mindfulness can lower pain frequency, sensitivity, and even just the unpleasantness of pain itself. That doesn’t mean that pain is simply “all in your head”; essentially, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans have shown that practicing mindfulness changes how the brain responds to pain. It has proven to be useful for inflammatory bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases, lower back pain, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)–related symptoms.

2. Sports Massage for Sports Injuries

Pain caused by sports injuries is something that our practitioners encounter often and can help with. Our sports therapy is targeted at helping athletes prepare for the rigorous activities that they will perform in the future. Our healing expert Hafsa Khan applies several massage techniques that relax and repair the soft tissue, body injuries or trauma that occur due to overexertion and/or overuse of muscles during a sports training session.

There are several kinds of massage available at our wellness centre. Knowing which one suits your needs is important. With the use of our holistic approach, our practitioners can identify the root cause of your pain and then determine which massage or therapy you will best benefit from.

For instance, deep tissue massage can treat on going tension, chronic pain and even the underlying stress, trauma and other emotional baggage that you had. On the other hand, sports therapy or sports massage is designed to specifically boost and support the recover, relaxation and overall performance of physically active individuals. 

3. Acupuncture for General Pain and Cancer Pain

Acupuncture has repeatedly shown positive results in pain management. A 2017 American College of Physicians clinical practice guideline has included acupuncture as an effective non-drug option that works as first line treatment for patients suffering from chronic and acute lower-back pain. It is also effective in lessening the frequency of headache as well as migraine.

In a recent blog posted by Dr. Michelle Zhang, she shares a first hand experience of a patient who came to her for a stiff neck. With the combined use of acupuncture and cupping, the patient has experienced 80% relief of stiff neck after the initial session.

As to cancer pain, conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy are often destructive and leave the patient in a weakened state, due to a plethora of side effects from radiation that kills both healthy as well as cancer cells. This is where acupuncture can help as a non-invasive treatment with minimal side effects. Its effectiveness is proven in a comprehensive literature research that was carried out for randomized controlled trials of breast cancer patients. It suggests that acupuncture can improve the quality of life of patients as well as lessen other symptoms such as pain, fatigue, hot flashes, sleep disturbance and anxiety. 

Other Effective Alternative Healing Approaches for Pain Management

Qigong and Tai Chi

Clinical research theorizes that the deliberate slow movements involved in these ancient Chinese approaches Tai Chi and Qigong can increase the qi flow in our body and boost feel-good endorphins which will then relieve muscle pain or tension and calm the brain. Studies suggest that the practices have been found to help chronic lower back pain, digestion pains and pain associated with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Tai Chi and Qigon exercises are created to strengthen your body and create a perfect balance with your mind. Qi Gong is easy to learn and will be a life-changing experience if you make it your daily habit.

Qi Gong will increase the flexibility of your joints and improve your immune system. It is also supporting patients who are suffering from rheumatism and nerve problems and reduces the possibility of strokes and heart attacks.

Positive Quotient Mental Fitness Training 

Another innovative approach to pain is the positive quotient mental fitness training. This approach stipulates that you can train your brain to switch off or react more positively with negative feelings or senses such as chronic pain. The approach will train you to change your perception of pain, fear, stress and view these experiences or feelings with curiosity and non-judgment, so as to give it a new and more positive association. 

Some mental fitness instructors such as Judy and Angela can also help you address emotional challenges that can increase threat levels such as difficult personal relationships and self-criticism that can further exacerbate the pain that you feel. Sessions occur one-on-one with an expert or it can be done through groups such as what we normally do in our clinical practice.

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Effective Chronic Pain Treatment Methods

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice that includes the insertion of hair-thin needles into the skin. Specific acupuncture points are stimulated in order to correct imbalances in the flow of energy in the body. In 2012 an international team of experts conducted a study involving almost 18,000 patients and proved that acupuncture does provide real relief from common forms of pain by about 50%. It further suggests that the traditional Chinese practice may help with other chronic pain conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and muscle pain.

Acupuncture can help with the following:

1. Reduces inflammation
2. Improves muscle stiffness and joint mobility
3 . Changes the brain’s processing of pain with the release of endorphins

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Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy is a whole-body approach that goes deep into the center of where you actually feel the pain. It does not only ease the pain, but also improves the overall wellbeing as cortisol, the body’s natural response to pain, is reduced through massage. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) also confirmed the tremendous therapeutic benefits for many acute and chronic conditions in their 18th annual consumer survey. 77 percent of U.S. citizens surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 month was medical or stress related. Medical reasons subsume pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, prevention, and general well-being. 92 percent of consumers surveyed believe that massage can be effective in reducing pain.


Advance your pain management program with diverse offers from Balance Health including Relaxation-, Sports- or Remedial Massage.

1. Increases blood circulation and lymph flow
2. Reduces muscle tension
3. Improves flexibility and relieves pain

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Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a form of traditional Japanese bodywork that aims to release tensions from body and mind. It stimulates the body’s natural healing ability by applying gentle pressure to specific points across the body.

According to a research from the University of Alberta, Shiatsu may help chronic pain patients who suffer from insomnia. Persons living with pain commonly face difficulties with falling and staying asleep. Dr. Cary Brown, a researcher in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta explains it as follows: “If you’re not getting enough sleep, your sensitivity to pain is going to rise. And if you’re having pain, your ability to sleep is going to go down. Sleep can be somewhat of a vicious cycle for those with chronic pain”.

Shiatsu is generally also helpful with:
1. Neck, shoulder and back pain
2. Reduced mobility and joint pain
3. Headaches and migraines

Osteopathy

The founder of Osteopathy Andrew Taylor Still described the approach of Osteopathy with the following maxim: ”Find it, fix it and leave it alone”.

The therapy is basically concerned with the manual treatment of joints and soft tissue using gentle muscle relaxation and joint articulation techniques, technically referred to as strain and counter-strain. One key tool in the osteopath’s arsenal is osteopathic manipulative treatment, which covers a wide range of hands-on, body manipulation.

1. Gives guidance on simple self-help methods to use at home
2. Helps a wide range of conditions, including repetitive strain injury, postural imbalances, arthritis and sports injuries
3. Improves mobility of the spine, which in turn can makes the back or neck feel much comfortable

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The Yuen Method

The Yuen Method is an energetic healing technique that is effective in combating energetic blockages in the body that might be causing pain. Pain is considered as a symptom of a blockage within the flow of energy. Therefore, it explores the imbalances which are only the origin of pain. Mainly stress and the imbalance of your mind-set will be treated with the Yuen Method. This complementary profound health technique can greatly increase your health condition. This non-invasive method provides a systematic process enabling the practitioner and you to identify the deeper core issue(s) that are related to the problems you may be experiencing in life.


1. Helps with physical pain
2. Discover your weaknesses and simply delete them
3. Solve your blockades no matter in which area of your life

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Body Talk

Body Talk treatments work with Chronic pain by addressing “the whole patient”. This entails:
- The Symptoms - the physical, perpetual feeling of pain
- The Emotional State - the compromised emotional state of the patient, who is more likely to also suffer from depression and anxiety from this condition further exacerbating this disorder
- The Belief Systems and Expectations Surrounding Pain - as the perception of pain is an intensely personal experience and varies drastically from person to person, addressing the patient’s belief systems has potential to offer great relief
- The Social Effects of Chronic Pain - addressing the psychological effects of feeling like a burden on others due to the chronic pain, or contrastingly, having to take care of a loved one who is experiencing or limited by their chronic pain
BodyTalk is a complimentary, noninvasive healthcare modality. As it treats the emotional and psychological aspects of chronic pain while concurrently attending to the physical distress, BodyTalk is the perfect tool to fight off all the effects of chronic pain head on.

Our practitioner Angie Tourani is Hong Kong’s only Advanced Certified BodyTalk Practitioner and Instructor. She specializes in working with emotional issues, anxiety, depression, insomnia, immune system weaknesses, and sensory integration disorder with both adults and children.

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