Have you ever experienced this- you suffer the pain at one place and try to self medicate it. The pain reduces or may even be relieved- but the joy becomes shortlived- and you find another part of your body experiencing the discomfort.
Let me share my experience. I’ve been having lower back pain for a while. Probably attributed to my weight and the fact I do not practice proper posture when bending down to pick up heavy items (I always tend to pick up in a quick movement with straight knees). Or maybe, like my friend said, something could be wrong with my matress.
The fact that I practiced some wai tan kung (form of Chinese exercises to promote qi), going for walks/jogs few times a week, do stretching, cane exercises, minimize cold drinks helped to provide some relief.
One day, I tried using the hot water bottle treatment (self prescribed). I remember placing the hot water bottle between my lower back and the wall. As I leaned towards it, I also sit down and close my eyes to relax for a while. Within a few minutes, I felt the heat spreading to my lower back and to areas around.
After that, I found my lower back improved a lot.
Then, not long later- the pain seemed to go to my right shoulders. At first, I had thought perhaps I was just working too hard in front of my PC or holding my phone too much to type. Or maybe due to pulling a muscle as one day I went jogging without proper warm-up.
But after a few weeks of having the condition not improving, it struck me that self medicating sometimes could not work. Why?
Because usually lower back pain are related to wind, cold and dampness- based on Chinese ancient healing. The element of wind could move around- hence people having pains similar to arthritis often experience the pain in different areas.
During wai tan kung and in meditation sittings I am aware that the ‘chi’ gets stuck in my lower back. When I tried to relieve using the hot water bottle, it brought the pain to another area.
Don’t understand what I am trying to say? Well, think of this like a long shaped ballon- when you blow a bit on the long ballon, one area gets bloated. If you press on the bloating area and push, another area gets bloated but the original area is now flat. The excessive ‘wind’ element moved in similar manner.
Hot water bottles can still help for that instant relief especially for those with arthritis. But it does not cure the root cause.
Anyway, I’ve finally decided to visit a TCM doctor after hearing about my friend’s experience with her twisted back.
And you know what? All the TCM doctor needed to do was to insert some acupuncture needles and my pain was gone!
For my right shoulder, the acupoint was on my left outer arm or was that for my right knee? For my lower back, it was on both of my hands.