Trauma-Sports Injuries

How Chinese Medicine Successfully Addresses Traumatic and Sports Injuries

The history of treating injuries with acupuncture and herbal therapy is centuries old and time-tested by martial artists and Chinese warriors. The theories and practices are practical and quite easy to comprehend. Self-care should be secondary to emergency care, or used if it is the only option. Acupressure, topical remedies, and herbal supplementation used together following trauma can help speed healing times.

Caution: Please dial 911 in the case of a serious traumatic injury as an emergency room is the most appropriate place to receive critical care treatment.

Related Article

herb leaves

Acupressure Points for Sports Injury, Trauma, Surgery Recovery

Learn How to Effectively Apply Acupressure for Pain Linked Here!essential oils for acupressure

 

herb leaves

Pain Theory and Protocol Strategies in Chinese Medicine

  • 1st Pain is due to the stagnation of Qi and Blood
  • 2nd Remove stagnation and the swelling decreases
  • 3rd The initial trauma and subsequent injury result in Heat and Toxins that must be cleared

herb leaves

Correct Natural Therapy Following Injury or Surgery

Acute Stage with Swelling-Immediately after Injury-Day 1-2herbal ice acute topical spray for swelling

Cold Chinese herbs are blended in a formula containing herbs that stimulate Blood flow so that lymphatic fluids are not constricted and impeded from assisting with the healing process. Purchase our Herbal Ice spray-on remedy here!

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation have been the standard for treating athletic injuries in Western medicine since 1978 when Dr. Gabe Mirkin coined the term RICE. But Chinese medicine has never accepted this treatment protocol as productive. As a matter of fact, it is considered a mistreatment of traumatic injuries according to Chinese medicine that can lead to long-term pain.

Ice constricts the flow of blood and lymph fluid and slows down swelling; the thinking behind the RICE treatment was that it would lessen tissue damage. However, a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the practice of icing delayed the recovery of muscle damage and should not be the first choice of treatment for traumatic and sports injuries.

Furthermore, a study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine in June, 2013, showed research saying icing an injury relieved swelling but it did not speed up recovery from muscle damage. As it turns out, treatments that reduce inflammation delay healing, and this is true for anti-inflammatory pain relievers like ibuprofen as well. Now even Dr. Mirkin is questioning the treatment strategy that he helped to develop.

Stop Bleedingorganic-tcm-trauma-3-cuts-wounds-abrasion-therapy-4oz.png

Astringent herbs are applied to stop bleeding if present immediately following trauma. Apply our Trauma 3 salve to help stop bleeding.

herb leaves

Stage 1 Recovery from Traumatic Injury: Week 1-2 topical essential oils for trauma sports injury

  • After Bleeding has Stopped and Swelling is Lessened

Herbs are used to remove stasis, swelling, and toxic heat. Herbal soaks and hot packs would not be appropriate at this time as inflammation is a type of Heat in Chinese medicine and cooling herbs and essential oils are called for. This would apply to sprains, strains, muscle pulls, bruising and tendinitis. Use our Trauma 1 Dit Dat Jow topical spray with infused healing herbs and pure essential oils during the first two weeks following an acute injury or surgery.

 

Stage 2 Recovery from Traumatic Injury: Weeks 3-6pain remedy with essential oils

Now warming essential oils, herbs, and wet heat can be used to nourish the tendons and make sure that tissue adhesion's that will result in long-term arthritis or stiffness do not develop. If appropriate, gentle movement can help to speed healing at this stage. Apply our Trauma 2 Dit Dat Jow Healing Spray with infused herbs and pure essential oils during this stage. Our Trauma-2 liniment spray can also be used for chronic pain conditions with stiffness or cold joints.

Stage 3 Chronic Pain and Stiffness: Weeks 3 and Beyond

If the injury was not addressed correctly in stages 1 and 2, Phlegm may develop in the muscle tissues and/or joints making prolonged pain a probability. The strategies above must continue to be employed while Dampness is purged from the tissue. If Phlegm develops, expect recovery times in the months rather than weeks. If the injury has been present for years, you may be dependent on herbal therapies indefinitely for decreased pain and increased mobility. Use our Damp-Bi Dit Dat Jow topical spray with infused herbs and essential oils that resolve Dampness in joints and tissue at this stage along with our organic Great Mender formula!

herb leaves

 

Full Recovery from Trauma, Surgery, or Sports Injury

In addition to addressing the site of the injury, energetic organ-level deficiencies and imbalances must be resolved for speedy and complete healing following surgery or trauma to avoid the development of chronic pain conditions.

Because a key strategy in treating pain is breaking up Blood Stagnation, one must be concerned that Blood Deficiency is not a factor. In Chinese medicine it is said that you cannot move Blood if there is not sufficient Blood; imagine trying to clean out your gutters with a trickle of water. Because the elderly are often Blood Deficient it can take longer for them to heal. If there are indications of Blood Deficiency, or if there was a great deal of blood loss due to this trauma, use herbs to tonify the Blood.

Contraindications: Trauma herbs that move blood would not be appropriate for pregnant women, for those who are on blood thinning medications, or have bleeding disorders.

herb leaves

References

He J, Hou XY. The potential contributions of traditional Chinese medicine to emergency medicine. World J Emerg Med. 2013;4:92–97. doi:10.5847/wjem.j.issn.1920-8642.2013.02.002

Wang J, Wan Y. Acupuncture mechanisms: anesthesia, analgesia and protection on organ functions. World J Tradit Chin Med. 2015;1(1):59–66. doi:10.15806/j.issn.2311-8571.2014.0012 

Meng Y, Michelena TM, Cai F, Lou X, Li S, Zhang R. Traditional Chinese Medicine in Emergency Treatment Mechanism and Application. Open Access Emerg Med. 2020;12:111-119. Published 2020 Apr 30. doi:10.2147/OAEM.S244110

Huang H, Huang S, Liang G, et al. Comparison of kidney-tonifying and blood-activating medicinal herbs vs NSAIDs in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020;99(9):e19370. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000019370

Lakhan, S. E., Sheafer, H., & Tepper, D. (2016). The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Pain research and treatment2016, 8158693. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/8158693

Kim J. T., Wajda M., Cuff G., et al. Evaluation of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain: pilot study. Pain Practice2006;6(4):273–277. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2006.00095.x.

Yip Y. B., Tse S. H. M. The effectiveness of relaxation acupoint stimulation and acupressure with aromatic lavender essential oil for non-specific low back pain in Hong Kong: a randomised controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine2004;12(1):28–37. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2003.12.003.