Dr. Hoon C. Kim is a member of the Human Touch® Wellness Council. The Wellness Council comprises a group of experts in a variety of fields, ranging from doctors, to professional athletes, personal trainers, as well as massage therapy and aromatherapy professionals, who are committed to educating the public about the importance and benefits of regular massage, proper posture, and overall, achieving a balanced health and wellness lifestyle. Dr. Kim loves using his Human Touch® HT-7450 massage chair to complement his practice in Santa Monica, Tao of Medicine as well as his wellness lifestyle and philosophy of practice. He helps people live a quality of life with the least use of medicine, which include not only disease treatment but also prevention in mind and body through Qigong, meditation, bodywork, acupuncture, herbs (nutrients) and lifestyle.
By Dr. Hoon C. Kim
The causes of chronic pain are often difficult to identify as is pinpointing its exact location in your body.
In its most basic definition, pain is a signal from the affected area to the brain along the nervous system to warn you that something is wrong. This natural alarm system is a survival mechanism that we all possess.
Imagine that you have broken your ankle and have no signal to let your body know that you are in pain. Walking any further on the fracture would only worsen the injury.
In Eastern medicine, feeling pain means that there is a blockage somewhere in the body’s energy system; if the flow is good, then there is no pain.
So then what’s the difference between acute and chronic pain? Simply explained, acute pain means that the pain just happened to you by being hit, sprained or fractured, etc., but chronic means that you had the injury, which was acute pain a while ago, but is still causing ongoing, persistent pain.
Although there are many reasons for pain and many different kinds of pain, the neck, shoulder, lower back, and knees are common areas where chronic pain occurs from my experience.
If you have had chronic pain issues in these areas, the diagnostic test – physical exam, x-ray or MRI should be performed to find out the exact cause. Don’t just cover up the pain with pain killers. That won’t help your condition long-term.
If your pain is simply a musculoskeletal issue in the neck, shoulder, lower back, or knee, acupuncture can work very well to ease the pain. In fact, I have treated many people with these conditions using acupuncture therapy, and it has been successful enough to enable some of my patients to even cancel their scheduled surgery.
In terms of preventing chronic pain, when you receive your first pain signal, get the right diagnosis and treatment. If you have a sports-related injury, do the same thing, but also get the right rehabilitation treatment to help ensure a full recovery.