Neck and back pain are probably the two most common reasons that a person comes to see an acupuncturist. It would probably be fair to say that it is our specialty.
Something that confuses people, especially when visiting our community style clinic, is how we are able to treat neck and back pain, without needling directly at the site of the pain.
I covered some of this in a previous post, Why did you put that Needle there, but thought that I could talk a little bit more about it here today.
Here at Tiny Needles, we place the majority of the needles that we use in the arms, legs and also sometimes the ears. Partly we do this because it makes sense to keep people mostly clothed in a community room, but we also do this because we have access to everything we need, using just the points on the limbs.
In fact, a category of points referred to as the 5 transporting points, which have within them specific points for treating pain conditions, all happen to exist on the limbs.
Chinese Medicine, and specifically acupuncture, operates on a system of energetic channels that travel throughout the body. Each of these 12 energetic channels has a name that is associated with a specific organ. When you come to our clinic with a concern related to your neck or back, we will be curious to figure out which of these channels are effected. The primary way we can tell is by checking the location of the pain, but how movement is restricted can also be a clue.
It may be fun for you to know that the channels most commonly effected with neck pain are the Small Intestine and what is referred to as the Triple Burner channel (which is really just a fancy way of saying that it connects to 3 organ systems at once). The channels most associated with low back pain are the Urinary Bladder and Gall Bladder channels. This just means that the channels that happen to travel through the areas of the neck or low back, also happen to connect to the organs after which they are named.
Aside from checking which channels are effected, Chinese Medicine also differentiates between types of pain. We have what is referred to as deficiency type pain, which might look like sore low back and knees after standing for long periods of time, versus excess type pain, which might be a waking up with an acute neck muscle spasm. There is hot type pain conditions (the skin actually feels hot to the touch or looks red) versus cold type conditions (placing a heating pad feels relieving). There is also pain that is due to what TCM calls qi and blood stagnation. This would look like bruising, trauma or, for example, pain that arises after a car accident or fall. We also have what TCM refers to as damp stagnation. This could be joint pain - typically chronic - that gets worse with cold, damp days or drops in barometric pressure.
All of these considerations, such as which channels seem to be primarily effected, as well as whether a condition is deficiency related or excess, hot or cold, due to qi/blood or damp stagnation, effect the points that we select in treating your condition, and we have access to all of these types of points on your arms and legs alone.
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Incredible staff, incredible results. This team knows what they are doing and makes you feel so at ease, even when you are new to acupuncture. "
"A healing place that is affordable and caring. Acupuncture here is affordable to do more than once a week.
This is an incredible place that practices as a community resource, making acupuncture accessible to all!"
"Any time I have come to this space I have felt held.
There is an aura of calm and healing."
"Its incredible to find such amazing service and friendly atmosphere around acupuncture. You guys make it feel like I'm the only person in the room - its very special what you do and how you do it - thank you so much."
"This is such a great concept, practice and space that makes acupuncture treatments financially feasible."
Telephone (415) 409 1506
Tiny Needles is an oasis for healing in the center of San Francisco.. We are located in a Victorian built in 1900 in Japantown.
We believe that a warm and nurturing environment is the best place for the seeds of health to be planted.
It is our mission to ensure the seeds are grown with loving care.
1756 Fillmore Street
San Francisco CA 94115