Monday, September 14, 2015

Problems Of The Tendons (筋病)

‘Problems of our tendons’ is a relative new terms in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as strictly speaking, one can feel discomfort with tendons related problems; but there is no medicine to cure this type of ‘illness’. The only way to treat tendon problems is to perform proper stretching exercises or having chiropractic or a physiotherapist to treat the patient. However, the western ways of dealing with tendon issues can take a long time to see result.

In TCM, bones are frames of our body, the tissues and muscles hold everything together; and the tendons controls every part of our body in day to day activities. All would be fine if we have carried out our daily tasks in a balance order. For example, instead of keep using our right hands for carrying loads continuously, we switch to use our left hands instead. Of course, not many people would consciously perform the switching. Result of the constant use of one side of our limbs, one part of our body are more developed that the other. So it figures that a right-handed person would have his/her right hand muscle developed that the left hand; likewise true for a left-hander.

If our muscles are developed one sided, then they will cause our body to incline to that side hence tensioning the tendons of the slacker sides. This explains why a right-handed person would feel his/her left shoulder pain and stiff. The more rigorous one works out his/her body, the stiffer his/her body muscles are and more pain of unknown sources would besiege the person. Many athletes suffered from tendon problems in addition to other physical injuries and yet they are forced to retire early.

I have a friend who likes to play badminton and won many tournaments. Despite his excellent physical conditions, he suffered from severe body pain of unknown sources. As he told me that he has fix appointments with physiotherapist two sessions a week and that each treatment sessions costs about $60. So this friend of mine spent about $480 a month; and he told me that his ‘treatment’ has been going on for years! We can imagine how much money he has spent over the years!

The best treatment of tendon issues is just simple physical stretching exercise. Yoga postures helps but when perform incorrectly, can cause injuries instead of curing. This is especially true for those who are lacking constant exercises. I normally use the Thai ‘Ruesi Dutton’ (Thai Yoga) exercise as they are simple to learn and yet effective in curing tendon related issues.

In TCM, we can use various massaging techniques using hands, buffalo horns or even sticks to beat and strike on the painful parts. Cupping techniques (拔罐) can also relieve pains on shoulders and waist.  However, cupping should not be used around neck area and head.

At times, herbal formulae should be used in addition to the physical treatment. There is a saying in TCM:

(Heat related illnesses injure tendons)

So, if it is determined that a patient is suffering from ‘heat related’ illnesses (not fever), then proper herbal medicine should be consumed in conjunction with physical treatments. Or the effect is not noticeable.

The key to effective TCM treatments is based on the ability to pinpoint the root cause of the pains and administer proper treatment.

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