How TCM can help with Office Syndrome

Office syndrome is a group of symptoms caused by sitting or remaining in the same position for long periods of time, mainly while working on the computer in an office setting. When left untreated for prolonged periods, it can result in chronic pain, intervertebral disc disease and abnormalities in the spine. Your posture and your ability to function or move normally can be affected. Poor air quality in the office can cause further health damage.

 

Symptoms of office syndrome are:

-Headache and neck, shoulder and back pain

-Aching arms, wrists and fingers

-Numbness of wrist or feet

-Eye stain, dry eyes and glare

 

TCM can help with alleviating office syndrome symptoms by moving stagnant Qi, improving circulation and releasing muscle tension. The physical pain or discomfort can be significantly relieved by acupuncture or bone and muscle manipulations, whereas natural herbs can help with improving energy internally.

According to TCM theory, environmental wind can easily invade the body from the outside. Constant exposure to air conditioning in the office can result in a headache or muscle ache from the ‘wind’.  A ‘statement of fact’ in TCM teachings states: “Wind is the chief of the one hundred diseases”. Wind is often carries environmental factors into the body, and wind causes disturbances, literally moving the pain from joint to joint.TCM treatments for such pains are herbs for internal balancing, acupuncture, scraping (gua sha) or cupping.

If you are feeling the symptoms and want it to stop affecting your daily live, come see our TCM Physician to help manage this. TCM is natural, non-invasive and highly effective for treating this.

What you can do to manage office syndrome:

Your own behavior

-Change your sitting or working position every twenty or thirty minutes

-Stretch the muscles in your arms, hands, wrists and legs every hour. Get up and walk around.

-Make sure your wrists are in a straight position; do not bend or twist them too often

-Give your eyes a rest from the computer every ten minutes

-Sit with a straight posture

-Do not sit on the edge of your seat

 

Your workspace

-Set your computer and keyboard facing you

-The screen should be a little over your eyeline

-There should be a lot of space for you to use the mouse and mover your arms

-The computer should be an arms-length away from you

Acupuncture for Pain Management

Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that is increasingly used in the day-to-day management of pain. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles at acupoints to un-block Qi or stagnated energy. This is to restore balance and Qi flow for the body to heal and thus reduce the pains.

In the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system, the body is in a delicate balance of two opposing forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, female, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, male, or active principle. TCM works on the premise that health is achieved by maintaining the body in a ‘balanced state’ and that disease occurs when there is internal imbalance. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of Qi (vital energy) along the meridians.

There are up to 356 mapped acupoints on the body surface located along meridians or channels of energy flow. It is believed that there are 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians and that there are more than 2000 acupuncture points in the human body that connect with them.

From a western point of view, research has shown that during acupuncture, the brain sends signals and releases endorphins that reduces pain. This is a natural way to stimulate your own body to manage the pain without using medication.

 

The benefits of using acupuncture for pain management are:

-Natural, no medication

-Positive side effect of your body system balancing itself thus bring health in other areas

-Works on treating the  root cause of the pain, rather than just reducing symptoms

 

Acupuncture Techniques for Pain Management

Basic needling

Needles are inserted at different acupoints to a depth of 4–25 mm and left in place for a period of time (up to 20 minutes). The sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache at the entry point. Many people say they feel very relaxed or sleepy, and some report increased energy levels afterwards.

Electro acupuncture (EA)

A tiny focused electric current is applied to the needle itself, and the current is felt. Just a slight sensation is enough to achieve results.

 

We employ both techniques at Elements TCM Clinic.

 

Examples of pains that can be effectively managed by acupuncture:

-Sciatica: Sciatic nerve is  very deep nerve, so physical manipulation takes a very long time. Acupuncture can stimulate effectively healing at that depth.

-Common desk bound ailments: stiff neck, carpal tunnel

-Sports injuries.

-Neck pain

-Back pain

-Sciatica

-Headaches

-Migraines

-Tennis elbow

-Arthritis

-Sprains

-Fibromyalgia

-Postoperative pain

The Science of Pulse Reading in TCM

In Chinese medicine pulse taking has been used as one of the most important diagnostic tools for over 2000 years and is considered one of the most valuable of all the devices to which a physician can resort. It provides a clear window into the pulsating waves of the body as the health of the organs can be felt in the different pulses.

The TCM physician uses three fingers to take the patient’s pulse at three positions on each wrist simultaneously, and will judge the pulse. There are 26 basic pulse types, each type of pulse signifies certain health conditions.

The physician will first use only light pressure against the patient’s wrist, then increase it. The light pressure allows the physician to check one specific organ, the increased pressure another one. Every organ’s status can be monitored by the quality of the pulse. The physician can, among other things, feel if the organ lacks energy, or the energy has stagnated, if there is a lack of ‘blood’, or if a pathogenic factor has invaded the organ. TCM focuses on root causes of ailments and treating the body before it becomes ill. Pulse reading allows the physician to identify specific organs or body systems that may not be functioning so well and would require attention or nourishment.

The physician has to take into account various other factors together with pulse reading before arriving at an accurate diagnosis. For example, the age, gender, profession of a patient would influence the pulse. A highly experienced physician looks at the overall picture to derive the condition of the patient.

Wind and Body Aches

Wondering why you have sudden aches and pains without any injuries? TCM may have the answer.

In a healthy person the qi moves freely through the body, like water flowing through a clear river. However, when there is an obstruction in the river, the flow of clear water stops, and debri starts to accumulate resulting in a murky pool of stagnant water. Likewise, a network of channels carry qi (life force) through the body but if damp or cold enters a channel it blocks the flow of qi, especially near the joints, causing swelling and pain. Damp or cold can invade the body from outside causing disease.

According to TCM theory, environmental wind can easily invade the body from the outside. For example, if you expose your head, neck or shoulders excessively to cold wind or air conditioning, you will most likely get a headache or muscle ache from the ‘wind’.  A ‘statement of fact’ in TCM teachings states: “Wind is the chief of the one hundred diseases”. Wind is often carries environmental factors into the body, and wind causes disturbances, literally moving the pain from joint to joint.

The characteristics of wind invading the body are sudden symptoms, pain that moves from one place to another and, in some cases, paralysis.

 

Wind + Dampness: the joints will be swollen and feel heavy with a dull ache.

Dampness + Heat: the joints will swell and feel heavy and hot.

Wind + cold: perhaps the most painful because cold contracts and the pain can be quite excruciating.

 

TCM treatments for such pains are herbs for internal balancing, acupuncture, scraping (gua sha) or cupping.

In Singapore, we have a heavy reliance on air conditioning. Avoid being under direct aircon draft and wipe off sweat quickly before entering air conditioning. A weak immune system may not have strong enough qi to protect the body from invasion of wind. According to TCM, there is a defensive Qi that controls the opening and closing of pores, that is to defend the body against external aggressions. People with weak defensive qi need to take extra care to eat well, wrap up on cold days, and get plenty of rest.

 

TCM Advice:

-Avoid sitting on damp surfaces

-Dry off sweat as soon as possible

-Dry off properly after a shower

-Dry wet hair thoroughly, if rushing for time, focus on drying the scalp

-Cover up if in air-con environment