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When stubborn pain keeps you from doing what you love, a Chinese pain patch may be just what you need to get moving again.
While herbal teas and pills are the most recognizable form of Chinese herbal medicine, there are many topical applications of herbal medicine as well. Topical herbal medicine (in the form of pain patches or external plasters) can be placed on the skin, directly over areas of pain to increase circulation, enhance healing, and provide rapid pain relief.
Read on to learn more about the many different types of Chinese pain patches and which ones can help you find relief.
What is a Chinese Pain Patch?
Chinese herbal medicine has helped relieve pain and other health conditions for over 2,000 years – both internally as pills and teas, and externally as pain patches.
These patches alleviate pain in the joints, tendons, and muscles, and are commonly used for acute injuries in the world of contact sports and martial arts.
Most pain patches contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that reduce swelling and quiet nagging pain. Beyond symptom relief, Chinese medicine pain patches use a combination of herbs to treat an injury based on the specific stage of the injury: a new injury, an old injury, and chronic pain. Different types of patches can be used based on the stage of your injury or the type of pain you’re experiencing.
How Do Chinese Pain Patches Work?
Pain patches consist of a piece of fabric with an adhesive side that sticks to the skin. The adhesive side contains a strong concentration of pain-relieving Chinese herbs that absorb quickly into the skin and underlying tissues.
Why are Chinese pain patches so effective? In short, they increase circulation, clear inflammation, and set the stage for faster healing.
The body’s normal response to an injury or trauma often causes excessive swelling and what Chinese medicine practitioners call “blood stagnation, or stasis.” When fluids stop moving due to swelling and stagnation, pain results.
Pain patches work by promoting a healthy flow of Qi (energy) and blood through the injury site which promotes healing. They also help by relaxing tendons and muscles and clearing away harmful inflammation.
Chinese pain patches are safe to use in most cases, but should never be used on open wounds or damaged or irritated skin.
Best Chinese Medicine’s Pain Patches
701 patches are best used for minor joint and muscle pain, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, sprains and strains, bruises, or a simple backache. They contain camphor (an antimicrobial ingredient that also acts as a local anesthetic) and menthol (a cooling medicinal that is especially helpful in relieving joint pain and inflammation).
This formula works by first cooling and then warming the affected area to help ease pain. To use, simply remove the film and apply the adhesive side to the clean, dry area of pain. Remove and reapply as needed – one patch can be effective for up to 12 hours.
This famous trauma formula was popularly used in war because of its powerful healing properties but is now used for a variety of modern-day pain issues.
Yunnan Baiyao is unique in that it has the ability to stop bleeding, while also promoting blood flow. For this reason, it is excellent for treating both internal and external injuries (although the patches are for external use only). Applying a Yunnan Baiyao pain patch offers great pain relief from musculoskeletal issues such as neck pain, back pain, and hip pain. Apply the patch to the area of pain no more than 3-4 times daily for relief.
Zhuang Gu patches are a natural analgesic for minor aches and pains such as muscle aches, arthritis, strains, and bruises. They have a warming quality and are therefore best in situations where your pain worsens when exposed to cold. Opt for a more cooling patch if your pain feels hot or burning. Apply 1-2 patches to the affected area once per day and remove after 12 hours.
Hua Tuo pain patches may provide substantial relief for stiffness around the neck and shoulders, knees, and joints in general. This extra-strength formula offers faster and longer warming relief. It is particularly useful for muscle aches after an intense workout. To use, just remove the film and apply it to a clean and dry area. Do not use it more than 2-3 times daily.
Relieve pain and stress with one patch. Bao Zhen Gao patches have a pleasant smelling aroma that promotes relaxation while easing muscle tension. It contains both mint and wintergreen oils which give it cooling properties. This can be great when seeking relief from injuries that present with heat signs such as warm, red, inflamed joints. Apply to a clean, dry area and reapply no more than 2-3 times per day.
What Chinese Pain Patch is Right for You?
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a Chinese patch for pain relief. But which one is right for you? The answer depends on what type of pain you’re experiencing.
The Best Chinese Herbal Patches for Back Pain
Back pain is typically caused by an exercise, sports, or work-related injury or overuse. This creates knots in the muscle layer, strained muscles, and nagging pain. To relieve pain, we must encourage the free flow of energy and blood to those muscles. The herbs in the following pain patches invigorate the blood and promote the free flow of Qi and blood, and therefore pain relief.
These patches are great for generalized back pain because they quickly relieve muscular aches and tension. They can also improve pain related to the spine, like spinal stenosis.
These are helpful for back pain due to pulled muscles, strains, muscular knots, and other injuries at the muscular level.
The Best Chinese Herbal Arthritis Pain Patches
Pain patches are a simple and effective way to relieve arthritis and joint pain. In Chinese medicine, arthritis can have many different causes so it is important to understand the correct TCM diagnosis in order to know which pain patch can provide proper relief of symptoms, instead of aggravating them.
This is especially effective for joints and therefore helpful in relieving pain and inflammation for those suffering from arthritis. This formula is on the neutral to warm side so could be beneficial for those with cool, achy joints that feel better with warmth.
These patches can be great for arthritis as they can relieve any minor aches and pains within the joints and surrounding musculature. The temperature of this formula is fairly neutral so it is safe to use for both hot or cold-type arthritis pain.
The Best Chinese Herbal Knee Pain Relief Patches
Whether due to injury or overuse, herbal pain patches can help lessen knee pain, especially when they contain herbs that specifically support the knees and joints.
These can be beneficial for any joint including the knee. This herbal patch can help to relax the tendons and would be great for anyone experiencing knee pain with stiffness.
This is great for knee pain with redness and inflammation. It is cooling in nature and helps by reducing inflammation and soothing the joint.
Relieve Pain Naturally with Chinese Pain Patches
Tired of living with pain? Chinese medicine can help. Along with rehabilitation exercises, a healthy diet, and other pain-relieving lifestyle habits, Chinese pain patches provide relief from muscle pain, joint pain, arthritis pain, and more.
Discover our full collection of Chinese pain patches, liniments, and other Chinese herbal medicines for holistic pain relief.
What other natural pain relief tips would you like to learn? Tell us in the comments!
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