Healing from an injury is a delicate process that requires time, care, and extra support. After a sprain, strain, or other traumatic injury has been treated by medical professionals, Chinese medicine formulas and topicals can help your body heal faster, stronger, and with less pain.
Chinese Medicine Basics for Sprains, Strains & Sports Injuries
Chinese medicine has long been used in the world of trauma. In the early days of martial arts training (and still today), Chinese medicine was integral to the recovery and healing process for athletes and fighters. Ancient formulas have been passed down through the centuries to help encourage miraculous healing results with herbs and other holistic therapies. Today they can offer relief for sports injuries and weekend warrior strains and sprains.
Almost all injuries involve pain. Chinese medicine uses specific herbs with strong pain-relieving effects to both reduce discomfort and speed up the healing process.
Proper blood flow is crucial for healing all injuries and trauma. When an injury occurs, blood and tissue in the area can stagnate or clot. While this helps in the initial stages of injury, it can prevent full healing later on. Chinese medicine uses herbs that enhance the flow and quality of blood to fully restore and nourish the damaged area.
Chinese herbal medicine often has the task of reducing inflammation. Inflammation is an important aspect of healing injury and is the immune system’s first response to damage. After the initial stages of the healing have passed, however, ongoing inflammation can cause problems like pain, swelling, and distress. Chinese herbs help to eliminate lingering inflammation and encourage proper healing.
Liver – Sprains
A sprain is a tear in a ligament. Symptoms of a sprain often involve pain, swelling, bruising, weakness, instability, and poor joint movement. Chinese medicine uses herbs that improve the flow of blood as well as enhancing the Liver function. This is because the Liver system manages the ligaments and tendons of the body.
Liver and Spleen – Strain
A strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon. Strains often cause pain, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, cramping, swelling, inflammation, and limited range of motion. To treat injuries of the muscles and tendons, Chinese medicine supports the Spleen and Liver, as the Spleen is involved in maintaining muscle tone and strength.
Kidney – Bone and Trauma
The Kidney supports all bone and marrow in the body. Injuries like fractures, bone spurs, or breaks occur, the Kidney must be treated for full recovery. The Kidney is also highly involved with the emotions of fear and will, both of which are often present in severe injuries like bone breaks or more severe trauma. Chinese medicine address both the physical and mental damages done by traumatic injury by healing and restoring the Kidney system.
Injuries should always be treated by a medical professional first. Chinese medicine is a helpful next step in the healing process to ensure full healing and expedite the recovery. Acupuncture and massage are often recommended to help encourage healthy blood flow and relieve pain. Other techniques like gua sha (scraping) and cupping are also used for muscle injuries. Qigong offers many healing exercises to rehabilitate the injured area in a gentle way.
Chinese herbal formulas for injuries and pain may be either internal (pills or teas) or external (liniments, patches, or medicated oils). Both types of herbal treatment work to relieve pain, improve blood flow, and quicken the healing process. Internal herbal formulas for trauma are also focused on supporting the body’s core energy in order to provide a steady basis for continued healing and a full recovery.
The following are important herbs used in our popular formulas for sprains, strains, and trauma.
San Qi/ Panax notoginseng: San qi is one of the most famous Chinese herbs because of its key role in the popular formula, Yunnan Baiyao. Yunnan Baiyao (and San qi itself) is known for its ability to relieve pain, stop bleeding, and speed up healing in traumatic injuries and bleeding disorders.
Ru Xiang and Mo Yao/ Frankincense and Myrrh: Ru xiang and mo yao are almost always used together in Chinese herbal formulas to stop pain and heal tissue.
Zhang nao/ Camphor: Camphor, along with menthol, is a common medicinal used in many Chinese herbal topical formulas. Liniments and oils like Zheng Gu Shui, Po Sum On, and 701 Patches use camphor to locally relieve pain, boost the immune response, and act as an antimicrobial.
Accidents can occur when you least expect them. Be prepared and support your body’s natural healing processes with our top Chinese herbal remedies for muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone injuries.
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