What to expect at the traditional acupuncture clinic

At the Traditional Acupuncture Clinic we want you to realise your treatment goals as fast as possible. Pain reduction and resolution are our most common services and Traditional East Asian Medicine has an excellent track record in the treatment of pain conditions. When you make an appointment you can expect a thorough assessment and immediate commencement of treatment. We want you to achieve pain reduction and resolution as fast as possible. Your goals align with ours, which is why we are dedicated to excellence in service, advice and treatment.

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We aim to reduce and resolve pain

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We tailor your treatment course to your needs and restrictions

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We advise you on the best course of action and how else and who else may be able to assist

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The treatment is our passion; we have dedicated ourselves to developing and refining our treatment skill


why choose us for acupuncture gold coast

The treatment is our passion. Consequently, we have armed ourselves with both the knowledge and skill to help you. Our dedication to this aspect of our service is unrelenting. We want you to choose us for acupuncture Gold Coast. If you are in pain, whether new or old, it is beneficial for you to understand how pain works. Below is our guide to pain and why Traditional East Asian Medicine, through the use of acupuncture, moxibustion, massage and herbal granules, can assist you.


5 facts about pain you need to know

Education is an important aspect of treatment. Below are five important facts critical to understanding the biology of pain and perhaps your own pain experience.

  1. The purpose of pain is to protect us

    Pain is a conscious and unpleasant feeling that coerces us to seek protective behaviours.  This feeling originates from our brain as a result of various sensory inputs and modulating factors.  These sensory inputs may or may not be involved with actual tissue damage; meaning it is often misleading to consider your level of pain to be proportional with the degree of tissue damage you have suffered.  This is good news, as no matter how much it hurts, the majority of us will have excellent prospects for resolution.


  2. The experience of pain is modulated by the brain

    Sensory inputs from the tissues are weighed and interpreted by the brain.  A multitude of brain parts are involved simultaneously.  When these areas link electrically and chemically they produce a pattern of activity which may result in pain.  Individually many of these brain areas are related to sensation, movement, emotions and memory.  Whether our brains reflect negatively or positively on sensory information they receive has a lot do with our psychological wellbeing, thinking habits and past experiences.  The factors modulating pain can be extremely complicated and individualised.  Having this knowledge empowers you to understand and potentially control your own pain experience. 

  3. Danger is a critical underpinning of pain

    If our sensory and cognitive faculties find any credible evidence that we are in danger, pain will likely be an outcome.  In fact, during a threatening situation and especially when there is pain, multiple body systems are mobilised to assist us, creating symptoms beyond where it hurts.  In a modern society, it would be extremely rare to be under the threat of death, however the meaning of pain, its repercussions on our life and the memory of past sufferings are all very dangerous to our brain.

  4. Tissue damage is another underpinning of pain among other relevant problems

    Tissue damage and abnormalities generate messages that are responded to by the brain.  Ensuring adequate healing and resolution of these problems is important for treating and avoiding pain.  However, as outlined above, the context and meaning of our pain and how they relate to our psychological well-being and thinking habits is also crucial.  Furthermore, our physical conditioning gives us confidence in our ability to move when we have pain and also to rehabilitate protective behaviours.

  5. Chronic pain involves altered sensory, messaging and modulating mechanisms

    If circumstances permit, the spinal cord can magnify the amount of danger messages transmitted to the brain.  The brain, in turn, can also adapt to become more receptive to these messages.  When pain and other protective responses occur, they too can increase the sensitivity of the sensory system embedded in the tissues.  In this instance, the processes behind the production of pain have become altered and the original message from the tissues has been distorted.  Although these feedback loops exist to promote our survival, they can in a sense, be defective if we are suffering from chronic pain.  It is for this reason that it is beneficial to understand pain as a disease of both the body tissues and the nervous system. 


Why Choose Traditional East Asian Medicine

Traditional East Asian Medicine is an old but cohesive health care system.  At its heart, it is always trying to understand the context and circumstances behind your symptoms.  As outlined above, pain is not just a measure of tissue damage.  The context and circumstances behind your pain can be just as relevant as the injured area itself.  At the Traditional Acupuncture Clinic we think that the system of Traditional East Asian Medicine is ideal for pain therapy.  Furthermore, you can feel confident that it is NOT at odds with the modern scientific understanding of pain.   The knowledge of both these modalities can complement each other.      


Pain Presentations

Pain is a more complex symptom than you probably realise. This is why we find it important to educate our patients about pain as well as treating it. Below are some resources for you to peruse covering modern and traditional perspectives on pain and its presentation. We have chosen subjects that are common in our clinic and suited to acupuncturemoxibustionmassage and herbal granule treatment. If you have any questions or an uncommon disease/ presentation please contact the clinic and we can advise you if our services are suitable.


Pain - A Modern Perspective

Needle head moxibustion in the shoulder, Gold Coast Acupuncture

Pain is a protective and conscious feeling that compels us to protect ourselves. It is important to remember that the pathology of pain is a compound between the body tissues and the nervous system (nerves/ spinal cord/ brain). When experiencing pain, a harmful stimuli has caused signals to be transmitted through chains of nerve fibers, via the spinal cord, to the brain. This signalling process, called nociception, is evaluated in the brain and may initiate a pain response. In treatment, changing factors that stimulate nociception is one of the methods to change pain. Abnormalities/ damage can exist in a variety of tissues within the musculoskeletal system. Finding and resolving them positively influences nociception and on many occasions will resolve or improve pain symptoms.

To reiterate the statement above; pain is a compound of pathology between the body tissues and the nervous system. The role of the brain is more complex than just receiving signals from the peripheral nervous system and promoting them into our consciousness. There are innumerable cells that comprise the human brain. It is common for large groups of brain cells to function collectively in networks in order to drive certain outcomes. Modern Neuroscience conceptualizes an individual network as a Neurotag, and theorizes that the brain is a mass of Neurotags that influence and compete against each other.

When nociception occurs it causes activation of a variety of Neurotags across the brain, many of these Neurotags will regulate each other, which in turn strengthens or weakens an associated response. The Neurotags relating to cognition (what you think), perception (what you feel) and action (what you do) are thought to have the most influence on the production of pain symptoms. The process of modulation between Neurotags is critical to the emergence of pain and highlights the complexity and variability of pain experiences between individuals. In treatment, understanding the neurological component of pain is akin to understanding the context of pain. Often this is useful for deciphering its causes, giving advice, re-conceptualizing a patients experience and refining the treatment strategy.

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Muscle and Tendon Pain

Muscle pain and stiffness – Intermittent aching pain, pain on movement (particularly at end of range), feeling of tightness/ stiffness.

Acute muscle pain – severe pain on movement often throughout entire range, sometimes patient is unable to move.

Strains – acute tissue damage affecting muscles or their tendons, localised pain with history of trauma, worse on movement (pain often absent during mid range), particularly painful on resisted movement, loss of strength, tenderness on palpation, swelling and heat (signs of inflammation).

Cumulative trauma – can affect muscles and tendons, history of slow onset, tending toward constant pain with pain at rest, dull pain with sharp exacerbations, worse for sustained use, pain on resisted movement, on occasion some signs of inflammation, may also be referred to as tendinitis/repetitive strain (RSI).

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Traditional neck massage treatment at Gold Coast Acupuncture

Ligament and Joint Pain

Joint pain (Osteoarthritis) – Intermittent or constant pain, dull/ deep/ aching pain, stiffness and pain for short period after rest, pain after sustained use (when advanced any use), pain at the end of passive range, tenderness on the joint line, mild swelling, popping/ crunching, deformity, instability, usually patient is approximately 50 years or older.

Sprains – acute tissue damage affecting ligaments, localised pain with history of trauma, worse on movement with decreased range of movement, pain especially at the end of range (often absent during mid-range), pain on weight bearing, severe tenderness on palpation, swelling/ bruising (signs of inflammation), protective muscle spasm.

Bursitis – localised pain, worse for resisted movement, tender to palpate, swelling, usually associated with cumulative trauma.

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Gentle needling at Gold Coast Acupuncture

Acute Tissue Damage

Strains – acute tissue damage affecting muscles or their tendons, localised pain with history of trauma, worse on movement (pain often absent during mid range), particularly painful on resisted movement, loss of strength, tenderness on palpation, swelling and heat (signs of inflammation).

Sprains – acute tissue damage affecting ligaments, localised pain with history of trauma, worse on movement with decreased range of movement, pain especially at the end of range (pain often absent during mid-range), pain on weight bearing, severe tenderness on palpation, swelling/ bruising/ heat (signs of inflammation), protective muscle spasm.

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Nerve Pain

Nerve pain/ Sciatica – burning/ tingling/ cramping pain, numbness, can effect an entire extremity but has a strong relationship with the lower part of the extremity, muscle wasting, often associated with neck or lower back pain, often the result of bone/ joint pathologies of the spine, occasionally associated with muscle pathologies, worse for positions/ activities that accentuate the compression of the nerve, often occurring in conjunction with muscle and joint pain.

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