Acupuncture for Muscle Strain and Other Injuries

acupuncture for muscle strain
Photo by Hanna Postova/


Muscle strain is a common occurrence. It’s almost an accepted reality with athletes. It can also result from everyday activities, like lifting heavy objects or simply sitting on an office chair for hours on end. As such, most people think that they should just endure mild to moderate pain. If the pain becomes too great, some people also think that simply popping painkillers will erase the problem. However, acupuncture for muscle pain may be a more viable option.


But the latter only deals with the symptom, it does nothing for the root cause of the condition. For example, pain killers don’t directly address the internal tear or the overstretched fibers within the muscle. Thus, the inflammation which painkillers or other first aid methods like RICE alleviated can return. If a person persists on using that body part despite the injury, it could only worsen the condition and may result in chronic strain.



Muscle strain: can acupuncture help?

Pain management and relief is one of the top reasons why more and more people worldwide seek out acupuncture. In China, however, traditional healing modalities have been an integral part of medical practices for several millennia already. It’s what martial arts practitioners have been employing for the aches and injuries they accumulate from their respective disciplines. Acupuncture has also been known to help improve their body’s movements and thus can enhance their performance. Acupuncture for muscle strain, meanwhile, can help with more specific issues.


Traditional Chinese medicine and, in particular, acupuncture’s momentum couldn’t have lasted to this day and age if it didn’t deliver a measure of the results that people hope for, and those who want more tangible evidence would find no shortage of research conducted on the efficacy of acupuncture, not just for managing pain but also for a whole range of physical, mental, and emotional concerns.



A brief on using acupuncture for muscle strain

How exactly can acupuncture for muscle strain help you? Generally speaking, the licensed acupuncturist would first need to perform a thorough consultation and examination in order to pinpoint the nature and location of the injury. Tram Pham, L.Ac., the clinic’s owner and lead acupuncturist, performs acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic. She practices the distal healing system known as the Balance Method, which she learned directly from its pioneer, Master Richard Tan, during the last years of his life. This distinct acupuncture system is then what the acupuncturist would employ, along with a seamless blend of other traditional healing modalities, to commence treatment.


Acupuncture can help you restore balance in your body. Photo by Patrick Hendry/


The Balance Method involves inserting ultra-fine needles in acupuncture points that seemingly have nothing to do with the injured site. For instance, if the injury is on the right elbow, the Balance Method practitioner would stimulate the distal points of that injury. This often means that the needles could be inserted anywhere on the left side of the body.


This can indeed appear counterintuitive to the layperson. However, distal healing puts a heavier emphasis on holistic healing. The more common acupuncture technique of inserting needles in or around the actual injury isn’t as important. This is largely because the Balance Method of distal healing seeks to treat not just the specific injury. It also seeks to treat other possible issues within the body.



How acupuncture works

What happens next may be familiar to most. Stimulating acupuncture points would activate the flow of “Qi” throughout the body’s meridians or energy pathways. Qi blockages may be the root of muscle strain and other things that cause injuries. Practitioners open up these blockages in order to restore proper energy flow and return balance throughout the body. Having this happen can result in the promotion of the body’s own self-healing mechanisms. Other than this, acupuncture can also directly improve the patient’s mental and emotional states.


That last benefit might just prove invaluable for professional athletes who have suffered critical injuries that may require surgery. Acupuncture for muscle strain can greatly aid in the rehabilitation process by speeding up recovery and giving a much-needed boost to the athlete’s morale. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has vast experience in this issue. Our lead acupuncture practitioner has treated many athletes, both on the local and the international stage.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

People seeking relief from pain might find the prospect of having multiple needles pricking their skin more than a little daunting. This type of pain might be nothing for athletes who accept pain as a regular part of their regimen. However, it’s a different story for children and perhaps the elderly as well. Acupuncture treatments here in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic use premium Japanese acupuncture needles which are sharper and thinner—patients would feel them a lot less than they would regular needles, and their use comes at no extra cost.


The clinic also offers other traditional Chinese therapies, including fire or dry cupping, moxibustion, and tui na or acupressure. You can experience all these along with acupuncture for muscle strain, the clinic also operates an Herbal Pharmacy which stocks a wide range of powders, pills, teas, and therapeutic herbs. Herbal remedies are highly recommended for recovering patients and athletes as well, and the clinic offers the options of receiving your prescribed herbs through mail and of consultation via phone or video calls for those living outside the Santa Barbara and Goleta areas.