How to understand a car accident
the title of this brochure is car accident, the principle of the
diagnosis and treatment here for a car accident is the same if
the accident is due to fall down, beat, electric shock, lift
heavy stuff, physical exercise (including Yoga, or martial art),
or any mechanical trauma to the body.
When the accident just happened
Everyone, the accident suffer or doctor,
should pay much attention to a hidden damage after a car
accident, beside an open wound. In the western countries, the
emergency service staff is the fist called to the accident spot.
They should know how to deal with an open or hidden damage. But
it is not always true.
Do not have strong physical exercise within
one week after an accident.
We remind you not have strong physical
exercise within one week after the accident, since you do not
know if there is a hidden damage, such as linear bone broken,
that you or your doctor do not realize in acute phase of
accident (they cannot scan whole of your bone to detect it). In
clinic, so many time we see people get pain in the body, where
it is usually not the damaged place that have attracted the
doctors’ attention in the acute stage.
The extent of your physical activity should
match the healing process. Extensive physical exercise does not
speed up your healing at all. In fact, it is opposite.
Do not use ice patch for more than half
It is so common that people use ice patch
on the damaged body surface with the hope to reduce pain. It is
true that ice patch may work to reduce the blood supply and to
reduce the signal transduction in the nerves, so to reduce the
swelling and pain. However, in Traditional Chinese Medicine
(TCM), it will also cause the invasion of Cold Qi (Qi here means
something that may cause disease if it comes into the body).
In TCM, the Cold Qi is one of the most
common reasons for pain in muscle, joints and inside organs. It
blocks the energy flow to the tissue. Pain is the result of the
block of bio-energy in the tissues. If you never have concept of
such Qi in the body, please check our website for more
It can also be understand that the ice
patch reduces blood supply to the damaged tissue, so reduces the
nutrition and oxygen supply to the cells, therefore to speed up
the death of cells, resulting in a prolonged healing process and
turning the acute damage to chronic.
When the car accident has happened for a
In TCM, we should know if the patient has
any other disease along with the chronic pain due to car
accident. If it is, we need to decide if we should pay attention
to that disease first. If yes, the treatment of a car accident
is only a part of the whole treatment program. For example, if a
patient has Qi deficiency and/or blood deficiency, only work on
the damaged part of body with acupuncture does not work well or
the healing progress will be slow, or the pain is easy to come
back later, if the doctor does not or have no ability to solve
these deficient conditions. Similarly, if the patient has very
strong emotional stress, such as anxiety or depression, or if
the one is very sensitive, the healing has to target to the
correction of the emotion disorder too.
How we treat a car accident
In our clinic, we use several remedies of
TCM for the treatment. They are acupuncture, herbal oil, herbal
tea, massage, cupping, moxibustion, etc. depending on the area
of the pain and the body reaction of patients to each of the
Acupuncture is popularly used in a car
accident, especially in North America
since other therapies, such as herbal therapy, is not available
in most clinic.
Acupuncture works to release pain, reduce
swelling, soften scar tissue, and reduce bruise. It should be
performed at least twice a week during the first several weeks.
Some practitioner uses electric acupuncture, but most of us use
primary acupuncture. We do not feel that the electric
acupuncture works better than the primary acupuncture technique.
The most important in the treatment is to let patient feel
needle feeling (not the pain) in the acupuncture spot. To reach
the healing effect, it is needed that the practitioner inserts
each needle with high focus on what he is doing. In theory, the
subtle hand feeling of the practitioner on the tip of needle is
Sometimes you may also heard laser
acupuncture. We tried it and feel that it is only a choice for
those who cannot tolerate the needle acupuncture. Instead, we
may recommend you to have an “acupuncture machine” with which
you only need to put stimulating probes on specific acupuncture
points for the treatment. Your acupuncture practitioner should
be able to tell you these acupuncture spots. If you cannot find
such machine, you may try Tens Machine.
(2). Herbal therapy
Herbal therapy is the main part of TCM. We
also use it quite often. With the combination of acupuncture and
herbs the healing is much faster.
The herbs work to improve blood circulation
in the affected area, improve recovery of cells (including nerve
cells), so to speed up the healing. In Chinese, we say that it
improves bio-energy flow in that area, and removes “block” on
the path of the bio-energy flow. The block can be dead blood,
that we call it “stagnation of blood”, Cold, Phlegm (the phlegm
you cough out is only a narrow concept in TCM), Wetness, or
Dryness. Based on your feeling and others, each kind of “block”
needs different herb or herb formula to work on it.
A special issue in the TCM treatment of car
accident is that the affected people usually have stress or
anxiety. Such emotion makes the connective tissue, including
tendons, spasm so to increase the pain and make the pain in
chronic. A herbalist must also work to solve the disorders in
the emotion to ensure the recovery of whole body function.
Typically you have to bring the herbs home
and cook by yourself before you can drink the tea. In our
clinic, the herbs are already-cooked. You only need to mix it
with water to dissolve it before drinking.
Herb oil or herb patch
Commonly we also use herbal oil or herbal
patch on the affected skin or joint area. They work from outside
and herbal tea works from inside. They work to release pain and
reduce swelling. The weakness of the patch is that it may cause
skin reaction (skin rash and itch) in some people. If you have
it, simply stop to use it. The skin reaction is normally not a
Cupping is another common way in TCM for
treatment. In old times, Chinese family uses it for treatment by
themselves without need to go to a doctor. It is still used
these days since it is good to relax muscle, improve blood
circulation, so to release pain.
The weakness of the cupping therapy is the
dark mark on the skin after cupping. But it is only on the skin
for a short time, it never is a permanent problem. If you have
dark mark, it means that you have trouble in your body. If you
are healthy, there is no mark at all after cupping. So, come to
check the skin mark to see how healthy you are!
We recommend that you keep a cupping set in
your hands so you can have treatment at home by yourself without
come to us. It is easy to learn how to use it. We can help you.
In our experience, the healing of a car
accident is, sometimes, not as good as of an arthritis. It
really needs several times of treatments to reduce swelling and
pain, then needs a maintenance program to really “fix” it. So
often, we found that the pain returns because the patients stop
the treatment when their pain have gone and they turned to
normal physical action too early. A maintenance program is