The past couple of years I’ve been learning more about other methods of Chinese medicine. Traditional acupuncture works really well but there are always cases that make you reflect on whether you could be doing something different. This last year I’ve been learning about the Sinew Channels which are briefly acknowledged on acupuncture courses but not taught at all. Acupuncture courses teach the 12 meridians because they are the standarised curriculum based on what Mao set up in the 1950’s. But there are many more systems. I consider the 12 meridians a bit like a Swiss Army Knife. The 12 meridians work brilliantly on a lot of different things, hence, why they are perfect as a standarised method. However, there are times when you need a specialist tool dedicated to the task at hand. For many painful conditions, I’m discovering that the Sinews channels, with it’s unique needling and palpation of the channel, incredibly effective. The Sinews Channels hold a lot of painful conditions because, from a Daoist perceptive, they represent how we relate to the world around us. For example, when are sitting quietly in a chair and suddenly need to get up, we look up, engage the top and bottom of our spine, and press our feet to the ground which tightens our back, bottom, hamstrings and calf muscles. If we spend our day thinking of the tasks ahead of us, and what we need to do, we send micro signals to our body to “get up”, thus tightening our neck, back, glutes, and calf muscles. These microsignals are as instinctual as sweating when it’s hot. If we constantly tighten these muscles, we can develop back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, sciatica. However, the treatment of the Sinews isn’t just about relaxing muscles, it’s also about awareness. The Sinews treatment is very interactive where the patient works with the practitioner finding weak and tense points. With that awareness, the patient can discover the links and connections to their pain and create an awareness so that they can let go. We can’t be “in the moment” at all times since we have jobs and families that require planning. We can create space where we aren’t planning all the time or unnecessarily. By understanding where we hold pain, we are more empowered to let it go.
Pain relief from a Sinews treatment can be instantaneous. I had one patient who has struggled to get out of her chair because of sciatica. She’d been to the osteopath many times with no success. I previously did Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture with some success but the treatment didn’t last longer than a few days, which she was grateful for but I wasn’t satisfied with. She went to see her doctor who suggested surgery. Needless to say, she still wanted some pain relief until she could undergo surgery. Willing to try something different, we did a treatment on the Sinews Channel using its unique needling technique down the channel. After the treatment, she got up off the table with absolutely no pain. None at all. The next day she called me up to say that not only was she still pain free, she had been woken up every night in the past year with leg cramps and after the treatment she no longer had leg cramps at night. I saw her two weeks after the treatment and she is still pain free.