In many instances, using traditional acupuncture for sciatica can help immeasurably in relieving the searing pain and discomfort of sciatic nerve irritation. Here we explain sciatic nerve pain from a traditional acupuncture perspective.There can be many reasons for sciatica. It is a debilitating condition where pressure on the sciatic nerve root occurs either in the buttocks or the lower back. The pain from the pressure is radiated down the leg.
In some instances, people experience pain from the lower back all the way down the leg, right to the toes. In other instances, people will experience the pain and discomfort only in the foot.
It is inexplicable where an individual will experience the pain. However, it will appear in an area that is influenced and controlled by the sciatic nerve, which is one very big nerve operating as a branch of the central nervous system.
As a past sufferer of sciatic nerve pain, I can vouch for the intensity and actual invasive quality of this pain. It is incredibly debilitating and breathtaking. In many instances, when the sciatic nerve pain strikes, the person suffering from it pays attention in a very big way.
From a traditional acupuncture perspective, sciatic nerve pain originates from what we call “kidney deficiency”. It can be a kidney deficiency of the Yang which is the lack of warming quality of the body or a kidney deficiency of the Yin which is a lack of the cooling properties in the body.
Now we perceive the nervous responses. cardiovascular responses or muscular responses from a dualistic perspective, the Yin (the cooling) and Yang (the heating). If there is pain, there is an imbalance between the amount of coolant and the amount of warming energy.
So from an acupuncture perspective, our whole treatment paradigm is aligned to strengthening the area of the body that is deficient and that enables that excess (in the form of sciatic pain) to occur. So the fundamental law says that where there is excess, there will also be deficiency.
While there are many methods to control the actual pain in the nerves (which is the excess), traditional acupuncture comes behind the scene and nourishes and supports the deficiency that has led to the excess (the sciatic nerve pain).
This sciatic pain area is a continuum – it has been a continuum in my practice since Day1, right up to today, 30+ years later. It is such a common problem and the pain is so debilitating and the patient’s need is so urgent that even in the early days, when acupuncture was not well accepted in the West, people would still seek recourse with me then for relief from sciatica.
Now it is much more common for people to use acupuncture to resolve sciatic pain. I think it is a wonderful use of acupuncture and it is particularly gratifying if we are able to avoid surgical intervention or heavy pharmaceutical interventions where there are strong side effects.
It is fantastic that we can relieve sciatic nerve pain using acupuncture – a natural healing process for the body.