Dr. Lori Horan Soule, ND, LAc

Soule Health Care

3526 SW Corbett

Portland OR, 97239


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Newsletter Archive

Hope for Chronic Pain Patients

September 29, 2011

"I would eat snake eyes if someone told me it would help my pain," one woman said to me. Whether chronic pain originates from a traumatic external injury or from a slow-onset internal cause, most people want to eliminate pain as quickly as possible. What do you do when you have already tried the best that medicine has to offer and you're still hurting?

Over time, many people with chronic pain observe that the intensity of pain they feel is greater when mental and emotional stressors grow. It is well known that the mental and emotional state of a person will influence his or her reaction to pain. If people are in good spirits, their pain thresholds are different than if they are nervous, agitated, depressed, or angry.

Five Element acupuncture is extremely effective for chronic pain because it integrates the body and mind. It recognizes a correlation between the origin of chronic pain and the individual's patterns of reaction to conflict situations. These patterns are often very important clues to blocks in the energetic system of the body. Acupuncture points are chosen both for pain reduction and for balancing and stabilizing reactions to all of life's stressors. Five Element acupuncture takes into consideration internal and external factors involved in chronic pain and seeks to treat people in the full context of their lives at the emotional, mental and spiritual levels as well as the physical. It helps people gain a greater awareness of their patterns of reactions and a deeper physical awareness of their ways of being in and reacting to the world.

For example, Sam had a bad back with crippling stiffness and pain from a traumatic car accident 20 years earlier. His injury sometimes responded positively to spinal manipulation and physical therapy, but the pain always returned. He also reported a quickness to despair and a rigid frame of mind. Throughout his treatment, we tracked the parallels of the rigidity of the body to his mental rigidity and how the chronic tension in the muscles of the back reflected how he coped with the pressures and responsibilities of life. After he saw how his rigid attitude towards life's pressures directly related to his chronic muscular tension, it became possible for him to begin changing his attitudes. This ultimately freed up a vast amount of energy blocked in his muscles.

Five Element acupuncture helps to decipher the source of psychological and physical blocks by reading the effects they have had on the body. It is similar to becoming aware of the effects of rain on the erosion of soil, or the effects of wind on the growth pattern of trees. Five Element acupuncture can lead a person to straighten up and face life more healthfully. As soon as one realizes how specific events, pressures, stresses and emotional states have led to bodily changes, the reality of the interconnectedness between mind and body is experienced, and the chronic pain is often mended.

In addition to treating chronic pain, Five Element acupuncture is a comprehensive approach that helps people regain contact with their potential for change. The goal is to break down unhealthy coping mechanisms which consume and inhibit energy in the body and mind. The blocked energy can then be put to more creative uses, such as developing your unused potential, and being in the world in a more complete fashion.

If you sense that the discomfort you feel is a reflection of your body out of balance, then consider a Five Element consultation with Dr. Lori Horan Soule.

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