Treatment of Muscle Spasms with Acupuncture + Herbal Medicine

As I walked my dog on a spring morning in March, I felt the elusive wind in my hair and on my skin. The wind is an interesting phenomenon. It’s a natural movement of air that can occur on various scales, from a gentle breeze to a destructive force. The wind is not visible to the human eye, but you can see its effects, and it can be felt and heard. It comes and goes and shakes and rattles the trees. It can even transport things to a new location without being seen—so mysterious even for a modern-day girl.

You must be wondering why I am talking about wind in an article about muscle spasms? You can get muscle cramps and spasms any time of the year. However, I always see an increase in cases during the windy springtime. Eastern medicine has an ancient theory. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the effectiveness of acupuncture and herbal medicine in treating the elusive contractions that comes and go in our lives, just like the wind.

First, let me explain the term “Wind” in eastern medicine because it must sound ridiculous to the western mind. Remember, this ancient medicine dates back 2,000-5,000 years, and the terminology followed into the present. You see. Back in the day, they didn’t have the knowledge and advanced technology of modern medicine. It was a mystery when someone fell ill or developed a medical condition. What did they do?

The ancestors of eastern medicine believed humans were interconnected, interactive, and inseparable from nature. So, they looked to nature for answers and explanations, using wind to diagnose certain conditions and diseases. They observed that when wind penetrates the body, its nature is dynamic and changeable, with many pathological manifestations – muscle spasms, cramps, convulsions, Bell’s Palsey, arthritis, Parkinson’s, headaches, skin rashes, colds, flu, and the latest Coronavirus.

As you can see, this is a big concept in eastern medicine and covers a wide range of conditions. To keep it simple, we will stick to muscle spasms here. We are all familiar with these painful little devils. Spasms are sudden onset, involuntary, and unpredictable contractions and tightening of a muscle. They can be moderate to severe and last for several minutes to days and even weeks. Now, put yourself in the shoes of an ancient easter medical sage. The wind’s dynamic and changeable character, blowing leaves of a tree in all directions, then comes to a complete stop. Doesn’t a spasm behave like the wind? Now, wind has different root causes, but it’s always pathogenic wind attacking the body. Oversimplified, but you get the idea.

How do we treat or prevent these elusive wind gremlins? Well, I have an answer for you. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be a safe and effective treatment for all muscle spasms and cramps, no matter the etiology. For the western mind, more and more studies are being done on the efficacy of acupuncture and translating the ancient terminology into modern language. Studies found that acupuncture can increase blood circulation, relieve pain, and relax the body’s muscles, effectively treating spasms. The results can be immediate. If it is an ongoing problem that interferes with daily life, it can also prevent future episodes by improving the body’s health—the beauty of this medicine.

There are many modern-day causes of muscle spasms:

  • Exercising, injury, and overuse of muscles
  • Stress
  • Exposure to cold temperatures
  • Holding a position for a prolonged time
  • Dehydration
  • Poor circulation or inadequate blood supply
  • Electrolyte imbalances or mineral deficiencies
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions
  • Nerve compression

Whether you are an athlete overusing your muscles, someone dealing with spasms due to an injury, or occasional cramps to a chronic condition, acupuncture can offer relief from muscle cramps and spasms to help you get back to your vibrant daily routine.

Lifestyle prevention tips:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in Magnesium and Potassium
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stretch
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol
  • Moderate exercise

“The only way to optimal health is to take of yourself everyday – mentally, emotionally and physically.” 

Sheri Davidson, licensed acupuncturist (Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin) and Duke Integrative Medicine trained wellness coach, specializes in preventative medicine. She loves sharing her passion for wellness living and Eastern medicine through her blog, The Wellness Inspired Podcast, and practice, Element 5, Acupuncture + Wellness in Rice Village District of Houston, TX.  Also, Sheri currently serves on the Texas Medical Board of Acupuncture Examiners

15-minute zoom call for a complimentary health assessment/consultation. We will assess where you are in health, explore short-term and long-term health goals, and discuss the best way to get started on your healing journey. 713-942-7110

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Sheri Davidson
L.Ac. + Wellness Coach