Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has thousands years history. It has unique basic theories and diagnostic methods. It is a very effective therapy in treating many chronic diseases and some acute diseases. If you are interested in TCM, welcome to pop in to this TCM forum, let's discuss on any topic about Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. You are welcome to visit my clinic at Hanover square London. W1S 1BN

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Acupuncture is a good solution for Repetitive Strain Injury

Tiejun Tang

Do you have a nice summer holiday? Do you back to you busy work again? Don’t work too hard, because RSI might trouble you at anytime.

In 29th June, I had been invited to give a speech at Central London RSI Support Group. The topic of my speech is Acupuncture is a good solution for Repetitive Strain Injury. This group is composed by many patients suffer from different kinds of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). They meet regularly in central London every month and exchange their experience of fighting RSI. Some people attended that meeting, but many people were absent, it might be due to the hot weather or an important match of the world cup at that night. I would like to publish my suggestion to RSI patients in this blog, hope it might give a little help to them.

RSI is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems which is caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression (pressing against hard surfaces), or sustained or awkward positions. A study showed that 68% of UK workers suffered from some sort of RSI, with the most common problem areas being the back, shoulders, wrists, and hands.

Chinese medicine believes most of the pain and numbness of RSI is due to meridian blockage. These blockages can be due to Qi stagnation or blood stasis. Some cases can be due to blood deficiency or liver and kidney deficiency. Classic text of Chinese medicine said: There is an obstruction there is a pain. If the obstruction had been removed the pain will be gone. For those cases due to the deficiency of blood or kidney & liver, they need nourish blood or tonify kidney & liver. In TCM philosophy kidney dominate bone and liver dominate the tendons Joints and tendons are more easy to get overstrain when the liver and kidney deficiency. That mean strengthen liver & kidney is very important in the treatment of RSI.

How to remove the obstruction and how to invigorating the kidney & liver? Acupuncture needles, Tuina manipulation can do those. As for acupoints selection, different disease should use different local points and distance points. To name a few:

Carpal tunnel syndrome points: Baxie (UE22), Neiguan (PC6), Waiguan (SJ5), Daling (PC7), Yangchi (SJ4), Wailaogong (E-UE24);

Tennis elbow points: Quchi (LI11), Shousanli (LI10), Chize (LU5), Xiaohai (SI8).

Frozen shoulder points: Jianyu (LI15), Jianjin (GB21), Jianliao(SJ14), Jianzhen (SI9), Tianzong (SI11), Binao (LI14).

Cervical spondylosis points: Fengchi (GB20), Jingbailao (E-HN30), Jianjing (GB21), Houxi (SI3), Laozhen (E-UE24), Huatuojiaji (neck).

Except acupuncture and Chinese Tuina massage, sometimes we combine cupping, moxibustion, electric acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedy to treat RSI. According to the diagnosis of each individual case we select 2-3 above therapy. It will always help after couple of sessions.

However, the most important thing is to prevent RIS happen. Modified your posture while you working. Adjust your chair, desk, keyboards, mouse and PC screen. Take a break and do some excise after long time working. Try some self massage when you feel strain and ache in some part of your body. Get your acupuncture treatment at the earlier stage of your disease. Hope you had chance to read my blog and keep RSI away.


  1. That’s really great.. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

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  2. I recently had acupuncture ( ByDr Tang) for my RSI in my neck and shoulders. The acupuncture has had quite possibly the most amazing effect. I am no longer in any pain and with regular exercise and stretching (neck & shoulders) I hope to keep RSI at bay.
    Lewis Davies