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Monday, 13 March 2017

A new acupuncture technique for dance injuries

Tiejun Tang

Dance injuries are very common in professional dancers. A recent systematic review study showed the period prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries in ballet dancers is 280%. The most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders included: hamstring strain (51%), ankle tendinopathy (19%) and general lower back pain (14%)[1].Typical treatments for dance injuries are usually physiotherapy, massage and pain killers, with some dancers trying traditional acupuncture. Although these therapies can temporarily release pain to varying degrees,the effect comes slowly and tends to be of limited duration.  Dance injuries have a considerable impact upon the lives and careers of the dancers impairing their training and performance and potentially resulting in long term chronic pain or even disablement.

As an acupuncturist I used to work in the pain clinic at Whittington hospital for many years, where we used acupuncture to help a lot of patients who suffer from a broad range of pain types. Many of the patients had been taking pain killers for a long time with limited effect.We applied acupuncture in every patient, plus cupping in some severe cases. Most of patients saw note worthy improvement after 5-10 sessions. In some cases, very significant improvement was noted.

Dance injuries may not have been common in ancient China, but injuries arising from martial arts and acrobatics training were. The ancient doctors believing that life energy (Qi) stagnation and blood stasis were the main pathological changes arising from trauma injuries, this caused pain and that acupuncture stimulated the energy flow and consequently relieved the pain. The treatment outcomes remain valid today, but we now have a new technique called Fu's SubcutaneousNeedle (FSN)[2] which has an almost magical effect without the need to fully penetrate the skin. It is my experience that this relatively new acupuncture technique can obtain immediate pain release effects. This treatment differs from traditional acupuncture in that it applies a special patent needle to the sub-cutaneous layer, the innermost layer of skin, where there are no nerves and therefore minimal sensation of pinprick for the patient. After about 30-40 minutes about 80% of patients feel the pain much better or totally disappeared right after the treatment finish.

As well as releasing the local pain of dance injury, acupuncture also can relieve anxiety, benefit sleep and boost energy levels in dancers. A good health condition is a guarantee of good dance. Acupuncture can help you to become a great dancer!

  1. Smith TO. Prevalence and profile of musculoskeletal injuries in ballet dancers: A systematic review and meta-analysis.Phys Ther Sport. 2016;19:50-6.
  2. Tiejun Tang. FSN – A Magical Acupuncture for Pain Release. http://chinesemedicinesalon.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/fsn-magical-acupuncture-for-pain-release.html


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