Long work hours, exhaustion from working, excessive stress, fatigue, and keeping the same posture for many hours can all spell inflamed, sore muscles for many people. For one 35-year-old truck driver, driving long hours between northern and southern Taiwan every day was causing him to feel severe soreness in his neck due to sitting in the same position for long chunks of time, and this was seriously affecting his quality of sleep. A doctor of Chinese medicine was able to use Chinese medicine and acupuncture to alleviate the symptoms.
Juan Ying-hsu, a doctor at Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital’s Department of Chinese Medicine, says that Chinese medicine divides muscle pain into two categories, weak circulation and blood stasis. Weak circulation includes muscle pain caused by excessive fatigue, which usually occurs when a person works long hours and has bad posture. Blood stasis, on the other hand, occurs because modern office workers stay in air-conditioned rooms all day and like to use cold foods and drinks to cool down, which can cause muscle pain due to the ensuing bad circulation, he says.
Juan says that there are various Chinese herbal remedies available that can allay joint pain, and says that different pressure points on the body can be pressed to relieve long-term back pain. There are also specific pressure points that can be pressed to help with soreness in the shoulder area.
Juan says that the average person cannot do acupuncture on themselves, but says that they can put heat on sore areas during their daily showers, allowing muscles to relax. Joints can easily become sore when sitting or staying in the same position for an extended period of time. He says that people should do shoulder shrugging exercises when they are not working to move the muscles and joints in the shoulder area.
Juan says that exercising during time off from work can also greatly improve circulation. He also says that people should avoid eating excessive amounts of bananas, pineapples, bamboo, preserved foods or having carbonated drinks, and that they should supplement vitamin intake and eat more green vegetables. Most importantly, however, he says people need to maintain good posture and adopt good exercise habits and a healthy diet.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)