The Art of Misdirection – How Acupuncture Helps with Sneaky Pain Referral Patterns

Ah yes, the Art of Misdirection.

The human body seems to be a master at this… But enter a worthy challenger – The Acupuncturist!

Countless times throughout my career treating patients have I heard the “why are you needling there?” or “But it doesn’t hurt there…” – or some variation/combination of both.

You can thank your wonderfully complex and sometimes kooky wiring of the human body for that. 

Much of the musculature isn’t very straight forward when in need of some attention. When they are injured/tight/sad/etc. sometimes you start feeling weird symptoms such as tingling, aches, and/or pains in (seemingly) unrelated spots on the body.

I give you a common example – “The front of my arm hurts”.

More often than not (after some further examination of course) I won’t even touch the area where it hurts in this case and go straight for the back of the shoulder.

This is naturally followed by a quizzical look “But that’s not where it hurts”

You can thank the mischievous muscular duo: Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus.

As shown in the image above, these two muscles lie on the back of your shoulder blade.

And yet the pictures below show in red where pain can often present when they are unhappy:

Very tricky of you Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus.

But not tricky enough!

With a combination of both Local and Distal Acupuncture Points we can very effectively soothe those angry muscles.

Local points are right in the muscles and areas of pain in order to break up adhesions and knots that have formed, as well as stimulating Qi and Blood flow to enhance healing.

Meanwhile Distal points allow the stagnation of Qi and Blood to flow properly to and from those tissues and also treat any underlying imbalances that could be contributing/prolonging the injury. 

So next time your practitioner is placing needles into seemingly random areas, just remember, we acupuncturists can be just as sneaky (if not more so) as those trickster aches and pains of yours! 

Have questions about acupuncture and if it’s a good choice for the treatment of your aches and pains? Contact Us!