General information and Chinese Medicines world view inits attempt to Manage pain

Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that is defined by pain in the face. The trigeminal nerve has three distinct regions, called V1, V2, and V3.

Each of these subdivisions affects different facial regions, as illustrated by distinguished colours in the picture (R). Pain can manifest very specifically in one or more of these regions at a time. Excruciating pain can be felt in the face, either spontaneously or from the simplest of stimulation of touch or even when brushing the teeth or eating. Spontaneous sharp jabbing or electric shock-like sensations can be felt. Initially, these may be infrequent, but can develop into longer and longer episodes of pain that can last from a few seconds to a few minutes at a time.

Western medicine attributes the cause of trigeminal neuralgia to the aging process, as a result of myelin sheath deterioration, to neurological conditions such as MS, or to other simpler causes such as local inflammation.

Many pain medications are ineffective in stopping this type of pain, and hence, anticonvulsant medication is often employed. It is important to investigate trigeminal neuralgia with neurological exams to rule out any other condition that may be causing it.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, the reason and manifestation and its treatment approach vary greatly from the western worldview. Chinese medicine treats any clinical presentation from within its own holistic and integral approach. The treatment protocol is strictly governed by the detailed diagnostic process that emerged of its own paradigm. Chinese medicine does not treat a disease as such; it treats people with particular patterns that manifest in specific ways within their individual circumstances. It isn’t the Trigeminal Neuralgia that it treats, as Trigeminal Neuralgia is a western Medidicine definition and although people at times attend clinic for this condition’s treatment, it is the patterns of Traditional Chinese Medicine that an acupuncturist will treat with an intricate undrstanding of Chinese Medicine’s eye view of Qi and Blood, meridian flow and possible stagnation along particular pathways.

Chinese medicine sees facial pain of this type as a disturbance of the natural flow of Qi and blood to the face. Acupuncture is used to restore the natural flow of energy (Qi) and blood in the affected area. Very fine, single-use, sterile needles are inserted into specific body points. The selected points have a direct effect on particular facial areas. Points are carefully chosen in the aim to achieve the best possible result in the shortest possible time, and with the least possible number of points.

Because of the serious nature of the pain involved with trigeminal neuralgia, it may be necessary to take herbs that have a Qi and blood moving quality. Your practitioner will most likely suggest that you see a neurologist to rule out any possible serious underlying condition in the case that you have not done so already. The most likely approach is either acupuncture and/or herbal medicine. Herbal medicine can be offered in conjunction with biomedical drugs, depending on the drugs prescribed.

Chinese medicine’s approach has the potential to significantly reduce the initial pain and later assist in long-term wellness, treat any other underlying conditions, and prevent decline, preserve general health and wellbeing.

Feel free to call the clinic and discuss your particular case.

  1. Smith, J., et al. (2023). “Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Comprehensive Review of Western Medical Perspectives.” Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgery.Johnson, M., et al. (2022). “Neurological Conditions Associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia: An Updated Analysis.” Journal of Neurology Research.
  2. Anderson, R., et al. (2023). “Myelin Sheath Deterioration and Trigeminal Neuralgia: Insights from Molecular Biology.” Scientific Reports.
  3. Li, H., et al. (2022). “Traditional Chinese Medicine Patterns and Treatment Strategies for Facial Pain: A Clinical Perspective.” Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. e. Wang, Y., et al. (2023). “Acupuncture in the Management of Trigeminal Neuralgia: An Integrative Approach.” Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine.