Sunday, January 8, 2012

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome using chi-kung

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is pressure on the median nerve - the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers. According to Dr. Jonathan Hobby (Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2008), the prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome in the general population has been studied in several countries, with reports ranging from 2.7–5.8%. There is evidence that the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome is increasing.

If you find this figures alarming, the doctor further suggested that surgery is probably the most effective treatment for patients with severe or recurrent symptoms. There is some evidence that the outcome of carpal tunnel release is worse in patients who have experienced prolonged delays in diagnosis and treatment.

More alarming, carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. Typing on a computer keyboard is probably the most common cause of carpal tunnel. Other causes include: Sewing, driving, assembly line work, painting, writing, use of tools (especially hand tools or tools that vibrate), sports such as racquetball or handball, playing some musical instruments (notably the piano) - which essentially cover the majority of the civilized population!

Less severe patients will be advised by a occupational therapist to wear a splint to straighten one's hand and wrist when sleeping. Changing work habit will be useful too, such as try to maintain a stretched hand/wrist, and allow rest time at intervals. Good advice. But if a patient wishes to actively help himself or herself, the best approach is to learn to send chi through his or her affected stretched hand/wrist.

For a practitioner of zhan zhuang, sending chi through one's stretched hand/wrist is an early foundation milestone to be achieved; and to be maintained thereafter in all practice sessions.

The use of zhan zhuang to cure (or to prevent) carpal tunnel syndrome is not a quick fix. Essentially a patient has to learn the feel of chi going through his stretched hand/wrist (for best result, chi has to be connected all the way from one's scapular or shoulder to the fingers), then, most importantly, one must make it a daily practice routine.

There are loads of other benefits for the practice of zhan zhuang. Why not give it a try and put in more effort?

Symptoms of CTS

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...