Unfortunately, automobile accidents are all too common in our society. And the most common injury from auto accidents is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is jerked forward and/or backward abruptly. It often doesn’t take much; whiplash can occur even in fender benders or thankfully minor accidents. And oftentimes, folks think that they’re okay, only to start experiencing symptoms a day or two after the accident. Of those symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, pain in the neck, numbness in the arms or the hands, difficulty concentrating or remembering, and difficult sleeping and overall fatigue.
There isn’t much that western medicine can do to treat whiplash. Most often doctors will tell a patient to take non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen, and otherwise urge patience to wait it out until the symptoms go away. That’s not a very reassuring plan, particularly when symptoms of whiplash can be severe.
Whiplash is an injury primarily to the spine and neck, which makes it a great candidate for treatment via acupuncture. A traumatic injury like whiplash ultimately results in the blockage of meridians and the stagnation of the body’s naturally healing energy, qi. Acupuncture is able to holistically regulate the body’s energy by opening up the meridians and getting the qi to flow again, particularly to the spine and neck area that are affected by whiplash. That results in a natural anti-inflammation process that helps reduce pain and swelling, as well as the knock-on effects of whiplash that affect other parts of the body.
If seeking acupuncture treatment for whiplash, it’s important to note how long ago the traumatic event was from the beginning of the treatment. Ideally, seeking treatment as soon after the event is helpful—with many injuries like whiplash, the earlier the treatment can begin the better, since this can help keep swelling to a minimum. If the injury occurred a while ago, you can and should still seek acupuncture treatment—the only difference is that the acupuncturist will likely target different meridians, as well as additional parts of the body that have been affected in the meantime.
Ideally, we would never have to treat anyone for whiplash. But accidents happen. Thankfully, we are here to help in case they do.