Australian Bureau of Statistics data presented during National Pain Week last month shows that 68 per cent of Australians are living with chronic pain.
This is obviously having a significant effect on general wellbeing and ability to work.
The outcome is a huge rise in the use of pain-relief medications and the overuse of these drugs. Their convenience means you can get on with your day without necessarily addressing the causes of the pain.
Chinese medicine, as a newly registered health profession, offers a different way of understanding how pain comes about and how it can be treated.
This is not meant to downplay the crucial role of modern medicine and your GP in eliminating critical conditions from the investigation into the cause of the pain.
But if there are no obvious answers and painkillers are the only solution, then Chinese medicine may be able to offer a perspective that leads to treatment that can give more lasting relief without the use of drugs.
There are hundreds of major hospitals in China with specialist acupuncture clinics treating pain, mostly from work-related injuries.
And these hospitals also have specialist Chinese herbal clinics treating a very wide range of painful conditions.
The clinics can be very specific with one doctor focusing on epigastric pain and another treating only lower abdominal pain.
Every hospital will also have specialist Chinese herbal clinics treating pain related to gynaecological problems and paediatric conditions.
This breadth of clinical experience in the treatment of pain is increasingly available in Australia with highly qualified Australian university graduates in Chinese medicine.