The most important issue in doing acupuncture is "De Qi", This is absolutely true. However, contrary to the popular believe, "De Qi" or Qi obtained , is not getting the sensation of "Distended, soreness, numbness", during needling. In the "dr. Wang in Action" segment . A more detailed explanation about "De Qi" is provided.
!. A brief introduction From Acufinder.com:
What is Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
Traditional Chinese Medicine( TCM) views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike Western medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person.
Qi - The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is called "Qi" (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.
Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. They have been mapped out by the Chinese over a period of over 2000 years.
2. The hidden gem of Acupuncture - Moxibustion
In Chinese, Acupuncture and moxibustion goes hand in hand, both in the name and the practice, Thus, The name in Chinese what we call for acupunture is actually Acupunture and Moxibustion, or Zhen Jiu. Some people actually use the name "acumoxa" to reflect this fact. This name selection in Chinese is not a trivial matter. As a matter of fact, as stated in many passages in HuangDi NeiJing, or Yellow Emperor's Inner Cannon, that whenever acupuncture can't achieve the result, moxibustion is to be used. Therefore, in many cases, Moxibustion is far superior than acupuncture. It often achieves better results than acupuncture. I found this particularly true with chronic diseases as well as patients with weak constitution such as having chronic fatique or fibromyalgic conditions. It attracted lots of attention in the Western medicine by the publishing of an article on breech birth in JAMA ( 280(18); 1580-1584, November 1998 by Cardini, F. an W. X. Huang.)
Still, moxibustion continues been ignored by population. Why ? Because of some technical issues The traditional way of using moxibustion is to utilize cigar sized roll of Moxa stick. Though it is made from dried MugWort( artimisia vulgaris), It produces very intense heat, aroma and smoke.
( refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moxibustion). Although it looks very esoteric and many people love its unique, intense aroma, in reality, it is not suitable in our modern buildings where ventitlation is centrally controlled.
There is an alternative, namely, the "smokeless Moxa". Most TCM doctors do not like it because of practical issues such as low heat intensity that can easily resolved resulted in equal effectiveness without producing blinding smoke and overpowerling aroma. I will write down how to use it properly in a separate article below.
Actually there are many other ways of moxibustion that are even more esoteric and is not very popular in use.
A sample of smokeless moxa package
Smokeless moxa and regular moxa
3. Dr. Wang's bag
3.1 "Very effective acupuncture treatment protocols for neck ans shoulder problems"
Note: This article was part of an article I wrote and and published on March 2010 issue of OM newspaper- campus newspaper in PCOM, San Diego. For more information go to" N-S protocol
" Acupuncture is amazingly effective in treating such problems. You can
literally watch the pain disappear and the range of motion improves. This is no
surprise. We know that the most authoritative text of Traditional Chinese
Medicine is Yellow Emperor Cannon( Huang Di Internal Classic, published in
about 100 B.C.) . It consists two volumes, one called Su Wen, or Essential
questions , the other is called Ling Shu. Ling Shu literally means
magical pivot. This volume is about acupuncture. It implied that acupuncture
therapy is like looking for the magical pivot point to rid body of illness. With
right choice the effect is instantaneous.
There are many ways to treat neck and shoulder problems. Every practitioner
has his or her preferred approach. Over the years, I have developed a protocol
that is extremely effective. I have taught students in my classes and
clinic how to use this protocol over the years and have lots of great feed
back. The result is very effective and fast. Not only patients love it,
it also strengthen the student’s confidence on the art of acupuncture and
improve their enthusiasm.
Simple acupuncture protocol for neck
and shoulder problems:
The center of this protocol is a set of points: Luo zhen (extra) for the
cervical problem and SJ10 for the Neck-shoulder junction. Luo zhen in Chinese means fell off the pillow
(in sleep) and is specially good for such problem. I heard a true story of a
young lover couple. They slept with the girl resting her head on his extended
arm. Upon wake-up, he could not move his arm for hours and she could turn her
neck for many days without treatment. SJ10 is used according to channel theory
as a distant point. Interestingly, it is used to treat “nodule” in the classic
text. Here, the nodule is not a phlegm nodule. Rather, it is a Qi nodule caused
by Qi stagnation. Patient who has neck/ shoulder problems invariably have Qi
nodule that can be detected by palpation.
The quickest way to detect this condition is to ask patient to turn neck
from side to side. A healthy person should be able to turn their neck 90 degree
in either direction. People who could not,
definitely have the problem. One interesting thing about elderly
patients is often they don’t exhibit full range of motion. They often attribute
that to age. My observation is that is simply not true. I suspect that many of
them have chronic neck and shoulder issues and gradually adapted to such
reality. I see numerous times that after
these needle were inserted, the range of motion suddenly increase.
Technique of acupuncture:
We all understand that the most important issue in acupuncture effectiveness
is “De Qi” and it is even more critical here to get the Qi. Furthermore,
because some of the patients have suffered from such condition for a long time,
not only “De Qi” is important, in times, you need to sustain “De Qi” for a
while. This can achieved by one of the several acupuncture needling techniques.
One of the neat trick is to ask the patient to turn neck while you are working
on the needle. This not only increases the Qi and enhance the effectiveness, it
also show you the progress of the result.
Conclusion and discussion:
It surprises me to see how many people suffer from problems that
significantly involve the neck and shoulder problems. In my own practice or in
the PCOM clinic, an average of 70-80 % of patients exhibit significant neck and shoulder problems. Frequently they
are not aware of the significance of such issue. These patients could have
suffered from the above mentioned issues, or long migraine headache, sports injury( including yoga practice!) .
Not to mention patients who suffer from fibromyalgia.
With this protocol, we have quickened the Qi and blood of the neck and
shoulder area with its associated channels. We can then pay attention to the
other problem that patient might be complaining by adding a few more needles as
needed. The result would be very
This protocol effective as it has proven, is not meant to neglect with the
general diagnosis procedures. We should never neglect the analysis of eight
entities- Yin/ Yang, Xu/Shi, exterior /interior and Cold /hot and treat the
patients accordingly. "