Chapter 15 Bonus: Acupuncture and acupuncture technique
Acupuncture is both a science and art. No two acupuncturist do exactly the same treating the same condition. If both are good, they would both get great results. The challenge is to be good.
Although every expert agrees that the most important requirement for effective acupuncture therapy is "de Qi" or obtained Qi as intended. There is a question with regard to the evidence of "de Qi". What the observable signs that the Qi has been obtained. In the text book, or the popular view is the patient's reported sensation of "soreness, distention, numbness". This is accurate. This leads to significant misdirection of acupuncture techniques. The end result is achieving mediocre result.
Such description of "de Qi" was not in consistant with the understanding in the origin of acupuncture. In Nei JIng, the ultimate authority of acupuncture, the evidence of " de Qi" is described as " lifting the cloud revealing the sky." "De Qi" does not depends on the patient's sensation of soreness at the needle site at all. A good needling produces result that makes the patient feel lifted. Pain disappears like the feeling of lost. One similar sensation is the experience of having property stolen.
What this means is that achieving ""soreness, distention, numbness" may or may not get the desired result. Not having those sensation does not imply ineffective acupuncture. The pursuit of such sensation reflect the laziness of the acupuncturist.They are looking for the tangible signs as the gauge for success.
This approach is misguided and have to be scrapped. I would submit that good acupuncturists understand my description. It just that none bother to bring up the subjects.
This is why in Nei Jing, The needling technique is focused on observing the "Shen" during needling. Treating the "Shen" is considered the most important goal. Nothing was mentioned about the "soreness, distention, numbness" in acupuncture treatment. On the contrary, with successful acupuncture, the "Shen" of the patient would definitely change. All the techniques are employed just to achieve such improvement of patient's "Shen".
I have many people to thank for in the process of learning. These include not just teachers, contemporary acupuncturist. They also include historical fellow acupuncturists through several thousands years of history. In return, I also have obligation to share my five cents to future mankind. This is why I have this segment of writing in this web site.
We are in an era of information revolution that came with the modern communication explosion. I have confidence that the acupuncture has the potential to advance very rapidly in a very short period of times. That would be such a gift to future generation.
Once I attended Mr. Steinke’s seminar and liked it. I like his acupuncture approach because it is very logical. It can be very helpful for beginner. I do incorporate some in my practice.
So, here it is.
20 steps according to John Steinke who is a well known sports acupuncturist:
1. Use as fewer needle as possible
2. Do it sequentially
3. Methods: bleeding(Jing-well for stagnation), needling, moxa(great for tendonitis)
4. Diagnosis: tendon, ligment, muscle, bone, internal organ
5. Select points: Tendon ( GB 34, Lv3); Muscle( Sp6, St36), Bone( GB39, UB11, KD3 or 7); Phlegm or fluid (sp9, sp6 and St 40).
6. For scattered Qi, Du 20
7. Determine channel, use distal point first.
8. Choose Shu-stream for pain
9. Select related channels(i.e. according to flow of Qi, yang-ming, Shao-ying, Tai-yang, Jie-ying, Shao-yang, tai-ying)
10. For upper limbs, treat lower limbs.
11. Treat opposite side, esp. from elbow to hand, knee to feet
12. Move the affected part of the body after insertion of needles, twirl the needles simultaneously with two hands across the body while moving.
13. Evaluate after each insertion
14. Select analog point e.g. treat corresponding position on the hands for foot problems
15. Use exterior/interior relations.
16. Use microsystem( one part of body related to the whole body eg. ear)
16. Treat constitutional, i.e. Kd, Sp for deficiency
17. Reinforce by adjacent point
18. Experiencial point, eg. St 38 for frozen shoulder, PC 6 for Knees.
19. Secret Points. Lu5 and LI 10 to finish the remaining 20% of pain.
Other notable suggestions:
5 tigers ( on the thumb, promoted by Master Tung and his students.)for any arthritis pain,
Ear points: especially good for acute problems, problems related to exocrine membranes, pain, inflammation.
Use corresponding points as injury organs, especially swelling situation, sympathetic ( for diarrhea and exocrine membrane), adrenal, heat and subcortex((pain))
Ankle pain peaks on the 3rd day of injury.
Exercises: Ankle injury: raise heel 10 times a day.
Use St 36 and GB 34 for Knee problems for several reasons: deficient, adjacent , tonify.
The information presented in this writing is in no way to show off my"magical" touch. The point is to share things I found very useful from my experience. And to point out the need to be open minded about the possibility. Specificly, do not be blind-sided by the "diagnosis". Look beyond the ICD codes. Do know the power and the limitation of modern medicine.
As we often emphasized, beware of what constitute as root and what constitute as bracnches. The body and the mind is the "Root", our intervention is the "branch". Understand the true nature of "Root" before trying to undertake the remedy.