Ideas from a Senior Acupuncturist: Tips for other Acupuncturists

Less is More

If the idea of being stuck with a lot of needles sounds scary, sticking large, long needles may sound even worse. And yet this is what is being done by Registered, licensed acupuncturists and other health professionals who are doing dry  needling. The body is intelligent and needs just a tender coax in the right direction for healing to occur.

When I was studying Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of our instructors was a clinician who was known for “1-needle” acupuncture. At that time, I didn’t understand how this could be effective. Later, as I honed my technique, this practice became the norm, using as few needles as possible to create the greatest results.

In addition, I am using a form of “scraping” or Gua sha. The technique I have developed is the light placement of a needle on the appropriate area which improves conditions like anxiety, stress and depression. There are no bruises which occur with the traditional method of Gua sha.

Especially when treating pain, LESS IS MORE. Common amongst acupuncturists is to apply needling to the affected area. HOWEVER, historically we learn that it is best to apply needling to distal areas first. In the example of back pain, a point at the end of the bladder channel would be needled first. This channel starts on the inside of the eye, goes down the back, continues down the legs to the small toe. Correct treatment would be to insert a distal point on the ankle or foot to “clear” the obstruction or pain. An example would be like opening a flood gate valve.

“Valves used in floodgate applications have a variety of design requirements and are usually located at the base of dams. Often, the most important requirement (besides regulating flow) is energy dissipation. Since water is very heavy, it exits the base of a dam with the enormous force of water pushing from above. Unless this energy is dissipated, the flow can erode nearby rock and soil and damage structures.”

Often once a distal point is applied, then pain will disperse immediately and then any residual pain can be needled.

But the best way to treat is to use areas the have an association or relationship with a painful part of the body. With this technique, results are felt during the treatment and the lasting effects occur much more quickly then the standard method of applying needles, “where it hurts.”


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