Acupuncture

Oriental Medicine – Traditional Chinese Medicine – Introduction to acupuncture. Principles and Effects of acupuncture – Needles and how to use them.

Acupuncture goes mainstream

It can quell nausea, fight off headaches, and help you quit smoking. What’s more, it’s relatively inexpensive, painless, andvirtually free of side effects. If you didn’t know better, you might dismiss these claims as nothing more than hype heralding another quack remedy. In reality, these are the conclusions of a panel of prominent scientists convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate acupuncture. …

Headache and migraine

Headache and migraine These are lumped together because, at least from the acupuncture point of view, there is little need to separate them. Acupuncture works pretty well for headaches – over 70 per cent response rate. It works best as a preventive, although it can sometimes abort a headache if done early enough. (It can also bring on an attack.) It seems to be pretty …

Classification of spinal pain

A useful classification of spinal pain has been put forward by J.P. O’Brien. I use it in a slightly modified form. Type A pain is dull, deep and aching and is poorly localized. It may be felt in the back or may be referred to distant areas. The distribution of pain is fairly constant but it doesn’t correspond to the known areas of supply of …

Acupuncture – The ankle and foot

Pain in this area can be treated quite well by needling the periosteum, for example over the lower end of the tibia and over the navicular. Pain in the heel, often ascribed (I think wrongly) to heel spurs can sometimes be helped by local periosteal needling, although more often by needling painful areas in the leg (see above): look for TPs in the muscles of …

Acupuncture – The shoulder

Needling sites: – Coracoid process (Lung 1) – Groove of long head of biceps – Supraspinatus tendon (sst) – “Hansen 1” (2-3 cm below med. third of spine of scapula. – “Hansen 2” (infraglenoid tubercle) – TPs in anterior or posterior axillary folds These points can be used to treat various painful disorders of the shoulder – mostly so-called “frozen shoulder”. It is important to …

Trigger points and acupuncture

Trigger points (TPs) are zones in muscles and sometimes in other tissues that are tender when pressed and which may give rise to referred pain and other remote effects. The earliest recorded research on the referral of muscle pain was was carried out by Kellgren, following up the chance observation by Sir Thomas Lewis; his technique involved injecting 6% saline into various sites in volunteers …

TENS for pain relief

Although transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is not strictly speaking acupuncture, there is a good deal of overlapping with acupuncture and probably some common ground in the ways they work. TENS is primarily used for the relief of pain although it can be used in other circumstances also. TENS machines put out pulsed current at rates of about 15 to 150 Hz through electrodes. The …

Can acupuncture reverse pathology?

We sometimes hear claims that it can do this. However, there is certainly no hard evidence that it can, and I think it is safer to regard it as merely a symptomatic treatment. This may seem a rather negative and unexciting conclusion, but we should remember that the same is true of much conventional treatment, for example the use of NSAIDs to treat arthritis. Introducing …

Types of needles

Various types are available, but the main distinction is between those with metal handles (wound with wire) and those with plastic handles. For most purposes Japanese Seirin needles, with plastic handles, are the best of those currently available, but metal handles are required if you wish to use electrical stimulation. The ‘business part’ of the needles is made of steel; there is no advantage in …

The concept of pain memory

‘Memory’ in this context does not refer to the conscious recollection of painful events, but to the persistence of functional and possibly structural changes in the central nervous system as a result of injury to distant parts of the body. To most patients, and many doctors, to suggest that pain can persist without a ’cause’ in the ordinary sense of the word appears absurd. We …

Commonly used acupuncture points

The classical texts list hundreds of acupuncture points, but in practice far fewer were used. The modern acupuncturist can conveniently cut the list down still further, to include only those which are used frequently and whose locations should therefore be known by heart. One possible list is as follows: CV 17: In the middle of the sternum, at the junction between the xiphoid process and …