Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Blog

eLotus CORE [Collection of Real Essentials]

​GUESS WHAT everyone!

There's a new website in town and its primary focus is helping to make TCM more efficient and effective for today's acupuncturist by letting you easily collect and find resources that matter all in one place. Whether it's information on TCM theory, acupuncture points, Master Tung’s acupuncture, or herbs, this NEW addition to our website is 100% dedicated to our eLotus family (that's you!).

After over 2 years of translating, editing, and designing this website, we are pleased to introduce to you...

eLotus CORE [Collection Of Real Essentials]

The first eLotus CORE section that we released on August 29, 2017 was Master Tung’s Acupuncture (beta version) - you can look up point locations, indications, proper needling techniques, bloodletting therapy, exclusive points that are not found in other English resources, and much more!

eLotus CORE is not just an eLotus website, it is every acupuncturist’s website. As CORE is an ongoing project, to make it better and more useful for you, we welcome your suggestions and feedback at manager@elotus.org.

Enjoy and share the launch of eLotus CORE with your colleagues!

eLotus aspires to be your continuing source of unique, essential, and practical TCM information direct from the source. Thank you for being part of the TCM community and helping to spread the pearls of TCM wisdom.

Cupping, Gua Sha, and Moxa - Dr. Alex Chen

Cupping, Gua Sha, and Moxa - Dr. Alex Chen

Cupping, gua sha, and moxibustion are key therapeutic applications that can either be used as an adjunct to acupuncture or a treatment protocol on its own. Cupping is a suction technique that draws superficial tissue into a cup which helps improve circulation. Gua sha is a healing protocol that involves gently spooning or scraping to create transitory therapeutic petechiae called sha which represents extravasation of blood in a problem or pain area. Moxibustion (known as moxa) involves the heating of acupuncture points with a smoldering mugwort herb and is used to stimulate, circulate, and counteract cold and dampness in the body to promote the smooth flow of qi and blood.

Dr. Alex Chen is a master of herbs, qi gong and tui-na. He has taught at South Baylo University, Yuin University and Royal University of America as well as teaching numerous professional and continuing education seminars in the U.S. and abroad. His love for Oriental Medicine is evident through his life-long devotion to the profession, and reflected by the passion and dedication he embodies, and the inspiration he provides to his children to pursue the same career path.


WHAT CLINICAL PEARLS DID I LEARN?
The whole weekend was filled with clinical pearls so I'd recommend attend the full course but below are a few of my favorites:

GUA SHA

  • Use 20 strokes, 8-15 cm long, on each area of the skin.
  • Go in ONE direction. Do NOT go back and forth.
  • If after 20 strokes there is no “sha,” go on to the next location.

Abdominal Acupuncture - Dave Shipsey

Abdominal Acupuncture - Dave Shipsey

Abdominal acupuncture is an incredibly powerful, yet very gentle system that utilizes the abdomen to regulate the function of the zangfu organs and meridians to treat the whole body for pain and internal disorders. In May 2017, Dave Shipsey simplified the system to teach us how use only the abdomen to treat all kinds of conditions. Meet Dave.

Dave Shipsey is a seasoned acupuncturist with over 15 years of experience and training in the most powerful acupuncture systems around. Dave's Dublin clinic, Dan-Tien Complementary Health Studio, was established in 2001. Prior to practicing as an acupuncturist, he studied acupuncture for a year in Ireland, completed his studies in China at the International University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Nanjing and interned with many of the affiliated hospitals with highly revered doctors including, Dr. Qiao Weilei. Over the years in Nanjing, Dave completed 6 months of internship with Dr. Han Yan studying abdominal acupuncture (Fu Zhen).


HOW DO YOU USE ABDOMINAL ACUPUNCTURE?

BodyMapping Acupuncture - Cole Magbanua

BodyMapping Acupuncture by Cole Magbanua

It’s always refreshing to meet a practitioner who shares our same vision in dedicating ourselves to the preservation and continuation of TCM wisdom. We’re all in this together to make the world a better place and what better way to do so than to share what really works? The best kind of knowledge is shared, passed on, and translated into the healing of patients, thus furthering our TCM profession. This past weekend in May, we met a man who can help change the way you practice, making your job easier and more efficient so that you can best help your patient! Meet Cole.

Cole Magbanua is a seasoned acupuncturist with over 25 years of clinical experience who uses a distal acupuncture technique to treat his patients to see instant results. After years of study and practice, he refined his knowledge into a system that he coined “Bodymapping Acupuncture Technique”. The Bodymapping Acupuncture Technique’s beginnings stem from a class with Dr. Richard Tan back in 1995 on mirroring, imaging, and Dr. Tan’s Systems. After trying out what he learned from class, Cole concluded that Systems 1, 4, and 6 worked the best depending on what body part(s) you are treating. He then created a body chart in which he mapped out and color coded the acupuncture channels. It turns out acupuncture channels are not dots or lines but actually zones!


HOW DO YOU USE THE BODYMAPPING ACUPUNCTURE TECHNIQUE?
First remember…
When treating anything on the limb, use System 1 (Same Name); needle opposite side
When treating anything on the torso, use System 4 (Opposite Clock); needle opposite side
Use System 6 (Same Channel) to make treatment all the more effective; needle same side

Cupping the Back-Shu, Urinary Bladder Channel for PTSD Patients

Melissa M Monroe is a seasoned acupuncturist specializing in supporting patients in grief and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related symptoms. In her practice, she regularly uses the inner and outer back-shu points for PTSD patients, primarily focusing on the 5 main inner shus: Lung, Heart, Liver, Spleen, and Kidney.

Why the back-shu points? Because many channels have pathology in PTSD and by using the UB channel, all main organs are targeted. The UB channel has points that relate to all main organs.

Plus, as Dr. Monroe points out, “UB points can treat each organs’ repressed, extreme emotions. Particularly fear, as fear is at root of all suppressed emotions, and clearly there is fear of feeling emotions. After a UB release, most patients report feeling particularly tired which is often accompanied by large emotional release. Acceptance of others come with acceptance of Self.”

Here are some great clinical notes from Dr. Monroe’s class on the inner and outer shu points:

  • BL-42- “Window of the Corporeal Soul” with BL-13. (Grief/Worry) Frees breathing Calms Mind. Settles the Corporeal Soul. “Comfortable in one’s skin.” Inward movement.
  • BL-44-”Hall of the Mind” with BL-15. Mental Clarity. Calms Mind. Long retention can clear Heart Fire.
  • BL-47-”Door of the Ethereal Soul” with BL-18. Ability to plan/complete projects. I associate it with “executive functioning.” Outward movement. Combine with BL-52 and BL-23 if the person is very open/vulnerable.
  • BL-49- “Hut of the Intellect” with BL-20. Clears Mind. Strengthen Intellect. Relieves obsessive thoughts/brooding/ruminating.
  • BL-52-”Room of the Will Power” with BL-23. Strengthen will power/drive/initiative.

Boost Your Lifestyle to Combat Chronic Pain: 3 Tips for Immediate Relief by Jackie Waters

Boost Your Lifestyle to Combat Chronic Pain: 3 Tips for Immediate Relief by Jackie Waters

People who live with chronic pain know that every aspect of daily living is made more difficult. Simply getting up and out of bed in the morning is a feat for those who are in pain all the time. Yet, there are steps chronic pain sufferers can take at home to minimize their pain; we share tips for boosting your lifestyle to combat your chronic pain here, in the hopes that each day becomes more manageable for you.

1. Change Your Surroundings

Chronic pain may be caused by stress and emotional issues in addition to physical injury. People with chronic stress often have chronic pain because their muscles are tense and constricted, which leads to fatigued and inefficient muscles over time. Since many people with chronic pain spend a great deal of time at home, making changes to your surroundings at home is an effective way to reduce your stress and minimize your pain.

One of the first things you should do to lower stress levels and minimize pain is declutter your home. Studies show that clutter reduces your ability to focus and process information well. By concentrating on getting rid of the clutter, you will feel better by donating items you no longer need and knowing that you have more open spaces to enjoy at home. You won’t feel boxed in or trapped by your belongings, and you will enjoy having more natural light entering your home.

Fast Pain Relief with Tung's Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs with Henry McCann

Fast Pain Relief with Tung's Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs with Henry McCann

If you're new the Tung acupuncture and unsure where to start, I'd highly recommend that you start with Henry's Fast Pain Relief videos - Part 1 and 2. Why? Because he starts the class off slow by clearly explaining the theories and the "why" so that you're not just memorizing points but the groundwork of what makes Tung acupuncture so great. And let me tell you, the point prescription AND herbal prescriptions that Henry shares in these classes are GOLD! The handouts are so clearly written that he pretty much tells you exactly what to do when a patient comes to you with Pain XYZ. Do your patients a favor and watch these videos. They're incredible and will really change your practice.

And because I can't keep a good thing to myself, here are some clinical treasures from the class:

• ​Acupuncture points are hard to locate on healthy individuals. When qi stagnates or pathological qi invades from the outside, the point becomes depressed or protrudes.
• Bleeding the apex has a "calm the shen" affect
• Ren-4 & Sp-9 govern disorders of the Kidney
• These points treat pain for all over the head or can be used as the "shotgun" version of treating headaches: Shui Qu 66.09, Men Jin 66.05, Huo Zhu 66.04, and Ling Gu 22.05 (aka Gb-41, St-43, Lr-3, & Li-4)
• Si-3 needling tip: Needle RIGHT UNDER the bone because it has a strong correlation to kidney. If the condition is kidney-related, needle close to the bone.
• Ht-8: needle or massage for needle shock
• 5 general points for pain if you don't know where to start: Ling Gu, Shen Guan, 88.25, 26, 27 (must use for pain!), and lower 3 emperors
• Ma Jin Shui 1010.13 & Ma Kuai Shui 1010.14 - great for relieving pain from Kidney stones. Needle opposite side but can do bilateral.
• Master Tung believed knee problems all have to do with Heart Zang

Acupuncture and Stem Cells: A New Way of Treating Pain with Regan Archibald

Acupuncture and Stem Cells: A New Way of Treating Pain with Regan Archibald

Last weekend we had a course with Regan Archibald on acupuncture, stems cells, and bonghan ducts. Turns out, several studies have shown that acupuncture does impact stem cell proliferation AND what we believe to be channels/meridians are actual treadlike microscopic anatomical structures called bonghan ducts (discovered by and named after Kim Bonghan from North Korea).This class was revoluntionary and is at the forefront of integrating Eastern and Western medicine. THE ENERGY IN THIS CLASS WAS INCREDIBLE!! GET EXCITED EVERYONE! We are finally getting to a point where the acupuncture channel system can actually be proven.

Here's some golden clinical pearls on the acupuncture impact on stem cells from the class. A freebie for you!
• Adrenal malfunction: Ki-3,Ki-6, Ki-7, Ki-27, Sp-6
• Thyroid malfunction: Li-16, Li-17, Sj-5, Lu-7, Liv-3, Liv-5, UB-12, Du
• Pituitary/hypothalamus malfunction: Du-20, GB-1, GB-20, Ear Shenmen, Yintang,
• Pineal Gland: ST 4, Yintang, GB 10, Liv 5
• Ovaries: Ren 2,3,4, Ki-,12,16, Liv 5, Li-16, Bl-32
• Liver: Liv-3, Liv-5, Liv-13, Gb-34
• Heart: Ht-3, HT-7, Ht-8.

Check out Regan's class for more information on stem cells and how they can be positively impacted by both acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Part 1: Acupuncture and Stem Cells: A New Way of Treating Pain, Part I
Part 2: Acupuncture and Stem Cells: A New Way of Treating Pain, Part II

If you are an Annual Gold Pass Member, find all of Regan's videos here to begin your complimentary viewing.

~Donna Chow, L.Ac.

Dr. Chuan-Min Wang - Direct Master Tung Disciple!

I must say the best part about my job is getting to learn clinical pearls from practitioners who have seen decades of clinical experience. What they've learned from years of trial and error is what I learn in just a few minutes - what a blessing!! How incredible is that!?!

Fellow Acupuncturist, Tina Chen, and I had the honor of having dinner with Dr. Chuan-Min Wang the night before his 9/24/16 class on Master Tung’s Five Zang System: Clinical Case Studies. This was one of the most enlightening dinners to date as Dr. Wang shared a jewel of information that had been on Tina's mind for quite some time.

What was Tina's question?
What's the difference between needling from the yin side versus the yang side of the same point? For example, needling PC6 vs SJ5. When you insert the needle, wouldn't both points hit the same area in the body and yield the same results?

Most practitioners say the effect is different but do not offer much of an explanation. Anatomically and from a western perspective, it is the same point in the middle so theoretically it should be the same but clinically we know the effect and indications are clearly different.

Here's what Dr. Wang says and it's the best explanation thus far:
When needling the yang side, you are drawing the yin energy from inside outward and if you are needing from the yin side, you are drawing the yang energy inward.

The conversation continues... (translated from Chinese)
Tina: From what you said, can I draw the conclusion that needing a yin channel to bring yang inward is used more to strengthen the yang, or bodily functions, especially if the patient is yang deficient?

Dr. Wang: Correct!

Cupping – A Non-Pharmaceutical Therapy, a component of traditional Chinese medicine by Daisy Dong

Cupping – A Non-Pharmaceutical Therapy, a component of traditional Chinese medicine by Daisy Dong, LAc, CMD (Denver, CO)

On August 8, 2016, NYtimes.com posted an article titled “What are the purple dots on Michael Phelps’s? Cupping has an Olympic Moment.” In recent years, professional doping scandals have worried many athletes who did not use drugs but won their competitions fairly. Many athletes have soft tissue injuries or muscle fatigue from training hard daily. An increasing number of sportsmen look for non-drug therapies for quick healing and have discovered cupping as one of the quickest modalities in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve muscle and tendons ache, soreness, or tiredness. The result of effectiveness ranges from a few minutes to relief until the next morning. Some people, including medical students, have asked me where I lecture the elective course of “Introduction of Chinese medicine”. I lecture at the Health Science Center, in the University of Colorado Denver. They were also interested to know why some people showed the marks and some do not.

Before answering this question, let us first take a look at the history of cupping therapy. The first official record of the cupping therapy was written by a Taoist and herbalist, Mr. Ge Hong (281-341 AD) in China in his book: A Handbook of Prescription for Emergencies. During that period of time, cups were actually animal horns to eliminate pus in the skin or soft tissues. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD), the book complied by Mr. Zhao Xuemin titled Supplement to Compendium of Materia Medica dedicated an entire chapter on cupping. This book emphasizes the value of this therapy and mentioned to place fire inside of pottery or bamboo cups, etc. Today, the most popular cupping methods are fire cupping in special glass jars or pumped cupping without fire.

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