Friday, April 13, 2012

New Acupuncture Technique Now Used to Combat Emotional Eating!


Obesity has been declared an epidemic by numerous health organizations in the United States with up to thirty percent of the population designated as obese. According to the U.S. census Bureau the average family is 3.14 people, so one in three people in the average family is obese.  Furthermore if one or both of the parents are obese there is greater likelihood the child/children will be obese as well. While many blame this epidemic on fast food, poor eating habits and lack of exercise, there are important emotional and anxiety factors that propel children and adults toward overeating.

 Now there is a self help solution called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) which combines fingertip tapping on key acupuncture points with focused thought.  EFT has helped thousands quell the cravings that cause them to raid the refrigerator when they aren’t even hungry.  People are amazed when their out-of-control cravings disappear after a minute of tapping.  It has nothing to do with willpower.  It’s all a matter of energy.

The real threat from obesity isn’t being overweight but from the health problems associated with being overweight.  Some common health risks are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, respiratory problems, psychological problems, and a poor quality of life.  This is truly a preventable tragedy, especially with the help of EFT.  By balancing the energy disruptions in the meridians caused by unresolved emotional events   the deeper underlying emotions that tend to trigger overeating and the desire to tranquilize with food are eliminated.  Using EFT people are able to make better food choices, incorporate new habits and create a healthier lifestyle.  The need for willpower which takes tremendous effort and usually fails has been eliminated.

There are hundreds of reports from EFT practitioners and licensed health care professionals that testify to the procedure’s effectiveness. EFT can even be utilized with clients over the phone once the client has learned a few simple tapping points.  This allows experienced EFT practitioners like me to work with clients all over the world. In between session’s clients do “homework” on themselves eliminating many of their triggers on their own. In a relatively short period of time most clients learn to use the techniques for themselves giving them an empowering tool to be used whenever needed.

Does acupuncture really work?


Yes. In the past 4,500 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the former Soviet Union, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in America.

Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time that other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions.

DOES THE PATIENT HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ACUPUNCTURE FOR IT TO WORK?

No. Acupuncture has been used to successfully treat cats, dogs, horses and other animals in a number of well-documented veterinary acupuncture studies. These animal patients do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better.
Illustration of acupuncture points on the body of a horse from Ma Niu Yi Fang, a Chinese veterinary textbook written in 1399.

A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment. A neutral attitude ("I don't know if I really believe in this.") will not block the treatment results. One study (Moore & Berk 1976) assessed the effect of positive versus negative settings for acupuncture and found no difference. They also tested hypnotic suggestibility in terms of pain reduction, but again found no significant correlation with response to acupuncture treatment. Being more or less susceptible to hypnosis has no relation to one’s responsiveness to acupuncture treatment.

WHAT ARE THE MECHANISMS OF ACUPUNCTURE?

The classical Chinese explanation is that there are channels of energy (qi or ch'i) that form regular patterns throughout the body. These energy channels, called “meridians,” are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others. Needling or otherwise stimulating the acupuncture points can influence the meridians. The needles help unblock the obstructions and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians. By harmonizing the flow of energy in the meridians, acupuncture can help correct imbalances in many of the body’s systems, including the internal organs.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain, including endorphins, enkephalins and other neurotransmitters. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system, bringing about a normalizing effect on neuroendocrine function. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

(National Institutes of Health, 1997): “Many studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses. These responses can occur locally, i.e., at or close to the site of application, or at a distance, mediated mainly by sensory neurons to many structures within the central nervous system. This can lead to activation of pathways affecting various physiological systems in the brain as well as in the periphery. A focus of attention has been the role of endogenous opioids in acupuncture analgesia. Considerable evidence supports the claim that opioid peptides are released during acupuncture and that the analgesic effects of acupuncture are at least partially explained by their actions. That opioid antagonists such as naloxone reverse the analgesic effects of acupuncture further strengthens this hypothesis."

Regarding stimulation by acupuncture, the NIH report also writes:

  •     “Acupuncture may activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, resulting in a broad spectrum of systemic effects.
  •     “Alteration in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and changes in the regulation of blood flow, both centrally and peripherally, have been documented.
  •     “There is also evidence of alterations in immune functions produced by acupuncture. Which of these and other physiological changes mediate clinical effects is at present unclear.
  •     “Findings from basic research have begun to elucidate the mechanisms of action of acupuncture, including the release of opioids and other peptides in the central nervous system and the periphery and changes in neuroendocrine function. Although much needs to be accomplished, the emergence of plausible mechanisms for the therapeutic effects of acupuncture is encouraging.”

One of the studies cited by the NIH was conducted by Abass Alavi, M.D., chief of nuclear medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, who showed that acupuncture affects the flow of blood in the brain. He used SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) to view the brains of four people with pain and five pain-free people who served as the control group. Dr. Alavi found that after acupuncture needles were inserted, all of the patients had increased blood flow to the thalamus, the area of the brain that relays pain and other sensory messages. Because the brains of the pain-free group showed the same reactions as those with pain, the changes in blood flow couldn’t be attributed to placebo.


MRI brain on acupuncture

PET-Scans of the brain during acupuncture: University of California Irvine professor and physicist Zang-Hee Cho, a member of the highly respected National Academy of Science, the inventor of an early version of the Positron Emission Tomograph, or PET scan, and a pioneer of the MRI scanner, both of which have revolutionized our ability to see into the body and brain, found that stimulation of the vision-related acupoint showed the same reaction in the brain as stimulation of the eye. As the acupuncture signal passes to the brain via nerves, it possibly stimulates the hypothalamus, the “executive center” of the brain, responsible for the production and release of hundreds of neurochemicals, Cho said.

Acupuncture: pain management coupled to immune stimulation (Gollub, 1999): “The phenomenon of acupuncture is both complex and dynamic. Recent information demonstrates that acupuncture may exert its actions on pain and immune processes. The coupling of these two systems occurs via common signaling molecules, i.e., opioid peptides. In this regard, we surmise that
  •     opioid activation leads to the processing of opioid peptides from their precursor, proenkephalin, and
  •     the simultaneous release of antibacterial peptides contained within the precursor as well. Thus,
  •     central nervous system pain circuits may be coupled to immune enhancement.
  •     Furthermore, acupuncture needle manipulation elicited signal increases bilaterally in the region of the primary and secondary somatosensory corticies in human brain as determined by magnetic resonance imaging.
  •     The maps reveal marked signal decreases bilaterally in multiple limbic and deep gray structures including the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and ventral tegmental area.
  •     Taken together, we surmise a major central nervous system pathway as well as local pain and immune modulation during acupuncture.”

(Fu, 2000): “In recent years, more and more laboratory proof has accumulated that acupuncture can

    change the charge and potential of neurons,
    the concentrations of K(+), Na(+), Ca(++) and
    the content of neuro-transmitters such as aspartate, and taurine and the quantities of neuro-peptides such as beta-endorphin and leu-enkephalin.
    All these phenomena are directly related to nerve cells.”

(H. Fu, Med Hypotheses (2000) 54: 358-9)

Immune System effects of Acupuncture: “The following changes were found in the TCM group: within the lymphocyte subpopulations the CD3+ cells (p = 0.005) and CD4+ cells (p = 0.014) increased significantly. There were also significant changes in cytokine concentrations: interleukin (IL)-6 (p = 0.026) and IL-10 (p = 0.001) decreased whereas IL-8 (p= 0.050) rose significantly. Additionally, the in vitro lymphocyte proliferation rate increased significantly (p = 0.035) while the number of eosinophils decreased from 4.4% to 3.3% after acupuncture (p > 0.05). The control group, however, showed no significant changes apart from an increase in the CD4+ cells (p = 0.012).” (Joos, : J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Dec;6(6):519-25)

Difference between Manual and Electro Acupuncture (Kong, 2002):
“Results showed that electroacupuncture mainly produced fMRI signal increases in precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus/inferior parietal lobule, and putamen/insula; in contrast, manual needle manipulation produced prominent decreases of fMRI signals in posterior cingulate, superior temporal gyrus, putamen/insula. These results indicate that different brain networks are involved during manual and electroacupuncture stimulation. It suggests that different brain mechanisms may be recruited during manual and electroacupuncture.”

Effects of Acupuncture on the Musculoskeletal System

Acupuncture can strengthen tendons and ligaments, stimulate Golgi receptors and muscle spindles, deactivate trigger points, treat overactive motor points, provide blood and growth factors to hemodynamically disturbed tissues (commonly seen in myofascial pain syndromes), reset motor points and neural control (possibly including replacement of oversensitive tissues with less sensitive microscars), and stimulate other reflex mechanisms.

Strengthen Tendons & Ligaments

Needling may strengthen soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments by inducing a local inflammatory reaction:
  •     The mechanical trauma that results from needling may injure cells, including mast cells and vessels.
  •     Blood products (such as platelet growth factors and transforming growth factor beta) spill and activate healing.
  •     Amines and other mediators of inflammation are set free or are newly-formed locally, generating an acute inflammatory reaction.
  •     Plasma seeps into the tissues, possibly allowing blood to reach poorly-vascularized areas such as ligaments and tendons. After a delay of a few hours, the plasma begins to attract polymorphs. In the absence of significant bacterial infection, this leukocytic infiltration is mild and fades quickly.
  •     Macrophages migrate into the area of inflammation and work to remove red blood cells, fibrin, dead polymorphs and other cellular material. At the same time, with granulocytes, the macrophages work to activate fibroblasts.
  •     Local fibroblasts begin to hypertrophy and to generate collagen and elastic fibers. If foreign matter such as an injection of pomess (flower) solution is left in place, (or acupuncture suture burial—a TCM surgical technique) it causes a foreign matter response. This response, which includes invasion of giant cells and a strong fibrous reaction, adds strength to the tissue.

Stimulate Golgi Receptors & Muscle Spindles

Many acupuncture points are based on nerve arrangement. According to Gunn, two types are in muscles, principally in motor points and Golgi tendon organs (Gunn 1977). Rotation of a needle in hypertonic muscle tissues can tug on muscle fibers, not unlike the way thread rolls on a spool. This action seems to stimulate stretch-sensitive Golgi receptors and muscle spindles, which may account for the resulting muscle relaxation.

Deactivate Trigger Points

Muscle needling may provide blood products and wash away sensitizing substances, brake fibrotic tissue that have entrapped nerve endings, and/or replace hyperactive nociceptors with nonpainful microscars. Travell has reported that active myofascial trigger points can be treated with "dry needling". This also results in muscle relaxation, which reduces mechanical stress on tissues such as tendons, thereby allowing more effective healing.

Jessen et al. (1989) remarks that, even in trigger point injection, the most important factor may not be the injected substance; rather, it may be the mechanical effects of needling on the abnormal tissue and interruption of the trigger point's mechanism, if one has developed.

Treat Overactive Motor Points
Muscle motor points are points that are packed densely with sensory end-organs, causing muscle to be easily excitable and most liable to tenderness. In his writings on the relationship of motor points to acupuncture points and on their sensitivity to pain, Gunn (1976,1979) says that the practitioner can needle motor points to treat muscular pain and tension. The proposed mechanism is similar to that of needling techniques in other muscle tissues. Gunn postulates that growth factors released by injured cells and platelets also result in healing of mildly-demyelinated nerves.

Provide Blood & Growth Factors

Chronic muscle tension and spasm can cause reduced oxygen and other nutrient supply. This, in turn, can result in a small area of abnormal function and ectopic muscle facilitation. Bleeding, which can be an effect of needling, can break microscars in these areas, and can provide blood and growth factors to facilitate healing.

Alter Neural Control
Needling may alter neural control:

    By neurotransmitter and endorphin stimulation.
    By reflex action such as stimulation of inhibitory fibers by a fusimotor mechanism.
    By saturation of joint receptors. Stimulate Reflex Mechanisms

Needling cutaneous and other tissues can stimulate various spinal reflexes and serotinergic descending inhibitory systems (see chapter 2). Periosteal acupuncture techniques (Lawrence 1987) are believed to regulate sympathetic fibers in and around the periosteum, increasing blood circulation in the area.

A Closer Look at the Neurological Mechanisms of Acupuncture

Acupuncture points have been described as 2-8mm, cylindrical shaped, perforations within superficial fascia in which a neurovascular bundle runs (Heine 1988). They are intimately related to the distribution of nerve trunks, motor endplates and blood vessels (Dung 1984; Gunn ibid; Chan 1984). Kellner (1966) has shown two types of acupoints, receptor and effector, by histological studies. Therefore, acupuncture effects are closely related to the nervous system and achieved by complex mechanisms which integrate peripheral, ascending, descending and higher centers in the nervous system.

The mechanisms of acupuncture's effects are thought to be largely neurochemical and neurophysiologic.

Neurochemical Mechanisms

The fact that acupuncture analgesia can be transferred from a treated animal to a non-treated animal (Han 1992) by cross-circulation and CSF infusion to ventricles supports the hypothesis of a systemic neuropharmacologic effect.

Opioid System

Early reports on the analgesic mechanism of acupuncture involved opioid systems. These reports may have contributed to, and at least supported, the discovery of the endorphin systems (Han 1986). In 1975, the year endorphins were discovered, David Mayer documented that acupuncture affects the opioid system in his demonstration that, in humans, naloxone can block acupuncture analgesia. (N.B. Naloxone is a chemical that can block opioid receptors.) Naloxone has also been shown to block the analgesic effect of acupuncture on dental pain (the affects are influenced by dexamethasone levels), (Mayer, Price and Rafii 1977).

The newly discovered orphanin (opioid peptide) seems to have antagonistic effects on electroacupuncture analgesia (Han 1998).

The analgesic effects of acupuncture can be enhanced by D-phenylalanine and D-leucine, which enhance met-enkephalin degradation (Ehrenpreis 1985; Han 1991), or by bacitracin (Zhang, Tang and Han 1981). (N.B. Bacitracin is a peptidase inhibitor, the injection of which results in increased neuropeptides. Met-enkephalin degradation results in a net gain in opioid-like chemicals). In a review, Pomeranz et al. (1977) concluded that acupuncture analgesia implicates the pituitary endorphins. They postulate that this is so, because placebo acupuncture is not as effective, the analgesic effect of acupuncture can be eliminated by ablation of the pituitary gland, and that naloxone is effective in blocking the analgesic effects of acupuncture.

Non-Opioid Systems
Non-opioid systems are affected by acupuncture:
  •     Serotonin (5-HT), norepinephrine, GABA, calcium and magnesium ions, and secondary central cyclic nucleotides (Han 1987), and acetylcholine have been implicated in acupuncture analgesia (Guan, Yu, Wang and Liu 1986).
  •     Dopamine is implicated in inhibition of acupuncture analgesia (Patterson 1986).
  •     Anti-inflammatory effects have been elicited by stimulation of 17-hydroxycorticosterone, ACTH and cortisol secretion (Ying 1976; Omura 1976; O'Connor 1981).
  •     Inflammatory mediators can affect pain perception as beta-endorphin levels can be affected by ACTH. This is because ACTH can antagonize the enzyme cleavage from a large, precursor, proopiomelancortin (Smock and Fields 1980). Sin has summarized these anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture (Sin 1984)

Neurophysiologic & Other Mechanisms

Neurophysiologic mechanisms involve sensory nerves stimulated at the acupuncture point. The afferent systems seem to be important in acupuncture analgesia, and needle sensation (De Qi) is required for successful treatment of pain (Han ibid). Preacupuncture local anesthesia, of subcutaneous and muscle tissue, abolishes the needling sensation and acupuncture's analgesic effects (Chiang et al. 1973). This suggests that receptors within the muscle are responsible for the De Qi sensation, probably do to A-beta and A-delta fibers (Pomeranz and Paley 1979; Wang, Yao, Xian and Hou 1985).

Low threshold large diameter mechanoreceptors situated in the skin, muscles, tendons and joints are activated by innocuous stimuli that may activate the "gate control" mechanism. Acupuncture stimulates A-beta and A-delta (small and medium) fibers which enter the spinal cord and arrive at the medial and lateral portions of the dorsal horn. A-beta fibers terminate in the nucleus propius and in more ventral regions of the dorsal grey matter. A-delta fibers terminate in the marginal zones of the dorsal grey matter, the ventral portion of lamina II and throughout lamina III and inhibit dorsal horn cells at laminae I and V (Yaksh and Hammond 1982; Dorman and Gage 1982).

Analgesic effects that result from stimulation of small, myelinated fibers are transmitted both segmentally and bilaterally (Chiang et al. 1973, 1975). C-fibers do not seem to contribute significantly and application of capsicum, which selectively blocks C-fibers, does not affect acupuncture analgesia (Yu, Bao, Zhou and Han 1978).

The Thalamus

The thalamus is thought to be the most important component responsible for the processing of pain impulses and/or integration of pain sensation. The centromedian nucleus of the thalamus, the rephe magnus nucleus, and the arcuate nucleus seem to be the main areas related to acupuncture analgesia (Zang 1980; Hamba and Toda 1988; Yin, Duanmu, Guo and Yu1984). Peripheral stimulation of an acupuncture point was observed to stimulate thalamic neurons with a similar pattern in a cat (Liner and Van Atta 1975).

Descending & Ascending Tracts

Innocuous stimulation of peripheral nerves may excite descending inhibitory serotinergic tracts that then can inhibit nociceptors (Bowsher 1991). The descending dorsolateral funciculus of the spinal cord seems to be involved in acupuncture analgesia. Lesions made at T1-T3 levels resulted in complete abolition of acupuncture analgesia (Shen, Tsai and Lan 1975). Lacerating the contralateral anterolateral columns eradicated the analgesic effect from stimulation of St-36, whereas, laceration of the dorsal column at the level of T12-L1 or superficial lateral cordectomy did not affect acupuncture analgesia (Chiang et al. 1975). Cephalically, impulses produced by acupuncture analgesia are believed to be transmitted through the extralemniscal system (a bundle of sensory fibers in the medulla and pons), then to the thalamus and the sensory cortex.

Convergence of Visceral & Somatic Innervation

Experimental data that demonstrates the existence of convergence of visceral and somatic innervation in laminae V-VII may support the rationale for use of many manual and acupuncture therapies in somatovisceral and visceral-somatic pain. Electrical stimulation of the skin (acupuncture points) has been shown to influence nerves within gray matter (Selzer and Spencer 1969), and so may influence visceral function. Moreover, visceral pain has superficial receptive fields (irritation zones that can be mistaken for musculoskeletal pain) that can be activated by noxious and innocuous stimulation, and by muscle activity beneath the skin (Forman and Ohata 1980; Cervero 1982). Stimulation of acupuncture points at superficial receptive fields may provoke a reflex mechanism that may explain the empirical data about the effectiveness of acupuncture. Reflex mechanisms may also explain why the use of distal acupuncture points affects visceral pain.

The Autonomic Nervous System

Most authors agree that acupuncture points posses lower skin impedance (Kho and Arnold 1997). Electrical skin resistance (impedance) can be demonstrated and measured using simple devices. Many diagnostic instruments used in acupuncture measure skin impedance for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, and following treatment results. Increased pseudomotor activity (increased perspiration from sympathetic activity) lowers skin impedance, which has been documented over injured areas and in segmental distributions (including from visceral disease), (Korr et al. 1962). Acupuncture diagnostic devices use this information in the selection of channels and points to be treated. However, the reliability of these instruments is questionable for various technical difficulties, and because the act of measuring (which passes an electrical charge through the skin) actually changes the impedance.6

Acupuncture points on the Urinary Bladder, upper Stomach and Large Intestine channels are in close proximity to the sympathetic ganglia, stimulation of which may affect the autonomic nervous system.

Using thermography, acupuncture's effect of increasing skin temperature locally, contralaterally, and in other regions has been documented (Lee and Ernst 1987, 1983; Ernst and Lee 1985). Ernst and colleagues have demonstrated long-lasting warming effects, as well. In some instances the temperature distribution was in a craniocaudal gradient, which they speculated was mediated by the reticular formation via the activation of diffuse noxious inhibitory controls on the convergent cells of the dorsal horn. Liao and Liao (1985) have demonstrated that stimulation of acupoint St-36 affected the leg of a stroke patient: producing a small temperature increase in the normal leg and a marked increase in both hands.
The circulatory effects and the decrease of hypersympathetic activity in pain patients is probably one of acupuncture's most important clinical effects.
6. The instrument applies electrical charge across the skin in order to measure skin residence. This can change the properties and resistance of the skin. Some newer instruments may be more reliable.

Immune Effects

Sabolovic and Michon have found stimulation of T and B lymphocytes by acupuncture (Sabolovic and Michon 1978). By influencing met-enkephalins, acupuncture can increase T lymphocyte rosette formation from human T lymphocytes (Wybran et al. 1979). Acupuncture has been shown to increase beta-globulins, gamma-globulins, lysozymes, agglutinins, opsonins and complement (Dragomirescu et al. 1961). Acupuncture influences beta-endorphins and met-enkephalins, both of which may enhance natural killer cell activity (Matthews et al. 1984).

Electrical Effects

Several electrical and electromagnetic theories have been proposed. Robert Becker associated cellular polarity and DC currents with growth, healing and regeneration of tissues, including articular cartilage (Becker and Marino 1982; Becker 1972). Burr (1972) suggested that all events in the body generate electro-dynamic fields, The bioelectrical homeostasis and its relation to acupuncture was reviewed by Zukauskas et al. (1988) and Zhu Zong-Xiang (1981).

Abdominal Acupuncture

Abdominal acupuncture is a new powerful microsystem acupuncture.
In ancient times, the abdomen was used exclusively for diagnosis. Today the abdomen is used to treat the entire body. Acupuncture performed on the abdomen was developed over the last 5 years and is becoming very popular. This new technique, involves placing needles into acupuncture points on the abdomen related to the spinal region.

Ear, hand, and abdominal acupuncture work on the same theory that the abdomen and navel area has points related to the entire body. By stimulating special points on the meridians on the abdomen, using traditional meridian systems, provides immediate relief to the patient.

The aim is to harmonize, adjust, and rebalance the body and mind. This increases energy and blood flow allowing the body to become harmonized. Since energy flows of the entire body are focused in the navel area, all parts of the body can be treated by this technique. It is particularly powerful tool in treating chronic long-term diseases and problems that result in joint and muscle pain.

Since the needles are superficially placed, and much shallower than conventional acupuncture, they are are painless to the patient. Stiff necks, spinal, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical problems, shoulder pain, tendinitis, rheumatoid arthritis have all been helped with abdominal acupuncture. It is frequently used to treat strokes, senile dementia, high blood pressure, and cerebellum problems in conjunction with scalp, ear, and traditional acupuncture.

Anxiety, depression, headaches, dizziness, arthritis, cataracts, glaucoma, and Parkinsonism and diabetic neuropathy are also helped with abdominal acupuncture.
It is particularly indicated in patients who are weak, sensitive to acupuncture, as the very young and the very elderly. This procedure is contraindicated in pregnancy, abdominal infections, and enlargement any abdominal organs, especially the spleen and liver.

Initially, the Chinese inventor, Bo, treated a patient with low back pain and sciatica by applying needles to Ren 6 and Ren 4, and the patient’s pain disappeared in five minutes.

The system was formerly introduced in 1992, and called The BMAA system. The first symposium in China on the BMAA system took place in 2007. This system is present in fetal and embryonic development. In the case of ear acupuncture, by Nogier, an inverted fetus is depicted. In abdominal acupuncture, at the superficial level, the image is one of a turtle, (which in Chinese literature is associated with the human abdomen). The turtle is centered at the navel, and the head lies high on the epigastrium.

The system is two dimensional, with its center line treating both the conception and governing vessels. ( For example, the kidney and bladder channels can be treated simultaneously.) Each area of the turtle’s body reflects a different channel.

Dr. Bo calls this system the Shen Que. (CV8), which is the term for a umbilical acupressure point. He believes that this is a prenatal or congenital channel system. The energy transported from the mother’s blood to the fetus during pregnancy into the fetal organs and gradually disintegrates after birth.

Abdominal Meridian points are located in the middle layer of the belly,. These channels includes abdominal acupuncture points as well as extraordinary points, with bands of points radiating from CV8. It is called the miraculous tortoise, because its shape looks like a turtle.

The superficial level, or sky level, is the most commonly used, and is usually combined with conventional acupuncture. This level is subcutaneous between the skin and the fatty tissues. Musculoskeletal points are found very close to the surface of the abdominal wall, just penetrating the skin. Needling this area results in instantaneous flow of Chi and blood to the whole body. By contrast, the traditional 14 channel postnatal system is deeper in the fat tissue.

By deeper needling into the fat and muscle layers of the belly, the Zhang fu viscera (liver,spleen,kidney) can be harmonized. . Dr. Bo labels this a second system, the Zhang fu system.

Rather than needling distal points on the extremities to get visceral action, this method eliminates the possibility of blocked pathways and the need of protracted manipulation and additional needling to release these blocks.

This system combines needling the prenatal channel system (Heaven level), the postnatal system and the extraordinary vessels on the belly (Humanity level), and the Zhang Fu organ system (Earth level). Needles are inserted from top to bottom, deep to shallow, inside to outside. The system has more than 20 pattern-based standardize .formulas for most diseases. By using very small needles just under the skin with light manipulations, inserted, the procedure is virtually painless.

For neck problems with cervical compression and numbness in the hands, CV12 and 4 are used to generate Qi from the spleen and kidney (these govern bones and muscles). The muscles of the neck are relaxed, and the upper extremities are energized by treating K17 and 18, and St24 bilaterally. Ren points Ab1 and Ab2 are used on the affected side to relieve numbness of the hands.

Dr Rangkuti discovered six acupuncture micro-areas directly connected to the brain. Treating these areas, stimulates the neuro-transmitters between abdominal organs and the brain.

Each micro system relates differently to the enteric and limbic systems. Stimulating the enteric nervous system makes contact with the 12 cranial nerves.


THE TURTLE

The turtle’s head is centered at Ren 12, with its ears on the kidney channel just the lateral to Ren 12. The neck and throat is on a line between Ren 11 and Ren 10. The edge of the abdomen is at ST 25, and the shoulders are at ST24. The elbow is situated above the shoulder 0.5 cun laterally. The wrist is just inferior to the elbow and lateral 0,5 cun. The upper limb forms an inverted V. The hand is represented as a fist just beyond the wrist with the thumb up.

The lower portion of L1 is at Ren 6, the coccyx is at Ren 3, and the hip at ST26.
The knee is 0.5 cun lateral and inferior to the hip. Another knee point is halfway between Ren 6 and the primary one. All three points lie on the same horizontal line. The ankle is lateral to the knee and 0.5 cun inferior. The foot is just beyond this, with the toes 45° inferior and medial to the foot.

The diamond treatment, is the first needling protocol area, with Ren12 ,Ren 6, and Ren 4, combined with ST 25 bilaterally. This improves the circulation of the abdomen and enhances all subsequent needle points that will be treated.

The second step in treatment,( called the four gates), involves bilaterally needling of ST24 and ST26. This promotes a circulation of Qi throughout the body, as a conventional acupuncture involving LI4 and LIV 3.

If the upper limb is affected, the first needling is to the shoulder point. If the lower limb is involved, the first point placed is at the hip area. This is then followed by direct acupuncture to the direct pain site to be needled.

Often conventional acupuncture treatment at ST36, SP6, and Li 11 are treated along with abdominal acupuncture. Other points used are: GB39, GB30, St41, Li(4, 11,and 15), and SI 5.

Abdominal acupuncture is a powerful micro system similar to that of scalp and ear acupuncture. Despite quick dramatic effects, these effects are often not sustained. Because of this, abdominal acupuncture is usually combined with conventional acupuncture, as well as scalp, hand, and ear acupuncture resulting in quicker resolution of pain.