Anyone who has received an acupuncture treatment from myself or has observed me in the acupuncture clinic knows that my main method of diagnosis and treatment is palpation (touch). Thus I use the pulse as well as palpation of the meridians and reflective areas to diagnose, assess, and treat. Furthermore I always crosscheck the acupuncture point I would like to use against either the symptom itself or a reflective area I would like to release. This method allows me to ask the body directly if the concept or point combination I believe is integral to them actually is or not. The deciding factor being the significant improvement in pressure pain of the reflective area and/or the immediate improvement of their symptom.
Allow me to use a clinical example to bring together what I have mentioned above as well as the acu-points I wish to discuss in this post. Yesterday I was treating an individual who exhibited right sided back pain and shoulder pain among other signs and symptoms. After administering the constitutional phase of the treatment I asked her to get up and assess her lower back/shoulder pain. She stated the pain and tightness had decreased however she felt a pulling sensation in between her right shoulder blade and spine. I had her lie on the acupuncture table facing up and reached under so I could palpate the region of the inner bladder meridian/rhomboid major area that she described as ‘pulling’. This region was tight and when I applied pressure with my fingers, pain was elicited.
As the ‘problem’ area is worse with pressure and on the bladder meridian at the upper reaches of the channel I decided to check the fire point (Kunlun BL 60). Pain was elicited when I applied pressure at the fire point, thus conceptually I decide to try Master Nagano’s metal/water point combination and cross check this against the pressure pain on the fire point of the bladder meridian as well as the tightness and pressure pain between the scapula and spine. Once I found the correct location and angle of Zutunggu (BL 66/water) and Zhiyin (BL 67/fire) the pressure pain on Kunlun (BL 60/fire) diminished as well as the pressure pain at the upper reaches of the bladder channel between the scapula and spine. After the needles were retained for ten minutes and then taken out I asked her get up walk around and assess the pulling sensation she described earlier, happily she reported it had dissipated.
Now if any acupuncturists or acupuncture student are reading this they may be thinking how does this work? As the majority of acupuncturists do not use BL 66 and mainly only use moxa on BL 67 for turning a breech baby. I would like to emphasize that this metal/water treatment was used by master acupuncturist Kiyoshi Nagano and the basic ‘theory’ revolves around the pressure pain elicited on the fire point of a given meridian. Thus if the fire point is painful it is indicative of fire/heat/inflammation in the channel thus using five element theory the use of the metal point will strengthen the water element and the water will extinguish the fire. Thus once you have found the correct location and angle of the metal and water points on the affected meridian you can cross check and see if the pressure pain on the fire point has diminished significantly, and if so palpate the affected symptomatic area of the channel for assessment too. The immediate improvement in the pressure pain of the fire point and the immediate improvement in the symptomatic area you are trying to ameliorate is you positive result that confirms the metal/water combination was integral to the individual you are treating.
I utilise Master Nagano’s metal/water combination in my acupuncture practice and find that it can be used to benefit so many conditions that involve an inflammatory component, i.e. colitis, sinusitis, muscle inflammation/spasticity, bleeding gums, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, endometriosis pain, and much more.
As always if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Giancarlo Nerini - Licensed Acupuncturist