Now, I must say that the above presentation of palpatory findings is quite common to find in a large part of the population. Granted, there are a myriad of variations, however in general it is safe to say that the majority of individuals who present to my acupuncture practice will present with a similar presentation, with some varied additions. Normally, when addressing these palpatory reflective areas the intention is to release the pressure pain elicited upon palpation via certain acupuncture points or acupuncture concepts. For example, I stated that there was pressure pain elicited when I pressed on the region to the left of the umbilicus which according to the Nan-Ching relates to the ‘Liver’. Generally, if I engage the acupuncture point Zhong Feng (LIV 4) or Qu Quan (LIV 8) the pressure pain elicited at said ‘Liver’ reflective area will be reduced significantly. Thus, the essence of this style of acupuncture is to ‘test’ & ‘assess’ the concept you feel relates to the individual’s current state of being directly on the body in real time, with the associated release of said pressure pain or the amelioration of the symptom itself being the confirmation that your ‘concept’ really relates to the individual. In other words, it is ultimately the patient’s body that guides the treatment.
What was fascinating with the above case was that the patient’s medical history lead me to first palpate the region of Yin Ling Quan SP 9 to assess if it would release the region of GB-21 ‘Jian Jing’. I found that upon pressing this acupuncture point with my finger following the trajectory of the meridian it resulted in a dramatic release of the GB 21 region. Once I inserted the needle at the exact acupuncture point location that my ‘finger’ had found provided the optimal release I then re-palpated the patient’s abdomen. To my surprise all reflective areas that were previously painful on palpation had significantly reduced, even the very tight and originally painful region that reflects the ‘Liver’ had softened dramatically.
I strongly believe that the above acupuncture clinical snapshot highlights that fact that when the acupuncture point is integral to the individual’s state of being, it will cause an effect on a systemic scale and the body will immediately reflect this in many a way. Fortunately, thorough using the art of palpation we as acupuncturist & patient’s alike can objectively ‘see & feel’ this dramatic shift taking place. It is my humble opinion that this not only enhances the treatment effect & patients compliance, but also keeps the acupuncturist in a constant state of learning with the patient as their ultimate teacher.
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Giancarlo Nerini – Acupuncturist (Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula)