Acupuncture clinical snapshot with theory ...
Last night I was treating an individual who was suffering from insomnia among other signs and symptoms. After taking the medical & lifestyle history I had them lie down on the treatment table and began palpatory diagnosis, a range of areas and meridians showed pathology, thus I began acupuncture treatment by releasing the most ‘constitutional’ regions/meridians. To be honest the first 10 minutes of treatment was not achieving the desired effect being the subsequent release of pressure pain at said meridians/reflective areas. Thus I decided to further investigate the abdominal reflective area where “oketsu” represents itself. Upon deeper and more thorough palpation pressure pain was elicited and once treated the whole acupuncture treatment gained momentum and movement resulting in the amelioration of all the other palpatory diagnostic reflective areas/meridians. This to me further embeds the importance of treating & releasing the concept/reflective area of oketsu, and furthermore how once this concept is treated through acupuncture it always seems to result in a beneficial, health inducing cascade of events that result in the amelioration of other seemingly non-related reflective areas/meridians & thus the associated betterment of the individuals signs and symptoms.
I would like to note that I am drawing the theoretical basis of this discussion of oketsu from the ideas and thoughts expressed in “Kiiko Matsumoto’s Clinical Strategies”. Having said this, I can personally validate the therapeutic effect of said theory/concept as I have applied it in my acupuncture clinical practice and seen firsthand the beneficial effects achieved in the amelioration of a myriad of health complaints.
Now, the aetiology of oketsu can be far reaching and due to numerous factors, however the immune system seems to be a recurring theme present in individuals who present at the acupuncture clinic with this palpatory abdominal finding. Chronic respiratory problems are said to exacerbate or create oketsu, and I have heard it described that due to a lack of oxygenation/oxygen blood levels & the subsequent shift in blood pH due to increased blood carbon dioxide levels, oketsu can form. Thus it is no surprise that in my acupuncture practice I have encountered the “oketsu” palpatory finding present in individuals with asthma, COPD, immune compromised, chronic infections, among other presentations. Thus on the acupuncture treatment table I do combine treatment strategies and the utilisation of acupuncture points that relate to enhancing the immune function of the individual as well as acupuncture points that generate movement of the “un-healthy blood/oketsu”.
Having said this, oketsu does also present in individuals who exhibit no respiratory issues and I have seen oketsu show in people who present with skin conditions (eczema & psoriasis), rheumatoid/psoriatic arthritis, digestive issues (crohn’s, IBS, ulcerative colitis), glandular fever, chronic tonsillitis, and other lingering infections. Furthermore, I find that these individuals have responded well to acupuncture treatment that includes the acupuncture point prescription that addresses the oketsu concept and results in the amelioration of the palpatory finding (left side region of ST 26-27).
As always please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini - Licensed Acupuncturist