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How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
March, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 03
Using the Six Divisions
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
The last article I wrote for Massage Today (www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=10200) was a fairly simple explanation of differentiating and treating headaches using the six divisions.I actually don't think there is an emphasis on the six divisions in many bodywork programs. It would be useful to take a look at them. It's relatively easy to incorporate their principles into your practice. Their connection is one of similarity, rather than yin/yang opposites.
I really like that the Chinese are always figuring out ways of connecting things together, rather than separating them. There has been an emphasis in dissection in the West, so much so that I believe our culture suffers from "over-separation." The mind has been separated from the body; the interchangeable parts of the body are separated from the whole, and the pathology is taken from the larger picture of the disease process. The influence of Chinese medicine and philosophy today has been to reconnect us within our bodies, with each other and with the universe as a whole.
Because of the emphasis in Chinese medicine on making "connections," we find an enormous array of paradigms, all operating at the same time. Plus, the Chinese don't like to throw anything away if it works. They just kept piling many different theories up on top of each other, using whichever theory seems to fit best. This can be incredibly frustrating to Western students, who would like everything to be in black and white.
The yin/yang paradigm is a way of categorizing opposing forces. Yin and yang may be opposites, but they also control one another; are contained in each other; and are supported by and transform into one another. Even though it is common to think of men as yang and women as yin, each gender has a balance of both aspects of yin and yang in them.
The most commonly used meridian pairs in the West are yin/yang. For example, the Gall Bladder (GB) and Liver (Liv) meridians are opposite from each other on the body, and they flow one into the other using yin/yang principles. The GB is the middle aspect of the leg. The end of the GB meridian on the lateral side of the fourth toe connects and transforms into the Liv meridian with an internal pathway to the lateral aspect of the big toe. The GB organ itself is yang meridian, on the outside/yang aspect of the leg. The Liv is, for the most part, the middle yin meridian on the inside/yinyang by the fact that it is simple and hollow; the Liv organ is yin because it is complex and solid.
This is very useful in our practices because we know that, because of the Liv and GB's strong yin/yang relationship, they exert a tremendous influence on one another. Going back to my previous article, using the example of a shaoyang headache in the temple region of the head (GB and TH meridians), we also know that the Liv meridian is involved because of its strong relationship with the GB.
I had a Chinese teacher who would anthropomorphize the meridian yin/yang pairs by calling them "couples." The GB and Liv meridians have a very close relationship: they go everywhere together. You wouldn't think of having a party and inviting GB but not Liv. They seem quite harmonious together and often share chores, like headaches!
I like to take that analogy one step further and look at the six divisions as "couples" as well. The Heart (HT) and Small Intestine (SI) meridians form a pair, but frankly, I don't think they do much for each other. They are rarely involved in the same pathology, and they don't seem to have a very strong relationship at all. They may help each other out in a pinch, but to be honest with you, if the SI meridian has a problem, the Bladder (BL) is where it's going to go for help. The strength of the six divisions lies in their similarity. The SI/BL are a pair, very much a couple. They both are on the aspect of the back of our bodies. The bladder provides our armor down our backs; the SI gives us a similar protection in the back of our shoulders. The BL is on the, posterior lateral aspect of our leg; the SI is on the , posterior lateral aspect of our arm. Their function is also both in that they create our structure and move us forward. We saw in the last article that a headache is located in the back of the neck, so we work on both SI and BL points to treat it. This principle can also work for problems further along the meridian. When a client comes to me with knots between the shoulder blades (BL meridian points), I hold the most painful point () that feels like a "Gummy Bear," then palpate the SI meridian starting at SI 15 and working against the flow all the way to the little finger, SI 1. By the time I finish, the painful knot has usually melted away! We also saw in my previous article that a headache (located on the side of the head) can be treated with the GB and Triple Heater (TH) meridians. They have a relationship. The GB meridian is the middle meridian on the outside of the leg; the TH meridian is the middle meridian on the outside of the arm. They are both on the side of the body, and they move us from side to side. helps us differentiate, "Should I go here or there?"
As you might suspect, pain even further down the GB meridian, such as in the rib area, can also be relieved by palpating the TH meridian, particularly TH 5 and TH 6. When my mother had shingles, pressing TH points offered her a wonderful reprieve from the pain. These points were also much easier for her to do herself, rather than GB points on her feet.
The meridians connection, Large Intestine (LI) and Stomach (ST), is one of similarities as well, being located on the anterior lateral/ aspects of our arms and legs, respectively. is responsible for the action of reaching out to grasp. You'll remember that you this principle one step further in the example of treating constipation. You would think first of the LI meridian for this problem, but vigorously pressing sore/ points on the stomach meridian, particularly between the knee and ankle, tend to be even more effective for constipation.
When you are exploring the body, any connection can be useful, or, as folk singer Ani Difranco says, "There is strength in our differences and comfort where we overlap." We see in any relationship, a balance of commonalities and differences that compliment each other. This goes beyond gender and traditional roles. We also see a balance of similarities and polarities in both meridian pair models as well. Yin/yang meridian pairs are opposite but grouped under the same element. Six division pairs also have polarity, in the fact that one is always yin or yang in relationship to the other. For example, in taiyang, SI is fire, which is yang in relationship to the bladder, which is water. Of course, each meridian has a balance of yin, yang and the five elements within, much as we do as individuals.
There are of course three yin/yin meridian pairs that are also useful, not so much for superficial pain but for deeper, emotional or organ-related issues. There is a psychological aspect of the six division meridian pairs that could be the topic of a whole other article, if not an entire book. There is also an application of the six divisions in treating febrile disease. This is just a taste. Learn more.
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
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