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December, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 12

Unwinding the Meridians to Reverse Depuytren's Contracture

By Kenneth R. Koles, PhD, DSc, RAc, LMT

Jane is a 40-year-old African American hairstylist in my practice. She came in and described stiffness and lack of movement in her right hand. Her medical doctor had diagnosed this as Depuytren's Contracture, which is a hereditary condition reputed to be of Viking ancestry.

It is where the fascia or aponeurosis of the palm thickens and shortens to pull the fingers down into a fist. The only medical treatment was surgery and that was not a sure cure, so Jane came in for a more holistic approach.

By unwinding the meridians with Craniosacral therapy, we were able to reverse and totally eradicate the condition within a month of treatments. Years later, Jane is still free of the problem. Craniosacral therapy uses the flow of cerebral spinal fluid as it goes up and down the spine around the brain and is reflected in the whole body. This is a closed hydraulic system that can be self regulating. The process of unwinding the meridians uses the meridians or pathways of acupuncture, which is also a closed system where one meridian flows into the next in a consistent flow and time. The gentle touch of craniosacral therapy is used on acupuncture points to influence their tendencies; to stimulate, relax or otherwise direct how they affect the energies of the body. We can use the analogy that the body is a sea of qi with the craniosacral rhythm as the waves in the ocean and the meridians of acupuncture as the currents in the ocean.

To work with Jane, I started unwinding the DNA points to "shut off" the genes responsible for Depuytren's Contracture and "turn on" the genes for a healthy, flexible right hand. In Taoist acupuncture, there is a history of the I Ching with its 64 hexagrams, which describes the possibilities or tendencies of events. In our body, the first 64 cells of creation are the 64 codons of our genetic code, which can be influenced for better health. There is a combination of two points that many of my students and patients have used to influence their genes. The DNA points are Governing Vessel 20 and Yin Tang. Then we added Gall Bladder 34, the influential point of tendons.

To unwind an acupuncture point, you gently use a fingertip on the point with just an energetic or electrical connection. Then feel for the craniosacral rhythm, which can be a delicate wave or pulse going out or in, up or down, expanding and contracting, for three seconds each way. More than five grams of pressure (the weight of a nickel) will impede this rhythm. To tune into this flow, it helps to relax, breathe down into your abdomen and feel your feet on the Earth. Let any excess tension go down into the ground and allow Earth energy to rise up in the body for healing. Next, open your subtle sense and tune into the personality and wisdom of the point. As the rhythm becomes more apparent, you can blend and harmonize with it to encourage it to enhance its fullness with the same three seconds in and three seconds out wave. This is done more with energy and intention than a physical push or pull.

The DNA points are Yin Tang, the third eye, "Hall of Impressions" located between the medial ends of both eyebrows above the nose; and Governing Vessel 20, Bai Hui, "Hundred Convergences," on the top of the head where the apexes of both ears would meet. This is on the sagittal suture located anterior to posterior in the middle of the skull. Using the back of a fingernail perpendicular to the head and sliding back, there is a slight dip at Governing Vessel 20.

The influential point of tendons is Gall Bladder 34, located in the valley anterior and inferior to the head of the fibula, just below and lateral to the knee. To utilize these points to reprogram tendons or other soft tissue problems (ligaments, discs, meniscuses, etc.), start unwinding Governing Vessel 20 at the apex of the head on the sagittal suture. Feeling for the gentle wave or pulse of the cranial rhythm with ones thumb just above or slightly touching the scalp, slide the finger along the suture to feel the dip, then feel for a wave there. Next, stay on that point using your intention and input to balance the wave so it is consistent in its rhythm.

You can get a "yes" or "no" response from a point by asking the point to show you either a "yes" or "no." Usually, the point will stop the wave or make the wave jump for a response. Ask the wave for a "yes" and go over a few questions you know the answer to, such as "Governing Vessel 20, are you there?" "Can we heal this condition?" "Do you have the DNA programs for Jane's healthiest tendons in both hands, going back into her genetic memory if necessary?" "Can you shut off the DNA programs for tight tendons?" "Can you turn on the program for youthful, vital and flexible tendons in her hands?" As Governing Vessel 20 responds in the positive, keep your thumb there and connect your third (middle) finger to Yin Tang (the third eye) and feel the rhythm there either just off the skin or as a very gentle contact.

After unwinding Governing Vessel 20 and Yin Tang, you can ask the points for a "yes" regarding if they can access the proper DNA program for healthy tendons and if they can feel the program for flexible tendons. Then keep unwinding the points intending for balance. It is almost always in the points' best interest to encourage health and if the points refuse to remedy the condition, it is your opportunity to find what else needs to be addressed for optimal health; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, nutritionally, environmentally.

With one hand on the two DNA points and the cranial rhythm engaged, the next part is to use the other hand to place one finger on Gall Bladder 34 (at the top of the fibula medially in the depression anterior and inferior to the fibular head), the influential point of tendons. Again, just off the skin to feel the heat and/or electrical charge, palpate the wave of the cranial rhythm. Unwind the point so the wave or pulse is consistent. Ask for a "yes," the abrupt stop or jump in the rhythm. Then use Gall Bladder 34 to again access the body's energies to encourage healthy, vital tendinous flow in the palm needing balance.

Once this combination of points is synchronous, you can use one hand to contact the contracture on the palm and the other at Gall Bladder 34 or Yin Tang with Governing Vessel 20 to bring the correct DNA program into the effected tendons in any combination that harmonizes the body. Jane is a motivated client and worked on these points herself daily before bed and in less than a month, she was completely cured. Once you can access the DNA, there are infinite possibilities for health and wellness.

Kenneth R. Koles is a certified Upledger Institute instructor who teaches "Unwinding Meridians: Applying Acupuncture Principles to CranioSacral Therapy." To learn more visit


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