We have talked a lot about branch treatments over the last several weeks. A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine uses the terminology ‘root and tip’ as the primary and secondary aspects of disease. The root is the primary condition and the tip is the resulting secondary condition which presents as clinically observable changes in the body.
It is the damage to the root system which ultimately brings demise to the entire tree. One cannot necessarily see the roots, but if the branches show damage, you can assume that the roots need help!
Treating a patient’s symptoms is just as important as treating the root cause of their symptoms. This is the main reason that they come in and PAY for your services, right? Sending them home with a relief of symptoms is very important. As we discussed in previous posts, treating the root cause of the problem can benefit 80% (or more) of a patient’s symptoms. The root treatment is also a necessary prerequisite for treating the branch, or presenting symptoms. Without the root treatment, the use of local treatment for symptoms will be less effective. In Meridian Therapy, Shudo Denmai emphasizes that “when localized structural damage reaches a certain order of magnitude, it is unlikely that root treatment can cure the problem instantly.” We have to also treat the branch.
There is almost no limit to the variety of approaches and techniques that can be used to treat the branch. Each practitioner can use his/her own unique talents and skills. It is my opinion that root treatment with acupuncture can be combined with a variety of modalities to achieve excellent results.
Some of the branch treatments that I use in my practice include:
- Auricular therapy
- Tendinomuscular channel theory
- Ashi points along the channel
- Mirror imaging
- Entry/Exit points
- Chinese herbs
- Nutritional therapy
Often, I use outside practitioners as a branch treatment. There are multiple health care providers in my community whom I work closely with–including chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, clinical counselors, and fertility specialists. These practitioners regularly report back to me that when their patients receive acupuncture they get better results.
I thought it would be wonderful for us to share our experiences with branch treatments in the Forum this week. Please share some of your favorites. We want to know what works extraordinarily well for you.
- Do you have favorite point combinations?
- How about a favorite herbal formula which works well for sinusitis, arthritis, migraine headaches, or insomnia?
- Do you get amazing results with shoulder pain, headaches, or low back pain?
- Do you have any particular technique that works well?
I’m looking forward to the opportunity for all of us to learn from each other. See ya’ in the forum!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst
Miridia Technology Inc.