This a part of a 4-series blog, if you haven’t read the previous part yet, take a look at it here.
Thanks for sharing in the journey of “I am Convinced.” I believe that it is our obligation, as healers, to teach what we learn so that the world can be a better place. Let’s review what we have learned in our series to this point:
- Part 1–Meridian Therapy: We discussed the training I received with Dr. Jake Fratkin based on Japanese-style acupuncture and Shudo Denmei’s book Meridian Therapy.
- Part 2–Yin Leads, Yang Follows: We established that 80% of a patient’s symptoms may be alleviated by treating the Yin imbalances found in AcuGraph because Yin Leads and Yang Follows.
- Part 3–Trust the Graph: We talked about how important it is to Trust the Graph and I shared Dr. Jake Fratkin’s conviction that “There is no pulse diagnosis in the world that is better than computer diagnosis.” I also shared the amazing results I have been getting with my patients since I began to Trust the Graph.
We have finally arrived at Part 4 of our series–the part everyone has been waiting for! You keep asking, and I keep promising that I will answer… How would I treat the patient???
Root versus Branch
Treating the yin channels is considered a root treatment. Once the yin channels are treated, the flow of energy in the body becomes balanced and any work done on the branch/presenting symptoms will get better twice as fast. The emphasis in Shudo Denmei’s book, Meridian Therapy, is to teach you how to focus on the root cause of disease, while also effectively treating the immediate symptoms.
Dr. Fratkin taught that yin channel imbalances are the root cause of the problem and that imbalances in the yang channels are more specifically based on symptomology. His tagline, which is also a common thread throughout Meridian Therapy, was this: “When the yin channels are in balance, then the yang channels will follow.”
Analyzing the Graph
It is very easy to analyze the yin channels in AcuGraph. Simply click on the Yin/Yang view to see the Yin channels on the left and the Yang channels on the right.
Dr. Fratkin taught me to be a little more scrutinizing when finding the excesses and deficiencies in AcuGraph. In fact, he believes that ANYTHING that falls below the blue line is considered deficient and ANYTHING that goes above the red line is considered excess (even if it shows up on the graph as a green or pink). Let me show you what I mean.
First notice that we are looking at the Yin/Yang view of the graph. Let’s analyze each of the channels on the Yin side of the graph.
- Although you see this as a split in a typical AcuGraph reading, Dr. Fratkin taught me to look at this as Low because either the left or the right falls below the blue line.
- Again, this channel presents as a split. But we are going to call it High because either the left or right extends above the red line. Anything that goes above the Red is excess for this explanation.
- The heart shows as ‘Normal’ because it is green. But we are going to call this Low because at least one side of it falls below the blue line.
- A true normal—no modifications will be made.
- A true low—treat as a deficiency.
- A true normal—no modifications will be made.
How I would treat this patient:
The traditional way to treat deficiencies and excesses in the channel is by treating the tonification and the sedation points for that channel. Dr. Fratkin taught that you can choose to use either the tonification point or the source point for a deficient channel and get the same results. The same holds true for sedation points. According to Dr. Fratkin, you can effectively switch out a sedation point for a xi-cleft point. Most of the time I am very happy with the toninfication/sedation point choices, but occasionally when that point winds up being a jing well point, I prefer using Dr. Fratkin’s suggestion. This approach has been very effective in my private practice.
#1: First treat the YIN channels that are Low/Deficient with the tonification point for that channel. Always treat the deficiencies first.
|Tonification Point||OR||Source Point|
|Lung||Lung 9||Lung 9|
|Heart||Heart 9||Heart 7|
|Pericardium||Pericardium 9||Pericardium 7|
#2: Second treat the YIN channels that are High/Excess with the sedation point for that channel.
|Sedation Point||OR||Xi-Cleft Point|
|Spleen||Spleen 5||Spleen 8|
#3: Now that you have put the body into balance by doing a root treatment, you can treat the Branch/Chief Complaint.
- Does your patient have shoulder pain? Or back pain? Use some local needles, body work, spinal manipulation, and/or auricular therapy to further alleviate his/her symptoms.
- Is he/she catching a cold or dealing with low immunity? Treat with points to boost the immunity, add in a Spleen 6 and Stomach 36 with some moxa, send him/her home with an herbal supplement, etc.
The main point to remember is that whatever the chief complaint is—first you have to balance the graph. This is your ROOT treatment. Once the graph is balanced, I have found that 80% of the patient’s symptoms such as sleep disorders, musculoskeletal pain, digestive issues, emotional dysfunction, etc. are eliminated on their own. This alone will also significantly improve the graph balance. Eighty percent is something to be excited about!
But what about the Yang channels? Most of the yang channels relate to musculoskeletal pain. You treat the other 20% of the symptoms by adding a BRANCH treatment. Once the root treatment needles are in, feel free to use whatever skills you have to eliminate their physical symptoms–local needling, distal needling, auricular therapy, massage, chiropractic, tui na, gua sha, cupping, etc. The list goes on. By first treating the yin imbalances and then dealing with symptoms through a branch treatment, patients will return with glowing reports of symptom relief AND their graphs should have amazing shifts toward green, even on the yang side!
Patients will get better twice as fast. You will find that patients with chronic pain that you have been working on for months and months are finally going to get better. Your referral rate is going to go up because you are getting such amazing results with your patients.
I am convinced that this technique has helped bring outstanding results to my patients. It works, it makes sense, and it is so EASY. Yes—I still have my Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but I am capable of learning more effective ways of treating my patients, using modern science and research. Without a doubt, AcuGraph, Dr. Fratkin and Shudo Denmei’s Meridian Therapy have helped me to become a more successful acupuncturist.
But, don’t just take my word for it–try it for yourself! There is a Chinese proverb that states: “I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” I can’t wait to hear what happens in your clinic as you perfect the art of Digital Meridian Imaging and treatment based on Meridian Therapy.
P.S. Have you enjoyed this series? The best is yet to come. With this series as an introduction, we have a big announcement to make next week. Stay tuned!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst
Miridia Technology Inc.