I am Convinced—Part 3: Trust the Graph 5/5 (32)

This a part of a 4-series blog, if you haven’t read the previous part yet, take a look at it here.

I have been using the AcuGraph for nearly two years. I do not doubt the evidence that electrical conductance in the acupuncture meridians is a valid basis for analyzing Qi flow.

Of course, they didn’t teach me this in school. (I wonder why? Anyone know and care to share?)

I was trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Once I began to expand my research of TCM through the scientific analysis of acupuncture points and meridians, my understanding of acupuncture points and meridians completely changed.

You can imagine my surprise when I learned that Dr. Fratkin also uses the AcuGraph system in his private practice. I was astonished to hear that after 30 years of practicing TCM, with excellent pulse taking skills, Dr. Fratkin would make a statement such as this: “There is no pulse diagnosis in the world that is better than computer diagnosis.” He further claimed that “the AcuGraph gives a very accurate pulse assessment” which allowed him to get better results.

My first year at Miridia Technology was spent analyzing the graph and trying to figure out how to see TCM pattern diagnosis in the graph findings. I would then treat according to my own background and knowledge of TCM and watch for graph improvements. Did I see graph improvements? Yes—but only to an extent.  I had no idea how much BETTER these improvements could be if I followed the recommended treatments in the basic graph analysis.

In the beginning, I loved AcuGraph for a couple of main reasons:

#1: My patients loved to see the results of their treatment—especially their P.I.E. score improvements.

#2: It is amazing for marketing your practice. Onlookers are intrigued about a tool which combines the theories of ‘ANCIENT’ Chinese Medicine with ‘MODERN’ technology.

I loved what AcuGraph was doing for my business, but I didn’t follow the recommendations for treatment. Why? Because I felt as if my TCM knowledge was greater than the simple tonification and sedation point recommendations that were given. Why would I want to simply tonify or sedate a point when I had studied for four years in a Master’s program geared towards pattern diagnosis? My goal for treatment was to drain damp, tonify yin, move blood, and strengthen the spleen. It was drilled into me for four years to “Treat the PATTERN!”

I was very impressed with Dr. Fratkin’s seminar, the results that he gets with his patients, his incredible knowledge of Chinese Medicine, and most especially his statement: “There is no pulse diagnosis in the world that is better than computer diagnosis.” I watched him in action as we treated about 20 demonstration patients. He continually showed us how the pulse matched up with the readings on the graph.

When I got home from Dr. Fratkin’s seminar, I decided to trust the graph. I suddenly began to see amazing changes in my practice. Before, I was getting ‘DECENT’ results; now, patients were getting ‘AMAZING’ results. Not only was I seeing incredible changes in their graphs, but also in their symptoms. After making the change in my treatment strategies, I regularly received e-mails and text messages with incredible thank-you notes from my patients.

CASE STUDY

Look at this patient’s graph. I have been treating her for Multiple Sclerosis for more than 2 years. She comes in every two weeks for treatment because she lives a high-stress life. Acupuncture keeps her Multiple Sclerosis symptoms under control. The following is a typical graph for her before my treatment strategy changed from Pattern Diagnosis to Meridian Analysis:

Once I started treating the Tonification and Sedation points suggested by the graph analysis, her results changed dramatically and so did her symptoms. The new graph results were unheard of for her before I started TRUSTING THE GRAPH

 

Results like these have been typical in my practice lately–especially since I began to trust the graph. Many patients have been released from long-term care and put onto a maintenance program. Patients are getting better twice as fast and the referrals just keep coming in.

Do you trust the graph?

Balancing the graph is the same as balancing the pulse. If you are anything like me, and have been using the AcuGraph as tool to fascinate and intrigue your patients but are afraid to step out of your comfort zone and TRUST the graph—I challenge you try it for yourself. Yes—AcuGraph is still an amazing tool to impress your patients because they love it. But imagine how they will love YOU if you are getting faster results that are AMAZING!

In Meridian Therapy, Shudo Denmei states that “the first step in the traditional approach to learning is to follow, faithfully, a method without passing judgment.” I thought that my approach to treatment was the most effective. Once I took that first step and allowed myself to trust the graph—I learned that there was so much more that I didn’t know! Denmei emphasizes that he eventually came to a point where he was practicing a completely different style of acupuncture from what he was first taught by his ‘Master.’ I can relate to his statement because I have dramatically changed my approach to treatment since I left college. One of my favorite quotes from his book is worth pondering:

“I am convinced that the path for acupuncturists today lies in absorbing all of the useful information medical science has to offer, while continually striving to understand the classics so that the art of acupuncture can be refined by drawing from the best of both traditions.”

AcuGraph is a model of diagnosis and treatment which combines both modern medical science and the traditional ancient art of acupuncture. Trust its results and you will push your expertise to a whole new level.

As I mentioned above, I started using AcuGraph mostly so my patients would be more engaged with my treatments. Now that I trust the graph, I won’t stop using it because it makes me a much better practitioner.

Stay tuned for my next post:  Part 4–Root versus Branch. I will focus on:

  • How to train your eyes to analyze the graph from a little different perspective and get amazing results.
  • How you can use AcuGraph results more effectively as a root treatment while still treating the branch in the same visit.

Have a fantastic week!

 

Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Research Analyst

Miridia Technology Inc.

Read ‘I am Convinced—Part 2: Yin Leads, Yang Follows’ here.

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Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.

Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac. is a US licensed acupuncturist in the state of Idaho and certified in the treatment of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Kimberly wears multiple hats in the acupuncture community. She owns her private clinic, Meridian Family Acupuncture. She has spent the last 10 years working for Miridia Technology as an acupuncture Research Analyst–where she helps plan, develop, and integrate modern diagnostic and treatment tools for the ever-evolving scientific world of acupuncture. Kimberly is a world-renown teacher, blogger, columnist, and mentor in the acupuncture community.

38 Replies to “I am Convinced—Part 3: Trust the Graph

  1. Good comparison between traditional pulse versus computerized meridian imaging. I have an doubt in that, Meridian balancing is in the Japanese model approach, so in acugraph what points shall we take the reference? ex. jing well or source or Ryodorko method?

  2. please help me in guiding in to chose the right college to be accupunturist ? i am acommunity medical assistantin nepal. how can i use the acu graph.?
    TThanks.

    1. I am not aware of the colleges where you live. I am a graduate from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego and I know that we did have students who were studying abroad on our campus. Maybe you can check with the acupuncture legislators in your country. Best of luck.

      Kimberly

  3. I am from India, how to get your Acupuncture treatment equipments
    as I have seen your Acugraph through this E-mail. I am suffering from
    hand tremors since long. Please give details about the cost in indian currency and how to place order to get the necessary equipments.

  4. Hi Kimberly,

    Your letters are very encouraging. I wonder what treatment method you are using. Needles, pressure, electrostem? A combination? Do you have your patients lie on a table? Sit in a chair, a recliner?

    Knowing this will help me in my practice.

    David

    1. Thanks Matthew,

      I focus my acupuncture treatment on channel theory. I focus my herbal treatment on pattern diagnosis.

      I have read that acupuncture was originally based on channels and that later it was made to fit the herbal pattern diagnosis. I believe that herbs stand on their own for treatment and that they are ideal for dealing with dampness, yin deficiency, blood stagnation, etc. Herbs are perfect for building the body up. Acupuncture is more for moving qi and blood where it is supposed to be.

      Kimberly

      1. Understood, but what about non-TCM practitioners who are prescribing Acuherbs based simply on Acugraph imbalances? Do you have any info on this? I wonder how effective it is to prescribe the formulas without knowledge of TCM patterns. Is it effective to prescribe this way? Would be interested to hear from non-TCM practitioners who are doing so. Thanks.

        1. AcuHerb formulas are suggested based on channels. Multiple suggestions may be given. It is up to the practitioner to have a greater knowledge than the computer to see if the formula fits the patient appropriately. My mode of making this decision is based on pattern diagnosis–because of my training. Others may choose to make their decision on presenting symptoms. I believe there are multiple ways to diagnose a patient. Each practitioner is responsible for using the education that they have available to them to to make an informed decision.

          Kimberly

  5. Thank you Kimberly. What fantastic insight and practical knowledge you are sharing from Dr. Fratkin. I was curious to know if splits are going to be covered? Do you ignore them and only treat the obvious excess or deficiencies of the Yin merdians?

  6. Dear Kimberly:
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions AcuGraph community.
    In the first graph, there is a personality Jue Yin energy, which can be the vector sclerosis disorder associated with anxiety, hysteria, outursts of anger.
    It would be enriching to know any recommended treatment strategy.
    Sincerly
    Ricardo.

    1. Hmmm…. Jue yin is Liver/Pericardium. In the first graph in Part 3 I don’t see a disharmony in those channels. Both are green. Maybe you are referring to a previous posting.

      But I can say this: When any of the organs are out of balance the emotions can be out of balance also. For patients who come to me with emotional disorders, I always balance the graph first. By balancing the graph, the emotions come back into equilibrium. Balancing the graph is the root treatment for any disorder which I treat.

      Kimberly

  7. gracias dra. kimberly, y sobre todo gracias por compartir sus experiencias, nos enriquece para llevarlo a la practica y dar una mejor atencion a nuestros pacientes; de nuevo gracias.

  8. Kimberly, I know you said you will cover treating splits in your next post, and belt blocks too? I wonder if when there’s a belt block and TE5/GB41 are recommended will treating only yin channel points deal with it?

    1. I would ABSOLUTELY treat the belt block also! Recently I treated a young girl with a breech baby. I balanced the yin channels, and treated for a belt block (because that was presenting in the graph also). Plus I did the customary moxa approach and the baby turned in 3 days. 🙂

      1. Can you tell me more about belt blocks? I have a re-occurring belt block that can’t seem to be cleared. I am being treated for fertility. My acupuncturist has already fixed my tilted pelvis issue but can’t seem to fix the belt block. Suggestions? Causes? Possible physical road blocks?

        1. Kimberly is off this week getting her daughter married. So I’ll pinch hit here.

          If you have a belt block that will not resolve, look more closely for pathology or physical causes. The pelvis seems to be the major physical cause, whether structural, traumatic, or pathological. Fascial restriction, pelvic imbalance, or muscle imbalance may all be involved as well.

          Of course, the fertility treatments may be contributing to the belt block as well, depending on whether they are pharmaceutical in nature.

          So my advice is to keep looking for the cause. I’ve never seen a belt block that wouldn’t resolve absent a physical cause.

          1. Thank you so much for the response!
            I should have clarified: my acupuncturist is treating me for infertility, not a fertility specialist. My only thought is I had an emergency c section with my first baby due to a prolapsed cord and was wondering if scar tissue and/or adhesions could cause that? Just a thought. Thanks again for your input!

          2. Ah,that makes sense. Yes, scar tissue can and will block meridian flow. A horizontal scar in the pelvic area would most certainly contribute to a belt block.

            I recommend talking to your acupuncturist about treating the scar. Laser and electric stim are both effective for scars.

  9. Your info are allways very helpfull, tanks.
    I have the same point of view from 5 years studing TCM
    and continue exchanging experinces with a old Chinese Doctor;
    but from now and on I WILL TRUST the GRAPH.

    Another of my questions are also, split graph that apears to me
    very frequently. Could be due wrong measurements that we take or skin conductance diference ( dry/wet) or is normal to find ??? we were waiting your post. Thanks…

  10. Thanks and what a pleasing result with the breech baby. I also thought that belt blocks must be treated, but this does not fit with Dr Fratkin’s suggestion to balance yin and yang will follow. Obviously this is not the approach ALL the time. I hope you will be expanding on the topic in future posts. Thanks again.

    1. Actually it does fit, but in a round about way. First treat the yin imbalances. Then treat the Dai Mai problem. If you treat the yin imbalances first, then the Dai Mai will open easier and stay open for longer. I first treated the yin imbalances, and then I opened the Dai Mai, and then I treated the UB channel with moxa. The key was first treating the yin imbalances. I think you will enjoy the final post for the series. Coming soon–I promise!

      Kimberly

    1. Matthew–I think you are really going to enjoy next weeks final submission of “I am Convinced.” Everything that I have been talking about will tie together and make sense. I promise!

      Kimberly

  11. Sir, Greetings to yo. I had gone through the appreciations given by so many people who had used the Acu graph. I was interested in Acugraph actually. Being not able to afford to purchase the apparatus for using in my clinic, I just shut my everything.
    If all times allow me to do purchase of the apparatus, I shall do it in the near future
    Yours
    Hiruthaya

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