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.
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.