My graph-analyzation skills have developed over time. As a new AcuGraph user, I questioned the graph. Then, I began trying to decipher the graph based on TCM patterns. Once I began teaching the Seminar Series, I really began to understand how the AcuGraph configures its analysis.
Now, I have multiple ways of analyzing the graph. I’ve found that with a little practice, you can learn a lot about a patient simply by looking at their graph. In today’s blog, I am going to walk you through my thought process as I analyze a graph.
The first thing that I look at is the baseline graph:
The questions that I ask for each new patient graph are:
- What is happening in the upper-body channels?
- What is happening in the lower-body channels?
- Is there an imbalance between the upper and lower body which would cause me to consider treating the Dai Mai?
- What kind of musculoskeletal problems might this patient be having?
For this patient:
- I see an imbalance between the upper and lower body. Notice how the upper body channels are “mostly” higher than the lower body channels. I make a note to treat the Dai Mai (TE 5/GB 41). If you click on the Ratios Graph, you will see that my diagnosis is confirmed. This patient has a 25% upper/lower body imbalance.
- Next, I see that there may be some right-side shoulder pain for this patient. Notice that the SI, TE and LI are all more excess on the right than the left. I ask my patient if she is having right-side shoulder pain. Usually, in situations like these, patients answer yes–and are surprised that I can find shoulder pain by looking at the graph.
- Excess in the lung catches my attention next, so I ask the patient if she has been sick or congested because of allergies. This patient just got over being sick and still had phlegm and congestion.
Next I look at the Yin/Yang Graph:
This is where I decide what my root treatment will be. If you want to learn more about this type of an analysis, I suggest that you purchase our Jake Fratkin Seminar Series. I’ll touch on a few basics here, but the seminar is filled with wonderful in-depth information.
- The Yin channels are my focus. I want to sedate the LU and tonify the SP, HT, and KI. AcuGraph gives the suggested tonfication and sedation points.
- On the yang side, I realize that the SI and the TE are the major focus. This goes back to my earlier diagnosis of shoulder pain. For this patient, I decide to add a shoulder treatment for her musculoskeletal pain after I tonify and sedate as listed above.
Now I look at the By Element graph:
I don’t spend a lot of time here, but I do take a quick glance. This graph tells me if I can use a Luo point instead of a tonification or sedation point. There is a rule in acupuncture that has to do with the Luo points. If you have excess in one channel and deficiency in the paired channel, you can use the Luo point of the low side to treat both channels.
Notice that the HT and SI are out of balance in this graph. The HT is low and the SI is split–but it is also on the high side. By treating the Luo point of the HT channel (because it is the lower of the paired organs), I can treat both channels with one point and get excellent results. For this patient, I would treat the HT Luo point (HT 5), instead of treating the tonification point of the HT.
Finally, there is one more chart that helps me to finalize my treatment strategy:
The Energy Cycle graph is one of my favorites! This analysis depicts how the energy is supposed to be flowing through the body. We were taught in school that the energy cycle begins in the lung and flows from channel to channel until it reaches the liver. Then it begins again in the lung. Sometimes this graph screams to tell you exactly where a blockage is causing chaos in the body.
For this patient, I notice the SI is causing a blockage in either side of the flow of energy. The SP and HT energy can’t flow into the SI because it is blocked. Notice also that the BL and KI are too low because of the blockage. I like to show the patient this chart, because it is easy for them to understand. I click on the SI channel and show them where the problem originates. This graph doesn’t change the treatment that I have already established from above, but it further confirms that this patient definitely needs some upper body musculoskeletal work to get everything flowing again.
I’ll be continuing with a series of graph-analysis blogs. Please add your own comments regarding the graphs in this series. Input shared from our team of AcuGraph practitioners will help us all to become better with our treatment strategies.
Have a great day!
If you want to learn more about Graph Analysis, check them here.
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.