A good tutor will give you an assignment with something to think about before your next tutoring session. I noticed that 5 of you posted your thoughts in comments on the blog. Perfect!
So, how did the rest of you do?
If you’ll recall…a couple of weeks ago I posted two graphs that were similar yet different, and a list of several questions to ponder. (If you haven’t read the first part, click here).
If you did not see the last assignment, you may want to take a minute to look at the blog post:
Now I’ll share my own perspective on these two graphs, along with the patients’ chief complaints.
You’ll notice that both of these graphs show an upper/lower body imbalance. Graph #1 has a larger concentration of energy in the upper body, and in graph #2 the energy is focused more in the lower body.
Even without the patient telling me their chief complaint–my mind immediately begins formulating questions.
- Are you experiencing any neck and/or shoulder tension?
- How have your emotions been? Have you been suffering with anxiety?
- Are you experiencing low back pain? Headaches–frontal, temporal, occipital, vertex?
- Are you having any bloating? How about swelling/edema in the lower body?
- Female: Tell me about your menstrual cycle? Do you experience PMS, cramping or clots? Are you having any problems with vaginal discharge?
- Male: Do you have an enlarged prostate?
Both patients have spleen deficiency. If energy isn’t flowing smoothly through the middle jiao, it would make sense that the Spleen cannot perform its job of transporting and transforming food into energy efficiently.
My immediate goal would be to treat the Dai Mai and the Spleen. Once these imbalances are resolved, I would expect the patient to present with a completely different diagnosis on the next visit.
Points that I would choose are as follows:
- Dai Mai: TE 5, GB 41
- Spleen: CV 12; SP 6, ST 36
Extra points that I would consider using–beyond the points listed above might include the following.
- CV 17
- HT 7
- Neck and/or shoulder treatment
- LR 6: This is the Xi Cleft for the channel. I have found that creating swift movement up the Liver channel helps energy disperse from the lower body up.
- Back shu treatment: This will affect all the channels that are out of balance and create nice movement in the bladder channel in general.
Can you begin to formulate any TCM patterns by looking at the graph? Of course you’ll need to use additional diagnostic skills beyond AcuGraph to come up with a full TCM pattern diagnosis, but do you get any clues of what you might find just by looking at the graph. Here are a few thoughts that come to my mind:
- Heart Fire
- Spleen Qi Deficiency
- Fire not promoting Earth
- Liver Yang Rising
- Stomach Fire
- Spleen Qi Deficiency
- Liver overacting on Earth
I didn’t tell you these patients’ chief complaints before we began picking the graph apart for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted you to realize that, with a little practice, you can gain a lot of information simply by analyzing the graph. Second, often I graph the patient before I ask the chief complaint, just so that I can “guess” what is going on in their body based on my graph findings.
Patient #1: This patient had just lost her mother to cancer. Obviously, she was going through a lot of emotional turmoil. Her body was experiencing the residuals of emotional trauma. Her heart channel was full–emotionally and energetically.
Patient #2: Her chief complaint was bilateral low back pain. She also has chronic digestion problems, including a lot of gas and bloating. Her diet is poor, and she drinks of a lot of ICE water and diet soda.
I hope you enjoyed this graph analysis tutoring session. We’ll do another one soon.
Have a great day!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst