Acupuncture and Technology: Which group are you? 5/5 (37)

I’ve been spending some time lately reading various acupuncture blogs, news lists, and forums. (Do you do that too?) There’s lots of great information out there and much to be learned. As you might guess, posts about technology in acupuncture always catch my eye and I especially like to see how other practitioners integrate technology into their acupuncture practices.

After years of watching this topic, I’ve noticed that opinions really fall into three categories. But I’ve also noticed a certain trend about these categories you might find interesting. Of course, this is completely non-scientific and really just my opinion, but I want to know what you think.

So here are the opinion groups:

which group are you

Some practitioners don't want to even consider modern tools.1. Acupuncture and technology should NEVER mix. These are the purists who not only disagree with the use of modern tools but often are actually offended that such tools even exist. “The ancient Chinese had only pulses and needles, and doggone it, that’s all I need.” (I never mention to them that those needles were stone, and now we use stainless steel. I don’t want to start a fight.) Believe it or not, this attitude is often prevalent among students–I’m guessing because they are so steeped in the basics they’re learning in school. Regardless, this is a group I find perplexing because they embrace technology in all other areas of life. I mostly just consider them devoted, but misguided.

Man and his car2. Acupuncture tools are really just Toys. This group accepts the “gadgets” as they call them, but only as show and tell items to impress patients. All the serious work is still done with pulse, tongue, and books. Having a few gadgets may help out now and then, and they’re OK to play with, but that’s not real acupuncture. This group gets my attention for two reasons. First, the “gadgets” cost the same whether you treat them as toys or tools. And second, this group tends to like the gadgets and buy more of them, all the while considering them not serious parts of practice. Some of our customers fall into this category.

Amber's Designs3. Acupuncture is enhanced by modern technology. This group buys and uses the “gadgets” as tools–making them an integral and important part of practice. This group tends to appreciate and understand the ancient wisdom, but also recognizes the value of modern technology in guiding treatment decisions and making important information more accessible. And this group tends to have a very broad scope of practice to match their broad-minded approach to healthcare.

I’ve Noticed a Trend:

I’ve noticed that the Group 1 people tend to struggle financially, the Group 2 folks do OK, and the Group 3’s tend to do quite well. Of course, there are exceptions, but overall I see this as a solid trend.

Now here’s my question. It’s a chicken and egg sort of thing.

Are the Group 3 people more successful because they use technology, or do they use technology because they’re more successful?

Please comment below with your thoughts!

I really want to know, and I think we can all learn from each other.


Please rate this

Dr. Adrian Larsen

Adrian P. Larsen, D.C., F.A.S.A., C.Ac. Dr. Larsen is President of Miridia Technology Inc., and one of the developers of the AcuGraph Digital Meridian Imaging system. He currently divides his time between research, product development, and teaching. Dr. Larsen also holds certifications in Applied Kinesiology and CPK, and has specialized training in SOT and craniopathy. He, his wife, and 7 children reside in Meridian, Idaho.

15 Replies to “Acupuncture and Technology: Which group are you?

  1. Dr. Larsen, Pulse, Tongue, Books are ALL open to different Views from different people looking at different situations in diagnosing a patient.

    I have always used Technology in my dealings with patients….

    Accuhealth/ Quantum Therapy Device /Bio-Thron Light/Laser Pen /
    Allinad Device / AcuGraph4 / and Auriclology and All of them have their place in MY Practice.
    Love and Peace to ALL

  2. I, too, enjoy using technology to help my clients, including the Pointer Plus and the AcuGraph. I like to use whatever tool is going to give me, and the client, the best result.
    I continue to expand my ‘old-fashioned’ skills such as pulse and tongue ddx; but technology is so much fun!

  3. I am growing my practice, (July marks my first year anniversary!), and am slowly introducing technology to my clinic. As a recent graduate of Tufts School of Medicine, I see the benefit of integrating the technology of the modern age with ancient healing wisdom. When we grow with the resources that are available to us, everyone benefits.

  4. Dear Dr… I accept your thoughts and little I was confused because of judge the opinion. At last I agreed with this point that, they use technology because they’re more successful………….

    A bad carpenter will cry with his tools. because of dont know how to use the tools.

    have a great day sir

  5. 31 years ago, I used to be a “purist” and believed as per group 1 that I should only do what ancient Chinese acupuncturists did. However after reading many articles on how powerful and painless laser acupuncture was, I purchased a laser and find it very powerful and practical, using it on a daily basis, especially on otherwise painful acupoints e.g. the Tsing points. After reading about the AcuGraph I purchased a model and have found it very beneficial in my practice. Patients love to SEE how their energy is performing, and love to see lots of green, (the default colour for balanced meridians). I perform the AcuGraph analysis on every new patient so I have a benchmark to relate to during the treatment program. Further, I use the “enticement / reward” of a free AcuGraph analysis to encourage my former patients that I have not seen for a while to return to the Clinic for further treatment. In the reactivation letter I offer the free AcuGraph analysis if they return within the next 21 days. I mention in the hard copy reactivation letter that I send out to these former patients that the value of the AcuGraph analysis is $65. It is very successful at encouraging these patients to return for further wellness treatments. I now have a thriving practice, and I am booked out for several weeks in advance. I have no doubt that my patients, with their mobile phones and iPads appreciate that I am also keeping abreast with modern technology and marvel at how the AcuGraph accurately determines their weak-spots, and how laser acupuncture helps them gain wellness. They ALSO marvel when I use my cupping jars, guasha and moxabustion in the same treatment. I believe there is a beautiful harmony with this old and new mix of ancient art and modern technology. Trust me all of my patients appreciate it when I use the laser on Kidney 1 or Large Intestine 1. Note that if they have a sore throat for example, I still needle Large Intestine 1 and squeeze out 5-6 drops of blood.

  6. I am a little sounding bell echoing Louis Gordon. Patients love lasers, and while they do many of the things that needles do just as well, they do a couple of things better: #1 is that they give qi to the deficient at the level of the cellular activity. Needle can do this, but lasers make it much easier and more reliable. #2 lasers remove stagnation in the context of blood flow and nerve stimulation problems much more quickly and effectively than needles to, because they cover a wider area and activate microcirculation. I am absolutely certain that, in olden times, if acupuncturists had been able to uses lasers, they would have. They certainly weren’t ‘purists’ in that they mixed up all kinds of modalities and treatments, according to what would make the patient well.

  7. I believe that practitioners are more successful or have more of an edge in the clinical diagnosis and treatment of their patients because they use technology as an adjunct with what they already know. The greatest tool we can possess is already within us the gadgets, technology, instruments, etc. are merely reinforcing agents that allow us to hasten and enhance the quality of our delivery in coaching those who want to be at their optimum health!

  8. Years ago I spent many thousands of dollars on more expensive technology that you offer. I was originally taught incorrectly from the manufacturer on how to use it. Then I sent thousands of dollars learning to use it properly. Then I found out that the machine was not working properly for years. I took years to get them to admit that. My take was that I do great world connecting to the patients like I do. I can trust my own energy and some how the universe was trying to give me a message. I felt bad about the people I treated with what as they did not get the best that I can offer without it. I enjoy practicing how I do and I am booked up.

  9. I’m definitely in the 3rd group. Our ancient masters always integrated the available technology into their practices and I think they would do the same today. I’ve integrated Microcurrent technology, laser (both resonating and cold 808 and 660), and SCENAR technology along with SCENAR COSMODIC technologies. Western labs and MRIs are also used. I always use these methods with AOM theory in mind and I have a practice with collections of $50,000 per month on average. My success rate is also beyond what would be considered normal. While I do have an acugraph, I seldom use it because I am too busy treating patients to take the time. Also, I have never learned how to explain the acugraphs to the patient because often the graph does not match their symptomology.

  10. I’ve noticed much the same thing Adrian and I think the answer does lie more in the attitude of the practitioner and their approach to life in general than anything else. Those open to new ideas and thoughts are more open to living life and allowing it to flow. Law of Attraction at work in my opinion. The more “boxed in” we get in our approaches the smaller our circle of influence and the smaller our patient base… as we all know one size does not fit all! 🙂 Not all technology is better, but at least be open to evaluating it before making a decision to use or not to use.

  11. Patients love that I offer different modalities.
    I use modern an ancient medicine together on a daily basis. Patients
    love the acugraph and constantly ask to see their
    scores and see their improvement. One patient who allows me to share his story
    Is a perfect example of incorporating modern technology.
    His acugraph presented with continuous imbalances in the
    Small intestine SI, Large intestine LI and triple energizer TE.
    He went to the M.D. To find out he had stage 3 colon cancer.
    The technology in this case study saved his life .
    Nothing more to say than thank you for developing this tool for us to
    Use in our practice !

  12. I have had a successful and effective practice for 12 years. I am open to new ideas and technology, but am determined to make sure that I do not lose my connection with the patient I am working with. I want to be present with the person in front of me, not dependent on machines to determine what is going on within. I think one of the essential aspects of what has helped me to be successful is that I help patients develop their ability to tune into and listen to themselves. Technology can augment what we can determine, but doesn’t replace it.

  13. Being that I began practicing acupuncture later in my professional career (in my 3rd year now), I am grateful that I have the modern technological capability of AcuGraph to be able to assess a patient and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment provided.

    I remember my acupuncture instructor saying that it took many years to develop the sensitivity to assess the pulses and get a grip on the “qi” of a person.

    I don’t have that 30-40 years left to practice acupuncture so that I can perfect that sensitivity. So I am grateful that AcuGraph has that technology available now so that I can assess the qi, stimulate the deficiencies, sedate the excesses and even out the imbalances.

    Starting from there, I know that I will be having a positive impact on the patients’ health as I learn more about this precious art and enable patients to express more of their innate “chi”.

    I am amazed at the consistency of patient exams and how they correlate with conditions that are going on in their life outside of the office and at how patients consistently look for improvements in their graphs.

    I appreciate the suggestions of different treatment approaches and I do vary them from time to time and I really have grown fond of the Associated Shu points. I’m feeling better about being able if I had to, but I wouldn’t want to practice without AcuGraph.

So, what do you think about it?