The Graphing Game—Part 2 5/5 (43)

First I want to say GOOD JOB!

We had a huge response to my last blog: The Graphing Game.

I loved reading your individualized perspectives on this patient’s graph. So many of your responses were right on. Isn’t it awesome how experienced AcuGraph users  can look at a graph and learn so much about a patient?

Patients are really impressed when you  pinpoint certain aspects of their life based on graph analysis. In fact, when I shared your perspectives on the graph with this patient, he was VERY impressed you were able to recognize so many of his health problems.

Here’s the graph we were analyzing. If you want to go back and read the whole original article, click here: The Graphing Game.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 11.13.24 AMBelow you’ll find breakdown of what YOU found by analyzing at the graph.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 11.41.38 AMIt was interesting for me to read the multiple perspectives on WHY your answers were chosen. That’s one of the things I really love about AcuGraph. Every graph gives you a different perspective, depending on how you view Chinese medicine diagnostics. Are you a 5-Element practitioner? Do you analyze best by looking at Yin/Yang disorders such as Tai Yin, Shao Yin, Yang Ming, etc? Or does looking at the flow of energy from channel to channel make more sense to you? AcuGraph has many ways to analyze the patient.

If you really want a great learning opportunity, I’d suggest you go back and read the comments section under The Graphing Game blog. Our AcuGraph users have a lot of really great insight.

Okay, let’s see how you did.


Case Study

The Patient: 62-year-old male

Chief Complaint: Back pain


Busy business man. Just returned from a two-week trip out of the country. About 80 pounds overweight. Spends most of his time working. Comes for acupuncture to alleviate chronic lower back pain. Isn’t too interested in working on lifestyle, mostly comes in for pain relief.


We’ll talk about the symptoms he presented with that day as we analyze each graph below.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 1.36.17 PM

The first thing I look at in the Baseline Graph is upper body versus lower body. In his case, the lower body is more excess than the upper body. It’s not a “belt block” per say, but questions are formulating…

  • Edema or poor circulation?
  • Low back pain?
  • Enlarged prostate?

When I see excess in the Liver channel, I like to ask the patient if they have been grumpy or irritable. Nearly 100% of the time they answer YES. The rest of the time the answer is: I don’t think so, but my family says I am.

Other questions which come to mind when asking about excess in the Liver channel include:

  • Any headaches involving the eyes?
  • How about eye twitching?

More questions will come up regarding the Liver as we analyze subsequent graphs.

Symptoms the patient presented with in relation to the Baseline Graph include: 

  • Irritability
  • Lower back pain
  • Edema


Next, let’s look at the Yin/Yang Graph.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 1.50.13 PM

First, I’ll focus on the Tai Yang (Small Intestine and Bladder) disorder. Both channels are excess. If you click on these channels to look at channel pathways, you will see how this graph screams pain. (Patients really like it when you click the graph!)


Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 2.15.06 PMOther notable thoughts on this graph include:

Tai Yang: Beyond the pain aspect, Tai Yang imbalances also include symptoms of low immunity. Wei Qi is strongest in the Small Intestine and Bladder channels because they are so close to the surface of the body. The fact that both of these channels are excess generally indicates his immune system is working extra hard. This makes sense because he has been traveling out of the country and spent a lot of time in airports.

Tai Yin Imbalance: When the Tai Yin (Lung and Spleen) is weak, it’s easy for a Tai Yang disorder to progress inward quickly. We know that his immune system is down because of the Tai Yang imbalances. It is really important to boost this patient’s immunity right away. The natural progression is from Tai Yang to Tai Yin. Because the Tai Yin is also imbalanced, he is more prone to progress with a Wind/Cold  attack rather quickly.

Yang Ming Deficiency:  Both the Large Intestine and the Stomach channels are weak. My question: “How are your bowels?” His answer: “I’ve been constipated for the last week.”

Symptoms the patient has in relation to the Yin/Yang Graph include:

  • Upper back pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Constipation
  • Feeling early onset of a cold

Are you beginning to see why all of his symptoms make sense?

Let’s take it a step further with the By Element Graph.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 2.34.23 PM

Metal, Earth and Wood are imbalanced. Several things come to mind when I look at this graph.

Earth: He has a tendency toward weight problems anyway. He just finished a trip out of the country–eating unfamiliar food and eating at odd times of the day. Excess in the Spleen tells me there is damp. Stomach qi is deficient. The Spleen and Stomach are not working together.

Metal: Lung and Large Intestine are both low. We already know that he is suffering from constipation. There isn’t enough Lung Qi to move the bowel in the Large Intestine. When I asked him about allergies or breathing issues he reminded me that he has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. (He hadn’t told me that previous to this visit. Isn’t it nice that AcuGraph triggered a question from me regarding sleep?)

Wood: Liver is out of control. We established that earlier. Now let’s think about the havoc Liver Yang Rising (internal wind) can cause. Headache, eye twitching, trouble breathing, muscle spasms, irritability etc. He had all these symptoms.

Symptoms the patient has in relation to the Yin/Yang Graph include:

  • Poor Digestion–bloating, gas, indigestion
  • Feeling heavy and lethargic
  • Sleep apnea
  • Headache
  • Eye twitching
  • Muscle spasms

Finally, let’s look at the Energy Cycle Graph.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 2.50.46 PM

In the instance of this graph, I am not seeing more symptoms, but I am seeing a quick solution to many of his problems. The excess in the Liver Channel is preventing the smooth flow of energy to the Lung, Large Intestine and Stomach channels. This helps me prioritize what is important in today’s visit. I definitely want to work on the problem in the Liver Channel TODAY.

I’m sure his wife will thank me for that later, because he will go home less irritable. The bonus is he’ll also probably have a good bowel movement and his immune system won’t be compromised because the Lung and Large Intestine won’t be so weak.


I always start by balancing the graph first. This time I chose to use the Back Shu points to balance the graph. Take a look…

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.19.28 AM

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.27.50 AMRemember, his chief complaint was back pain. I needed to focus on back pain and also balance the graph.

Here’s how I treated:

1: Balance the graph: To balance the graph I treated the back shu points. The added bonus to this treatment is that balanced the graph AND it also helped with the back pain.

2. Chief complaint: Ashi points for back pain relief. SI 11, GB 21, BL 10, BL 40, and BL 10.

3. Irritability: I  added Auriculotherapy for the irritability. First, I treated the points with the Stimplus Pro and then added ear seeds for home care, just to make his wife happy.

This was his complete treatment. There was no need to focus on the rest of the symptoms we found by analyzing the graph, as we treated the most important items, which will affect the other findings.

The awesome part about treating the recommended points in AcuGraph is that 80% of the patient’s symptoms resolve because of balancing the graph. You can focus on what is left on the next visit.

Here’s what his graph looked like the following week.

One Week Later

Many of his symptoms had resolved. I then got to take his NEW graph and start analyzing what I needed to focus on next.

Read ‘The graphing Game Part 1’ here.


I hope you enjoyed the Graphing Game!

Everyone can become excellent at graph analysis, it just takes practice! Buy this CEU course now and spend a little time this summer practicing to become an EXPERT. You won’t be sorry!

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.54.52 AM

Until next time…





Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Research Analyst

Miridia Technology


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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.

4 Replies to “The Graphing Game—Part 2

  1. The description above and CHOICES on how to balance the chart were an eye opener for me!!
    i have clicked on the back icon in the past, but never really put 2 and 2 together to use that to balance the graph and at the same time treat the symptom…

    i know i need more help with graph analysis and think i’ll get the online course for starter.

    thank you!

  2. Buenos días Kimberly.
    Excelente aportación, la agradezco.
    Como usuaria del Acugraph necesito el curso de experto en análisis de la gráfica.
    Pero mi dificultad es que no domino el inglés.
    hay alguna opción para los que estamos en este caso? ya que no siempre se tiene a alguien cerca para que traduzca.
    Afortunadamente existe el traductor para textos, de esta manera he podido leer los blog que me han enseñado mucho.

So, what do you think about it?