Then Versus Now 5/5 (55)

advanced acugraph webinarDo you ever take a moment to sit down and think about how far you’ve come in your career? Many of you have watched me grow and learn as a practitioner over the years. Some of you have been reading my blog posts since day one, so you know that I’m not doing things NOW the way I did things THEN. I hope you aren’t either. We should all be growing and progressing as practitioners–just like we do in real life. The more you know, the more you should be changing how you do things.

This blog post is the pre-training for a live, advanced AcuGraph webinar called Patients are Getting Better, Faster.

In this upcoming webinar, I’m going to teach you some of the NEWEST things I am doing in my clinic. Getting better results for my patients has always been the goal. If I can get better results with a new technique, tool or philosophy–then I’m all in.

And let me tell you, for this advanced AcuGraph webinar, I’m all in! Here’s a link to another post with the recording details for this webinar!

Since this webinar is really focused toward advanced practitioners, I won’t be focusing on simple tonification and sedation techniques, simple graph analysis, marketing strategies, etc. This is about the real nuts and bolts of how I am currently practicing day by day in my clinic. I get a lot of really hard cases. Sometimes I wonder if the patient sitting in front of me is out of my league…but I believe that because of the techniques I am currently using, I’m getting a whole new level of results.

In this Advanced AcuGraph webinar I’m going to teach how to approach the REALLY difficult graphs using EXTRAORDINARY and DIVERGENT channel treatment approaches to help you get green graphs faster.

We’ll address the following topics:

  • Where to find extraordinary vessel and divergent treatment recommendations within AcuGraph
  • How to treat when you are doing “everything right” and the patient’s chief complaint just isn’t getting better
  • How to get better results with STUBBORN chief complaints
  • How to prioritize advanced treatment strategies within a treatment series

Why this Blog?

This blog post is to prepare you for the webinar. We all know that I get a little longwinded when I’m excited about something. An hour wouldn’t be enough time for me to get excited at my current level AND share a little background on how I got to where I am today.

Let’s talk about history for a moment.

I was first introduced to AcuGraph in early 2009. Since then I have evolved. I’ve used MANY treatment strategies over the years–none of which were wrong. I’m a little “older” now, or shall I say “more experienced”… I’ve learned a few things.

Here’s the deal… If you aren’t progressing, you are stagnant. Stagnation is a BAD word in our medicine! Whether you are a seasoned AcuGraph user or you are new to the game, there’s always room for improvement. I’ll guarantee you that 10 years from now we will all have even BETTER treatment options.

Let’s walk through my history and how I viewed practice in each of the phases I’ve traversed.


Phase 1 

Wet Behind the Ears: I was fresh out of school. TCM trained. Needed to build a practice. Making my name in the world.

Patient Education: I used AcuGraph at health fairs and networking groups to get new patients through the door. I used it as a tool to educate my community. “Look. I’m different than other practitioners. Did you know that ancient acupuncture has evolved into a modern science? Come into my clinic and give me a chance.”

Clinical Use:

  • “AcuGraph is a nice tool. It will help me get new patients and it’s nice to take notes.”
  • I was still attached to TCM patterns. “I am smarter than AcuGraph. If you have a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine, you do not need AcuGraph to help you diagnose. Tongue and pulse diagnosis is enough. I’m willing to graph the patient because patient’s like it, but I’ll choose my treatment points based on TCM pattern knowledge.”
  • But I noticed the graph DOES improve with TCM pattern treatment.

What I Taught You: How to recognize TCM patterns in a graph… Spleen Damp, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Phlegm in the Lung, Heart Heat, Heart Qi deficiency, Liver Yang Rising, Liver/Kidney Yin Deficiency. I began writing blogs and teaching CEU courses.

Graph Examples: 

NOTE: This picture makes me laugh a little. Look at all those splits! I wasn’t very good at graphing back them. It just goes to show that you are okay wherever you are in your journey. Even though I had a lot of splits and was only treating TCM points, I still got improvement. 

advanced acugraph webinar


Phase 2

Gaining Experience: By now I’d been around long enough to recognize that simply treating a pattern does not resolve many chief complaints. I began taking a lot of CEU courses to find more effective treatment options. AcuGraph was great to bring new patients into my clinic–but I had to be GOOD at helping patients resolve chief complaints in order to keep them and get referrals. I wound up in Boulder, Colorado doing a training with Jake Fratkin, a full TCM-trained practitioner and master pulse practitioner, who uses AcuGraph…

He said something that changed my world: “There is no pulse diagnosis in the world that is better than computer diagnosis.” I was blown away that weekend. I learned that the AcuGraph model actually fits with traditional Japanese acupuncture theories, and TCM does not….

Clinical Use: 

  • I began trusting the graph.
  • Acugraph became MORE than a just a tool for showing my patients. It actually gave me valuable information as a practitioner. AcuGraph became another diagnostic tool–beyond tongue and pulse.
  • Patients got better twice as fast.

Graph Examples:

Note: When I returned to my clinic and decided to trust the graph, I began getting results like this. The change in my treatment strategies was immediately recognizable in patient progress.

advanced acugraph webinar

What I Taught You: 

Trust the graph. I wrote the infamous blog series entitled “I am convinced…” which changed how I thought about AcuGraph. One of the reasons I hadn’t wanted to use the recommended points in AcuGraph was because I wasn’t familiar with them, and there were many that I didn’t like using. Nobody likes to treat jing well points to tonify a channel. That goes against TCM theory. According to TCM, jing well points are used for draining heat and clearing excess.

The basis for my new knowledge came from Shudo Denmei’s book: Introduction to Meridian Therapy. The points in AcuGraph finally made sense. AcuGraph is not about TCM (although I knew I could see TCM channels in the graph). It’s all about channel theory—which channels are excess, which channels are deficient? There is one point on each channel called “the tonification point” and one that is “the sedation point”. Suddenly, AcuGraph’s point recommendations made sense.

Creativity With Treatment: I found that If you don’t want to treat the tonificaiton or sedation point you have other options. The source point works both ways. It is always an option if you don’t want to use a jing well point. Xi-cleft points are also an extra option to sedate a channel.

Simplified Treatment: Shudo Denmei teaches that yin leads and yang follows. If you want to simplify your treatment, you can focus on the yin channels to balance the graph and focus on the yang channels for musculotendino problems.

Root Versus Branch: TCM pattern treatment is not effective as a root treatment. The condition of the channel is what creates TCM patterns. If you balance the channel problems first, the rest of your treatment will be more effective.


Phase 3

More Tools in the Tool Box: Because I knew by this time, through years of experience, that AcuGraph is a viable way of measuring the condition of acupuncture channels, many people came to me with tools and devices to see if AcuGraph could prove that their treatment approach works. I constantly expanded my treatment tool options. If a tool did not change the condition of the channel, then I wouldn’t use it. If the graph changed, then I knew the tool was working. 

Clinical Use: 

  • I tested the theories I learned in phase 1 and 2 through multiple treatment modalities.
  • Needles were ONE option. (There are many more.) I got successful results with laser, microcurrent, auriculotherapy, Rapid Release Technology, etc.
  • I’m not “stuck on needles”. Because of this I developed a non-needle acupuncture specialty in my clinic.

What I Taught You: 

How to become a non-needle acupuncture specialist. Which tools are great for a root  treatment, and which are great for musculoskeletal conditions. How to be more effective in your clinic by using multiple treatment tools.

advanced acugraph webinar

advanced acugraph webinar


Phase 4 (My Current Status)

Testing the Waters: I love to learn. If I have to do the same thing over and over again, I get bored. Also, I turned 50 this last year and set a goal for myself to learn how to work smarter instead of harder. When you set your intention the right direction, solutions automatically come your way.

That’s all I’m going to share for now. In my webinar I’ll explain what I’m doing NOW. Like I told you in the beginning. Graphs are changing faster and patients are getting better faster. Wellness patients are coming in with green graphs a LOT more often. I must be doing something right..

Note: Picture #1 depicts how quickly graphs are changing. In the past I would have expected a patient who comes in with EVERY channel out of balance to take 6 to 12 visits to get results. Something has changed…

advanced acugraph webinar

Note: Picture #2 depicts a patient who I see once a month. We have taught for years that it isn’t common for patients to get an all green graph. I can’t say that anymore. I get graphs like these all the time. Like I said above… Something has obviously changed. 

advanced acugraph webinar


Advanced AcuGraph Webinar: Patients are Getting Better, Faster

Come and join me at this Advanced AcuGraph Webinar, and I’ll teach you one of the things I’m doing NOW. Perhaps you can take your patients to a new level as well.

Here’s a link to another blog post with a link to the recording!

Webinar: Patients are Getting Better, Faster>>

Until Then,


advanced acugraph webinar

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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.