Abdominal acupuncture used to treat a hip problem

Bernie’s Bursitis of the Hip

Bernie had just turned fifty and was suffering with right sided Bursitis of the hip. She was often woken up a number of times throughout the night and had constant tightness, frequent pain and a reduced range of motion in her hip. The pain often referred down her leg Shaoyang (Gall Bladder) and leg Yangming (Stomach) meridian’s. She had suffered with dislocated hips as a child, which was only recognised when she was about a year old. She was going through the menopause and was experiencing frequent hot flashes. She was constantly tired as a result of the disturbed sleep pattern. She often had tightness and pain in her shoulders and neck and was feeling a lot of tension in her shoulders when she attended my clinic.

First Abdominal Acupuncture treatment

When I palpated her abdomen I immediately felt a small cluster of granular (sugar like) solid little ahshi points at St 26(Wailing) Hip pt on the right. There was a large depression at Ren 4 (Guanyuan) which indicated that her Kidney’s were quite depleted. Her energy levels were scored at 7:10. 

I felt that the Lotus Flower or Abdominal Meridian System (AMS) opening treatment  would really benefit her Kidney essence and help ease the menopausal symptoms she was having. I asked her to check into her pain and tension in the shoulders and hip and to give each area a baseline real time, reference point score of 10 out of 10, which she did. I started with the Lotus Flower, which requires 8 needles, one for each Gua of the Bagua. These are placed within a 0.5 cun radius (the 0.5 cun measurement is derived from the St 25 (TianShu) 2 cun distance and divided by four) around the umbilicus similar to the main points on a compass starting from North to North East, then East etc., and working all the way around in a clockwise manner, once all needles were inserted superficially they were directed towards the wall of the umbilicus at a 45 degree angle to a depth of approximately 0.5cun or until I observed the needle behind the wall of the navel (do not puncture through the wall). This is a great way to prepare the abdominal meridian system for further treatment and also rebalance the immune, hormonal and nervous system by working on the Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys it is like rebooting her system and it often results in a reduction in pain, for this reason it is a good idea to reference the pain before and after this part of the Abdominal Acupuncture session. These needles were left in situ for fifteen minutes. 

When I returned to remove the needles, I could see from her posture that much of the tension had left her body and her pulse at the Chi (Kidney) position on each side felt more vibrant as did her right Guan (Stomach/Spleen) I had her reassess her pain scores and she said that the tension and discomfort in her shoulders was down to a 1 or 2 out of 10, while the hip pain had reduced marginally to 8:10 but the range of motion had improved significantly. 

Since the Lotus Flower had given such good results I decided to do a minimal prescription with "Heaven & Earth" Ren 12 (Zhongwan) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan) Sp 15 (Daheng) St 26(Wailing) Hip pt on the right and two ahshi points there to give a triangular 

Fig 1 Illustration of Bernie’s first Abdominal Acupuncture treatment

format to cover the hip (see fig 1). With a little adjustment of these needles the pain at the hip reduced to 3 out of 10.
When she was leaving she said she felt very relaxed and that her shoulders felt as light as a feather!

Second abdominal treatment

Bernie returned a week later and was very happy to declare that the shoulder and neck tension had not bothered her since and that she had no pain in the hip for three days after the last session, the level of discomfort was currently at 30 to 40% of what it had been when she first attended me. The hot flashes were at about half the frequency and intensity they were previously after having 4 days without any hot flashes at all. Her sleep was a lot better.

At the time she had radiating pain from her right hip moving along the Gall Bladder and Stomach meridians towards GB 33 (Xiyangquan). 

Palpation of her abdomen revealed smaller and fewer ahshi granules at St 26(Wailing) Hip than were there on the first day. Once again I had her focus on the hip and radiating pain and to reference each at 10 out of 10, as it was at that moment in time. 

The prescription used this time was Lu 7 (Lie Que) on the right with Kid 6 (Zhaohai) on the left, to open the Ren Mai and further nourish Yin and ease menopausal symptoms, I then used ”Heaven & Earth" Ren 12 (Zhongwan) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan) with "Harmonising the Middle Jiao" St 25 (Tianshu) & Sp 15 (Daheng) Ab 7 (Qipang) on the left and St 26(Wailing) Hip pt Ab 4 (knee) and Ab 6 (ankle). When I checked how the pain was there was still pain at the Hip which measured 5:10, I then needled an ahshi point in the viciniy of St 26(Wailing) the Hip point  to a deeper depth, towards the deepest level of the Heaven layer where the needle met some resistance, after breaking through the resistance I withdrew the needle to where I first encountered the resistance and checked how the pain was, it had completely gone.


I treated Bernie on two more occasions and her results held for longer after each session. She had little or no pain by the end and her sleep was much improved. The hot flashes were less intense and frequent. Her last treatment was after a two week interval, at which time she had been pain free for ten days and minimal discomfort and stiffness for the remaining four days. She was happy with the results.

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