Abdominal acupuncture used to treat elbow and wrist pain

Eleana’s Elbow & Wrist Pain

Eleana is in her mid fourties and works in an office as an administrator, over the last six months she has been a lot more computer imputing of Data and as a result she has developed a very painful, elbow and wrist pain. She is not one to complain and gets on with life, coming for acupuncture was on a colleagues advice after he saw how much pain Eleana was in. Eleana has a very busy life with work and the charity work she does, she doesn’t get much down time and wouldn’t know what to do with it, if she did, she is a busy bee!

When she came in she was curious about acupuncture, but not really expecting too much from it! Her curiosity was raised more when I asked her to check into the pain she had at that time, she had just finished a busy day in the office and her pain was quite high at 6 on her scale. I asked her if she had followed my request not to take any over the counter pain killers that afternoon, she had followed my instruction. I explained to her that I wanted her to get a “real time baseline” reference point score of 10 out of 10 for each painful area, so that as the Abdominal Acupuncture treatment progressed I would be checking to get an accurate idea of how the pain was improving, starting at 10 or 100% is easier to score the improvement than using a fraction of that. This is why I also ask that there is no OTC pain killers used before acupuncture (if possible, prescription medication should be taken as prescribed), for the simple reason that the result can only be attributed to the acupuncture rather than suddenly the pain killer kicks in from 5 hours previous!!

First Abdominal Acupuncture treatment

I checked Eleana’s abdomen and found a small ahshi point slightly (1-2 fen) superior to Ab 1 (elbow), which as the majority of her pain was coming from the lateral epicondyle. The pain was radiating down towards the wrist along the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB), in a classic “Tennis Elbow” type nature. There was nothing too obvious around the Ab 2 (wrist) area. I felt that she was quite depleted as her Kidney pulse and depression at Ren 4 (Guanyuan) was suggesting, she had not gone through the menopause, but was peri menopausal, her periods were irregular and her cheeks had a malar flush in the early evening when I met her. Her sleep was usually satisfactory due to pure exhaustion, she usually got around 6 hours per night. She had no other health issues that she was aware of.  

I felt that the lovely “Lotus Flower” was warranted here to help reboot her system and open up the  abdominal meridian system by tapping into her pre natal Qi in a way that few other methods can achieve. The Lotus flower technique uses the point Ren 8 (Shenque) which is surrounded with eight needles, one in each Gua of the later Heaven Bagua, each needle is placed within a 0.5 cun radius around the umbilicus like 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 tip behind the wall of the navel (being cautious not to puncture through the wall). The needles were left for 10 minutes to help rebalance the immune, hormonal and nervous system by working on the Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys, rebooting Eleana’s system, nourishing her Kidneys and enabling her organs to achieve harmony once again. 

 When I removed the needles I checked how Eleana was feeling and she said that the elbow pain was almost completely gone and that she was feeling very relaxed. I then continued with a simple abdominal treatment, using Ren 12 (Zhongwan), Ren 9 (Shuifen) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan), Kid 17 (Shangqu) on the left was then followed by St 24 Shoulder (Huaroumen) Ab 1 (elbow), the ahshi point superior to it, and Ab 2 (wrist). I fixed the needle depths, checked the result and she was now totally pain free. I left Eleana with these needles in for 30 minutes. When she was leaving she was delighted that she had indulged her curiosity and checked out acupuncture, she was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Second Abdominal Acupuncture treatment       

Five days later Eleana returned, she was delighted with the results she had not had any referred wrist pain since and her elbow had been pain free most of the time, aside from a “burning bone pain” she had got for a couple of hours on the Saturday after doing a few hours of digging in the garden. She said she had the best nights sleep after the acupuncture and that her sleep had been more fulfilling since. When I explored the abdomen I found a couple of smaller granular ahshi points a little superior and medial to the Ab 1 (elbow) point, where I had previously only noticed one slightly larger one before!

The prescription on this occasion was slightly different, I decided to use Sp 15 (Daheng) to nourish the muscles and lubricate the joint, I dropped Ren 9 (Shuifen) and added one more ahshi point, see fig 1. the prescription was "Heaven & Earth" Ren 12 (Zhongwan) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan) with Kid 17 (Shangqu) on the left, Sp 15 (Daheng) bilaterally and St 24 Shoulder (Huaroumen) Ab 1 (elbow) with two very superficial ahshi points. The depths of all the main needles were fixed to the correct levels and then the Ab 1 (elbow) and ahshi point depths were tweaked until a complete free movement of the elbow joint was achieved.  

Fig 1. An illustration of Eleana’s second treatment

Eleana left feeling energised, yet relaxed and was delighted that she could easily move both the elbow and wrist without any discomfort.

Conclusion  

I saw Eleana once more a week later and on that visit she had a different problem, she had pain in her right shoulder around Lu 1 (Zhong Fu). She had spent three hours the previous day scrubbing the kitchen cupboards which caused this pain, her elbow and wrist were not affected. I did a simple treatment which resulted in her being pain free within minutes of starting the abdominal treatment. Eleana had to stop treatment un expectedly but has not had any elbow or wrist problems since.

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