Anna is in her mid seventies and has been suffering with various joint pains due to arthritis for a number of years. She has Scoliosis that causes her to walk with a stoop and Neuralgia which affects the right side of her head. Her mood was very low, her digestion frequently bad and her energy was poor. She had been to another acupuncturist recently and didn’t enjoy the experience or get beneficial results. Her daughter who was previously a client of mine suggested that she try Abdominal Acupuncture.
Anna was suffering a lot with her left Hip, the worst pain was along the foot Shaoyang Gall Bladder meridian between GB 30 (Huantiao) and GB 31 (Feng Shi), the pain was most apparent at the lateral aspect of the head of the Femur. Anna was always tired and although she enjoyed walking, it was becoming more of a chore and the distances she could comfortably walk were decreasing at an alarming rate. She frequently got bouts of Neuralgia along the hand and foot Shaoyang meridians on the right also.
Anna was a little sheepish, subdued and even a little suspicious when she first arrived, she didn’t want a repeat of the last acupuncture experience a week earlier. She was surprised that I wanted to use her abdomen to treat her and I explained some of the advantages to her of this gentle yet powerful system;
I asked her to focus her attention on the main areas that were bothering her, which were specifically the left hip with pain radiating towards the point GB 31(Feng Shi), lumbar pain and some tightness and discomfort in her upper back. I then asked her to give each of these areas a reference point score of 10 out of 10, this I explained was not a scale or comparison of what it had or could be it was real time 100% of what the pain or discomfort was at that very moment in time, even if it was only a fraction of the pain she had experienced in the past.
As she considered the different areas of pain I pressed on the main areas of pain and when she felt the pain I told her that, that was her 10:10. I observed and palpated the abdominal area and found a couple of small solid ahshi points at a superficial level around St 26(Wailing) the Hip pt on the left. The skin was flaccid and the umbilicus was caved in on itself, suggesting to me Spleen and Kidney deficiency.
I started with the Abdominal Meridian System (AMS) opening treatment, eight needles one into each Gua of the Bagua 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. This will access her Pre Natal Qi and rebalance her immune, hormonal and nervous system by working on the Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys it is like rebooting her system and awakens the abdominal meridian system for future treatment. I left these in situ for 10 minutes, after checking whether there was any change in her pain, she was surprised to find that the pain at GB 31 (Feng Shi) was gone and that her upper back felt less uncomfortable. I quickly marked up her abdominal prescription and changed it from what I intended to use, I would not need to use St 24 Shoulder (Huaroumen), to treat the upper back, Ab 7 (Qipang) on the right or Ab 4 (knee) & Ab 6 (ankle) on the left as the pain was no longer moving down her leg!
Having already supplemented the Spleen and Kidney Qi I felt that "Heaven & Earth" Ren 12 (Zhongwan) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan) was better than "Bringing Qi Home" Ren 12 (Zhongwan), Ren 10 (Xiawan), Ren 6 (Qihai) & Ren 4 (Guanyuan), I also used "Harmonising the Middle Jiao" St 25 (Tianshu) & Sp 15 (Daheng) with bilateral St 26(Wailing) the Hip pt on the right to move address the lower back area while on the right I was more focused on using the ahshi points located to resolve the Hip pain, three needles were used with the depths ranged from approximately 0.3-0.5cun in order to address the pain at the posterior and lateral aspect of Anna hip. After enquiring and finding that the pain had reduced to 3:10 I left the needles for a further 25 minutes.
Anna was visibly more comfortable, she left with a smile and an hour later her daughter called me to say she couldn’t believe the changes in her Mum, she was walking more upright and was more vibrant overall.
I have seen Anna twice since then and she has been able to walk better, is in less pain and her digestion and mood are more normal. She is more comfortable with acupuncture now and sees clearly the benefits of Abdominal Acupuncture. I intend to see her twice a week for 2 weeks and hopefully then we can start to spread treatments out. Her improvement to date is roughly 60-70% for 2-3 days and then it falls back to 40-50%. She is happy that she can once again walk without it being so difficult. She has not had any other arthritic joint pain and the back stiffness & pain due to Scoliosis seems to be dormant at the moment.