Abdominal acupuncture used to treat a thyroid condition

Treating a Thyroid Condition With Abdominal Acupuncture

Una is a 26 year old data analyst who was diagnosed with an under active thyroid. She is not currently taking any medication for her condition and wants to try natural methods to stay healthy. 

Her main symptom is fatigue . Her energy level was at 5 out of 10 and was getting her down. She has had bouts of depression. She felt her mood was very low at that time with  pain, numbness and tingling down her right arm. These sensations would travel into her right hand which becomes particularly painful with a heavy sensation. Her skin is prone to acne especially on her back and she frequently gets red rashes or spots on her face. Her digestion is sluggish she often feels bloated and she is prone to constipation. She has also episodes of losing her hair, although his was not a problem on this occasion.

First abdominal treatment

Una was feeling fed up with being constantly tired and this was reflected in her mood which was as she said depressed. Her job demands a lot of concentration and she feels exhausted before the day ends. By the end of the week she usually can’t even entertain the idea of socialising. Her main issue besides the tiredness was heaviness, pain and tingling through the right arm and into her hand which was quite sore. She also felt bloated. Her right cun pulse was pounding rapid and weak. The overall quality of all position was one of a thready weakness the left Chi was more full than the right which was a little superficial and weak!

Her abdomen was cold especially in the lower Dantian. There was an obvious dip at Ren 4 Guanyuan even though she had a slim toned physique. There were some obvious small sand grain like nodes around the shoulder elbow and wrist areas on the right side.

I started by resetting her immune, nervous and endocrine system and awakening the abdominal meridian system by using the “Lotus Flower” treatment around her navel. This treatment is especially powerful in its action on the Kidney, Lungs and Spleen and thus all other Zang Fu organs through the five element interactions of these organs. This procedure also gives direct access to the pre heaven Qi, and so is akin to plugging a mobile phone into a recharger or rebooting a computer!

I used Lu 7 (Lie Que) on the right and Kid 6 (Zhaohai) on the left to open the Ren Mai and after removing the 8 needle lotus flower surrounding her navel I needled Ren 12 (Zhongwan) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan). I felt that this was enough for her as she was so depleted.

Second Abdominal Treatment

Una returned a week later and said that for two days after the first session she was full of energy and was delighted with herself. This short lived delight was followed by a slump in her energy levels as they dropped down to a score of 2 out of 10. This lasted for a couple of days and then crept back up to a slightly better score than she recorded on the first session. She was now at an energy level of around 6 out of 10 (up from 5). Her mood was slightly better and her digestion was sluggish. Her right arm was painful and she had intermittent tingling sensations throughout her arm and into her right hand. Her neck was tight especially around Du 16 (Feng Fu) and she had a dull headache located behind her eyes.

The prescription I used Lu 7 on the right and Kid 6 on the left to open the Ren Mai and act on the thyroid gland. "Bringing Qi Home" Ren 12 (Zhongwan), Ren 10 (Xiawan), Ren 6 (Qihai) & Ren 4 (Guanyuan), St 25 (Tianshu) bilaterally, Kid 17 (Shangou) on the left followed by St 24 (shoulder) then Ab 1 (elbow) and Ab 2 (wrist) on the right. After locating a small nodule at Ren 11 (Jian Li) it was needled and then two very superficial fine sand grain like ahshi points were needled superior to and lateral to Ren 12, these points were needled through the resistance and then withdrawn to the first point of resistance. 

I combined this treatment with the five Li’s, bilateral St 36 (Zu San Li), LI 10 (Shou San Li) & Ren 11 (Jian Li), (Re. Dr. Wang Ju Yi) and I added Du 20 (Bai Hui) in an attempt to boost her dwindling energy levels. I also used the arms and legs combination in an imaging manner to address the sluggish bowels and help with the headache. Ren 11 (Jian Li) was also doubling up in its function firstly to address the neck pain at Du 16 (Jian Li). The depth of the needle here was initially left at 0.3-0.4 cun to correct the neck problem, it was then put to a depth of 0.75 cun to work in conjunction with the group the five Li’s as mentioned above!

Una left feeling more positive and without a headache or neck pain. She now had a weak sensation in her arm rather than pain.

Fig. 1 an illustration of Una’s second treatment.

The Third Abdominal Treatment

Una was feeling much more positive on her third visit. She had a similar initial high in her energy levels for the first 2 days after treatment and then the energy levels diminished but didn’t slump in the manner they had previously. They hit a low level of about 4 out of 10 rather than 2. She was a little more accepting of this, and was optimistic for the future as her energy levels were now consistent at 6-7 rather than the 5 that she started with. She still had weakness and tingling in her arm but the pain level she experienced now was only 20% of what it had been. Her bowels were fine now and she hadn’t had a headache or neck pain all week. She did however have a rather irritating rash with some red spots on her forehead, which she managed to conceal with make up, but was still rather self conscious of. She still had acne on her back, which her fiancee had said seemed to be less intense than before she started acupuncture. 

When I palpated Una’s abdomen I felt a “threat like string” of superficial ahshi points 0.3 cun lateral and 0.4cun superior to Ren 12 (Zhongwan). This reflected perfectly what was happening with her forehead. 

I started by opening the Ren Mai, with Lu 7 (Lie Que) on the right and Kid 6 (Zhaohai) on the left asthis would benefit the thyroid gland. I followed this by using "Bringing Qi Home" Ren 12 (Zhongwan). Ren 10 (Xiawan) was located a little inferior to my usual location in order to help clear heat by utilising the function of Du 14 (Da Zhui), Ren 6 (Qihai) & Ren 4 (Guanyuan). St 25 (Tianshu) was needled bilaterally, while Kid 17 (Shangou) was inserted on the left followed by St 24 (shoulder) then Ab 1 (elbow) and Ab 2 (wrist) on the right. There were no discernible ahshi points and Una could feel the benefit of these points as the arm started to feel more normal again. I then needled the stringy line I had found above Ren 12 (Zhongwan), these needles were quite superficial, I finished up the treatment by including St 27 (Daju) and Du 20 (Bai Hui), which I felt was enough to gently continue to improve her energy levels.

The Fourth Abdominal Treatment : additional complication of mouth ulcers

Una returned a week later and was delighted to announce that she had a much more balanced energy level after the previous sessions. In fact her vibrancy was so good that she was able to go out on two nights to celebrate friends birthday parties. She even managed to have a few drinks and go dancing, which really should be an entitlement of a young woman her age! Her energy levels were now approaching 8 out of 10. The red spotty rash on her forehead had almost completely disappeared after 24 hours and the chronic acne on her back was less disturbing for her and visibly, was a little improved. The headaches remained a thing of the past and the arm and hand were feeling more normal after each treatment at that moment there was only a little pain in the wrist. 

As she had been partying more than she had in quite some time, she had started to get two mouth ulcers one on her tongue and one on the inside of her lower lip, these were uncomfortable and becoming more visible by the hour. From previous experience these mouth ulcers usually took fourteen days to clear and were very irritating for that timeframe!

It was important to help to clear these mouth ulcers. I had treated similar ulcerative type conditions which had an auto immune origin with amazing results. Una was a little sceptical that abdominal would make any real impression on these ulcers that usually took 12-14 days to clear. She was not upset that she had developed these mouth ulcers after her lively weekend. She often got them when she was run down. She would welcome anything that could improve her prognosis.

The prescription I used Lu 7 (Lie Que) on the right and Kid 6 (Zhaohai) on the left to open the Ren Mai and act on the thyroid gland. "Bringing Qi Home" Ren 12 (Zhongwan), Ren 10 (Xiawan), Ren 6 (Qihai) & Ren 4 (Guanyuan) and St 25 (Tianshu) bilaterally, "Abdominal Four Gates" St 24 (Huaroumen) & St 26 (Wailing) was used to harmonise the immune system, while Ab 2 on the right was enough to resolve the slight pain in her right wrist. I used two needles to break up the superficial ahshi points close to Ren 12 (Zhongwan) which would address the mouth ulcers. Although Una didn’t notice any change in the size of the ulcers while she was in the clinic, they didn’t seem to be as irritating by the time she was leaving! 

Fig 2. An illustration of the forth prescription used to treat Una.

The Fifth Abdominal Acupuncture Treatment

The following week Una told me that the ulcers were completely gone the next day and that she only realised they were not there after 2 days because she had forgotten about them which would never have happened on the frequent occasions that she got them in the past. I was delighted to hear this, I was a little surprised too, as she didn’t seem to be getting the fast results that I had got with other clients with similar ulcerative conditions! Una was quite up beat and could see that her energy levels were more consistently at a level of 8 out 10. She had no pain, tingling or numbness in her arm all week. She had a blocked nose on this occasion that had been bothering her for a couple of days, but still no headaches.

The prescription used was Lu 7 (Lie Que) on the right and Kid 6 (Zhaohai) on the left to open the Ren Mai and the throat. "Bringing Qi Home" Ren 12 (Zhongwan), Ren 10 (Xiawan), Ren 6 (Qihai) & Ren 4 (Guanyuan), Kid 13 was used bilaterally as was Ab 7 (Qi Pang), Kid 17 (Shangou) was needled on the left followed by St 24 (shoulder). Then Ab 1 (elbow) and Ab 2 (wrist) on the right, there were no ahshi points to address. Abdominal Lung 1 was used bilaterally to correct the sinus problem. The effect of this point was felt by means of the nose opening up and clearing within around 3 minutes! All the lower Dantian points were put to a depth of 0.8 cun in order to invigorate the Kidneys and further enhance her energy levels.


This is a complex case where there is a lot of deficiency. Una is responding really well and although we don’t have any blood tests to show an improvement in her thyroid function, her kidneys, Yang and Qi deficiency seems to have improved. Her pulses have improved and are more full! She no longer has the heavy tingling painful arm and hand that she had previously. She has more energy, her mood is much better, her bowels are moving and head headaches are gone. We have more work to do and I will keep you posted as we progress.

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