Because it is useful for those reading this blog to have a practical example of the kind of treatments a five element acupuncturist does, I give below one such treatment, to which I will add as I come across treatments which I think will be of interest. For obvious reasons, all personal details have been changed, but the actual points and the reasons for choosing them have not.
For anybody unfamiliar with five element protocol, my book The Handbook of Five Element Practice describes five element treatment procedures in detail.
Since five element acupuncture has always used the term Heart Protector for what others now call the Pericardium official, I am continuing to do so by abbreviating it to HP, rather than P. We also use Conception and Governor Vessels (CV and GV) for Ren Mai and Du Mai. I have coined the phrases Inner and Outer Fire to describe the two quite distinct sides of the Fire element, the Small Intestine and Heart (Inner Fire) and the Three Heater and Heart Protector (Outer Fire).
We also always apply small moxa cones to each point before we needle, except where contraindicated, and the number of moxa cones is that listed in J R Worsley's Point Reference Guide.
Treatment 30 Sept 2010
Patient: Female, aged 42 (to be called Patient 1)
Element: Fire (Outer Fire) (initial diagnosis only – to be confirmed or changed as treatment progresses)
Number of prior treatments: None. This was the first treatment by me after she was passed on to me by another practitioner, who had been treating her for 5 treatments.
Main complaint: Panic attacks, depression, painful shoulder and hips, bad sleep. A history of under-achievement, usually apparently self-induced: failing her final university degree by not working in last year, even though she sailed through the first two years, giving up on being a tennis player just as she was about to make the county team as a teenager. The really deep-lying problems lay, as they always do, in early childhood, because her mother had alcohol-problems and her father disappeared. She has never married and is in an on-off relationship with a married man.
The physical examination was done during the initial Traditional Diagnosis (TD) the week before: BP (normal), Centre Pulse (in the centre), Akabane tests (any that were out were corrected).
1 Checked for Possession: Not found
2 Aggressive Energy (AE) drain: AE found on HP and H. Drain took 1 hour.
3 Checked for Husband-Wife (H/W) imbalance (which I had thought might be there, because of the great imbalance between left and right pulses and her desperation): Not found
4 Source points of Fire (Outer Fire): TH 4, HP 7 (tonification without moxibustion)
At the end of treatment:
She looked calmer, and less agitated after treatment. But only time and more treatment will tell if she is Fire, and, if so, which side of Fire, Inner (SI and H) or Outer, TH and HP).
Things to look out for next time:
1 Re-check for the possible presence of H/W imbalance, which can appear once the AE drain has helped the patient’s mask to drop.
2 Check for the appearance of any Entry/Exit blocks (to be checked at each treatment, as they can appear at any point, a good sign that good energy is trying to push its way through the meridian system, and causing a slight overload at some point).
Suggestions for next treatment:
1 CV 8 (no needling, but 3 moxa cones on salt) – a balancing,
reinforcing point for the spirit on CV.
2 Source or tonification points (i.e., from Wood (mother) - Fire (child),
TH 3, HP 9 with 3 moxa cones, or transfer from another element to Fire, depending on pulse picture found.