Acupuncture Treatment of Common Diseases includes a number of topics which are listed alphabetically below. I have included both the English and Chinese names for these diseases, as you will often be asked to use those during your student clinic internships in many schools.
If you are searching for class-by-class Acupuncture Treatment of Common Diseases notes, please see downloads folder listing.
When most of us thing “addiction,” we think drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Did you know that caffeine and sugar trigger the same dopamine responses? Successfully treating addictions requires more than a few acupuncture points. We are only part of the package. A patient with an addiction they are trying to get under control needs an ongoing support system. That said, you still have to know this for your tests, so if you’re looking for specific information, go to Chemical Dependencies and/or Nicotine Dependency.
Allergic Rhinitis – Bi Qiu
Allergies are no fun at all, but they are a sign that the patient is out of balance with the environment in some way. Western medicine relies on steroids and other pharmaceuticals to mitigate the symptoms and allergy treatments to desensitize the body to the external allergen. Chinese medicine balances the immune system and strengthens the Spleen to give greater resistance to both respiratory and food allergens. Because allergies often trigger other health problems, treating allergies successfully is a really cool skill to have.
Basic respiratory allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and sinus pressure…which kinda looks like a common cold. How do you tell the difference between allergies and a cold? See page 6.
Allergies point chart provided by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Amenorrhea – Bi Jing or Jing Bi
True amenorrhea refers to the absence of menstrual periods after the onset of puberty and before the onset of menopause. Amenorrhea is not associated with pregnancy.
Anxiety should be differentiated from anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder indicates a state of distressing, chronic and fluctuating nervousness which is inappropriately severe for the person’s circumstances. Being anxious on occasion is a whole different animal. See page 5.
Appendicitis – Chang Yong
Intense abdominal tenderness and pain, especially with rebounding pain after pressure, usually in the lower right quadrant (but sometimes refers to the left side).
Arthritis – Bi Syndrome
Arthritis is characterized by pain, soreness, and stiffness in the joints of the body. When it becomes severe enough joint movement can be limited and a “bone-on-bone” grinding sensation might be present. Arthritis can be exaccerbated by heat or cold, prolonged periods of stillness, or prolonged periods of movement.
There are a number of types of arthritis and your method treatment varies depending on the manifestations and types. Osteoarthritis (OA) is degenerative wearing of the cartilage and bone. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis are associated with autoimmune disorders. Gouty arthritis is the long term effect of gout and uric acid crystals on the affected joints.
Asthma – Xiao Chuan
Basic symptoms are wheezing and dyspnea.
Asthma point chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Often experienced as pain and tingling in the hands, carpal tunnel can be a blockage of the nerve tissue at the neck and/or shoulder (brachial plexus), or at the elbow or wrist (median nerve).
Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) – Zhong Feng
This is referred to as a stroke in non-medical circles or wind stroke in TCM circles and is caused either by a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain or by blockage of the vessel.
Cervical Spondylosis/Stiff Neck
This includes dependencies on alcohol, drugs, and tobacco….but should include sugar and caffeine addictions as well.
Acute or chronic inflammation of the gallbladder, almost always with gallstones. Many patients have pain in the upper right abdomen which often radiates to the right scapula. Cholecystitis patients are also usually positive for Murphy’s sign.
Common Cold – Gan Mao
Basic symptoms look much like allergic rhinitis but with more overall body symptoms such as chills, fever, and body aches. See page 6.
Common Cold point chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Congestive Heart Failure – Xin Li Shuai Jie
Commonly experienced as fatigue, cough, palpitations, and chest tightness or discomfort. See page 6.
Congestive Heart Failure and palpitations point chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Constipation – Bian Mi
Constipation is diagnosed if there is no bowel movement for 3+ days. See page 8.
Deafness – Er Long
Loss or partial loss of hearing. See page 7.
Point Chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
This includes many types of depression. Depression is often defined as a feeling of intense sadness which may follow a recent loss or other sorrow that is out of the proportion to the inducing event and beyond an appropriate length of time. But depression is more than that. Depression can be an intense flat emotional zone with little to no motivation. Start thinking about stagnation when you see the lack-of-motivation type of depression.
Postpartum depression is another form of depression and can be largely prevented/alleviated to some degree (entirely many times) by placentophagia. If you want to know more about that, look at my wife’s page on Placentophagia. See page 8.
Diabetes – Xiao Ke
The discussion includes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in humans. While most of America wants to control diabetes with pills or shots of insulin, diet changes might help control diabetes better than medications. Tons cheaper too. As of this writing, a 28-day supply of Lantus runs nearly $300. Lord help you if you don’t have insurance.
Diarrhea – Xie Xie
Diarrhea is an increase in the volume, wateriness and/or frequency of bowel movement. If you patient is defecating more than 3 times per day, that’s considered to be diarrhea, regardless of consistency.
As I did not incorporate the chart material into the notes when I created them, here is the chart information from the Fu Yiu Yip book for you.
Dizziness and Vertigo – Xuan Yun
Dizziness is a lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or faintness. It might feel like whirling in space and is often accompanied by the inability to maintain one’s balance. Vertigo is more severe . The surroundings seem to spin or revolve. This is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headaches, and sweating.
Dysmenorrhea just means painful or difficult periods. See page 11.
Epilepsy – Dian Xian
This is a seizure disorder associated with abnormal paroxysmal neuronal discharge in the brain. In other words, the electrical impulses in the brain don’t fire correctly. In TCM it can also be associated with phlegm.
Epistaxis – Bi Ru
Recurrent bloody nose, basically. See page 14.
Epistaxis/Nosebleed point chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Facial paralysis can be associated with Bell’s Palsy or windstroke (cerebrovascular accident). This document outlines treatment protocols for both, starting on Page 7. See the seminar notes for scalp acupuncture for more options in treating stroke victims.
Fibromyalgia is increasingly recognized as a chronic pain syndrome. It is characterized by widespread/body-wide musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. See page 6.
Not one of the more common things we see, but good to know the difference between this and lower back/lumbar pain. See page 10.
Headaches – Tou Tong
Know the different types of headaches as classified by TCM and their etiologies. Includes migraine treatments.
Characterized by sharp pain, burning, and/or itching around the anus. There is often tissue protruding from the anus. See page 7.
Blood borne disease which is very common in clinic, though many people have no symptoms. Though it is often associated with jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and sclera), it’s actually only reliably seen in Hepatitis A. People with hepatitis of other varieties may not even show symptoms.
Herpes Zoster – She chuan chuang
This section refers to shingles, but this is the same virus that causes chicken pox. The virus hibernates in the nervous system after a round of chicken pox and may or may not activate later in life. Traditional biomedical wisdom says that you can’t get it from someone who has a shingles outbreak, but there are now recorded instances of this actually happening. There are also new recorded instances of people with no contact with a shingles patient and no known chicken pox contraction who experience a shingles outbreak. Though shingles are usually experienced by people later in life that are also documented cases of children with shingles.
HIV is an infection caused by a retrovirus which causes an immunodeficiency. Rampant in some parts of the world. HIV, transmitted via blood, body fluids, and breast milk, progressively destroys lymphocytes and lowering immune response.
Hypertension/High Blood Pressure – Gao Xue Ya
Often symptomless and undetected until a person gets a blood pressure check during a health fair, yearly checkup, visit to the dentist, etc.
Hypertension point chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Hypothyroidism – Jia Di Zheng
Depression, weakness, fatigue/weakness, and edema associated with low thyroid function. See page 9.
This refers to sexual dysfunction in men. See page 12.
This specifically refers to infertility in women and concerns primary infertility.
There are a whole lot more reasons for insomnia than those presented here, but this is a very good start.
Laryngitis/Pharyngitis – Hou Bi
Pain, swelling, redness, possible itching in the throat, possible loss of voice. Includes tonsillitis.
Acute Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis point chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Pain on the lateral side of the elbow which may occur right after a precipitating event (injury) or may occur 24-72 hours after damage. The earlier you can treat this the more rapidly the patient will see results. May take diligence and repeat treatments to get this to heal. See page 8.
Leukorrhea – Dai Xia or Bai Dai
Profuse vaginal discharge. See page 8.
Oh so common in clinic. You will know this well. Know the difference between this and glomerulonephritis (see page 10 of the notes), which tends to start as a lower back pain. Also see Sciatic pain (page 5).
I find cupping to be a great finishing treatment for most types of lower back pain. Though the notes linked above recommend warm cupping I find that simple pneumatic cups work quite well. I sometimes use a spray moxa on the skin, insert needles, and warm the skin with a heat lamp during needle retention. Then I cup after removing the needles.
Lupus Erythematosis – Hong Ban Lang Chuan or Li Jie
Includes DLE (discoid), systemic (SLE), and Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus.
Mastitis or breast abscess occurs most often in nursing mothers and start with blocked milk ducts. I treat this a lot and these points work pretty well. See page 8.
I also created a supplemental write up on it when I started treating it so often in post-natal women. There is a little more information in this document that I’ve found to be helpful.
Menopause is not a disease or pathology, but a natural physical transition….unless you are talking about a woman who has had a hysterectomy and then goes through the hormonal shifts associated with menopause. Regardless, treatment will be similar.
Migraines – Pian Tou Tong
Classic migraines are usually on only one side of the head and throb. There is also a type called cluster migraines that are often felt behind the eye and are a constant very intense pain that does not throb.
Fun treatment thing to know:
When a patient comes in with a bad headache whether or not it classifies as a migraine ask them to grade it on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. Before you do anything else in the treatment, lower the lights and have them lie or sit (whatever is most comfortable).
Get your bleeding gear together and glove it up. Squeeze the ear from the lobe, up the helix, toward the apex. Keep doing this until the ear turns very pink. This moves the blood to the ear apex. Use a 3 edged needle or lancet to puncture at the ear apex. Squeeze about 3 large drops of blood out and ask the patient to rate the pain again. Repeat this until the pain drops to a 2 out of 10 (2/10), then continue with the rest of the treatment. You can use a cotton ball with alcohol on it to wipe the ear apex and keep it from clotting while you work. Use a dry cotton ball to stop the blood flow when you get the pain down.
Nausea and vomiting, often experienced only in the 1st trimester of pregnancy….but some women get this gift through all trimesters. They can’t take meds to help, but we can give them a lot of relief.
Multiple Sclerosis – Wei Zhen
Also known as Flaccidity Syndrome, multiple sclerosis is a progressive degenerative disorder of the nerve tissue of the CNS which is characterized by the destruction of the myelin sheath surrounding neurons involving the optic nerve, brain, and spinal cord. This condition affects the ability of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate.
Nausea and Vomiting – Ou Tu
Not associated with pregnancy. See page 7.
Smoking withdrawal. Nicotine produces a pleasurable feeling, even euphoria, that makes a smoker want more. Gives a light floating feeling. The sympathetic nervous system gets very excited. During this process the body develops drug tolerance and more smoking is required to get the hit.
Includes simple obesity, pathological obesity, subcutaneous, and visceral obesity. Unless it is hormonal, treat it as an addiction and add psycho-emotional treatments as well.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is increasingly common and is seen in soldiers returning from the Middle Eastern theater as well as in people who have been abused and traumatized by events in their lives. Though the material presented was geared toward returning soldiers and vets, people who have experienced child abuse have stunningly similar symptoms. I have also found that a tincture from Herbalogic called Stand Down, which is the only one of their herbal formulas that requires a practitioner prescription, works wonders for most of these folks.
The material that follows includes some key information to know when treating PTSD patients as well as treatment protocols.
Acute Combat Induced PTSD – article by Joe Chang, L.Ac.
An Integrative Approach: The Treatment of PTSD in Post-Deployment Soldiers with Acupuncture – presentation by Joe Chang, L.Ac.
By definition psoriasis it is a chronic recurrent disease causing raised, red patches that have silvery white scale and distinct borders between patches and normal skin.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality, abnormal thinking, disturbed social functioning, diminished motivation, hallucinations (seeing or hearing what isn’t there) and delusions (false beliefs – like someone is going to kill them – altered form of reality). See page 6.
Pain along the path of the sciatic nerve or sciatic bundle branches. Pain might follow the gallbladder channel, bladder channel, and sometimes both. See page 5.
See Herpes Zoster.
See Nicotine Dependency.
Tinnitus – Er Ming
Ringing or noise of some kind in the ears that is happening internally. See page 7.
Point Chart by Agnes Nowakowski, L.Ac.
Toothache – Ya Tong
Acupuncture is very effective for toothache. Toothaches in the lower jaw are associated with the Large Intestine channel while pain in the upper jaw is associated with the Stomach channel. See page 4.
Trigeminal Neuralgia – Main Tong
Pain along on or more of the 3 branches of the trigeminal nerve. See page 8. Sometimes this condition does not fall neatly into the categories given. I have seen one case triggered by stress and was only experienced after a visit from the patient’s mother-in-law. Essentially boiled down to liver qi stagnation with heat which was aggravated by the emotional interactions with the relative.
Also called lin syndromes, TCM breaks up UTIs into types which really helps when choosing herbal remedies. The types of lin syndrome are heat lin, stony (like bladder stones) lin, qi lin, xue or bloody lin, and gao or cloudy lin.
Generic term for a muscle weakening and atrophy syndrome. This could come from MS, ALS, Myasthenia Gravis, or the aftermath of a wind stroke/CVA.