Thursday, January 26, 2012

4 Points

I am a novice practitioner of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) of which Acupuncture is just one aspect of the practice.   I do not pay $75+ for a treatment that I can do at home with a $2.99 low level red laser I buy at Walgreens.  TCM is a long established modality that spans perhaps 2000 years and the wisdom is passed through the generations so that all may benefit from it.

Acupuncture simply allows energy to flow through meridians of the body.  The Chinese identified that organ systems such as the liver flows through certain points which can be anywhere from a few to many points.  They traditionally use needles which are not painful by the way but it has been found that other techniques can work as well such as the low-level red laser mentioned above or by simply tapping or rubbing the points with your fingers.  As a side note, massage and stretching probably work by helping energy flow through these meridians.

There are many 'cookbooks' that are available for referencing the points.  Cookbooks are just a compendium of relevant points that apply to your situation.  Some of the trick with TCM is finding an experienced practitioner who can ascertain what exactly the problem is but for simpler problems, cookbooks work fine.    One of my problems and for those who suffer from infective states is that the liver becomes overburdened due to the toxic byproducts of the immune response and the loss of cysteine/glutathione which is essential for liver detoxification.  I can particularly tell when the liver is stagnant by simply rubbing the appropriate points (LIV 3 in my case) and if I experience pain then I know the meridian is burdened.

I was diagnosed by two practitioners that the liver was stagnant.   The liver in Chinese thought is where anger  and irritability lies, which is no wonder since the liver is there to detoxify all the poisonous compounds we manufacture and consume on a daily basis.

I found an article written by Diane Joswick L.Ac. in which she discusses the liver and liver qi stagnation that is very interesting.   She calls this technique the 4 points in which the left and right LIV3 and the LI4 points are stimulated.  Joswick states "According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body and smoothing our emotions. Anger, irritability, and frustration are all signs that our Qi is not flowing smoothly"  (1)

The liver is not only the seat of emotions but plays key roles in metabolism.  Joswick continues this by saying " The liver filters over a liter of blood every minute.  It is responsible for detoxifying, nourishing, replenishing and storing blood.  It also acts to energize the blood by releasing stored sugar and it recombines amino acids to create the protein our bodies need to grow and repair tissue"  (1)

I must add that this article is for education purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition, please discuss this with your healthcare provider.  Please educate yourself and consult with your physician before starting any health regimen particularly with pregnant women.

LIV 3 point

LI 4 point

Pictures credit TCMFE com

Rather than spending all my time explaining this, here is the link to the full article


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