Tandem Point Tandem Point(SM) Therapy:
An integrated acupressure approach for myofascial pain

by Rena K. Margulis
Presented to Rehabilitation Medicine Grand Rounds
Institutes of Health
March 17, 2000

Acupuncture theory

Mark Seem, the author of four books on acupuncture, will be speaking to you next week. So it would be inappropriate for me to lecture extensively on acupuncture today. That is especially true given the similarities between my work and his, in that we both combine treatment of trigger points and classical acupuncture points, and we also both work to clear blocked acupuncture channels. I cannot express the validation I felt when I found Dr. Seem's books, because working independently we had identified similar approaches to addressing myofascial pain.

Nevertheless, I am to speak first, and there are some things that you need to know about acupuncture to understand Tandem Point therapy.

Underlying acupuncture theory is the concept that circulating in the body is a native energy, called "qi" by practitioners. That energy circulates in many cross-linked channels, eventually reaching every cell. Some of these channels carry much energy, some less, much as we have a road system in the U.S.A. that incorporates large-capacity super-highways and small gravel roads but which eventually reaches every home in the country. The ancient Chinese used the analogy of rivers, tributaries, irrigation channels, and reservoirs, rather than roads. This analogy incorporates the concept that there is a prevailing direction of energy flow (except for the reservoirs), as water flows downhill. Many people experience a feeling of energy flowing as a result of acupuncture and as a result of Tandem Point therapy.

The application of electricity stimulates these channels, again providing some insight into the nature of "qi."

There are a large number of different channels. From the most superficial to the deepest, the types of channels include

  • cutaneous regions
  • minute collaterals
  • sinew channels
  • luo-connecting channels
  • primary channels
  • divergent channels
  • extraordinary channels
  • deep pathways of the primary and divergent channels(3)

Two months ago you heard James Oschman describe how connective tissue reaches every cell in the body. I believe that at least some acupuncture channels occur along connective tissue pathways, and I will provide later a theory to explain how "qi" might move along such pathways.



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