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

Primary channels

Most acupuncture is applied to points on the primary channels, also known as the 12 organ meridians. These channels are named Stomach, Spleen, Lung, Bladder, and so forth, after the organs that they reach internally. These channels represent the body's energy super-highways, which carry a lot of traffic and cause huge traffic jams when blocked. If a clinician wants to dramatically affect energy flow in the body, then one of the best ways is to alter the flow of energy through the primary channels.

Without going into detail, Chinese medicine considers that most of the important primary channel points are located at or distal to the elbow and knee. These points are used extensively in Tandem Point therapy.

Omitted graphic: Simplified Channel Pathways: Spleen and Stomach. Source: Ellis A, Wiseman N, Boss K: Fundamentals of Chinese Acupuncture, Revised Edition, Paradigm Publications, Brookline, MA, 1991 (p. 479) [Permission could not be obtained for reproduction of this graphic on a website].

Here are two of the 12 primary channels. Notice that the Stomach channel begins in the face and ends in the feet; this is the channel I use most frequently in addressing TMJ syndrome. In TMJ, syndrome, the patient will have trigger points in the masseter, lateral pterygoid, and medial pterygoid, and sometimes the temporalis. During Tandem Point therapy, some of those trigger points are held with points along the Stomach channel, including St 44 in the foot. This approach releases the critical trigger points. I have had three patients with such severe TMJ dysfunction that they could not eat, and after only one session, each of them had no noticeable pain. I have looked a number of different approaches to TMJ syndrome, and I believe that Tandem Point therapy is an excellent approach for TMJ problems, especially before surgery.



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