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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