Empirical Points? Are you serious?!

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We read about them in the acupuncture books. Those empirical points. As if by chance the Chinese discovered the workings and indications of acupuncture points.

The past 15 years or so studying Chinese medical classics taught me one thing. There is always a why. Sometimes it is hidden. Maybe the authors didn't explain the why because they assumed you know. Otherwise, you wouldn't even be reading their texts.

I'm a little obsessed with why. That's why I wrote the chapter Ordinary Points with Extraordinary Results in volume two. The indications of 138 acupuncture points are explained.
You probably remember studying the actions and indications of the points without really knowing why and how. For example, the acupuncture books say that ST-38 Tiaokou is an important empirical point in the treatment of shoulder disorders.
Well, yes, I know this from my 12 years as an acupuncturist before I knew the Balance Method. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. Prick 'n pray. I also had doubts about other points actions and indications. So much so that I almost decided to quit acupuncture and continue with Chinese herbs.

Back to this empirical thing. Empirical means ‘guided by practical experience and not theory.’ To be honest, this irritated me and I began my journey into the "why" of things. The Chinese in those days did nothing without knowing why. There is always a reasoning, a logic behind it. Not a wet finger in the air. Or even a stick. Or a needle, for that matter.

Back to ST-38. Most acupuncturists, well, not Balance Method acupuncturists, discovered that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The good old prick 'n pray. It unfortunately didn't always do what the books promised. It was difficult to correct our strategy because they didn't give us the “why”. The Balance Method with its Balance Matrix, Projection and Anatomical Structure Similarity gives us powerful tools to explain why things are the way they are.

Let's use this to find out where ST-38 does its magic. First, the meridian is Yangming ST. This meridian balances in the shoulder area Yangming LI and Jueyin P. Second, where does ST-38 project when using reverse-mirror and reverse-image? Well, it is close to the level of LI-13 and LI-14. That is the upper arm. When using Master Tung’s Large Taiji Inverse ST-38 is more close to LI-15. Balance Method Acupuncturists know that the pain must be between LI-15 and LI14 on the opposite side of ST-38 to have any response. For example, if the pain is on Taiyin, Shaoyang, Taiyang, then ST-38 will not work. You would be surprised, but many acupuncturists don't know this and think, “Well, ST-38 is an empirical point, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” That's unfortunate, because it can give the idea that sometimes acupuncture works and often it doesn't.

But, Balance Method Acupuncturists say, "Empirical points? Are you serious?! Let's bust this empirical points myth!"

With Balancing Regards,

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