A New American Acupuncture: Acupuncture Osteopathy

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This book represents the fruit of many years of research into the use of acupuncture as a tool for releasing holding patterns in the bodymind as a way to restore functional/structural balance and to relieve chronic pain. Dr. Seem shares his clinical experience of how and why this style of acupuncture works and presents specific protocols for use in the clinic. This book is a valuable reference text for anyone whose practice focuses mainly on acupuncture.

Part I: Treatment Principles
1 The Return of the Body & the Importance of Touch
2 Tender Points Revisited
3 Root & Branch Treatment Principles; Distal & Local Acupuncture
4 Myofascial Chains
5 Somatovisceral & Viscerosomatic Pain & Dysfunction
Part II: Treatment Protocols
6 A Tender Point Acupuncture Protocol for Pain Management
7 The Dorsal Zone
8 The Lateral Zone
9 The Ventral Zone
10 Acupuncture & Dry-needling
11 Acupuncture Tender Point Therapy for Acute, Recurrent & Chronic Pain

More Information

Mark Seem

Blue Poppy Press, 2000

175 pages


Author Mark Seem
Publication Date 1 Jan 1970
Publisher Blue Poppy Press
Number of Pages 175
Book Format Softback

In an "acupuncturist's acupuncture," the channels and connecting vessels filter takes precedence over the zang fu filter. It is the images of this multilevel and multidirectional meridian system that guide the intake, diagnosis, treatment planning, and placement of needles. From a classical perspective, needles are placed at points of disrupted or constricted qi circulation; while from a modern myofascial perspective, they are inserted into tight subcutaneous or myofascial knots and pulls in the body's fabric. This is done in order to release these surface constrictions and restore normal qi circulation externally and hence internally. In tcm acupuncture, on the other hand, points are needled according to strict textbook locations by means of standardized measurement. These points are also believed to have very specific effects, like herbs, that relate to internal functions. This is not the case in pre-tcm Chinese meridian-based acupuncture nor modern meridian-based approaches where the focus is on correcting meridian blockage and dysfunction with a knowledge that such changes will also improve internal functions indirectly.

It is my belief that, where the treatment of recurrent and chronic pain is concerned, experts from all persuasions agree that there are no truly effective internal medications that work in the long term. Aspirin is too weak and everything else proves too temporary, too addictive, or too mood-altering. I believe the same is true for internal herbal and even homeopathic medicines. I have found that the key in the treatment of chronic and recurrent pain conditions is to manually or through needling release the myofascial holding patterns which are themselves the cause for the development of this pain. In my experience, tender point and meridian-based acupuncture are especially well suited for such myofascial release.

We are now in a position to discuss the issue of root versus local or symptomatic treatment. Various acupuncture styles can be differentiated to a great degree on the basis of their preference for root or for symptomatic treatment. In acupuncture, root treatment usually involves needling the distal points on the lower arms and legs known as the five transport or antique points; while local or symptomatic treatment usually involves needling of points local or in proximity to the site of the pain or pathology. Most styles of acupuncture pay attention to both root and symptomatic treatment. Nevertheless, it is my experience that different schools tend to emphasize one or the other. As with all preferences or biases, it is important and useful to be aware of one's own relative position with respect to others.

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