I was first introduced to motor points acupuncture a few years ago when I was teaching at the acupuncture college in Florida. Some students in the school clinic were already familiar with this somewhat new acupuncture modality as one of the faculty members taught the techniques within professional seminars. Motor points are a somewhat new technique combined with an already existing network of acupuncture meridians and points; however, some of the motor points are not on acupuncture meridians or are not acupuncture points, and some of them slightly close to some of the acupuncture points.
There are about 128 mapped out motor points on the body. More about the motor points can be read in Matt Callison’s Motor Point Index bext.
What does motor point acupuncture do and what are motor points?
The easy answer to this is that they release hypertonic or tight muscles and strengthen weak skeletal muscles, basically, the muscle gets restarted to function properly, it’s like a little restart button for muscles. The more scientific explanation is that motor points are the entry site of the motor nerves into the muscle where acupuncture needles can be used to retrain neuromuscular function that has been lost due to an injury. With this way of acupuncture, patients with musculoskeletal issue can heal much more efficiently and have increased range of motion, can regain muscle strength, and have improved ADLs (activities of daily living) faster than with just regular acupuncture.
I use motor points on a daily basis in my practice. They help me to treat hypertonic muscles a lot more efficiently than any other form, or modality, of healing. Practitioners often use many different modalities for hypertonic muscles, from Graston technique, Kinesio Taping, Post Isometric Relaxation, Electric Stim, to Ultrasound, and many other ones. But from my experience, none of them has worked for my patients as well as motor points acupuncture has. Patients tend to receive the almost immediate relief that lasts for a few days and sometimes pain is gone for good, all depending on many factors of healing and how long patient has been suffering from this condition.
How is motor point acupuncture done?
Not much different than any other form of acupuncture, one thing that is different is that needles need to be stimulated until you feel the release of the muscle or until you feel fasciculation or twitch of the muscle, and not just left in place like. As the founder of ACAOM, my alma mater, Dr. Liang used to say, “Students don’t stimulate needles, they just insert them and leave them there to stand like telephone poles!”
Let's mention a few of the motor points and where they are! Just a quick disclaimer that this is not even close to being a complete list, as there are about 128 motor points, and reading this article does not prepare you to practice acupuncture if you are not an acupuncturist, and if you are an acupuncturist this article will offer only a basic understanding of motor points, just enough to scratch the surface. The following motor points are just some of the most common hypertonic muscles that I see and use in my practice or regular basis. Piriformis - halfway between Ub53 and Ub54 Iliocostalis lumborum -Ub52 Gluteus Maximus -slight inferior to Ub54 Quadratus lumborum -lateral to Ub52 Upper trapezius -Gb21 Brachioradialis -LI11 and Lu6 Masseter -St6 Semispinalis capitis -Ub10 Semispinalis cervicis -Bailao.
Motor points can be an amazing and efficient way to treat musculoskeletal issues and can offer fast relief and fast recovery. Helps to restart muscle function and increases the range of motion, something a lot of our patients have an issue with, and also helps to improve things that we do around the house and outside of the house, the thing that we do in our daily actions. More in-depth about a motor point can be read in Matt Callison’s Motor Point Index book.
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