Learning points for acupressure &Tui Na

forum post

Learning points for acupressure &Tui Na

Published on 10-26-2008

"Student" is a complemementary medicine provider who lives in Chattanooga and has authored 11 other posts.

What is the best way to memorize the points on my own meaning without a teacher but using books? Where does one start in memorizationto have a foundation to build on? It seems studying the points while reading the recommendations for a diagnosis would begin the familization process between a point what it can do.Is there an easy to read chart to study from while reading treatment recommendations?

Thank you

This post has the following associations:

Acupoints: ex taiyang, ht 5, ht 7, lv 3

Comments / Discussions:

comment by "ChadD" (acupuncturist)
on Oct 2008

This depends greatly on your overall purpose. There are a number of points, probably in the 50-80 range that are used fairly often, and then quite a few more that are for more particular cases (i.e. certain medical conditions that you won't see too often), and then quite a few more that you might use given a particular style of acupuncture, and yet more than you may never use.

Even though this is repeated many times on the site, acupuncture is -not- a point to condition modality generally speaking. Using it that way instead of with appropriate point combinations, which requires a deeper understanding of the underlying theory, will lead to inferior results. Tuina and other "professional" system of acupressure like Shiatsu, require a fair amount of training when compared to learning for self-help. You need to know which points you are using, which meridians you are using, and why - exactly. Otherwise you are just moving things around and this cannot possibly help people and runs the risk of making their conditions worse.

I have an article of very commonly used acupressure points, which for the lay person would be all you need to know for the most part. These could easily be worked into a general bodywork session with little understanding. Because of their broad functions they are part of the small subset of points that can be used on a point-to-condition framework with minimal risk.

As for point memorization, you should start by memorizing the paths of all of the meridians. You should be able to draw them on a paper body - and as a bodyworker this is more important than the individual points. Then on each meridians find some of the most commonly used points and start memorizing them. Within our charts there are a few helpful tools for students that sometimes go unnoticed. First when you are looking at a particular meridian graphic, say the Heart Meridian, you can hold your mouse over any of the points and the location and any precautions will popup (it may work better with firefox instead of internet explorer as your web browser). Second, when viewing a particular point page, like HT 7, you can click on the "Actions and Effects" link which will take you to a chart with all the most necessary points on that meridian and their effects. For acupressure, you probably only need the ones with longer descriptions - so on the heart meridian (HT 5 and HT 7).

After you get the meridian paths and the main points down you want to have some basic understanding of how to use them appropriately. To start you should read my article on basic acupuncture point selection. This will give you a broad framework within which to choose points. After that you should get into more basic diagnostic criteria - which would be most common organ patterns as listed in the TCM theory section. After you get a handle on all of that and have the basic points and patterns memorized you should be well on your way.

To go further you could continue by reading the acupuncture point categories page and clicking on each of the "detailed theory" links next to each category. This will take you a little further into TCM theory and help with appropriate point selection.

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comment by "Student" (complementary)
on Nov 2008

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing is true pretty much everywhere - Are there side effects from "experimenting/exploring" with acupresure that one should be aware of other than the obvious that some points could be harmful to the pregnant? Is there a point(no pun intended) where pressing a point could drop blood pressure, decrease heart rate, change respiration etc? In the elderly-? When can it be dangerous?

Thank you for the information. I appreciate having your training so readily accessible.

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comment by "ChadD" (acupuncturist)
on Nov 2008

Outside of the normal precautions, no, there is little danger with acupressure, and acupuncture for that matter, but I will leave that out of the discussion to avoid over generalizing. As the points work to regulate natural functions and rhythms within the body it is hard to strongly disrupt these processes. If people were to receive incorrect treatment the worst that will happen is that they might feel a little "off" for a few hours, or perhaps a light headache, some fatigue, and/or general malaise. For the most part any of these side effects would not last long and can usually be eased by just going for a walk or rubbing the body down generally from head to toes.

The main thing to focus on with acupressure is just basic concepts such as upper/lower, hot/cold, excess/deficiency, etc. So if symptoms are high in the body (say a headache) you would want to focus on points that move energy lower into the body, if the person has strong heat signs, you want to use cooling points, if they are overall deficient you would want to use tonifying points to help stabilize their condition.

Take a headache for example. If you were to focus primarily on points on the head (even those for headache, say taiyang) you could make the patient worse. Instead you might use taiyang, for example, but then finish the treatment with a descending point such as LV 3.

In general if you follow the basic principles and end the treatment with a basic rubbing down from the upper part of the body to the lower people will very rarely feel any side effect, even if your point choices may not have been as well rounded or precise as they could be.

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