Japanese Acupuncture Needling Techniques - Shigo (Single Point) Needling

Japanese Theory

Japanese Acupuncture Needling Techniques - Shigo (Single Point) Needling

Shigo or "Single Point" needling is a local needling technique used within Japanese Acupuncture treatments. The information presented below discusses basic theory behind the technique, guidelines for applying the technique and examples of clinical use. Some of the techniques listed here require significant amounts of training to be performed correctly and should only be performed by practitioners who have been trained properly.

  • Clinical Usage:
  • Treatment method which trys to select the most active point to use, based on the chinese clock and the patients issue.
  • Generally useful in acute a/or emergency cases.
  • Can be used for chronic cases as well but it was not originally developed for those usages.
  • General Information:
  • Works best with a 30 gauge Gold needle.
  • Can only be used if there is one meridian involved (i.e. shoulder pain that is clearly a LI issue).
  • Shigo Technique:
  • Determine which meridian to treat based on the location of the pain, for example shoulder pain involving the LI meridian
  • Using the Opposite meridian on the chinese clock (see chart below), treat the Yuan Source point on the opposite side of the body
  • Hold the needle at the point for 20 seconds to 2 minutes until the patient feels relief from the pain
  • If no relief is felt, try using the Luo Connecting point
Time AM Meridian PM Meridian
1-3 LV SI
3-5 LU UB
5-7 LI KD
7-9 ST PC
9-11 SP TH
11-1 HT GB
  • After needling remove the needle in a tonifying manner (i.e. quickly and closing the hole)
  • Perform 5-7 rounds of direct moxa at the point or you could leave in an intradermal
  • This is usually done as a preliminary treatment so you may follow with a root treatment
  • Treatment Method for Inter-meridian Pain:
  • If, for example, a patient has pain between the LI and TH meridians on the arm you would treat a point between the KD and SP Yuan Source points

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were used within this section:

  • Iuliano, Diane: New England School of Acupuncture, Extraordinary Vessel Techniques Lecture Notes
  • Kuwahara, Koei: New England School of Acupuncture, Advanced Japanese Techniques Lecture Notes

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