Abdominal Acupuncture

Have you ever noticed that different practitioners may choose different acupoints for treatment of the same musculoskeletal issue? Often this is because we have several different microsystems that we can choose from. One of my favourite aspects of using Chinese medicine to treat pain is that we have options best suited to our patients and their individual needs.

When I was given the opportunity to learn the abdominal acupuncture microsystem from an Irish man on St. Patrick’s Day, I knew I couldn’t refuse. In the five years since it has become one of my favourite systems to use in my clinic for treating pain, both chronic and acute.

The system was developed in the 1970s by Prof. Zhiyun Bo when he observed that back pain could be successfully treated by needling the midline of the abdomen. He went on to spend the next 20 years mapping out the mirror image of the whole body onto the abdomen before releasing his findings in the 1990s. His theory is known as the Bo Method of Abdominal Acupuncture. The area of the abdomen that is used is approximately one hand width above, below, and lateral to the navel. In the illustration used in this blog post (from Mastering the Art of Abdominal Acupuncture, Dave Shipsey, page 328) the spine runs down the midline with the dotted line level with the navel.

I prefer using this method to treat injuries and/or pain for several reasons. Abdominal acupuncture points are far less sensitive than limb points so it’s a more comfortable treatment. I also like it because it does not involve putting needles into the area of the injury itself (which often gives people anxiety thinking about what it will feel like to have a painful area directly needled). Once the corresponding areas of the abdomen have been needled there will be an immediate reduction of pain that can be verified by moving the injured area, often with complete resolution.

Another benefit to this method is that it allows me to do reiki on the injured area while the needles are in the abdomen. I find this combination of modalities to be very effective at relieving pain.

If you are experiencing pain and don’t want needles in the painful area, book in for some abdominal acupuncture today at Lavender House Acupuncture & Wellness Clinic. I’d love to be your guide to holistic health and wellness.

References: Mastering the Art of Abdominal Acupuncture: a Concise Guide to Treating Numerous Painful Conditions, Dave Shipsey, first edition, 2015 (Illustration overlaid on image below is from page 328)