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Points for emotional numbness


#1

Submitted By: pi

Can anyone tell me what acupuncture points would be good to use on someone who is experiencing an overall feeling of numbness or lack of sensation of the body during a massage due to emotional stress?
Thanks!


#2

There are a few reasons why people may lack feeling during a massage. Certainly emotional traumas and/or chronic emotional stress may cause people to internalize any sensations they may feel and avoid letting go both physically and emotionally. This is most often related to the Pericardium and/or Heart meridians.

As far as acupressure techniques go, in most cases you want to accomplish two things. First you want to open the meridians and the chest area. This can be accomplished with such points as CV 17, PC 6, PC 7, HT 7, possibly HT 8. On the back you can use the back shu points of the PC and HT which are UB 14 and UB 15 respectively. The outer bladder meridian lines are also helpful for emotional strain, so points such as UB 43 and UB 44 which will reinforce the actions of the shu points listed above.

We also use points such as GB 13 and massage around cervical vertebrae 2 (C2) which come from the Tam Healing System and serve to balance the frontal lobe of the brain which is often a strong part of psycho-emotional conditions.

After opening the chest and the emotional channels you will most likely want to work downwards and descend the energy that has opened up. This is done to avoid any side effects of opening the channels too quickly. Points such as LV 3, SP 6 and KD 1 will help in this regard.

The points and meridians described above should be helpful. It is, however, important to keep in mind that people hold their emotions for a variety of reasons, some they are not even aware of. Over time the majority of people will learn to relax and experience the deeper benefits of bodywork therapies, but it is something that cannot be rushed.


#3

Thanks Chad for the reply. The information was very helpful.
I was wondering if it would be beneficial to open up with the 4 gates (LI4 & LV3) first before working on the chest with CV17,and HT7, then descend the energy with SP6 and KD1?
Thanks!


#4

Yes, the 4 gates (LI 4 & LV 3) can also be helpful. It probably shouldn't be used as much as it is in acupuncture, however. The points are strong movers of qi for certain and often work very well, but it can weaken people with qi deficiency and be too moving for people with yang excesses, particularly in the upper parts of the body. So, yes, that can be helpful, but it should be used somewhat cautiously.


#5

For those of us who aren't acupuncturists, can you please explain the characteristics of someone who is qi deficient or has excess yang? When I learned about the 4 gates, I wasn't told that it should be used cautionsly, so thanks Chad for the advice.


#6

Many points can be used as movers of Qi within the body. The four gates is one of the stronger combinations. If you have very low energy and try to move energy without building it first you can make a person weaker, or at the very least distort their energy. If a person has strong excesses of energy, which usually rise upward, you can move more energy upward and make their symptoms worse. Additionally, if people have strong areas of stagnation, moving too much energy without clearing the stagnation can put more energy into the stagnation. What this really means is not every point is positive, you can make conditions worse, and this is why acupuncturists have so much training in proper theory and diagnosis.

Proper point choices require a complete and accurate diagnosis in tcm terms of what you are treating. This diagnosis is not just the persons symptoms, but what you find in their tongue, pulse, physical observations, history, point palpation, etc. In other words, you cannot treat well until you have a diagnosis.

Many people using the points as acupressure points are not acupuncturists as you point out. They tend to choose points based on their clinical indications without an understanding of how they work together as well as times where you would avoid certain combinations. The result of this is that the treatments may not work at all or may make the person worse.

Using strong movers of Qi is a classic "error" made even by fully trained acupuncturists. If something is stuck your instinct is to do what you can to push it through. Proper acupuncture treatments, however, usually require a little more finesse to achieve good results without side effects.

Thankfully, side effects are limited with acupuncture and possibly more so with acupressure. So the only caution is to remember to monitor the patients progress closely and to remember that more isn't always better.

I brought this up in the case you mentioned, as emotions also cause a form of energetic stagnation and moving this too strongly can be overwhelming for the patient. If your patient has an adverse reaction then, the first place to look at would be the stronger points in your treatment.

All that said, there are a few other pages that will answer your question more directly. Qi deficiency often shows up as Spleen Qi Deficiency as the spleen is involved in the production of Qi. To see some of the more common signs and symptoms, you can read this. Another common diagnosis involving qi deficiency is Kidney Qi Deficiency, which you can read about here.

Yang excesses often show up as Liver Yang Excess which you can read about here.


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