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Acupuncture Patterns: Breaking From the Limitations of TCM


In recent years there have been a large number of acupuncturists looking outside the conventions of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  One of the largest movements occurring in the field is the use of meridian based methods for identifying patterns of disharmony.  Techniques like Master Tung’s style, the Balance Method, Japanese protocols, and Meridian Circuit Systems are redefining the way many acupuncturist think about syndrome differentiation and treatment design.

Where most TCM trained acupuncturist are using zang-fu and 5-element methods for diagnosis and treatment, the Meridian Circuit Systems protocols identify patterns of imbalance based on the associations between the meridians.  So for digestive imbalances that involve the stomach or large intestine, we may speak of a yang ming imbalance.  Extending this further, while accounting for the horary cycle and Zang Fu Bei Tong theory, we find that the yang ming connects with the tai yin (spleen and lungs), and the jue yin (liver and pericardium).

Therefore, in the Meridian Circuit Systems method we may speak of a yang ming – tai yin pattern, which is characterized by the simultaneous occurrence of digestive and lung symptoms.  These patters are quite common in clinic and can be seen in conditions like food allergies and Candida.  Similarly, a yang ming – jue yin pattern is defined by stomach or colon symptoms that are rooted in liver or heart imbalances.  Digestive conditions that result from stress, occur with heart disease, or are associated with mental and emotional patterns, are usually identified as a yang ming – jue yin syndrome.   

Some of the main advantages of using a meridian based approach are that they give a wider perspective on the disease pathology, increase diagnostic abilities, and guide the development of treatment design in terms of meridian and point selections. 

For more information about one of the most recent advances in this field of acupuncture refer to:


 Chinese medicine
 meridian therapy
 Balance Method
 Master Tung acupuncture

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