This has been my favorite department thus far - as the doctors in this area are very informative regardless of us asking questions or not while also explaining mechanisms behind treatment choice and underlying conditions of patients. We've also been able to practice our needling skills without using guide tubes - a nice change from removing needles and cupping in other departments! But hey, either way we are grateful of all the experiences we have been a part of thus far.
In Neurology, the neck is a very commonly treated area - especially since the nerves running along the jiaji lines are extremely important for all our sympathetic nervous system responses. Many patients with various symptoms of the head (dizziness, blurred vision/floaters, headaches, sinusitis, etc) can have almost immediate alleviation by treating the neck. It is important to consider this as a treatment method if other treatments aren't working effectively or even as consideration before trying anything else. The neck is a bridge to our head, and it is very common as we know to hold stress in this area. Often by just treating the neck, that is sometimes all that is needed to make many of these symptoms disperse. A note of interest is that even though Jiaji points start at T1, the actual Jiaji points aren't necessarily used. It is most common to use ashi points along the Jiaji line which coincide with the cervical vertebrae - especially at C2 or C3. In addition, to open up that ever-so important bridge we use points like U.B.9, U.B.10, G.B.20, and DU16.
Other interesting cases involved hypertension, obesity, and facial paralysis to name a few. The aspect to note that I found interesting is how often they make correlations to Western Medicine and how using both modalities for understanding allows us to treat effectively in other means besides strictly using Zang-Fu, Five Elements or Western Medicine alone (though don't get me wrong, we all know how effective all of these treatments can be). My favorite point seen in this department was ST9. As we know, this is our 'go to' for hypertension. However, being its location right next to the carotid, we know that baroreceptors play a big role in pressure changes through our blood vessels (hence the use of hypertension). Because of this, the point is very commonly used for issues with the eyes, balls palsy, symptoms of thyroiditis, or even sequela of wind-stroke. Because again of its location on the neck, it bridges a link to the head and is excellent for many eye symptoms as I said related to circulation, while also being very effective for calming the mind. If blood is flowing properly and nutrients are being transported effectively, our mind is nourished to its full extent - and clinically, this point is doing wonders here in China.
For facial paralysis alone (apart from the video you all have seen with the cat gut!), it has been interesting to see treatment as well. Ginger-moxa is commonly applied to the diseased side of the face while reducing needle technique is applied to the unaffected side (tonify the deficient side and reduce the compensating side). In addition, a very interesting technique is used while following actual meridian point acupuncture and the needles actually pattern to make the shape of a turtle! The points are used to tonify the body, regardless of Zang or Fu type stroke: SP15, ST25, Ren4, Ren6, Ren10, Ren12, KD13 and 2 points lateral Ren6 along the KD meridian (0.5cun lateral). Sometimes Ren3 and the lateral KD points are used as well depending on severity and etiology.
As you may have heard the doctor mention in the video, the majority of patients in this department have an underlying SP Xu. With our muscles governed by this organ in addition to it being the central pivot or axis in 5 elements (when viewed from the cosmological sequence) - it is no wonder why imbalance in this hemisphere may bring such disease. What would we do without our precious transformation and transportation?
We hope to be in this department for the majority of our time here - but I do plan on adding more information to this blog - in addition to time spent in Derm and other departments. Again, if any of you have any questions about various cases, please don't hesitate to ask. There are too many to write down while in clinic as we are too busy listening or asking questions and everything. I look forward to sharing more information with you guys shortly!