This past month I was fortunate enough to be able participate in an interesting and inspiring all day on-line course on Tung acupuncture. Dr. Tung practiced a method of acupuncture that had been passed down through his family for generations. This method is quite different from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) model I learned during my four years of Master’s training.
Does it work? Well, I have talked to several acupuncturists that enthusiastically proclaim the benefits of several Tung points for various areas of pain. I am curious and eager to try my hand at using the Tung method. Since taking the online class, which described and demonstrated the 30 most commonly used Tung points, I have purchased two books on Tung acupuncture – one of case studies, and one an anatomical atlas of all the Tung points. I am currently successfully treating two patients, one for shoulder pain and another for upper back pain, using Tung points.
As I see it, I am adding tools to my toolbox. If I have learned anything in my budding existence as an acupuncturist, it is that everybody is different. This refers to symptoms, lifestyle, and history as well as how patients respond to acupuncture treatment. In school I learned one system and that is TCM. TCM provides a strong, empirically sound base for treatment and healing, and it is the theory upon which the board exams for licensure are created. TCM was my world while in school. It is what I memorized, discussed, practiced, stressed over and was tested on. But it is not, in any sense, the end-all. While I was in school this was hinted at, but as a student you can’t really wrap your head around the concept that there are other theories that are potentially as comprehensive, meaningful, and effective, if not more so. Now I am out of school and am ready to start conquering other universes, so to speak. One such universe is Tung acupuncture with a wholly new and exciting constellation of points. I am excited to travel within this new universe which could potentially provide years of exploration. As I said, everyone is different. Adding to my tool box means that if one method is not effective at treating my patient, I can try another method. The journey is constant.
Live to learn.
Marian Kimball Eichinger has a Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She is nationally certified in Acupuncture and a licensed acupuncturist in Minnesota. Click here to learn more about Marian.