Patient Examples

Patient S.B. is a 56-year-old professional male with a 3-year history of irritable urinary bladder symptoms. He is taking multiple medications including Ditropan, Elavil, Elmiron, Atarax, Flomax, Cysta-Q, Celebrex, and Saw Palmetto. Confounding the history of irritable bladder symptoms is a concurrent history of mild inflammatory bowel disease. Every time he moves his bowels, he has bladder spasms and pain, and this sets off a cycle of frequency and urgency. He wishes to be able to control his urinating and reduce the episodes of bladder spasm. He would also like to taper his medications.

Physical examination reveals a delicate, thin, balding man. Palpation of the lower abdomen acupuncture points (CV2,3,4, ST25,30, SP12,KI11) detects tenderness. Turning the patient prone and palpating the buttock area (BL27-34) also reveals tender acupuncture points. I elect to give the patient a KI-BL circuit treatment. I have provided a diagram of the KI-BL Distinct Meridian Channel and the organ coverages (Figures 9-5.1 and 9-5.2). Needles are placed at the abdominal points first, and then the patient is turned prone. When I place the needles in the buttock, frank muscle twitches are noted. This would indicate correct assessment of pathology amenable to an acupuncture approach.

Figure 9-5.1. Kidney-Bladder Distinct Meridians. (Courtesy of Acupuncture Energetics, by J Helms, Medical Acupuncture Publishers, Berkeley, CA,1995.)

Figure 9-5.1. Kidney-Bladder Distinct Meridians. (Courtesy of Acupuncture Energetics, by J Helms, Medical Acupuncture Publishers, Berkeley, CA,1995.)

Figure 9-5.2. Target organs/zones. (Courtesy of Acupuncture Energetics, by J Helms,Medical Acupuncture Publishers, Berkeley, CA, 1995.)

with her husband. She has not felt the need to return for treatment for several months now.

In most of these patients, there is a large myofascial component to their pain, which acupuncture can help break up using electrical simulation. I have painted the male example as a more difficult case requiring longer, more intense treatment. This has generally been the case.

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Acupuncture For Cynics

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