(TJM) Traditional Japanese Medicine Theory

Japanese Acupuncture Needling Techniques - Fire Needle - TJM Theory

The Fire Needle is a local needling technique used within Japanese Acupuncture treatments. The information presented below discusses basic theory behind the technique, guidelines for applying the technique and examples of clinical use. Some of the techniques listed here require significant amounts of training to be performed correctly and should only be performed by practitioners who have been trained properly.

  • Clinical Usage:
  • The Fire Needle is a local technique generally used for acute/recent muscle/sinew issues.
  • Muscle Channels:
  • The muscle meridian paths, associated meridians and seasons are described in the Ling Shu Chapter 4.
  • They serve as the body's first line of defense, keeping pathogenic factors at bay.
  • Found on the surface of the body, they are broad bands that encompass and follow the main meridians.
  • The layer of channels is as follows:
  • Skin
  • Muscle Channels
  • Luo Channels
  • Extraordinary Meridians
  • Divergent Channels
  • This technique generaly makes use of the muscle meridians within the body, but if you don't get the response you desire you can try using the divergent channels.
  • The following chart contains the most likely point areas that you will treat. You should be familiar with the muscle channel paths before using this technique:
Yang Muscle ChannelsReunion PointYuan SourceLuo Connecting
Arm Tai Yang (SI)GB 13SI 4SI 7
Leg Tai Yang (UB)ST 3UB 64UB 58
Arm Shao Yang (TH)GB 13TH 4TH 5
Leg Shao Yang (GB)ST 3GB 40GB 37
Arm Yang Ming (LI)GB 13LI 4LI 6
Leg Yang Ming (ST)ST 3ST 42ST 40
Yin Muscle ChannelsReunion PointYuan SourceLuo Connecting
Arm Tai Yin (LU)GB 22LU 9LU 7
Leg Tai Yin (SP)CV 3SP 3SP 4
Arm Jue Yin (PC)GB 22PC 7PC 6
Leg Jue Yin (LV)CV 3LV 3LV 5
Arm Shao Yin (HT)GB 22HT 7HT 5
Leg Shao Yin (KD)CV 3KD 3KD 4
  • How to Determine Which Channels are Involved:
  • If the pain comes about with movement that is...:
Pain is experienced with movement that is...Muscle Meridian to treat
away from the bodyTai Yang
arm/shoulder/hip pain w/rotationShao Yang
Grasping an object a/or pain w/resistanceYang Ming
towards the bodyTai Yin
rotation with the arm/leg bent, whereas shao yang is with the arm/leg straightShao Yin
Paralysis of the limbs a/or total flaccidityJue Yin
  • Diagnosis Protocol:
  • Perform palpation looking for the point that improves the pain while the patient is performing the movement which causes pain
  • Palpate the Jing Well area
  • Palpate the Yuan Source point
  • Palpate the Luo Connecting point
  • Palpate the Reunion point
  • Treatment Protocol:
  • If multiple channels are involved, treat in the following order
  • Tai Yang (SI/UB)
  • Yang Ming (LI/ST)
  • Shao Yang (TH/GB)
  • Tai Yin (LU/SP)
  • Shao Yin (HT/KD)
  • Jue Yin (PC/LV)
  • Perform bloodletting on the Jing Well Point
  • Perform bloodletting on the Luo Point (stimulation is most important, a drop or two of blood is enough)
  • Tonify the source point (45 degree angle, #1 needle for acute, #3 needle for chronic)
  • Retain the needles for 10 minutes
  • Remove the needles
  • Perform the fire needle technique (lightly tapping the fire needle) along the muscle meridian
  • If desired, needle the Reunion point (45 degree angle, #1 needle) and retain for approximately 10 minutes
  • Contraindications:
  • Do not use on areas or in conditions with strong heat signs (can be used to dissipate heat from hot skin condition a/or burns)
  • Do not use on points contraindicated for pregnancy

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were used within this section:

  • Iuliano, Diane: New England School of Acupuncture, Extraordinary Vessel Techniques Lecture Notes
  • Kuwahara, Koei: New England School of Acupuncture, Advanced Japanese Techniques Lecture Notes

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