Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Protocols

Acupuncture for Arthritis - Treatment Protocols

Below you will find some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for arthritis (also known as bi-syndromes in TCM theory). There are many ways to treat this condition with Eastern Medicine and our presentation is only one of many possible options.

  • Differentiation:
    • Wandering Bi (Wind)
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Wandering pain in one joint or several at a time
        • Limitation of Movement
        • Fever and aversion to wind
        • Pulse: Floating and Rapid
        • Tongue: Thin, white coating
      • Treatment Points:
        • GV 14 - eliminate wind and heat
        • TH 6 - dispels wind, stops pain
        • GB 39 - joint pain
        • (Use of even needling method)
    • Painful Bi (Cold)
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Pain is fixed and severe
        • No local redness or heat (swelling possible)
        • Pain worse in cold weather, better with heat
        • Limitation of movement
        • Pulse: Wiry or Tight
        • Tongue: White coating
      • Treatment Points:
        • ST 36 & CV 6 - tonify Qi and eliminate cold
        • LI 11 - promotes circulation of Qi and Blood, stops pain
    • Fixed Bi (Damp)
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Heaviness of local area
        • Numbness of skin and muscles
        • Fixed pain and swelling
        • Pain worse in damp weather
        • Pulse: Slippery or soft
        • Tongue: White greasy coating
      • Treatment Points:
        • SP 6 - needle and moxa to assist Spleen
        • SP 9 - needle to eliminate damp
        • Bony Bi: Joint deformity due to phlegm obstructing the channels
          UB 11 - meeting point of the bones
          GB 39 - meeting point of the bone marrow
          ST 40 - to resolve phlegm
    • Febrile Bi (Heat)
      • Signs & Symptoms:
        • Painful joints, severe with heat, swelling
        • Local redness
        • Limitation of movement
        • Fever or thirst
        • Pulse: Slippery, rapid
        • Tongue: Greasy, yellow coating
      • Treatment Points
        • ST 43 & LI 4 - eliminate heat from Yang Ming
        • (Use reducing method)
  • Treatment Points for all Differentiations According to Affected Regions:

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

  • St. John, Meredith: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes
  • Valaskatgis, Peter: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes

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