If there’s one thing that we all see and/or hear about lately in the medical field, it’s pain. Americans consume 80 percent of all pain medicine prescriptions in the world, despite making up 5 percent of the world’s population. We are a country in pain, addicted to our pills. Western medicine just doesn’t have many good ways to address it. As a result, pain is the primary reason people see acupuncturists and the top search word that patients usually use to find an acupuncturist. It’s the most common reason other medical professionals will refer to an acupuncturist and pain is what has made acupuncture famous.
During the last seven years—and 65,000 treatments—at my clinic, this is the breakdown of patients’ chief complaints. The top six are all basically pain related. One could argue that the next five complaints could be a result of chronic long-term pain as well. I can’t tell you how many people I see who have low libido, low zest for life, poor sleep, emotional problems, bad digestion, fertility issues, weight challenges and general weakness—all because of pain. It’s a huge problem!
Top complaints in my clinic:
- Upper neck/shoulder pain
- Low back pain
- Pain all over
- Joint pain (knee, elbow, fingers toes, shoulder)
- Headache, trigeminal neuralgia, TMJ jaw pain
- Sleep (too much/too little)
- Digestion, gall bladder problems, IBS, constipation/diarrhea, “spleen qi xu”
- Stress/depression/anxiety/fatigue/libido/no zest for life
- The big three: heart issues, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol
- Female issues: menstrual problems, hot flashes, etc.
- Allergies and breathing problems
- Fertility challenges (male and female)
- General wellness, general issues, neuropathy, numbness, weirdness
- Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, tinnitus, MS, autoimmune disorders, etc.
Obviously it’s important to be able to treat pain quickly and effectively. This is the first in a three-part series about the importance of treating pain on many levels. It will also focus on using Master Tung acupuncture points, a centuries-old family lineage system rooted in the theory of the I Ching and embryonic holographs. In my experience, these points, which have been vetted over hundreds of years of clinical use, can often deliver immediate pain relief and lasting healing in virtually all of your pain patients. Yes, Master Tung was that good.
I was taught by Wei Chi Young (a student of Master Tung’s) and Dr. Tan, creator of the Balance Method, which borrowed heavily from Master Tung’s work. I see 100 people a week in my three-room clinic and patients seek me out because I’m known as the “pain guy who can fix things with needles.” I’m successful because of the Master Tung distal acupuncture style that delivers instant relief and also treats and heals the root cause. I’m not talking about temporary pain relief through the release of systemic endorphins, but actual tissue healing, pain elimination and restoration of homeostasis in the body. It’s what I call “full expressive passionate living without pain!”
Treating pain—and its sequelae—is the “gateway” to most patients and their other health issues. Once you “prove” that acupuncture works to help their pain, patients will often allow you to tackle their other problems and start referring other patients to you. Do you want a busy, fun, happy healthy clinic? Then get really good at treating pain—and treating it instantly! That will revolutionize your practice, your patients, your bank accounts, and your clinic.
One mistake many acupuncturists make, including Master Tung and Dr. Tan practitioners, is treating the root of the pain and missing the branch. Most of our patients don’t care about their spleen qi xu or whether their kidney yang xu is weak; all they care about is “my freaking back hurts and I can’t work.” My 90-year-old patient who’s suffered with chronic pain for 15 years because of a failed knee replacement doesn’t care about the damp phlegm in her joints that may be causing her pain; she just wants to be able to stand in her kitchen and cook and not have her leg go out on her. After her sixth treatment, she was so excited and happy because now she can cook for her family without being in agony. We are defined by our success as defined by the patients, not us. If we fix their root issue and yet miss the branch, we have failed them.
Another mistake practitioners are guilty of making is taking too long to reduce a patient’s symptoms. None of my patients can wait months to feel better. And most are not coming in for preventative care. We live in a “fast food nation” and that applies to health care, whether we like it or not. They want relief right now! We have to be able to deliver a system of healing that meets those demands. Again, that’s the beauty of the Master Tung system.
There are 700 points in the Master Tung system, most of them distal, which makes them very convenient and safe to use (they’re never over any organs). I’ve utilized them all over the world to treat everything from ankle pain to leprosy and the results really are amazing. I love other styles as well—trigger points, local, hand, ear, and abdominal acupuncture—but I think Master Tung acupuncture is perfect for our modern-day pain filled patient.
In the next two articles, we’ll be looking more in depth at pain and Master Tung acupuncture. I’ll review the most used, reliable, predictable and successful points, including five “magic” points for low back and neck pain that will instantly transform your patient outcomes (and no, it’s not the famous Ling Gu that everyone has heard about; there are even better points for back pain).
Treating pain is your gateway to a massively busy clinic, tons of referrals, happy patients, word- of-mouth advertising, Western medical acceptance, and a lot of healing. Master Tung acupuncture could be a very successful and immediate vehicle to get to that point.
I’m just Brad. I have no magic needle, no golden touch; I have no privileged information or powerful potions. If I can do it, anybody can! Step by step, needle by needle, and patient by patient. We learn. All this information is available to everybody. There are no secrets!
Brad Whisnant, DAOM, LAc, has authored seven books on Master Tung and the distal approach and Dr. Tan’s I Ching approach. He has released an app on bloodletting and gives talks both domestically and internationally on distal acupuncture. He has taught at Chinese medical schools and given more than 80 speeches on Master Tung and Dr. Tan acupuncture. Brad spent years shadowing Dr. Tan in his clinic and following his teacher Wei Chi Young around to learn Master Tung acupuncture. He has spent the last 10 years treating hundreds of people a week on his own in his personal clinic and abroad at free acupuncture medical camps, where it’s normal to see 150-plus people a day. Please see http://bradwhisnant.com/ for his classes, information and seminars or “like” his FB page at https://www.facebook.com/BradWhisnantSeminars/.