Distal Acupuncture 

 July 6, 2018

By  Steve Hoffman

You’re going to put a needle where?!

Distal acupuncture refers to the use of acupuncture points distal to, or away from the location of the problem, sometime far away. So how does this work. Well a pretty clear example of this is how the connections of the acupuncture meridians were first discovered. Thousands of years ago, healers would see every problem under the sun. They would also dissect patients after they passed to learn what they could about the disease that caused their demise. Patients who complained of chest pain and subsequent pain and numbness in the arm were found to have heart disease. The ancient Chinese doctors then wondered about the pain that went down the arm and often in to the pinky. They postulated that if an internal problem could have an external manifestation along the arm and in to the pinky, couldn’t you influence the heart by accessing nervous system and vascular junctions along the distribution of that external pathway. The answer was and is yes, all of this being borne out in recent MRI studies.

Acupuncture for Pain

Acupuncture for pain is often performed on the opposite side of the body or the opposite limb. As one of my teachers said, “Don’t poke the crying baby”. Simply put, if there is a problem in the wrist, don’t make it worse by poking it with needles. In this case, the opposite wrist is often needled. The most likely explanation for why this works is that we are cross wired. Most of our sensory nerves cross somewhere in the spinal column and go to the opposite side of the brain. That is why, when someone has a stroke, the affected side is opposite to the side of the brain that had the stroke. So, when the brain gets nervous system signals from one side, it will increase circulation and healing on the opposite side.

Still Skeptical?

I will often use acupressure on certain acupuncture points and then ask the patient to check the painful area to see if there is an improvement before inserting needles. This lets me know that I have the correct point. If you are dealing with any type of pain, take us up on our consultation and I can demonstrate how, just by pressing a few points, your pain can be immediately relieved. After that, most people are eager to book their first appointment!

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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