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International Scientific Acupuncture and Meridian Symposium (ISAMS) 2019 Conference Abstracts

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International Scientific Acupuncture and Meridian Symposium (ISAMS) 2019 Conference Abstracts

2020; 13(2): 77-78

Published online April 1, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jams.2020.03.040

Copyright © Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute.

An Introduction to Taegeuk Acupuncture

Jae-kyu Kim

Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine, Pusan National University Korean Medicine Hospital, Former Professor, Division of Clinical Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, South Korea

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Abstract

Taegeuk acupuncture treatment which was suggested by Dr. Lee Byung-haeng for the first time in 1974, is based on Korean original Constitutional theory, Sasang Constitutional Medicine. In Dongeui-Susebowon, written by Dr. Lee Jema in 1894, he emphasized the function of heart by saying that heart is Taegeuk at the center among the five viscera organs and rules the other four organs. The name Taegeuk acupuncture was originated from the importance of heart as Taegeuk in Dr. Lee Jema's theory. Sasang Constitution means four types of constitution comprised of Tae-Yang, So-Yang, So-Eum and Tae-Eum. Tae-Yang has a characteristic of metal, So-Yang is fire, So-Eum is water, and Tae-Eum is wood. There are three main acupuncture points related to different charicteristics and dominant organ functions of each constitution. One is among Heart meridian five shu points, and it is used for reinforcing method to restrain the dominant characteristic of each constitution. Another point is yuan-source (primary) point on the weak organ's meridian for reinforcement. The other is yuan-source (primary) point on the strong organ's meridian for reduction. For instance, in case of Tae-Yang, by reinforcing HT8 which has a characteristic of fire among heart meridian five shu points, we can reduce excessive metal-dominant characteristic of Tae-Yang. Since Tae-Yang has a decreased function of liver system, we choose LR3 for reinforcement, and LU9 for reduction of an excessive function of lung system. Therefore, the three main acupuncture points for Tae-Yang consist of HT8(+), LR3(+), and LU9(-). In a clinical practice, LI4, LI11 and ST36 are additionally chosen as representatives of acupoints on the upper and lower extremity. However, the treatment effects seem similar whether or not you choose the three additional points. Therefore, when you treat pediatric patients or patients who are afraid of needles, you can use only the three main points for the treatment. Its clinical applications are psychogenic diseases (e.g. anxiety, depressive mood disorder, Hwa-byung, sleep disorder, etc.), autonomic nerve system disorders, poor blood circulation, chronic pain syndrome (e.g. fibromyalgia), chronic fatigue syndrome, and so on. It can be an effective treatment measure for refractory conditions which show poor response to conventional treatments and other acupuncture techniques. This is because, Taegeuk acupuncture helps patients' own natural healing process by restoring the balance of the human body, regardless of the locations or etiology of the illness. When you have the patient who has one of those conditions listed above, the first thing you have to do is examining epigastric tenderness and hepatic dullness, to identify the patient's constitution before the practice of acupuncture. Correct classification of the constitution is the most important part of the treatment process. Dr. Lee Jema suggested the classification of the four constitutions based on the personality and external appearance. In addition to Dr. Lee Jema's theory, Dr. Lee Byung-haeng checked the response of the patient after treating one point among Heart meridian five shu points which restrains the dominant characteristic of assumed constitution. However, because sometimes the patient's personality, appearances, and response to acupoint needling are not typically fit into one specific constitution, it is not easy to identify one's constitution with those methods. As a solution, we can check epigastric tenderness and hepatic dullness sound before and after performing probable types of acupuncture on the patient. If you performed the correct type of acupuncture (your classification of the constitution was correct), epigastric tenderness and hepatic dullness get better after the treatment. Thus, epigastric tenderness and hepatic dullness can be diagnostic indices before the treatment as well as effect estimation indices during the course of treatment.

Keywords: Korean medicine, Tae-Geuk acupuncture, Sa-sang typology, Epigastric tenderness, Hepatic dullness

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