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 Traditional Chinese Medicine: Modern Acupuncture Methods 

Needle Insertion
Half inch or one inch needles should be used in the ear. The half inch needles can be inserted perpendicularly to the skin and the one inch needles are often used obliquely. Do not insert the needle through the ear. Press studs can also be used in the ear. They are useful for chronic conditions as the patient can press the stud and stimulate the point whenever symptoms occur.

Needle Stimulation
Ear points can be stimulated manually by rotating the needle; this creates a burning painful sensation in the ear. Electrical stimulation of the ear points is used to induce anaesthesia and it can also be used therapeutically, especially in chronic conditions. The main use of the electrical stimulator in China is for ear acupuncture anaesthesia. The stimulation frequencies used were usually low for any form of ear acupuncture, between 5 and 300Hz, but there seemed to be no consistent agreement about the exact frequency. The intensity used is the maximum tolerable.

III. Auricular Therapy

Ear point prescriptions have been included in the sections, where relevant, on each particular disease.

Ear acupuncture should be treated like body acupuncture for chronic conditions; the patient should be given a course of about eight treatments, although acute conditions may respond in one treatment.

Scalp Acupuncture

Scalp acupuncture is a modern acupuncture method. The Chinese attribute its development to Chiao Sun-Fa, a 35-year-old physician in North China, and it has been used in China since 1971. The principle of scalp acupuncture is very straightforward; the aim is to stimulate the diseased area of the brain in order to facilitate a return of function in that area.

This method is based on elementary functional neuroanatomy, and has nothing to do with traditional Chinese medicine. If part of the brain is damaged, for instance by a stroke, then the scalp is stimulated over the damaged area of the brain. All the scalp points are representations of the underlying functional areas of the brain. It therefore follows that the most common use of scalp acupuncture will be in diseases in which there is brain damage, such as strokes or severe head injuries, although this method can be used for a variety of other conditions. Scalp acupuncture is particularly useful for reducing chronic muscle spasm.

I. Localization of Scalp Points
When using scalp therapy it is vital to localize the scalp area accurately. There are very few good reference texts for such scalp points so accurate scalp maps have been included in this text.

Motor area
0.5cms posterior to the midpoint of the anterior-posterior line defines the upper limit of the motor area. The lower limit intersects the eyebrow-occiput line at the anterior border of the natural hairline on the temple. The upper 1/5 represents the lower limbs and trunk, the middle 2/5 represents the upper limbs and the lower 2/5 the face.
Contralateral motor disturbance of the appropriate area.

Sensory area
This is a line parallel to the motor area and 1.5cms behind it. The sensory input to the lower limbs and trunk is represented on the upper 1/5, the middle 2/5 represents the upper limbs, and the lower 2/5 represents the face.
Contralateral sensory disturbances of the appropriate area, pain and vertigo.

(Excerpted from Modern Chinese Acupuncture)
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 About The Author
George Lewith MA, MRCGP, MRCPGeorge Lewith attended Trinity College, Cambridge and Westminster Hospital Medical School. He has worked as a Senior House Officer and Registrar within the Westminster and University College Hospital Teaching Groups in......more
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