Arthritis of the Knee, Acupuncture & TDP Lamp
abstracted & translated by
Honora Lee Wolfe, Lic. Ac., FNAAOM (USA)
Keywords: Chinese medicine, acupuncture, electric moxibustion, TDP lamp, arthritis of the knee, gonarthritis
Gonarthritis or arthritis of the knee simply means inflammation of the knee joint. It is a commonly seen condition in the clinical practice of acupuncture-moxibustion. On page 45 in issue #5, 2004 of Ji Lin Zhong Yi Yao (Jilin Chinese Medicine & Medicinals), Wang Gui-quan published an article titled, “The Treatment of 36 Cases of Arthritis of the Knee Joint With a Combination of Acupuncture & TDP Lamp.” TDP lamps are a type of commonly used infra-red deep heat lamp. In Chinese acupuncture-moxibustion, their use is categorized as a type of electric moxibustion (dian jiu). Because many Western practritioners also use a combination of acupuncture and TDP lamp, a summary of this study is presented below.
Six of the 36 patients enrolled in this study were male and 30 were female. Their ages ranged from 19-68 years, and their disease duration ranged from three months to 18 years. No further description of these patients was given.
With patients lying on their backs, 5-6 of the following acupoints were needled each treatment on the affected side: Yang Ling Quan (GB 34), Nei Wai Xi Yan (St 35a & b), Zu San Li (St 36), Yin Ling Quan (Sp 9), Xue Hai (Sp 10), Wei Zhong (Bl 40), and Tai Chong (Liv 3). If there was wind impediment, Feng Shi (GB 31) was added. If there was cold impediment, Yin Men (Bl 37) was added. If there was damp impediment, San Yin Jiao (Sp 6) was added, and if there was heat impediment, Da Zhui (GV 14) was added. Thirty-gauge, 1.5 inch needles were inserted into these points and twisted and twirled to obtain the qi. Then the needles were stimulated electrically with a G6805 electro-acupuncture machine with a dense wave-form at a rate of 60-100 cycles per minute, and as strong stimulation as the patient could bear. This was done for 20 minutes each time. At the same time, a TDP lamp was shined on the affected area. One treatment was done per day, and 10 treatments equaled one course.
Marked effect was defined as disappearance of all joint swelling and pain with return of normal function and movement. Improvement was defined as remission of pain and decrease of clinical symptoms. No effect meant that there was no marked change in symptoms from before to after treatment. Based on these criteria, 16 cases got a marked effect, 18 improved, and only two got no effect, for a total effectiveness rate of 94.4%.
According to Dr. Wang, arthritis of the knee corresponds to the traditional Chinese disease category of impediment. If the righteous qi is insufficient, then the three evil qi of wind, dampness, and cold may take advantage of this vacuity and enter the body where they cause blockage and stagnation of the channels and network vessels. Thus the movement of the qi and blood loose their smooth and easy flow. Because there is lack of free flow, there is pain. If impediment lasts for some time, especially in the case of dampness, depression may transform heat, thus giving rise to heat impediment or damp heat impediment. Therefore, the treatment principles for impediment are to dispel wind and dissipate or scatter cold, eliminate dampness and clear heat, course and free the flow of the channels and network vessels. In this case, Yang Ling Quan, the meeting point of the sinews, can be used to treat impediment due to wind, cold, and/or dampness. Yin Ling Quan is the uniting point of the spleen channel. Needling it can fortify the spleen and eliminate dampness. Therefore, it is quite effective for cold and damp impediment. Because it is said that, when the blood moves, wind is automatically extinguished, Xue Hai is needled to nourish the blood and dispel wind. It is an essential point for the treatment of wind cold impediment. Zu San Li and San Yin Jiao can boost the qi and supplement the blood and, therefore, enable the stirring of the movement of the qi and blood. Based on the principle of supporting the righteous and dispelling evils, they also out-thrust evils to the outside of the body. TDP lamps warm and free the flow of the channels and network vessels, dispel cold and eliminate dampness, and regulate and harmonize the qi and blood. When acupuncture and TDP lamp therapy are combined, they complement each other and can greatly increase the clinical effectiveness rate in impediment conditions as the above study suggests.
Copyright © Blue Poppy Press, 2004. All rights reserved.