Common steps and sub-activities
Finding trigger points
The location of trigger / acupuncture points is interestingly enough not always directly next to the organ they are intended to functionally trigger. Some trigger points seem to be situated a fair distance from the organs whose functions they trigger, some do not appear to even lie on any meridian – meaning probably that any meridians – functional dependencies - lie [vibrationally] deep within the body and not on the surface of the skin.
Acupuncture/trigger point location is not exactly the same for each person – you can’t take a measuring rule and use it to locate an acupuncture point. The approximate position is known, but from there the practitioner has to ‘feel’ for the point and this is partly where the real skill comes in and why you can’t rely on an unskilled friend to do this for you.
Points tend to be located where nerves enter a muscle, the midpoint of the muscle, or at the enthesis where the muscle joins with the bone, but this is only a rough approximation of what is really going on and of course is unreliable because it is ‘hardware’ based. The practitioner has to feel for the software effects not the hardware effects.
Location by palpation [feeling with the hands] is the way of locating acupoints used by most acupuncturists, osteopaths, ayurvedic practitioners etc. And of course the obvious way used by all good practitioners is to ask the patient. Once found, I can vouch for the fact that there is a real feeling of ‘energy’ being released or surging through the body and not electrical energy either. This has nothing to do with the nerves, this is opening of closed meridians – the re-establishing of function dependencies that have somehow become broken.
Again the practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or ayurvedic medicine is acting like a software engineer – repairing broken software links and ‘reprogramming you’.
I have also added an additional method used by Professor Guisepe Calligaris, that may be helpful.
Find the approximate location on the body using the diagram and numbered points.
Mark the corresponding zone line with a felt pen or cosmetic pencil.
Search in the approximate location by lightly rubbing with a cold metal spatula across the zone line or by tapping lightly with a small metal hammer (approximately 12 mm in diameter). At the exact location of the plaque the person should notice a distinct sensation of coolness; mark this. It may be necessary to cool the spatula or hammer from time to time in cold water.
Then take a metal cylinder of about the diameter of the point being investigated and move it very lightly in a quick circular motion (80-100 times per minute) on the marked spot. The cylinder must be very smooth, with clean, slightly rounded edges. It must touch the skin completely, should not dent the skin, and the amplitude of the rotary motion should be only a fraction of a millimeter.
After five to 30 minutes the plaque is sensitized and the tested person experiences several sensory reflexes, which should be reported to the tester. These sensations may be only light, and it is preferable to tell the tested person beforehand what to look for. Usually there are three reactions [as in the previous description], though sometimes only two may be noticed.
After experiencing one or two correct sensations, keep the cylinder still, but continue to hold it very lightly on the plaque.
Cover the eyes of the tested person with a black cloth.