People seeking acupuncture treatment are often concerned about the possible ineffectiveness of the therapy. In Balance Method Acupuncture this concern is quickly laid to rest as the effect of the treatment is measured clearly and immediately. In most cases, pain diminishes or disappears quickly, peace replaces stress and frustration and uncertainty dissipates. This phenomenon happens again and again with thousands of patients.
Why you should ask for Balance Method Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient and very effective healing method and also the most common alternative medicine method in the world. Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, and the practice is based on ancient Chinese knowledge regarding the energy system in the human body. In this article, we will give an extended overview of Acupuncture and focus on a special form of acupuncture called Balance Method Acupuncture.
People seeking acupuncture treatment are often concerned about the possible ineffectiveness of the therapy. In Balance Method Acupuncture this concern is quickly laid to rest as the impact of the treatment is measured clearly and immediately. In most cases pain diminishes or disappears quickly, peace replaces stress and frustration, and uncertainty dissipates. This phenomenon happens again and again with thousands of patients.
Anyone suffering from pain or feeling unwell would love to be familiarized with an acupuncture therapy method that can alleviate pain quickly. This method helps many people who seek relief from their pain. This acupuncture method that is now regenerating and gaining tremendous popularity across the globe.
Balance Acupuncture is a Chinese acupuncture method that was introduced to the world by Dr. Richard Teh-Fu Tan, a Chinese man born in Taiwan. This knowledge is very different from today’s Chinese medical knowledge which is called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is regarded as the most prevalent Chinese medical method in the world. (read more about TCM below)
Elad Shalev R. Ac has been practicing Balance Method Acupuncture since 2004. Now Elad Shalev is the owner of the Rebalance Acupuncture clinic in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. After studying the normal Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture, he practiced different approaches of acupuncture until he discovered Balance Method Acupuncture. Elad Shalev has since been practicing and teaching it for over fifteen years. He was trained in the Balance Method Acupuncture method for more than 7 years with Dr. Richard Tan and Ilan Migdali.
What is the Balance Method Acupuncture?
The Balance Method is an assortment of acupuncture techniques aimed at bringing immediate and effective balance to the body. Balance is key and good health means balance. In the same way that nature is balanced (at least before man destroyed much of it), so must balance is maintained in our bodies. An imbalance is a disease. We do not want a certain organ to be overly dominant, or one emotion that overshadows other emotions. The Balance Method is about the inner balance between internal organs and their meridians – our body’s energy channels.
The Balance Method offers several ways to balance a damaged meridian or organ. For example, for lower back pain, the meridian that governs most cases of back pain is the Urinary Bladder meridian. This meridian runs from the top to the bottom of the back. In Traditional Acupuncture (TCM), the acupuncturist will usually needle this meridian to treat the backache. They will needle the location where the pain is, or elsewhere along the same meridian.
Balancing the Meridians
In Balance Method Acupuncture, the acupuncturist will focus on the meridian that directly balances and corresponds to the urinary bladder meridian. In this example, the acupuncturist will instead needle the lung meridian that is located in the hand. When someone is suffering, the last thing they want is to be needled in the painful area. This method of treating different meridian makes the process less painful. It also generally produces a much faster result, alleviating the pain in the affected area and increasing blood flow. Normally the acupuncturist will focus on some different meridians to balance the affected meridian. This is another way of maximizing the result and the healing process.
According to the Balance Method, a damaged meridian can be treated through several other meridians that can balance it. That increases the healing effect and makes for a more comprehensive treatment. Another advantage is that the treatment is not local but distal (distant) Acupuncture. The last thing a person with a backache wants is to be punctured or hurt where it already hurts, so a needle puncture in his hand or leg would achieve a much better, faster healing than local acupuncture.
Dr. Tan – the Developer of the Method
Dr. Richard Teh-Fu Tan (1952 – 2015) – taught and practiced acupuncture in the United States and around the world. The knowledge he possessed was passed down to him by his father and has been secretly shared in the family through many generations. Dr. Richard Tan managed to spread the Balance Method across the globe in two decades. As a descendant in a long line of Chinese doctors, he intertwined his family knowledge with the knowledge he accumulated and learned from teachers and other sources during his life.
When he reached adulthood, he was trained as an engineer, but later decided to go back to Chinese medicine. He owned a successful clinic but heard that Chinese therapists in the United States were not achieving good clinical results and were unable to make a living. Wanting to help, Dr. Tan developed the Balance Method. This combined the Chinese medicine wisdom with the principles of geometrics (meridian layout) and precision found in engineering. It took him years to develop his seven balance methods and the healing techniques mentioned above. They became a success both with his patients and with other patients throughout the world. Dr. Tan is a renowned name in the medical field and his method is now learned and practiced all over the world by Chinese medicine therapists.
The Balance Method consists of several techniques. Using the diagnosis done at the beginning of the treatment, the therapist chooses which technique to use to bring the patient into a state of balance. Here are some of those techniques:
Balance through Mirroring and Imaging
The Balance Method may use mirroring and imaging of certain areas and organs in the body. This technique is most effective in pain treatment and usually reduces inflammation and pain during the treatment itself. For instance, to treat the knee we will needle the elbow (usually on the opposite side); to deal with a hip problem we will needle the shoulder; the feet mirror the palms, and so on.
There are also a few imaging techniques where certain areas image other areas. For example, there are two points between the thumb and the index finger that can treat a ruptured disc in the lower back. To avoid the unpleasant sensation of needling the rectum to treat hemorrhoids, the mouth area can be needled instead because the mouth is the other end of the digestive system.
Since any area of the body can be mirrored, Balance Method sessions are given with the patient remaining comfortably clothed and the needling is done only below the elbow and knee. This also allows for the patient to comfortably lie supine on a bed or comfortable chair, both for back pain sessions and neck treatments.
“I Ching” Acupuncture
The ancient Chinese wisdom Book of I Ching is translated as Book of Changes. This is the “Mistick” side of Chinese medicine. As he was nearing the end of his life, the great Chinese philosopher Confucius said that if he would have been studying The I Ching book for fifty years he might have understood it and avoided many mistakes he had made in his life.
I Ching is a set of drawings comprised of six lines (hexagrams). The long lines represent Yang (heat, energy, male), and the lines that are divided into two represent Yin (cold, material, female). The Trigram system works similarly to the binary system (dots and dashes) and bears great resemblance to the systems that operate modern computers.
This triagram (three lines) system is commonly known as a method that is connected to fortune-telling or Feng Shui (ways to organize the surrounding). In fact, in Balance Method Acupuncture we use the I Ching wisdom to balance the meridians in the body. The hexagram lines are like the points along the meridians; they help determine which points are to be punctured to balance a certain meridian or body organ. One well-known treatment based on this method is the Kookoo Therapy which successfully heals anxiety, stress, and mental imbalance.
The Seasonal Balance Method
Chinese medicine believes in the connection between man and nature and the effect that nature has on a man. Many people are aware that their physical or emotional state is affected by the changing seasons. According to Chinese medicine, every season has its energy and uniqueness. Using this method, we match the patient’s imbalanced energy to the Balanced energy of the current season.
A lack of connection to nature and its cycles can cause physical and mental diseases. This method has a very strong impact and it is most effective in many cases. This is especially so for seasonal phenomena like allergies and event-induced traumas.
The Woman’s Cyclic Treatment Method
This method has to do with seasonal balance. It treats any imbalance in the menstrual cycle, especially fertility problems, matching the female menstruation to the seasons of the year.
Menstruation and ovulation are like the two earth poles that correspond to the summer and winter or the peak of Yin and Yang. The remainder of the menstruation days are also divided in the same way. The acupuncture points are determined by the time elapsed since the last menstruation and the therapist’s diagnosis. This method is very effective for balancing the female hormonal system and treating fertility problems, irregular menstruation, menstrual paid and other related issues.
The 12 Magical Points System
In this method, twelve needles form a spiraling shape on the body. It is effective for the simultaneous treatment of multiple-symptom diseases like fibromyalgia, joint problems, and conditions like a headache that comes with back pain. It is also helpful digestion problems that are accompanied by difficulties in falling asleep, and others.
Patients who are sensitive to the energetic flow in their bodies report an internal sensation of a circular or spiral movement of energy. This acupuncture method creates a powerful energetic flow in the body and also works in cases of severe energetic blockage. In less common conditions it can help where the patient does not respond to other treatment methods.
The 5 Elements Balance Method
Chinese medicine divides everything that happens in nature into five elements or movements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Every element has its corresponding organs and meridians. In the balance method, hexagrams connected to each element are used when a certain element has lost its balance. For example, a woman in pre-menopause was diagnosed with a water-element deficiency and a fire-element excess. This created heat waves, irritability, and sleeping problems. The treatment she received aimed at reinforcing the water element and diminishing the fire element. It should be noted that diagnosis is very important and other women suffering from pre-menopause symptoms might receive a different treatment.
Special Acupuncture Points Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there are between 300-400 classic points. With the Balance Method, there are a few hundred additional points, which have a powerful effect and are not situated along the usual meridians. Most of these points originate from the doctrine of Master Tung. He was a doctor who lived in the previous century and received the knowledge of the points as a family inheritance. It is part of the knowledge that was lost during the communist revolution in China and came back to us thanks to Master Tung.
In the past, such knowledge would have been kept in the dynasty and passed down only from father to son. However, the willingness to help people made it accessible to the general public and has benefited many people indeed. Master Tung’s therapy is unique because of its effectiveness and the fast impact it has on patients.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Balance Method
The most significant advantage of Balance Method acupuncture is the speed of response. Using this method, in most cases pain relief immediately follows needle insertion. The patient can experience it right then and there, as opposed to traditional medicine where improvement may occur only after a day or two or even longer. Improvement will usually amount to more than thirty percent, and in some cases up to complete recovery. The improvement lasts from a few hours to a few days during the first sessions, with further improvement after each session.
A disadvantage is that as the therapy starts, a higher frequency of treatments is required. Patients plagued with acute conditions are asked to come for therapy two to three times a week at the beginning of the treatment series, and gradually reduce the treatment frequency. But the benefits of that are the reduction of pain relief levels and in the long run a reduction in the number of sessions. This would be less likely if the patient came only once a week. Apart from the fact that the patient feels better thanks to pain relief, it serves as an indication that the treatment is going well.
People who tried other methods of acupuncture are amazed at the results of the Balance Method. No wonder it is learned by so many therapists Throughout the world. The Balance Method is suitable for almost every medical problem, both physical and mental. Acute migraines, ruptured discs, various body aches, knee and shoulder problems, hemorrhoids, anxiety, infertility, – the list goes on. It is a comprehensive and holistic treatment method with proven results.
TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine was formed during the 1950s following an order by Mao Tse-Tung – China’s communist ruler. Mao, who objected to Chinese medicine because it was considered primitive, tried to destroy it and to replace it with Western Medicine. Due to severe shortages of Western doctors as well as public demand and Western interest in Chinese medicine, Mao changed his order. He tried to create a modern, cohesive Chinese medicine. Anything else was deemed unacceptable. Many valuable books on Chinese medicine were burnt, many doctors were imprisoned and a great deal of knowledge was lost.
A few doctors were asked to create a form of medicine that would combine herbal Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and Tui na. The result was the most popular Chinese medical practice today, both in China and the world. It is called Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM integrates elements from Western medicine, but it has lost much of the knowledge unique to Chinese medicine. In the last few years, sprouts of those forgotten methods are re-emerging all over the world. These are mostly in China’s neighboring countries like Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, but also Western countries.
Qi – What is it?
Sometimes referred to as ‘life force energy’, the Chinese term for this energy is Qi (pronounced Chi). The word Qi does not have an English equivalent. The meaning of the logograms (the Chinese characters) is “a pot that cooks rice and spreads heat and steam.” Thousands of years before Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (which states that any mass can be transformed into energy), the Chinese knew that everything was made of energy.
In addition to the understanding that everything is made of energy, the Chinese discovered that this Qi actually flows inside of the human body. In Chinese medicine, the various Qi types in the body were given different names such as the Nourishing Qi (the energy that enlivens and nourishes the body). The Protecting Qi (the Qi of the immune system). The Food Qi, the Air Qi, the Spleen Qi, the Liver Qi, and so on.
The Chinese mapped the Qi flow in the body. They maintained that it runs in channels throughout the body just as water runs in brooks. The term Meridian is the Western term that was given to these flow channels.
What are the Meridians in Acupuncture?
Literally, meridians refer to the longitudes and latitudes found on maps of the earth. The Chinese drawings that show the flow channels and the acupuncture points reminded the European visitors to China of those earth map markings. That is how the phrase ‘meridian’ was coined. The meaning of the corresponding Chinese word is “channel network”. In the same way that the vascular system runs blood through arteries, arterioles, and capillaries that reach every cell, the meridian system also runs Qi through main meridians that branch out, so that the Qi reaches every cell in the body.
12 Main meridians
There are twelve main meridians that correspond to twelve physical organs. The lungs, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, urinary bladder, kidneys, pericardium, triple warmer, gall bladder, and the liver. The function of the twelve meridians is to spread the energy of the organ in the body. It is worth mentioning that the meridian is not merely a “tube” that carries energy. The meridian has an active role as an extension of the organ to which it corresponds.
Alongside the twelve meridians, there are eight special meridians that correspond to the deeper energies within the human body. They are created in the embryo during its first developmental stages. I will mention here only two of them: the Front Conception Vessel and the Back Governing Vessel. These two vessels form a circle between them (the small circle), which divides the body in two: right and left. The small circle is widely used in different meditation techniques.
There are plenty of other smaller meridians whose function is to carry the Qi to every corner in the body. The acupuncture points are situated along the meridians.
The Acupuncture Points
There are hundreds of acupuncture points throughout the body – some along the meridians and some at other key points. They are found almost everywhere across the body. The breadth of an acupuncture point can range between 1-2 millimeters and 1-2 centimeters. Apart from the breadth of the point, every point has its own depth in the body, into which the needle is inserted. Acupuncture points carry information – a kind of language for the therapist to communicate with the patient’s body: “Please move my Qi;” “Please reinforce my blood;” or “Please relieve my headache.”
In addition to communicating with the body, acupuncture also infuses the patient’s body with Qi from the therapist’s body and the Qi present in the air – all through the needle that serves like an energy-absorbing antenna. Although the points are not physically visible, they can be traced with a simple electricity meter. As the electric sensor detects the exact point location, the voltage will increase.
During an acupuncture treatment, the therapist inserts a needle into the exact point location. Even a slight deviation sideways will fail to achieve the desired result. How needles are placed in the body is also important.
Acupuncture Needling Technique and Therapist Proficiency
A skilled therapist knows how to affect Qi flow at any given point by wielding the needle in various ways. When it comes to the insertion angle, for example, every meridian has a flow direction. Inserting the needle flow-wise will reinforce the Qi while inserting it against the flow will disperse the Qi.
Other important factors are the timing of insertion concerning the patient’s breathing, insertion speed, needle removal, needle breadth, and more. Even when the needle is already in the body, the therapist will touch it, move it and turn it until the needle “reaches the Qi.”When the needle “reaches the Qi,” the patient should feel a sense of current, heat, dim pain, or any kind of sensation that is different from the needle prick. This sensation is called De Qi in Chinese, and it indicates that the needle is in the right place.
Studies on people who were treated with acupuncture while their brain was scanned revealed that when De Qi is achieved, certain brain areas respond. De Qi sensation is important when it comes to creating the healing effect in the body.
What Does Acupuncture Actually Do?
The Qi should be in constant motion and balance. If there are “traffic jams” or “bumpy roads”, which Chinese medicine calls “meridian blockages”, then physical, mental or emotional problems may occur.
In acupuncture, the needles activate the Qi to restore balance to the body and mind, to clear “traffic jams” and fix “bumpy roads”. Qi is not just energy that fuels the body – it also possesses information and special intelligence which it moves from place to place in the body. This is how Qi affects both body and mind. The number of needles inserted in one acupuncture session may range from one to twenty or more – depending on the technique that the therapist is using.
How Is Acupuncture Done?
Acupuncture treatment starts with a diagnosis. The acupuncturist has to examine the patient and locate any imbalance in the body. Usually, the diagnosis relies on inspecting the tongue, measuring the pulse, watching for body signs, and questioning the patient. The therapist may also use Western medical examinations. Then, the patient lies or sits on a bed and the acupuncturist inserts the needles. There is nothing to be afraid of. Fear only makes the body more sensitive and pain prone. When fear dissipates, the pain dissipates too. Only De Qi sensation should linger, as it reaffirms the correct positioning of the needle.
The patient has to lie with the needles for 20-50 minutes, depending on the state of the patient. The patient might feel a range of bodily sensations such as currents or internal movements. These sensations originate from energetic changes and are usually accompanied by a feeling of peace, relaxation, and balance.
While the patient lies with the needles, the therapist may leave the patient to rest in solitude or stay and talk to the patient. Alternatively, the therapist may continue the treatment by using various methods like Recall Healing, Energetic Healing, Guided Imagery, or Tui na (on areas where no needles have been inserted).
The Recovery Speed in acupuncture
In many cases, symptoms are alleviated immediately after placing the needles, especially when using Balance Method Acupuncture. In other methods of acupuncture, the patient will sometimes have to wait a few days or partake in several additional sessions until improvement is achieved. At any rate, if change does not occur within 7-10 sessions, the patient should consult the acupuncturist for a possible shift in treatment strategy.
Naturally, the speed of recovery hinges on the patient’s health and age, and the type of illness that they suffer from. Treatment frequency can range from three weekly sessions in acute conditions, to once a week in chronic conditions. Maintenance therapy may follow recovery, taking place once a month to preserve a state of balance and health.
It is recommended to combine acupuncture with other Chinese medicine techniques like Tui na, herbal medicine, and nutrition therapy in accordance with the state of the patient. Acupuncture is a very efficient method of treatment. It has no side effects and does not use any chemicals. It is suitable and recommended for anyone who wishes to treat their pain or illness, and serves as a preventive medicine to keep us healthy and happy.