The Effectivness of Hand Acupuncture for Neck Pain PDF Print E-mail

Tung's Style Acupuncture for Pain Management using Hand Acupuncture Point Shang Bai 22.03 for Cervicalgia

By Dr. Barbara Briner

The researcher Liang, Z. very recently published recent (2011) a randomized, controlled, pilot study of traditional acupuncture for chronic neck pain in which he was able to show that traditional protocols can clearly relieve pain intensity and improve quality of daily life for patients, indicating the long-term clinical efficacy of acupuncture for chronic neck pain.

A recent patient in our clinic is a good example of the effectiveness of acupuncture on chronic neck pain. This 76 year old gentleman arrived at our clinic with a long medical history relating to his neck. He had had a fusion of cervical C6/7 and C3 as well as C4. Moderate to significant osteoarthoric ventral and lateral (right more then left) changes to discs and vertebrae body were noted. He had no radiculopathy along arms but experienced restricted ROM that affected his ability to drive (i.e. could not look back over his shoulder) He showed no ROM on ext/flex, and only 4 degree on right rotation, none on left rotation. He reported that the most bothersome symptom for him was his chronic, constant pain that alternated between severe and dull achy in nature and was accompanied by random shooting sensations of pain along the GB and UB channel up his to his occiput (right and left). He also had frequent occipital and shaoyang headaches. Within his first four sessions he reported reduction of pain. Each session lasted 45 minutes. We used motion needling for 3 min on each hand, repeated 2x on Shangbai and Dabai. With retention technique we added So Jing Dian as well as SI3, Kd3 and UB 60 (left and right). By the fourth visit his ROM extension increase by 10 degree, right rotation increase by circa 4 degrees. He reported his pain was 100% gone after each treatment and he remained pain free for 24 hours at which point the pain would gradually begin to appear again. Therefore, we have suggested he continue with variations on this protocol for an additional twelve sessions to induce a longer lasting pain free state.



It is not surprising to learn that acupuncture can relieve chronic musculoskeletal pain issues. Many studies have been completed on that topic. Most studies repeat that statement or finding. What may be of new interest at this time is to progress to the point of comparing different acupuncture styles and schools and their effect on certain pain issues. Acupuncturists know how effective the Master Tung protocols for pain are in their daily practice. Yet, if one searches PubMed using the search terms Master Tung and Pain and/or Master Tung Acupuncture, or Master Tung Acupuncture and Pain, nothing comes up: zero articles are listed. We suggest that this valuable acupuncture approach for pain needs to be more studied. Patients and practitioners alike would benefit if research into specific protocols (like the one we describe above) and approaches within acupuncture were to be advanced.


Liang Z, et al., (2011) Assessment of a traditional acupuncture therapy for chronic neck pain: a pilot randomized controlled study. Complement Ther Med.PubMed


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