Acupuncture & Myofascial lines for the Hips, Pelvis, and Back
Watch this video to learn how acupuncture is used for treating hip pain. In it I discuss how myofascial lines relate to the meridians, and some of the challenges acupuncturist face when treating the hips.
Treating The Hips and Pelvis
There are several ways to treat the hips using acupuncture. In TCM commonly used points are GB 30, GB 29, GB 34, GB 41, SJ 5, UB 40, and UB 57. While these points can be effective, for some cases they will not be sufficient. TCM also tends to rely more on local points for treating hip pain. However, distal and non-local points can be very effective for treatment. For some cases local points are not appropriate such as following hip surgery.
In the Master Tung system there are two distinct groups of three points on the deltoid that are commonly used for hip pain. These points include Jian Zhong (Shoulder Center) and other points nearby such as LI 15.
While these points can be effective, there are special methods required to get the most optimum results. For instance, it is essential to have the patient do hip movements with the needles in the deltoid. Without doing prescribed movements that target the hips the results will often not be so substantial.
Functional Anatomy, Myofascial lines and Acupuncture
The Lateral Line (LL) from Anatomy Trains by Tom Myers, Elsevier Publishing.
To get good results with acupuncture for hip pain it is essential to understand the functional anatomy of the hips and pelvis.
The Lateral Line (LL) closely resembles the gallbladder meridian and points such as GB 29, GB 30, and GB 31 are all on this line. When hip disorders or lateral line sciatica is present, needling these points can be effective, but they are not necessarily the best points to start with. Additionally, some neuropathic disorders such as sciatica may become aggravated with needling these points .
In cases where sciatica occurs down the lateral line or gallbladder meridian, it is also common for the patients to have pain in the urinary bladder meridian and lumbar region. We may refer to UB and GB meridian sciatica as a tai yang - shao yang pattern, since both of the yang leg meridians are involved.
The hip abductors, lateral rotators, glutes, and IT band will also be involved in cases like this, and it is essential to understand the functional anatomy of the hip in order to get the best results.
Functional Anatomy, Dao Ma's, and Acupuncture
The hip joint has six key movements including flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, external rotation, and internal rotation. Various muscles will be involved in each movement and we can categorize muscle groups according to the hip flexors, hip extensors, hip abductors, adductors, and rotators.
In the Master Tung style of acupuncture we often use 2 or 3 needles in close proximity to form a dao ma. The picture of the lateral thigh shows three distinct groups. The points in green are a special group of Tung's points that can be used for local needling. Gallbladder 30 and GB 29 are pictured in purple and are a common point combination in TCM. The points in red are GB 31 and two extra Tung points, together the three points in red are also known as Thigh Nine Miles Three. This three point dao ma is often used in Tung style acupuncture for hip pain.
In order to better understand how Tung's points work, and acupuncture in general, it is essential to know about functional muscle groups and the myofascial lines. For instance, someone suffering from anterior pelvic tilt will have some of their muscles in chronic contraction and others in chronic lengthening or strain. A posterior or lateral pelvic tilt will effect other muscle groups in different ways.
As acupuncturists it is essential to understand the functional anatomy of the hip, relevant muscle groups, and how different acupuncture point groups effect the hips and pelvis. Simply calling hip pain Bi syndrome and then doing points like GB 30, GB 29, GB 41, and SJ 5 is not enough to account for the common structural issues of the hip joint.
Myofascial Lines, Acupuncture & Structural Alignment
There are many advantages to learning the myofascial lines and how this relates to the movements of the hip joint. One benefit is that by understanding myofascial anatomy you will be better able to treat structural conditions. As acupuncturist, accounting for alignment and structure may be something we are not adequately trained in. However, it is a crucial factor for getting better results when treating the hips and pelvis.
Integrating acupuncture with the functional anatomy of the hips, pelvis, and myofascial lines will allow you to get much better results when treating hip pain.
You have likely needled a point group like SJ 5, GB 41, GB 34, and GB 30 only to get minimal results. If you do Tung style acupuncture maybe you needled the shoulder triplets and some other points, but found that the patients only got a little better, or maybe the positive results were short lived. Do you know why?
There could be many reasons, but if you don't account for structural conditions like pelvic tilts and rotations, your results will often be less than satisfactory. If you did account for these structural issues, but only did local points in the IT band or hips, you probably got some benefits, but may have missed the non-local points that can produce exceptional results.
As acupuncturists we want to get to the root imbalance. So it's important to understand some basics about structure, then we can better choose which acupuncture points to needle.
Traditional Point Groups for Pain at GB 30
GB 41 & SJ 5
GB 30, GB 29
UB 40, UB 57
HT 5 - HT 7 (Balance Method)
Knowing how myofascial lines relate to structure, functional anatomy, and meridians will help you to make better point selections.
Master the art & Science of Acupuncture & Tung's Points for the Hips, Pelvis & Low Back
With over 40 points for treating the hips, pelvis, and lumbar spine it can be difficult choosing the best points to use for each patient. Additionally, many acupuncturists are not trained in structural assessment, and this is crucial for most cases involving the hips and pelvis.
In my 214 level course I cover all the major acupuncture point groups for getting fast and effective results. This is all discussed in relation to the myofascial lines, functional anatomy, traditional points, Tung's points, meridian systems, and structural issues.
This course includes:
Over 8 hours of video presentations
A 60 page pdf with extensive anatomical illustrations
Integration of TCM with Master Tung's style
Bio-mechanical discussions relating to Master Tung's points
A solid introduction to structural issues of the hips and pelvis
A systemized treatment method for the hips
3 Movement routines for the hips, pelvis and low back
Detailed discussions on functional muscle groups of the hips and pelvis, and how this relates to movement, acupuncture, and myofascial lines
Knowledge & growth that will last a lifetime