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Abdominal Acupuncture

Maria was a 39-year-old first-time mother of a seven-week-old baby, who was struggling against-all-odds to breastfeed. She developed painful lumps on her right breast and not recognising the signs let it become a painful infection for which she was treated with antibiotics two weeks previously. Maria was determined not to let this occur again and sought acupuncture as a means to this end. She was familiar with AA and was delighted that it would not involve any needles near her affected breast. 

Maria had a difficult birth and haemorrhaged heavily afterwards. For this reason it was decided to use ‘Bringing Qi Home’ with bilateral Kidney13 (Qixue) to re-enforce the action of Ren4 (Guanyuan) of nourishing the Kidneys. Points along the Kidney Meridian, level with Ren9 (Shuifen), served a number of functions depending on the depth. Ren9 (Shuifen) is level with thoracic vertebrae no 7 (T-7). The needle depth was initially left at 0.4-0.5 cun to nourish Blood by stimulating UB17 (Geshu), the influential point of Blood, for approximately 20 minutes. These points are also level with the breast area and, in order to act on the chest area, the right needles were withdrawn to a more superficial depth of 0.1-0.2 cun for the remaining 20 minutes of treatment.  Ren9 (Shuifen) was also needled to help reduce the swelling of the breast. Ahshi points were located medially and inferior to St24 (Huaroumen) on the right and these were needled superficially until all the nodes were dissolved and Maria’s pain was gone.  A four needle diamond pattern was used to achieve this (see Fig 3). 

After the first treatment the pain and discomfort had reduced by approximately 50%, and she was advised to line her bra with raw cabbage leaves (they act as an anti-inflammatory). She had three more sessions using the same protocol, and the mastitis was cleared.

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