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Author’s Preface

Long ago, when I first began practicing acupuncture and Moxibustion, I searched for a clinical acupuncture guidebook to supplement the advice of my clinic supervisor. Unfortunately, 30 years passed and the helpful guidebook I was looking for still hadn’t appeared. As I continued to try to find more clinical information from one book to another, from contemporary texts to books written 2000 years ago, I thought, “Why not make one for myself and other acupuncturists as well?” And thus, I began to compile all the acupuncture clinical information I had been collecting since 1992—effective prescriptions, practical experience, and treatment techniques for such a book.

In this book, I give detailed explanations of traditional knowledge according to Traditional Chinese Medical theory, clinical demands, and my own experience. Because most ancient texts only name points and their locations without detailed explanation, it is extremely difficult for modern acupuncturists to learn from the experiences of historical practitioners and apply their knowledge. Therefore, I have also explained critical diagnostic skills needed for the various diseases, needle techniques that should be applied, and sections discussing other acupuncture related therapies—all important aspects of practicing acupuncture that are frequently not examined in detail.

The practice of acupuncture and Moxibustion is a clinical art in the field of non-conventional medicine. Most of the time the techniques have no set patterns and only follow the practitioner’s ideas. I once came across a research report investigating this kind of randomness in acupuncture clinics. The researcher sent a back pain patient to seven different acupuncture clinics in California, and got seven totally different diagnoses—Qi and Blood Stagnation, Kidney Deficiency, Body fluid retention, Dai-mai Stagnation, and Liver Qi Stagnation were some of them. Unfortunately, these inconsistencies will not make much progress for the profession as a whole in today’s more scientific approach to acupuncture. Because any given disease could have various understandings in acupuncture theory, etiology analysis, diagnosis, point prescription, and treatment techniques, I try to explain the disease from the view of mainstream acupuncture theory. What I mean by mainstream acupuncture theory is according to the standard TCM University texts used in the People’s Republic of China and the mainstream thoughts in ancient acupuncture books. I do this in order to help the readers who have no traditional acupuncture educational background in their practice and use of acupuncture. My hope is that the practice of acupuncture and Moxibustion techniques will create its own path toward significant progress in scientific acupuncture research to help people heal from disease and increase their quality of life.

In chapter one of this desk reference, I spend a little time mentioning common TCM and acupuncture theories, and summarize the theory to make it a bit easier to understand. The meridian diagnosis and point prescription sections are critical parts in this chapter, and give an unprecedented introduction on to how to make point prescriptions easy, effective, and logical.

Chapter two is the main chapter in of the book. In order to help people in their clinical practices, I introduce disease from 5 perspectives:

General TCM and acupuncture theory of disease

Mainstream acupuncture diagnosis and treatment

Adjunctive therapies within the field of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional prescriptions that have been effective as well as my own clinical experiences

Case analysis and evaluation of acupuncture in the treatment of the discussed disease.

With this chapter, I have tried to make each disease have the most appropriate TCM and acupuncture diagnoses and familiarize the reader with more than 10 treatment techniques for each.

Chapter three then introduces all the techniques that were mentioned in chapter two. This chapter is intended to help readers who were not exposed to these techniques during their acupuncture education, or their self-study. I have also spent time introducing traditional acupuncture needle techniques and moxibustion techniques as well as other therapies.

My hope is this book will become a great public resource and encourage acupuncturists to donate their own clinical experiences to this initial body of knowledge. My goal is to make this an invaluable resource, rich with information that can be shared by the entire acupuncture community. I look forward to becoming friends and communicating with other acupuncture practitioners and hope this book will help others in their practice and scientific acupuncture research.

I am going to open a new web page for this book and sincerely welcome all friends and colleagues to send me your clinically effective acupuncture experience so that we can share acupuncture knowledge and promote acupuncture in North America, as well as abroad and in China. In the coming years we will revise this book to include new information received. Feel free to contact me at


Spring 2006

Cheng, Xiaoming

O.M.D, Lic, Acupuncturist