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Where do the Needles Go? Explaining Origin Point Theory & Meridian Channels

Acupuncture, TCM, TCM, TCM Treatments & Theory, Tuina

Origin Point Theory Case Study 

Patient A: I have shoulder pain.

Acupuncturist: Ok, I will poke your elbow and your knee area.

Patient A: I have shoulder pain, not elbow or knee pain. Why would you poke my elbow and knee, and not my shoulder?


This is a typical conversation between our patient and physicians, in which the acupuncturist has to explain Origin Point Theory (OPT) multiple times to different patients, in a single day, on most days.



What is Origin Point Therapy?

Origin Point Therapy, sometimes referred to as Origin Point Medicine or Yuan Shi Dian  (原始点), originated as a unique massage method created by renowned Taiwanese TCM physician Dr. Chang Chao Han. Most of his original OPT teachings and recorded lectures can be found online too.  OPT believes that injuries at Origin Spots (fixed points on the body), which may not be the real sites of discomfort, are the root of any illness or pain. As a result, the goal of this therapy is to cure the underlying cause of pain


Is Origin Point Therapy real?

Origin Point Therapy has been established for more than ten years, emphasizing the use of tuina (not equivalent to traditional massage) or acupuncture and supplementing internal and external heat sources to improve body injuries and insufficient heat energy, and restore the body to normal operation, thereby making symptoms disappear. 


How does Origin Point Theory work?

To solve the symptoms (the site experiencing pain), with teachings from OPT, our acupuncturist will place an acupuncture needle on an appropriate acupoint that provides one of the three following effects:

  1. Local and nearby therapeutic effect :Treats symptom at the point of acupoint and its immediate surroundings
  2. Remote therapeutic effect : In addition to treating local symptoms of point of acupuncture, it also treats the parts through which the meridians pass.
  3. Special therapeutic effect: Special effects of certain acupuncture points observed from experience



Local and Nearby Therapeutic Effect



The most common treatment method is to use the acupoint that will give a local and nearby therapeutic effect on the original point of pain. Referring to the case study above of the patient with shoulder pain, the acupuncturist can choose to do acupuncture directly at the shoulder joint and target at the point of pain (trigger point.)


This method is applied by most Dry Needling treatments provided in Singapore.



Remote Therapeutic Effect



However, let’s say if this patient complains about shoulder pain but upon assessment, the pain seems to have originated from the neck or maybe there may be suspected muscle tear and ongoing swelling and inflammation. 


The acupuncturist may choose to use a different acupoint that will provide a remote therapeutic effect instead. 


This may be a point further away from the original point of pain but lies on the same meridian as the shoulder, which will trigger Qi to flow through the meridian to the neck and treat the shoulder as it passes by as well.


This allows the acupuncturist to safely treat the shoulder pain without possibly aggravating or injuring the tissues of the shoulder joint.



What is a Special Therapeutic Effect



Lastly, for the case study above, the acupuncturist may also choose to poke the knee area that seems to have no link to the shoulder, as they are two separate limbs and may not seem to share the same meridian channel either.


The reason is there are certain acupoints that have special therapeutic effects based on experience. Besides treating the problem around the area poked, it also treats the areas that the meridian passes through and may have other special functions. That is why the needle may not be poked at the pain area but on an acupoint with these special functions.


To experience or for more information on Origin Point Theory, do contact us for an appointment.