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Foreword from Dr. Wei Jia, Prof. of Acupuncture, Jiangxi College of TCM, China
By Wei Jia

In order to advance acupuncture and its theory, merely relying on the inheritance is no longer sufficient; and it is time to strive for innovation. As one of such innovations, the book Contemporary Medical Acupuncture has unique features and is still a gem among the existing boatload of books on acupuncture.

 

Never before have we seen a book like this one that applies the perspective of acu-reflexology to clarify the meridian phenomena, summarize the meridian theory, and guide the process of clinical acupuncture. The authors classified all acupoints of the 14 meridians, extraordinary and new points distributed on body surface into three main types of reflex zones: somatic, visceral and central, as well as proposed that acupuncture therapy is actually a type of reflexotherapy. The word reflex simply reveals the essence of meridians and the mechanism of acupuncture. During acupuncture therapy, no medication has been administered into the body, its therapeutic effectiveness are purely resulted from the reflex, whether through the viscera-body surface correlation or the body surface-body surface correlation. To propose the novel theory of acu-reflexology, Dr. Jin spent almost 40 years in actively researching and applying to clinical studies. Because he is one of my former pupils, his talent and creativity exhibited in the field of acupuncture have impressed me for many years. You might have realized that the theory of acu-reflexology is actually derived from the perspective of reflex point, while the notion of ancient Ashi point is the primitive description about the modern reflex point. 

 

In the early 1960’s, I began analyzing Ashi points including the relationship between their appearance and the illness course in one of my articles published in the Journal of TCM. Later on, this article became the “media” that lead to my discovery of Dr. Jin, who wrote a letter to me after reading the article. Our karma in the field of acupuncture began ever since then. In his clinical practice, Dr. Jin has paid great attention to the study of Ashi or reflex points. In scores of published reports by Dr. Jin in 1970’s, selecting reflex points, controlling the propagation of needling sensations and the arrival of qi at the diseased region were the primary factors for his successes. Accordingly, classical traveling courses of the meridians and locations of acupoints becomes a mapping-system on the body surface that could indicate reflex points or zones.

 

There are incisive discussions about the relationship of reflex points and acupoints in this book. Most acupoints are reflex points, tender spots, electro-permeable points with a low electrical resistance, or those sensitive to thermal stimulation. On the other hand, reflex points mostly possess the features of tenderness, low electrical resistance, or local hard nodules. Moreover, their locations are mostly in accordance with those of classical acupoints. Of course, this does not mean acupoints are just reflex points, as there is a large difference between them. Many reflex points are located completely out of traveling courses of the meridians. Therefore, the authors emphasized that point selection must not be tied up by the meridians. As we know, a classical TCM statement better missing acupoints than the meridian emphasized the importance of the meridians over acupoints during point selection process. In Dr. Jin’s book, however, a complementary statement better missing the meridian than reflex points to arose, namely, no matter where reflex points may appear on the meridians or not, they all can be selected for acupuncture.

 

I strongly support the above perspective about reflex points. Not only locations of reflex points have great individual differences in various patients or diseases, but also their sensitivities may vary with disease courses and treatments. I recently proposed the notion of dynamic points, namely, most acupoints possess dynamic characteristics. Perhaps this notion can be used in conjunction with acu-reflexology to clarify the relative specificity in actions of acupoints.

 

Jia Wei
Professor of Acupuncture, Jiangxi College of TCM, China
Board Member of China Association of Acupuncture