The following is a transcript of a rare, detailed FAQ session regarding the Tung Acupuncture system held with:
Actually, Master Tung did not come up with all the points. Many of them were discovered by his ancestors who converted their accumulated information into verses, then passed them down from generation to generation through the daughters-in-law of the family. It wasn’t until Master Tung took an interest and started practicing medicine (no one in his immediate family practiced acupuncture) did he build upon the information his ancestors had preserved. The combination of his ancestors’ knowledge and his own knowledge formed what is known today as "Master Tung’s Acupuncture."
During the time Dr. Chuan-Min Wang interned with Master Tung, more than 20 students were in the clinic at any given time; however, only a few of the advanced students were allowed in the treatment room with Master Tung. The rest had to wait until he finished the treatment before they could go in to see what points were needled, where the needles were placed, and to ask the patient questions.
Students had to intern for at least 3 months before they could ask Master Tung a direct question. To ask a question, the students had to knock on Master Tung’s office door, and if the question was too simple or not thought through, he would send the students away and ask them to find the answer themselves.
Students were only allowed to needle after following Master Tung for one year. Prior to needling patients, Master Tung required his students to needle themselves first so they knew how the points felt.
Master Tung saw at least 40 patients each day.
In my book "Introduction to Tung’s Acupuncture," there are 213 points (if including the trunk points, in which many are duplicates, then there are 680 points).
eLotus note: Additional points listed on this eLotus CORE site were named by Master Tung’s other students. These points are close to the original points needled by Master Tung. Instead of describing the locations of these points each time, it was more convenient to give each point a new name.
Tung point locations are not at EXACT points as they are described in point location books. Rather, a point location refers to a general acupuncture area in which there is a center that is most reactive. For every point, the exact location of this center is different for everyone. Therefore, Master Tung would palpate for the most tender spot in this acupuncture area on the patient, or palpate for any anatomical structure changes, to determine the exact point to needle.
Needling a point based strictly on textbook location without first palpating for the most tender or reactive spot is like throwing a dart and hitting the dartboard, but missing the bulls-eye. By palpating first, and needling the most tender or reactive center of the acupuncture area, is the most effective method.
It is this reason that Master Tung’s students have seen him needle slightly different locations for the same point, and why there are discrepancies on the location descriptions of some points. It is also this same reason that there are additional points to Master Tung’s original ones – some of his students gave these "new" points different names (see eLotus note in above question).
Yes, all the time. The point he used the most was Neiguan (PC 6).
Dao Ma and Hui Ma are techniques used to strengthen the stimulation of reaction areas, thereby stimulating the effects on the organs to elicit maximum therapeutic effect.
eLotus Note: Visit Master Tung’s Dao Ma page for more information.
Yes. Use between 6-8 needles. No more than that.
He used 26-30 gauge needles, but mostly 26 gauge. We believe because Master Tung used such thick needles, strong stimulations were elicited, and thus 6-8 needles were sufficient. More needles may be needed to produce the same result if one is using a thinner gauge.
As for the length, Master Tung used needles up to 3 cun.
He would leave needles in for 40-45 minutes.
Master Tung bled most of his patients. He would bleed the patients first and then needled the appropriate areas using the Dao Ma concept.
Local Ah shi points are good for acute conditions, but not for chronic conditions. Overall, distal points are preferred.
Both sides would work, but needling the healthy side will produce better results because the nerves are undamaged and can better transmit the signals to repair the diseased area. On the other hand, the nerves on the diseased side are damaged or blocked, so stimulation on this side won't produce as good of a result.
Some points have very strong effects; therefore, if they are needled bilaterally, it may be too strong and over stimulate the patient.
Patients might faint, or to a lesser degree, they will be hungry.
Needling causes the body to consume more glucose, which is why when patients are hungry, needles should not be administered.
On the other hand, needling patients who are too full may cause them to vomit. This is because when the stomach is full, blood is supposed to be in the stomach to digest, but with the needles inserted, blood is pushed to the areas of the needles leaving less supply in the stomach.
Master Tung never explained why, but according to Dr. Young Wei-Chieh (another direct disciple of Master Tung), he believed it was because it produced better clinical results.
When treating the muscle, needle the muscle; when treating the tendon, needle the tendon; when treating the bone, needle to touch the bone.
For conditions on the left side of the body, needle the right side; and vice versa.
For conditions on the upper part of the body, needle the lower part of the body; and vice versa.
Yes, most definitely. Generally speaking, superficial needling treats diseases in the local area or disorders of that same channel. Deeper needling treats conditions that are more distal or deeper inside (internal conditions).
One of the best examples would be Zusanli (ST 36). Needling 1 – 1.5 cun treats digestive disorders or pain of the leg, while needling 3 cun or deeper treats respiratory and cardiovascular disorders.