Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Acupuncture on the Tongue! WFAS 2013 Review

Yes, you heard correctly! The abstract for the talk reads: "tongue acupuncture is a technique that treats illness through acupuncture applied to the tongue."

Quite a lot to swallow? Get it? Anyway the workshop presentation was really most exciting.

Dr. Sun Jie Guang can be found at the Hong Kong International Tongue Acupuncture Research Clinic or at

I found him at 9am Sunday morning on day 2 of the WFAS conference.

The basic concept of tongue acupuncture is similar to all body part acupuncture (ear for example). Where an image of the human body is put on a small part of the body. The areas of the human body projected on the body part represent where you treat with acupuncture for the associated actual area where there is an issue. On the ear, for example,  mainly the internal organs are represented in the inner part of the ear. For some reason this is sometimes called a holograph. In reality it isn't a holograph. But it does sound fancy.

Just out of interest holographic acupuncture seems to be recent and not referenced in the classics. Ear acupuncture was developed in France during the 1950s by Nogier     The concept of the Homunculus is often cited (latin for little man) for this human image transposed onto another body part. However this has always confused me in its adoption as it is very understandable in its use in neurology where the idea is well known. This is because the human image covering the head indicates the actual physiological parts of the brain associated to where the sensory organs are. Anyway this could be a whole new blog post...

However I have liked ear acupuncture in my own clinical experience ever since I made my own discoveries with patients and their issues.  Parts of the ear (tenderness or harder parts) and the projected image seemed to correlate with the parts of the body where there was an issue.

Anyway an upside down human image is  projected on to the top of the tongue and also on the underneath of the tongue.

Here's an image from his website of the human shape projected on the underneath part of the tongue.

Dr. Sun Jie Guang, in his 30 years of experience,  has noticed a lot of connection with brain function issues and sub-lingual swelling. He stated to treat the area and the symptoms are reduced.

You needle for 3 to 5 seconds. The needle is not retained. Pregnancy is ok. Not in cases of high blood pressure, easy bleeding (warfarin) or heart disease.

One tip he gave was that neck pain is easily treated in the sub-lingual fold and lower back issues are treated higher up the tongue.

Finally he gave a very charming notion how often to get tongue acupuncture as a patient. Every day or three times a day. Same as Western pharmaceutical medication frequency...Except this is completely unrelated to pharmaceutical dosage etc etc. Anyway!

Dr. Sun Jie Guang and his practical head lamp tongue acupuncture equipment

Treatment sounds intense. However apparently after the adrenalin has subsided the actual needling wasn't as bad as you would imagine regarding discomfort. A friend of mine volunteered and said it was fine. A lot of people stated that they experienced immediate relief from issues.

It was all very fascinating and quite dramatic. The question is would you be able to do it in Australia? Under scrutiny from a professional board or examined in court? Anyway it was amazing to witness!

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