Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine

Translations: Modern Masters

A Collection of the Experience of Lu ShouYan and Zhu RuGong in Acupuncture Learning and Techniques

Trigeminal Nerve Pain (case one, pages 261-263)

Ren X X, 40 year old female post and communications office worker from the Xu Hui region. First examination: January 3, 1981. Half a month ago the patient had a relapse of tugging (taut) right cheek pain. In the preceding week she had achy ear pain on the left side with an inability to speak loudly. The right cheek pain had been occurring for over six years with frequent outbreaks, often happening when she came in contact with cold, but was also triggered by consumption of cold or hot foods and drinks. Acupuncture has short term effect, but she still has episodes once or twice a month. This pain has occurred once again and has been lingering up to now. The pain on the right side of the patient's face causes her to chew mainly with the teeth on the left side, therefore for the past week her jaw joint on the left side has also been hurting. She cannot chew or eat and her mouth cannot open and close. At night she is unable to sleep and consequently her spirit is withered and fatigued, her body is emaciated and she is in extreme suffering. The pulse is wiry and thin, the tongue margins are red and the fur is thin. This is liver gallbladder qi fire penetrating and harassing the yangming channels; the qi dynamic is contracted and blockage has resulted. Treatment chiefly aims to enrich the yin, vanquish fire, and course and abduct the cheek channels.
Formula:
(1) points to treat: sanyinjiao (SP6) reinforce bilaterally, taichong (LIV3) reduce bilaterally, shangjuxu (ST37) reduce bilaterally, hegu (LI4 reduce bilaterally), weiguan (SJ5) reduce bilaterally.
(2) manipulation: twirling supplementing and draining, retaining needles for 30 minutes, every ten minutes rotate each needle one time.

Third examination: January 8th. After two sessions of needling, the left side jaw joint pain distinctly improved. The patient is able to open and close her mouth as well as chew. The right side cheek pain is especially painful at night. There is torpid intake and a fatigued spirit. The pulse is thin and wiry and the tongue fur is white and slimy. The plan is to diffuse collaterals and harmonize construction, using the primary formula with some changes.
Formula:
(1) points to treat: taichong (LIV3 reduce bilaterally), fuliu (KID7) reinforce bilaterally, shangjuxu (ST37) reduce bilaterally, zusanli (ST36) reduce bilaterally, hegu (LI4) reduce bilaterally, waiguan (SJ5) reduce bilaterally.
(2) manipulation: same as before.

Sixth examination: January 15th. The left side jaw joint pain has already basically vanished. The right side cheek pain has been markedly alleviated since the 5th treatment, her mouth can open freely and her food intake has become strong. The patient's spirit displays vigor, her pulse has shifted from wiry to tranquil and the tongue fur is thin and white. The plan is to again treat with the above formula in the hopes of consolidating the treatment effect.
Formula:
(1) points to treat: taichong (LIV3) reduce bilaterally, fuliu (KID7) reinforce bilaterally, shangjuxu (ST37) reinforce bilaterally, zusanli (ST36) reinforce bilaterally, hegu (LI4) reduce bilaterally, waiguan (SJ5) reduce bilaterally.
(2) manipulation: same as before.

Seventh examination: January 17th. Facial pain on both sides has vanished with continued abidance with the above formula and manipulation. The advice is to stop needling and watch the patient.

For six year this patient had frequent and repeated outbreaks. Other doctors in the past had used treatments of part thrusting needle and part perpendicular needle methods, but the effects only lasted at most two to three months. This time the patient underwent seven treatments and the pain stopped. In the same year, the patient had 10 months of follow-up visits with no relapse.

 

Shanghai Chinese Medical University Publishing House

 

By Andrea Kurtz