The Acupuncture and Herbal Treatment of Finger Pain and Swelling
Chief Complaint: Pain & Swelling in Fingers
Medical History: Patient is a 31 year-old female. She has been a hairdresser for 12 years and uses her hands extensively in her work. She wakes up each morning with bilateral pain, stiffness and swelling in her metacarpophalangeal joints, especially 3rd & 5th fingers. This has occurred for the last 4 years and gets worse with cold weather. Patient is concerned because the pain is affecting her work performance and potential livelihood.
Questioning exam: Patient has no medical conditions, eats very healthy, gets moderate exercise, good sleep and has good energy. Her digestion is often impaired when eating fried, greasy or heavy foods and she bruises easily. Her hands and feet are always cold. She is under a moderate amount of stress, primarily to financial pressures, and worry about her hangs. She tends to hold in emotions.
Pulse exam: Pulse: weak, thin, slow, empty, esp at Kidney position
Fingers very cold upon palpation.
Tongue exam: Tongue: Pale/dusky, teethmarks, thick white coat
OM Diagnosis: Bi Syndrome- Cold, Damp in Hand Shao Yang and Tai Yang channels
Underlying Liver Qi Stagnation and Spleen Qi Xu
Treatment Principle: Move Qi and Blood, Warm channels, Reslove Damp
Point Prescription: Primarily used distal points and Tan’s Balance method ahshi points to stop pain. Used Moxa to warm channels.
Primary affected channels were Hand Shao Yang and Tai Yang. Therefore, I used Foot Shao Yang & Tai Yang to treat Hand Shao Yang & Tai Yang. Also used Tai Yin to treat Tai Yang channel and opposite Chinese clock: Liver to treat Small Intestine. Points were chosen if tender upon palpation.
For example: Left side: GB 42, Liv 5, LI 4, Sp 4
Right side: GB 40, UB 65, SJ 5, Lu 6, Sp 9,Liv 3
Moxa Hands: SJ, SI, LI, HT, PC channels
Herbal Formula: Started patient with Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan and Xiao Yao Wan teapills.
After 4 weeks, switched to Lotus Herbs Flex CD and Calm in capsules.
Results: After 2nd treatment, pain was 90% better. After 7th treatment, patient had no pain, significantly reduced swelling, and no stiffness. Her hands and fingertips were warm to touch.
Synopsis: The Balance method was chosen because of its channel theory, use of distal points, and ability to stop pain. This method proved to be successful for this patient. She has improved significantly and experiences no more pain. Swelling still occurs, but to a lesser degree. Patient will continue treatment to work on joint swelling and stress reduction.
Jean Drummond L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.
P.O. Box 2068
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546