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Switch off the Pain: Neck and Shoulder Pain Experts Share Treatment Strategies that get Results

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Switch off the Pain: Neck and Shoulder Pain Experts Share Treatment Strategies that get Results

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ICCM 2021

Five TCM experts share their unique strategies for treating neck & shoulder pain and rotator cuff issues from the  International Community of Chinese Medicine in Israel (ICCM) 2021 conference.

We are excited and grateful to have five seasoned experts in Chinese medicine share their knowledge and clinical experience in treating neck & shoulder pain and rotator cuff issues, and another five experts to share their knowledge in treating insomnia.


One of the most common pain conditions is neck pain. Shoulder and chronic neck pain often co-exist. If you only treated neck and shoulder pain and with great results, then you would have a wait list with just having this as your practice focused. Saying you treat pain, which you do well with acupuncture, cupping and gua sha, is too general. The public wants their practitioner to be an expert in their area of pain. And since neck pain and shoulder pain is common and not resolved well by other modalities, this is an excellent opportunity to bring resolution to many who suffer daily by learning from the following TCM experts:


Part 1: Susan Johnson

Master Tung’s Magic Points: Five Different Ways to Address Shao Yang Neck and Shoulder Pain (Susan Johnson, L.Ac.)


In Tung’s Acupuncture, we find some very powerful points that are located just anterior (or medial) to GB34 Yang Ling Quan. Because metal (Lung) controls wood (Liver/Gallbladder), these points are exceptionally useful in the treatment of tendons and ligaments, obtaining their strength from their proximity to GB34, the Sea of Tendons. With the Reaction Areas of Lung and Teeth, they are exceptionally for temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ). Located between the Shao Yang and Yang Ming channels, Beside Three Miles also draw from ST36 Zu San Li (Leg Three Miles), hence their name. In Tung’s body of work, many points found between the Stomach and Gallbladder channels are loosely classified as “Gallbladder channel points.” All of them have a powerful effect on the Shao Yang aspect of the head and neck, face, jaw and five senses; therefore, it is important to determine the root cause of the pathology before choosing from the following points: 77.22/77.23 Beside Three Miles, 77.05-77.07 Three Weights, 77.24/77.25 Leg Five Gold/ Leg Thousand Gold, 77.27 Outer Three Gates, 88.17-88.19 Four Horses, and 88.25 Center None Miles (aka.GB31). All Gallbladder points deal with joints, tendons and wind, especially Beside Three Miles, but we also want to think of bone and bone marrow as related to Foot Shao Yang (blood and Sea of Marrow).


Part 2: Poney Chiang

Neuro-anatomical acupuncture for rotator cuff & shoulder girdle dysfunction (Poney Chiang, PhD. R.Ac. R.TCMP)


Many practitioners lack confidence in treating rotator cuff problems yet it is very common in clinical practice.  The shoulder is a complex joint designed for a wide range of movements: elevation, depression, internal/external rotation, abduction, adduction, protraction and retraction.  This workshop will review the musculature and peripheral nerves that act on the shoulder and how to use electrical acupuncture to reduce pain, improve range of movement, enhance joint stability and muscle activation.


Part 3: Adi Fromm

The treatment of frozen shoulder using Dr. Tan balance method acupuncture (Adi Fromm, CM.Dip (IATCM))


Dr. Tan’s Balance Method acupuncture is one of the most useful method of acupuncture for treating pain disorders, as well as treating internal disorders.

In this lecture we will focus on frozen shoulder and other common shoulder conditions, using one of the most effective acupuncture methods.

Frozen shoulder is a very common complaint coming to our clinic, and while western medicine doesn’t have a very useful treatment, we Chinese medicine practitioners can give a lot of help reducing pain and increasing range of motion. helping our patients pass this time in their life’s with relative ease. helping them to heal faster and rehabilitate quickly. In this particular lecture we will review the basic of the Balance Method. We will learn the approach of the Balance Method for these kinds of conditions. We will learn about frozen shoulder and other shoulder problem from western medicine point of view, and how to translate our finding into Chinese medicine language. We will learn how to particularly use acupuncture to treat frozen shoulder successfully. We will learn some major protocols for treating frozen shoulder.

We will also review some very useful training exercises for rehabilitation


Part 4: Tom Bisio

A Global Approach to Treating Shoulder Pain & Rotator Cuff Tears (Tom Bisio)


In this presentation we look at treating the rotator cuff using multi-modality approach that stems from global perspective of understanding the Qi Dynamics of the shoulder in relation to the internal Qi Dynamics and the body’s structural alignments and connections. This multi-modality approach includes Tui Na, acupuncture, internal and external herbal formulas, diet and rehabilitative exercise from a traditional Chinese perspective. Important concepts like the “Shoulder Well,” Nine Section Theory, shoulder and scapular structural alignment, using Wind Points effectively, and the key manipulations of Tui Na in relation to Rotator cuff problems are discussed and related to clinical treatments. Demonstrations will include a basic acupuncture protocol for the shoulder, treating wind points, a bicipital treatment and a few basic rehabilitation exercises.


Part 5: Arya Nielsen

Acupuncture and Gua Sha therapy for adhesive capsulitis frozen shoulder (Arya Nielsen, PhD)


Acupuncture is more effective for shoulder pain than sham acupuncture and more effective than no acupuncture. While we are situated to know more now than at any other time in the history about acupuncture therapy, to what extent does acupuncture research inform clinicians’ day to day practice? This talk will discuss the research on acupuncture for shoulder pain, then specifically frozen shoulder. Common points and rote point prescriptions fail to represent their effective use in informed interactive treatment where needling is rarely used alone, and points used are never the same from treatment to treatment but responsive to presentation. Blood stasis pain is characterized as fixed or recurring and requires Gua sha or Ba guan to ‘thaw’ a frozen shoulder.

Goals and Outlines

Part 1: Acupuncture and Gua Sha therapy for adhesive capsulitis frozen shoulder
1.     Familiarize a participant on research sources for acupuncture and frozen shoulder
2.     Detail steps in classical interactive acupuncture therapy session including assessing ROM, palpation, needling and Gua sha, repeat ROM. 
3.     Assessing treatment progress within a session
4.     Responsive treatments over time with patient activation to ‘thaw’ frozen shoulder
Part 2: Neuro-anatomical acupuncture for rotator cuff & shoulder girdle dysfunction

  1. Learn to analyze shoulder dysfunction based on trigger point, tendinopathy, hypertonicity and motor inhibition.  
  2. Learn to translate each of the 8 possible movement problems to muscle groups and associated nerves, as well as associated points. 
  3. Learn the needle technique, De Qi confirmation and electrical acupuncture strategy to target neuroanatomically precise points.
  4. Be confident in assessing and treating complex shoulder dysfunction.

Part 3: The treatment of frozen shoulder using dr tan balance method acupuncture

  1. Understand the basic of the balance method,
  2. Learn how to diagnose frozen shoulder.
  3. Transforming our diagnosis into a simple acupuncture treatment.
  4. Understand the balance method approach for shoulder problems.
  5. Know how to guide patients to do simple rehabilitation exercise.

Part 4: A Global Approach to Treating Shoulder Pain & Rotator Cuff Tears

  1. Students will understand the principles of treating sports injuries and orthopedic conditions of the shoulder and rotator cuff.
  2. Students will understand how and when to combine acupuncture tui na, herbal formulae (internal and external) and rehabilitative Qi Gong in treating sports injuries and orthopedic conditions of the shoulder and rotator cuff.
  3. Student will learn and understand the importance of adjunctive herbal medicines for treating the shoulder and rotator cuff.

Part 5: Master Tung’s Magic Points: Five Different Ways to Address Shao Yang Neck and Shoulder Pain

  1. Understand which points to choose for which type of Shao Yang neck and shoulder pain
  2. Understand how to use gua sha and cupping techniques for releasing spasms in the neck, the top of the shoulder and the upper back.
Adi Fromm is the Director of the School of Chinese Medicine at Reidman College, Israel’s largest school of Chinese Medicine. He is responsible for all academic and pedagogical aspects of the four-year program. Adi is the former director of the Integrative Medicine Department at Assaf Ha Rofeh Medical Center (Shiräm), the first Department of Complementary Medicine founded in a hospital in Israel. Adi continues to teach the internship of orthopedics and internal medicine at the hospital. Adi is an official representative of Dr. Tan in Israel and is a bearer of his Gold Certificate and recently published together with Guy Polak »The Book of Balance Method«. He is the coauthor of a study on the effects of acupuncture for the treatment of acute back and neck pain in the ER and the coauthor of a study on the effects of acupuncture on the treatment of I.B.S at Assaf Ha Rofeh Medical Center.

Dr. Arya Nielsen is an American acupuncturist taught in the classical lineage of Dr. James Tin Yau So. She graduated in the first class of the first acupuncture college in the United States in 1977 (New England School of Acupuncture). She is a practitioner, teacher, author, and researcher and is considered the Western clinical authority on Gua sha. Dr Nielsen is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health and directs the Acupuncture Fellowship for Inpatient Care at Mount Sinai. Her research includes both the physiology and therapeutic effect of Gua sha, acupuncture therapies for acute care and the inpatient setting as well as research on the treatment of chronic pain in underserved populations. Dr. Nielsen is the author of the textbook Gua Sha, A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice, (also in German, French and Italian) now in its second edition. She also filmed Gua Sha: Step-by-Step a teaching DVD. Arya teaches internationally on topics related to East Asian medicine and Integrative medicine she developed and teaches the Gua sha Certification Course with ProD Seminars (http://www.prodseminars.net/guasha) as well as courses on safe and ethical practice standards, evidence for acupuncture and traditional East Asian modalities, and inpatient hospital-based acupuncture therapy. Dr. Nielsen is the Chair of the Policy Working Group for the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health, the 70 plus North American member organization of academic medical centers and health systems that support utilization of evidence-based nonpharmacologic therapies as integrative medical care. Arya served on a 2014 Joint Commission Stakeholder Panel on pain that led to their clarification (2015) that nonpharmacologic therapies be included in treatment strategies. Arya can be contacted by email at Arya.Nielsen@mountsinai.org or at her website http://www.guasha.com/.

Poney Chiang, PhD, R.Ac, R.TCMP Dipl. OM (NCCAOM)

Poney Chiang received a PhD from the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, then a Master’s degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. He is an adjunct professor and founding director of the Integrative Acupuncture Program for the Faculty of Health at York University (Toronto). Poney is a professor at the American Neuro-Acupuncture Institute in Santa Fe, and former chair of herbal medicine at the Ontario College of TCM.

​He​ ​began ​teaching in 2008 and has offered​ ​intensive​ ​​training events​ ​for physicians and physiotherapists in North/South America and in Europe.​ ​Poney has been invited to lecture at the World Federation Acupuncture Society, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture Symposiums,​ ​Walter Reed Medical Center and Canadian Physiotherapy Association​.​

​His research interests include cadaver​ ​dissection​, MRI research ​and their relation to classical channel theory. ​He is an expert in neuro-anatomy of acupoints​ and its associated neuro-modulation needle technique. ​He has authored peer-reviewed articles in Eastern and Western acupuncture journals and is currently focused on writing an integrative acupuncture textbook​ ​with Paradigm Publication. ​

For more information, visit Dr. Poney Chiang's website: www.neuro-meridian.net.

Susan Johnson, L.Ac., has been studying and practicing acupuncture since 1982, and is an esteemed teacher of Master Tung’s Magic Points, a potent system of acupuncture handed down as a treasured family secret for generations and made public by Master Tung Ching Chang.

Susan graduated from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA, in 1984. By then, she’d begun an internship with Dr. Miriam Lee, whose influence was life changing for Susan. Susan became Dr. Lee’s primary student and trained extensively with her for many years. Together they traveled to Hefei, China, to study bleeding techniques with Dr. Wang Su-Jen. Susan studied Master Tung’s Magic Points with both Dr. Lee and Dr. Wei-Chieh Young. During the 1980s Susan also worked with Dr. Lee, lobbyist Art Krause, and elected officials to pass legislation expanding the scope of acupuncture in California.

Susan practiced acupuncture in San Francisco until 1988, specializing in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. Through this experience she learned about opportunistic diseases and how to treat difficult and complex disorders such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Candida, cancer, and the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

Since 1988, Susan has maintained an acupuncture practice in Santa Cruz, California. She specializes in difficult and challenging cases, and in helping those with special needs to receive quality health care.

Throughout her career Susan has relied extensively on Master Tung’s Magic Points, and she has been teaching classes on Tung’s Magic Points since 1985. Susan’s passion for Tung’s Points and her desire to share this remarkable system with other practitioners has inspired her to teach seminars and guest lectures worldwide, write articles and produce tutorial DVDs on Master Tung’s Points and the ancient art of cupping. Susan is continuing to work on innovative ways to share Master Tung’s Magic Points with a global audience, making this incredible system available to as many people as possible.

Tom Bisio is a renowned practitioner of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, and an internationally known teacher of martial arts. For over 30 years, Tom has specialized in the treatment of sports injuries and orthopedic conditions using traditional Chinese medicine. He has taught Tui Na massage, bonesetting, acupuncture and Gong Fu Sports Medicine to thousands of practitioners in the US, Canada and Europe. Tom has written numerous books on Chinese medicine, Daoist meditation and the martial arts. In 2015 he founded Practical Chinese Medicine, in order to create a new teaching method and curriculum aimed at imparting practical clinical skills in traditional Chinese medicine.

$199.95 USD

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