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Never Needle a Crying Baby


Never Needle a Crying Baby

Taiwanese acupuncturists have a saying: “Never needle a crying baby.” No, they’re not sadistic monsters who need to be reminded of the obvious – the “crying baby” here refers to an area of pain.


Let’s say neck pain. Traditional Chinese acupuncture would start by needling into the area of pain, and then support the movement of “qi” through the area by needling points on the affected meridian.


I’ve been using Tung-style Taiwanese acupuncture for years now to treat neck pain, simply because I find it works better and faster. In Tung-style acupuncture, certain parts of the body represent other parts of the body, and these “secret points” are where you go to choose points to treat pain. For example, the Achilles tendon represents the spine, so you needle a specific point on that tendon to treat neck pain (there are also other neck pain points located in very specific, tiny groupings on the hands and fingers). It works remarkably well.
Dr. Tung Ching Chang (1916-1975) broke with family tradition and began teaching his treasured family’s secret points and techniques, refined and handed down over generations, to outsiders in Taiwan in the 1950s.




These techniques were probably once part of traditional Chinese acupuncture that became lost to China when Chiang Kai-Shek, trying to unify the splintered factionalism of the warlord society in China in the 1930s, made acupuncture illegal. He was hanging out with American movie stars and politicians, and wanted badly to westernize medicine in China. This forced the old techniques offshore to Taiwan, where, thankfully, they flourished. By the time Mao re-embraced traditional Chinese medicine in the 1960s, some of these techniques were already lost to China, and are not known or taught in acupuncture schools in the U.S., so I have been pursuing my study of Tung-style acupuncture with Taiwanese experts in San Diego and San Francisco for some years now.


Dr. Gary Danchuk