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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 29, 1996, Vol. 14, Issue 16

Hua Tuo, Mei Hua, and Palmer -- Chiropractic's Asian Connection?

By John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA)
Ask any chiropractic veteran with 40 or more years of practice to their credit, and they will tell you in the early days of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer was emphatic on the chiropractic treatment of what he referred to as Kidney Place, Center Place and Local. Chiropractors in our formative years were very aware of this concept. It is referred to in virtually all early chiropractic texts, including Palmer's 1910 Chiropractic Adjuster.

Basically what this cornerstone treatment consisted of, (can I use the word treatment -- if you understand my intent?) was to simply "adjust" in every case the vertebral articulation of T11-12 (which Palmer discovered first) and referred to as Kidney Place or more affectionately as simply KP. Next was the adjustment of Center Place, which became known as CP. Center Place was and is the articulation of T5-6. Palmer had discovered that these two specific areas of the spine were the key in affecting the entire neurological system and should be acted upon first.

This was followed by the vertebral adjustment of what was known as simply "Local." Local referred to the "meric" vertebral level of the involvement. In other words, if the lungs were involved, the focus would be on T3; if it were the liver, focus would be placed locally at T7; the same would be true for the bladder at L4-5 and thyroid at C 5-6.

So basically, in the early days of chiropractic, the administration of the adjustment and the effect it produced, was effectively very simple while being simply very effective. The average practitioner from 1910 to 1940 regarded KP, CP, and Local as law. Regardless of what a patient sought relief from, the early chiropractic practitioner would adjust with "intent," T11-12, T5-6, and whatever vertebral level would be involved based upon either symptomatic response or physiology.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this treatment approach is that some 2,500 years earlier, a noted Chinese physician, Mei Hua, discovered a very similar technique that became one of the most notable treatments used by "masters" worldwide.

The approach was in every case stimulate the acupuncture point which was and is known as zhong shu (or Central Pivot), and ji zhong (or Spinal Center). These two points relate to what is known today in acupuncture as GV 7 and GV 6 respectively. They are located at the vertebral level of T10-11 and T11-12. The same level to which Palmer felt a strong attraction.

In the Mei Hua system, the next step was to stimulate not acupoints, but the vertebral level of the nerve root of the involvement. The practitioner with a "seven star" needle or other invasive or non-invasive approach would stimulate the spinous, transverse, above, below, and all around the vertebrae in question.

Even though it is highly unlikely (or is it) that Palmer would have known about the Mei Hua system, it is extremely interesting that both practitioners developed the same thought 2,500 years apart.

Try this system yourself, with chiropractic adjustments as well as acupuncture point stimulation, in my opinion it is the hallmark treatment approach.

John Amaro, DC, FICA, Dipl.Ac.
Carefree, Arizona

Click here for previous articles by John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA).

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