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3-Phase Hand Acupuncture
Pain Relief and Wellness Promotion Can
be Literally in the Palm of Your Hand
By Dr. Donald Liebell
3-Phase Hand Acupuncture is a sophisticated treatment approach to support health and relieve pain throughout the entire body... exclusively through acupuncture points on the hand. It is quite different from traditional Chinese body acupuncture. Hand acupuncture is one of several acupuncture "micro-systems" used around the world. It was introduced in 1971 by Dr. Tae Woo Yoo of Korea. It is often referred to as Koryo Hand Therapy or Korean Hand Acupuncture. It is favored by some as a sole acupuncture approach, or in conjunction with another system, such as traditional Chinese body acupuncture.
Our hands have energetic connections through which
constant communication takes place between your brain
and the body. When there is a problem somewhere in
your body, we can electrically detect hand acupuncture
points corresponding to the organs or tissue involved.
By treating these points by various means (discussed later),
we energetically trigger or “jump start” a natural healing
The most famous and scientifically documented micro-system acupuncture approach is that of the ear, known as 3-Phase Auricular Therapy, which is one of main focuses of my acupuncture practice. This comprehensive and sophisticated acupuncture method was discovered and developed by award-winning, French neurologist, Paul Nogier, M.D. (1908-1996), who studied acupuncture in China. The Chinese did NOT know that the ear could be used as an entire acupuncture system for the whole body, until Nogier's developments. This paved the way for the development of Korean Hand Therapy by Dr. Woo.
Nogier's research had revealed that the ear is energetically connected to the entire body: a “micro- system.” This means that the outer ear (and the hand) is a tiny microcosm of living energy—a comprehensive acupuncture system representing the entire body. Every structure of the human body could be mapped on the outer ear — the auricle. Nogier observed that the ear could be compared to an upside-down human fetus; the head represented by the lower ear lobe, the feet at the top of the ear, and the rest of the body in-between. This model was first presented in France in 1957, then spread to Germany, and finally was translated into Chinese. In 1958 the Chinese adopted this model, and acknowledged Nogier as the “Father of Auricular Therapy.”
Several years later, Dr. Nogier and his research team discovered that the surface of the ear is actually a 3-dimensional, holographic energetic projection of the human anatomy and physiology.
Nogier realized that the ear at all times, presents us with a 3-dimensional “image” created by energy interference patterns. This in turn, meant that there must be three distinct mappings (holographic energy phases) of the body which exist on the ear, depending upon the nature of the health condition (acute, chronic or degenerative). There isn't just one zone or point on the ear for each organ or tissue; there are 3 different areas to consider. This is the case for the hand as well.
Unfortunately, few practitioners have mastered Nogier’s significantly more sophisticated and complex 3-phase approach to ear acupuncture. Most acupuncturists and physician acupuncturists have been satisfied with the one-phase (ear mapping) approach. It is indeed effective, and less complex to master than the 3-phase approach, which has three completely different locations for every part of the body. This is also the case with hand acupuncture. The Korean hand acupuncture approach only addressed one phase of anatomy and physiology - mostly applicable to acute conditions only.
In 2005, anesthesiologist and America's foremost authority on ear acupuncture, Nader Soliman, M.D., took Dr. Nogier's advancements in ear acupuncture, and proved them to be applicable to the hand as well. Dr. Soliman's published medical research revealed the same three energetic phase "mappings" of acute, chronic, or degenerative phases for the hand. I received my training in both hand and ear acupuncture from the brilliant Dr. Soliman, who has served as president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.
"What’s the difference between Hand and body acupuncture?"
Body acupuncture works with fixed meridians—channels which are exactly mapped and defined in thebody, as well as fixed acupuncture points situated along these meridians. They can always be detected because they are always electrically active.
3-Phase Hand Acupuncture is a specialized acupuncture microsystem of the entire human body, which involves diagnosis of electrically active acupuncture points, which are ONLY detectable if there is something wrong in the body. Many consider this to be an advantage that micro-system based acupuncture has over traditional body acupuncture.
"How is Hand Acupuncture Performed?"
Hand acupuncture can be administered in several ways. Various types of specialized acupuncture needles can be used, although it can be done needle-free. Needle-free methods include use of electrical or laser stimulation, specialized pressure pellets made from gold, silver, steel or herbal seeds, as well as magnets, and manual pressure. I utilize all of these forms in my practice. The choice of which materials to use is case dependent.
Electrical Hand Acupuncture Point Detection
Traditional acupuncture involves placement of needles in "meridian" points throughout the body, where they're spaced widely apart. Hand acupuncture points are only a short distance from each other. Current technology enables modern 3-phase hand acupuncture practitioners to locate points with amazing precision. A specialized device is used to detect increased electrical skin conductivity, which is found at an electrically active point. The increase in electrical conductivity correlates exactly with a problem in the corresponding part of the body. The most sophisticated instruments also detect polarity of active points, which tells the doctor what type of treatment is needed. The same instrument can provide electro-acupuncture treatment:
Dr. Paul Nogier's research revealed 7 specific frequencies that must be used for different areas of the ear for electrical treatment. the same applies to the hand. Strict attention to proper frequencies greatly enhances results. In my practice I use the NET2000, which is considered the “gold standard” of devices. It is both a diagnostic and treatment instrument. Most people don't feel anything at all with this micro-current electrical stimulation. Each point is treated from 10 to 120 seconds.
Hand Acupressure Seeds & Pellets
Some people are fearful of needles. This is no problem, since special herbal seeds or metal pellets mounted on a "band-aid" type material provide outstanding effects. I provide these as one of several options, in conjunction with electrical stimulation.
Once an active point is determined through examination, pellets or needles can be placed on the hand. A special non-toxic medical adhesive is sometimes used to help them stick as long as possible. Many practitioners think hand and/or ear acupuncture has an advantage over traditional full-body acupuncture because these semi-permanent needles or pellets enable you to have constant ongoing stimulation of the points detected. A session of traditional needle acupuncture ends when the needles are removed. For more details about micro-system based acupuncture, I recommend clicking here to reaing my complete article on Auricular Therapy - the ear micro-system acupuncture method. The same principles apply to the hand, as described for the ear in this article.
Dr. Donald Liebell
“The hand acupuncture microsystem presents a sophisticated tool of diagnosis and treatment through its multi-phase projection... It opens the door for a new era in medical acupuncture and for exciting ways to improve the welfare of our patients"
Nader Soliman, M.D.
Anesthesiologist, Medical Acupuncturist, Developer of
3-Phase Hand Acupuncture
President, American Academy of
Medical Acupunture (2003-2005)
President, Alternative Medicine Seminars
From Soliman's 3-Phase
Hand Acupuncture Textbook
Dr. Tae Woo Yoo
Korean Hand Therapy
Introduced in 1971
Paul Nogier, M.D.
Discoverer of 3-Phase
Introduced in 1966
Donald K. Liebell, D.C., B.C.A.O.
477 Viking Drive Suite 170
Virginia Beach VA 23452
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F
(and by Special Appointment)
The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions
The Liebell Clinic: 477 Viking Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23452 (757) 631-9799 www.LiebellClinic.com