Distal acupuncture, also known as “distal needling” or “balance method acupuncture,” is a specialized approach in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that involves needling acupuncture points away from the site of pain or the affected area. This technique was popularized by Dr. Richard Teh-Fu Tan, a renowned acupuncturist, and educator.
In traditional acupuncture, the emphasis is often on needling points near the area of pain or illness. However, in distal acupuncture, the practitioner selects points on the arms, legs, hands, and feet, which are considered “mirroring” or “distal” points related to the affected meridians or channels. These selected points are believed to have a connection to the affected area, and needling them is thought to influence the energy flow (Qi) along the meridians and promote healing.
The concept behind distal acupuncture is to treat the whole body as an interconnected system rather than focusing solely on the site of discomfort. By targeting distal points, the practitioner can achieve a more balanced flow of Qi throughout the body, which may lead to pain relief and improved overall health.
Distal acupuncture is commonly used to address various musculoskeletal conditions, chronic pain, and internal disorders. It is often favored for its quick, effective, and often immediate results.