By AFEA member Johnny Childs

Here is where it all comes together. We’ve made our diagnosis, checked the pulses, and decided on what acupuncture point to needle – now we must find an area on the body the size of a pin head!!! If we fail to find the acupuncture point, our work amounts to nothing.

Luckily, at AFEA we are extremely thorough in making sure our members have been thoroughly trained at locating acupuncture points.. we provide training evenings and full-time courses specialising in just this. We continue to practice these skills well into practice, just as an athlete will train in preparation for a competition – we take a similar approach.

Locating acupuncture points is an art in itself, we are not simply prodding the patient and jabbing a needle in. The way we locate a point starts with how we approach the patient even before we have laid any hands down. There is another dialogue going on where if we do not pay attention to, we can miss vital diagnostic information that will help us in helping the patient.

For example – when we palpate for a point, how the patient reacts, how their skin feels under your finger, the feel of the anatomy underneath gives us even more sensory information. The way we hold and palpate for points, move around the treatment couch becomes like a dance in itself, it eventually becomes smooth, elegant and efficient, I liken it to a top-notch waiter who comes to collect the plates at the end of your meal and you haven’t even noticed they have done so, instead of the opposite where you have to stop your conversation, the waiter starts to talk to you, drops a knife and spills the wine… You can’t help but feel interrupted and irritated. We must become like an invisible waiter – where the patient is practically unaware of your presence whose focus is on themselves and their treatment.

Below is a snippet of teaching students how to find points:

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