Dr Tan Balance Method – the points
With the Tan Balance method, you search for points on the associated channels. These evoke discomfort on pressure. These points are then needled. (… a rather brief summary!)
In the Unified acupuncture theory method, finding the points in question is more discerning. You look for points that provide relief at the painful site. The degree of improvement helps decide which points to use.
The points used may or may not be points recognised by classical acupuncture theory. In fact, they often aren’t but, if they can immediately reduce the discomfort from 10/10 down to 0/10, they are treated with great attention to detail and careful needle manipulation.
In many cases, you choose points on the side of the body opposite to the site of the pain. (Yes, there is a theory for that too.)
Of course, quite often you do choose traditional or classical points, because they work! But if using the Tan Balance method, or even more so the Unified Acupuncture theory, a point is not chosen because it is well-known, but because it works in this case.
Disadvantages of the Tan Balance method
No system is flawless. One of the problems with the Tan Balance method is that needles should remain in situ for at least 45 minutes, and preferably 90 minutes. This is often longer than the time available for treatment.
Also, during treatment, you may need to manipulate the needles several times during the 90 minute session.
Additionally, often a series of daily or two-daily treatments works best at clearing the ingrained ‘pain’ or ‘problem’. Not all patients can afford to come daily for a week.
Even so, using the ‘enhanced’ Unified Acupuncture theory system, (which explains and embraces Dr Tung’s system as well) and incorporating other systems including Japanese, Korean, 5 Element and traditional Chinese theory, for example, I have achieved really astounding results with the Tan Balance method often in just one or two treatments. (Well, I was astounded, even if the patient expected it so thought less of it!)
So, good and lasting effects can occur if the needles are removed after 15-30 minutes. 45-90 mins may be the ideal, but this isn’t always possible and treatment can be effective in a shorter period.
Behind the Tan Balance and Unified Acupuncture theories
The underlying theory emerges from study of the I Ching, the ancient Book of Change. This is, if you like, the basic theory of yin and yang.
It employs hexagrams of single or broken horizontal lines to represent Yang (unbroken lines – see above) and Yin (broken lines – not shown).
There are 64 hexagrams and if you’re feeling brave and somewhat mathematically inclined, the Yin-Yang code, by Dr Ning Lu may help you get to grips with it.
Warning! This is not an easy read, and the early chapters take liberties with the English language.
However, getting from the Book of Change, the I Ching, to knowing which acupuncture channels to use does take a bit of explaining. I suggest you go on a course to learn about it.
To try to explain it here would require a very long page, too long to be digestible for most people.