The Tension Theory（1）～Point & Line～
The Flowing System & the Linkage System
In this series, I will explain “the tension theory” which is one of the characteristic of SEIDO acupuncture. Before going into the topic, let me go over the basic of SEIDO acupuncture. SEIDO acupuncture analysis the efficacy of acupuncture with two separate systems, “the flowing system” and “the linkage system.”
For the flowing system, you can imagine stimulation flows via a pathway such as “the meridian” to the local area. It takes some time for the stimulation to reach the local area, thus there is a time lag to observe the effect.
The linkage system is SEIDO acupuncture’s original concept. Its aim is to get optimum motions of a body by adjusting the weight between two given points. The weight here means “heavy feeling.” Contrary to the flowing system, the effect at the local area is observed immediately after the needle insertion.
The Tension Theory & the Meridians
The tension theory can be explained by the linkage system. In the tension theory, a practitioner locates an acupuncture point that corresponds to the pain point (where the complaint is). This is because a tension is usually made between two points pulling each other. A practitioner chooses acupuncture points according to patient’s complaints.
※Please check the definition of the linkage system on our guidance page.
What I want to tell you in this article is how the tension theory was born originally. I would say it is rather eccentric. There is no doubt about the meridians having been the fundamental of acupuncture for a long period of time. It isn’t easy to think acupuncture separately from the meridians especially for acupuncturists who have been practicing acupuncture on the premise that the meridians exist. I personally think that there is a huge benefit for all acupuncturists to make full use of the tension theory. That is because it is necessary to think acupuncture separately from the meridians in order to make full use of the tension theory. This isn’t to say the meridians do not exit. However, there definitely is an advantage of using the tension theory as compared with using the meridians at least for musculoskeletal disorders.
Two Advantages of Using the Tension Theory
- Easier to narrow down causes
- Ability to adjust body motions
Adjustment of tension between two points starts with locating the complaining point (pain point) and the corresponding point (cause point). Locating the exact point, not on a line or an area, makes it easier to narrow down the causes. Moreover, adjustment of tension makes body motion better. Releasing pain by needling where the pain is does not necessary mean the recovery of body motions. When a body is feeling pain, body motion is disrupted. Adjustment of tension lets a body regain optimum motion and get rid of pain at the same time.
The reason I put the ease of narrowing down causes as an advantage is that I think it is difficult to do so with the meridian theory. In other words, acupuncturists have a habit of thinking lines even when a complaint is at a point.
Is Answering a Point with a Line Acupuncturists’ Habit?
Releasing a pain point using a meridian (a line) does give you a clue of the cause, but it does not get you to the exact cause point.
It is difficult to shift the way of thinking for acupuncturists who have a habit of thinking through the meridians (lines). However; if a complaint is at a point, you should be able to answer with a point.
“KAPPO (manual reviving techniques based on ancient martial arts)” is the origin of this way of thinking. Although KAPPO does not recognize the meridians, there are number of techniques to release muscle tensions immediately. The tension theory of SEIDO acupuncture was originally born by carefully observing human bodies and finding acupuncture points that have the same effect as these KAPPO techniques.
Because the tension theory is derived from KAPPO, the two points pulling each other are not necessary on the meridians. You must think separately from the meridians.
Answering a Point with a Point
If you can accept this way of thinking, you now can gain another powerful tool in addition to what you have already practiced until today.
You are no longer an acupuncturist who is ruled by the meridians (lines), but may become an acupuncturist who is able to use them when necessary.