Japanese Acupuncture for Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow

This post concerns Japanese Acupuncture treatment for Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow and assisting Sarica to accelerate her patients recovery.

Sarica is a graduate of  PCOM (Pacific College of Oriental Medicine) in San Diego, has settled in Arizona, USA, been in practice for several years and is extremely keen to refine and develop her acupuncture repertoire.

Boynton CanyonBoynton Canyon, Sedona, Arizona

She originally posted her questions on the WorldAcupuncture Forum @ http://www.worldacupuncture.com/members/forum/openthread.cfm?forum=1&threadid=13

Please read what  Sarica has to say about her membership with worldacupuncture.com

Just wanted to send on a heartfelt thanks for the work on the site...being able to see and listen to the videos and lessons is a tremendously helpful endeavori get at least one in a day, and it really sets me right for seeing patientsgets me in the right frame of mind, helps me maintain focus and inspiration throughout my treatmentsi knew i’d get much from this, but i didn’t reckon how much, and it just means a lot to me.  so, thank you!
hugs from az.!

Here is her case history with my commentary, we will be going one step at a time,  if you would like to follow her progress and many other case histories, video’s and tutorials you are welcome to join us at http://worldacupuncture.com

50 yr Male Golfer

Unilateral epicondylitis for the last 7 or 8 weeks

2 treatments so far………..

  • 50 yrs. male, thinnish build, big eyes, rather copious body hair,
  • thinning head hair, even, calm voice.
  • high cholesterol, hypertension, both handled with medication
  • sinus allergies, Claritin medication
  • calm, works 50+ hours a week
  • cold hands and feet, craves spicy then sweet and salty
  • wakes once in the night to urinate
  • fatigue after a hard day , energy level otherwise is very good
  • inflammation near UB43 on the right, outward rotation and with flexing his elbow on a horizontal plane, pain SI8 pain (dull, constant, sometimes shooting, and sore to the touch—feels like a bone bruise)
  • pain radiates upward towards his occipital region
  • ice and rest help the elbow pain
  • played 18 holes after feeling relief from his first treatment, pain came back in a big way after golf.
  • will pull back from golf until the end of September

First treatment


LU weak, LIV tight ,


felt empty at LU1 bilaterally, tight right and left of the navel


  • LU9 – SP5 root treatment
  • SJ5 left – ah shi points on the SI/SJ/ LI channels right
  • needle head moxa lateral to LI10 right
  • added LIV8 and GB34 on the left when I didn’t find much change in the pulse
  • Sawada-style direct moxa to tonify his energies
  • back shu UB11, 15, 18, 20, 58 plus KI3
  • needle head moxa at SI11 on the right


Constitutionally deficient in the LU, with deficient heat in the LIV

Alan J. Commentary

It sounds as though it is appropriate that this individual should have a weak lung pulse from his copious body hair, indicating a lung deficient constitution.

In many cases  athletic people born with a lung deficient constitution the propensity to becoming kidney deficient as they approach middle age is widespread.

It is for this reason in addition to his chronic sinusitis, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels that I believe you will find that he has become primarily kidney deficient.

This part of diagnosis is vital in achieving outstanding clinical outcomes.

I believe it is very possible that your patient has become lung deficient liver excess, a syndrome that naturally insinuates kidney deficiency.

To confirm this I suggest that you palpate his abdomen to establish patterns of tightness and discomfort on both his left and right sides.

The classical abdominal pattern for liver excess syndrome will show has extra ordinary tightness pain and discomfort on the right side of his abdomen, especially around the lower border of the rib cage, directly above the liver.

Please let me know the results as they will determine where to go from here.

The Liv.8 and GB.34 that you added after there was no discernible change in his pulse would have helped him considerably more than your original treatment of Lu.9 – Sp.5.

Your diagnosis of lung deficient with deficient heat in the liver is somewhat problematical.

However, according to the theoretical principles of Traditional Japanese Acupuncture it is possible that the heat from kidney deficiency has passed into the liver and created a liver excess blood stagnation syndrome especially along the medial border of the right scapulae.

If this is the case then the shunting of Liv.8 or in milder cases GB.34 along with the root treatment of Lu.5 – Ki.10 may be a better way to go.


Before shunting the liver, you should be very sure that this is indeed a liver excess blood stagnation pattern.

To confirm this please perform an abdominal examination as previously suggested and get back to me with the results.

We can talk more about local treatment a bit later but I think you are on the right track with your moxa needle on places that you have outlined above.

Second treatment


LIV and KI very weak


Pulsation REN 12.

More tired than the first treatment, happy to lie down and cool off, it has been very hot here,  Arizona, USA.


  • LU1, KI7 – LU5 root treatment
  • LI channel on the right, using ah-shi from LI15 to LI4
  • Direct moxa, Moxa needle or Rice-Grain? with the needles – lateral to LI10 right, tissue was very lax, deficient feeling, no heat or tension felt.
  • Added KI 10 on the left.
  • Back Shu UB11, 17, 20, 22, and 23 plus right side GB21 – anmian needle head moxa at SI11 and UB46,
  • Needle or moxa-needle right side UB58, K3 and GB40 ?
  • All the points listed retained with a 44 gauge, very shallowly which points?
  • Tui na to invigorate on his upper right back and forearm.


His arm felt markedly better at the end of treatment.

I checked with him today, pain still there, and he’s going to start p.t immediately.

Alan J. Commentary

Please confirm the type of moxa and on what points that you used it on in this treatment.

Also can you confirm the use of Ki.3 – GB.40 and let me know the technique that you used on these points and why you used them?

Last but not least can you provide me with the metric diameter of a 44 gauge needle?

For instance the most common needle size that I use in treatment is .14  millimetre in diameter and for moxa needle .22  millimeter.

Stay posted there is more to come, we will follow her patients progress with great interest.

Alan Jansson is an internationally recognized teacher and practitioner of Traditional Japanese Acupuncture.  For well over a decade, independent of and in conjunction with Masakazu Ikeda sensei and Edward Obaidey, Alan has presented, convened and hosted in the vicinity of 30 Traditional Japanese Acupuncture workshops in Australia, New Zealand and USA. Driven by a strong desire to promote the consumer friendly nature, clinical efficacy and potency of Meridian Based Traditional Japanese Acupuncture, Alan is a staunch advocate of practically based workshops and draws upon his 25 years clinical experience and 14 years post and undergraduate teaching in a concerted effort to lift the bar globally in the clinical application of this most amazing medical art.

Join him in Exploring the Art of Acupuncture in the 21st century at  http://www.Worldacupuncture.com

About Alan

Alan Jansson is an internationally recognized teacher and practitioner of Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. As a staunch advocate of practically based workshops, Alan draws upon his 35 years clinical experience and 23 years post and undergraduate teaching. Alan has presented, convened and hosted more than 70 Traditional Japanese Acupuncture workshops in Australia, Europe, and USA.