Japanese Acupuncture may assist recovery from Glandular Fever

Cameron presented in clinic about 4 weeks ago having been medically diagnosed as suffering from acute glandular fever.

He was experiencing overwhelming lethargy, aching limbs, diabolically disturbed  sleep pattern and severe headaches.

This condition can derail an athletes career for anywhere between 3 to 12 months or more in some instances.

Orthodox medicine usually recommends rest, very good advice, and appropriate medication, depending upon the severity of symptoms.

What can be an inconvenience for some becomes a career threatening speed bump for others.

Over the past 10 years I have treated a number of people diagnosed with this debilitating condition.

My clinical experience indicates that glandular fever may be a precursor to chronic fatigue syndrome, an all too familiar scenario for many elite athletes.

A few who have responded positively to Traditional Japanese Acupuncture treatment for a compromised immune system include Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer, Daniel Kowalski, Current Brisbane Lions AFL star, Daniel Merrett for sequela of glandular fever and Australian Rules football legend, Alastair Lynch.

To this end Daniel M. has maintained a regular treatment schedule for a number of years and up until a recent hamstring injury late in the 2009 season he had not missed a game since cementing his position in the team.

Back to Cameron………………..
An elite 1500 m swimmer, he must train intensively to fulfill his undoubted potential.

The ability of  elite athletes to break through the pain barrier , hit the wall and drive straight through it is a vital part of the regime required to achieve ultimate success in the sporting arena.

The downside is that an athlete is often unaware that,  in some extreme circumstances they are compromising their immune systems, a scenario that all too frequently occurs as a result of an incredibly intense physical and mental training regime  robbing their systems of the vital energy required to maintain solid immunity against viral infection.

Glandular fever can leave the athlete exhausted and bewildered, their performance in the sporting arena is seriously compromised and until correctly diagnosed, this insidious malady leaves them wondering as to why their form has dropped off so severely.

This was indeed the case for Cameron when he found it just about impossible to swim at the Australia national championships in August, let alone compete successfully.

In severe cases glandular fever can derail an athletes training and competitive schedule for many months and for us mere mortals this condition can deleteriously affect our work and lifestyle for similar or even longer periods.

In Cameron’s case diagnosis was pretty well clear cut.

Spleen Yin deficiency Liver excess fever syndrome fitted the bill admirably.
In addition to an excessive amount of heat present in the liver there was also a significant amount of deficient heat present in the Yang Ming meridians.

The pathology for this condition is described beautifully by Masakazu Ikeda sensei in chapter 8 of his outstanding textbook  ‘The Practice of Japanese Acupuncture and Moxibustion’.


Tonify Spleen Yin; Tonify Pe.7 – Sp.3
Disperse Liver; Disperse Liv.2
Cool Yangming Meridians;  Shunt St.44 or 43, LI.3 or 11
Back Shu points as appropriate; Bl 13 or 14, 18, 20, 23, plus Bl.40 to assist moving the heat out of the body.
If the headaches are severe, the addition of appropriate GB points may be beneficial.
I have found GB.41 to be quite useful in these circumstances.

Cameron agreed to undergo a course of treatment to support his recovery and we established a base of three treatments per week.

At the end of the 2nd week of treatment we had been able to completely eliminate Cameron’s headaches.

Emboldened by this occurrence, I eliminated the dispersion of Liv. 2 from his Saturday morning treatment only to have him come back in again on the following Tuesday revealing the headaches had returned on the Sunday.
He did have a late-night following his treatment, I believe this was a factor in his relapse.
Regardless, I immediately resorted to my previous strategy of dispersing the wood point of the Liver, Liv. 2.

Cameron has not had a headache since!

I ceased to disperse Liver 2 only after he had been headache free for 10 days, unwilling to take the risk of their recurrence affecting his recovery.

Over the last two weeks he has gradually increased his training regime, ever mindful of how his body is responding.
That translates into taking it very, very easy for the first 3 to 4 training sessions, gradually increasing the load.

The athlete must be hyper aware of their level of fatigue and their recovery from these sessions must be monitored closely.

Cameron was feeling well last Thursday after a couple of stronger training sessions earlier in the week and we agreed that he should put ‘pedal to the metal’ during his Friday training session and return  for follow-up treatment on Saturday morning, which it showing no obvious ill effects.

Cameron’s recovery appears to be  on track and I will continue to monitor his progress with great interest and respect.

The point of the matter, excuse the pun, is the speed of Cameron’s recovery, a little over one month into his course of treatment and he is very close to resuming full-time training.

A satisfactory outcome, you might ask?
Considering the severity of Cameron’s symptoms when first diagnosed, I think so.

However his ability to maintain a powerful training regime and translate that into competitive results is the bottom line.

In the meantime Cameron will maintain regular weekly or twice-weekly treatments if necessary to assist his recovery  thus enhancing his sporting performance.

Video of the complete treatment is being edited now and will be available shortly. To view this and many other clinically relevant videos  join us at http://www.worldacupuncture.com

Our video library is expanding by the week and I believe that the audiovisual presentation for learning Japanese acupuncture is complementary to and in some cases a superior method of teaching/learning than text only.

For the keen student, nothing can replace mentoring/assisting/observing in a more experienced practitioners clinic but for many their ability to do so is compromised by family, financial, personal and geographical reasons.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and will be able to use my experience for the  benefit of  your patients .

Take advantage of the 50 odd videos in our  library already, learn as we learn and become part of a worldwide community dedicated to understanding more about traditional Japanese acupuncture and most importantly how to apply our understanding where it matters most, in clinic.

Join us at  http://www.world acupuncture.com today and enjoy your learning more.

A few Images from Rainbow Bay for your viewing pleasure

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Friendly neighbours

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Looking South Towards Byron Bay from Hastings Point


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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.


  1. Nice. Thanks for posting this.

    • Definitely my pleasure to share my clinical experience and I thank you very much for your interest and commitment .
      I trust that you are able to utilize this information to the benefit of your patients.
      A full video of the treatment will be available at http://worldacupuncture.com shortly.
      Kind regards,

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