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| MASTER TONG’S — ACUPUNCTURE AN ANCIENT ALTERNATIVE STYLE IN MODERN CLINICAL PRACTICE Preface to Master Tong’s Acupuncture: 2nd Edition by Richard Tan, O.M.D., L.Ac. After coming to the U.S. some 20 years ago I was astounded at the relatively low level of clinical efficacy accepted as normal by the American TCM trained acupuncture commu- nity. The highly standardized TCM format adopted for curriculum purposes by U.S. acupuncture colleges does make it possible to educate and test large numbers of practi- tioners in a consistent way. Establishing a baseline level of competency is an important service, and the schools do this job well. However, standardization causes TCM acupunc- ture to suffer from the serious side effect of oversimplification. In terms of the rich and diverse tradition of theory and practice that has evolved through the centuries into Chinese medicine, what is taught in the U.S. as TCM represents only a conceptual skele- ton and one with a few bones missing at that. As a result, acupuncturists in this country are often at a disadvantage when it comes to obtaining a consistently high level of clini- cal results Due to my concem regarding this clinical deficit, in 1991 I enlisted the aid of my long- time apprentice and co-author Stephen Rush to publish my first book, Twelve and Twelve in Acupuncture. This book utilizes some of Master Tong's points to give practi- tioners an easily accessible source of reference material that would instantly upgrade their clinical effectiveness in specific treatment scenarios. | have found that Master Tong’s points and their effects are very compatible with my own explanation of acupuncture channel theory which, in turn, relates to my study of the I Ching as a math- ematical system of philosophy. While living and learning acupuncture (first from my family and later in apprenticeship to several other masters) in Taiwan, Master Tong was renowned as one of the greatest acupunctutists in the country. In Taiwan, the number of impressive-looking letters fol- lowing a practitioner's name was not nearly as compelling a form of advertisement as the number of patients found waiting at his clinic for treatment. In Master Tong’s case, the line of patients was often said to stretch far out into the street. This in spite of the fact that he could treat patients very quickly, often seeing upwards of 100 per day! ‘MASTER TONO’S ACUPUNCTURE With this kind of distal point treatment style, it is possible to use only a few needles, yet obtain good results in a very short time. In my experience, patients usually report an improvement in their symptoms of pain or numbness and an increase in mobility very soon after I insert needles into these points. Relief often occurs within seconds of _needling if the distal points are selected appropriately. The points in this book are very powerful if used properly. Miriam Lee has been a great help to the profession of acupuncture in several ways. By standing up to the legal challenge from the state of California and fighting for her right to practice, she helped our profession to get started in this state. Another help to the pro- fession was through her willingness to share with many student and apprentice acupunc- turists what she had learned over the years, at a time when “keeping secrets” was far more the norm, One of my own curtent apprentices studied with Miriam Lee for a while, and reports that Miriam’s openness and willingness to answer questions was a godsend to her in her own training. I cannot help but feel that by publishing this second edition of Master Tong's points as well as her other book, Insights of a Senior Acupuncturist, that she and Blue Poppy are doing the profession a big favor. Whenever I lecture on my balance method and discuss Master Tong’s work, I always mention Miriam's hook as a source of additional informa tion, It is good to hear that this has helped generate sufficient interest to enable publica- tion of this second edition. For the sake of our profession, it is necessary to continue with the political struggle to improve public access to acupuncture. But | feel it is even more important to make our- selves the most clinically effective practitioners that we can be. After all, what good is the right to all the insurance coverage in the world if an acupuncturist cannot quickly and effectively treat most patients’ pain? Miriam Lee's years of experience and Master Tong's method will prove invaluable towards this end. August 1998 iv