Qiological Community

Personal health case

I’ve had a muscle twitch in my shoulder, teres major area (SI channel?), on and off for many years. It was always a minor annoyance and wasn’t ever very prevalent until a little over a year ago when it began to become an every day thing. The muscle fasciculates all day long unless I am in motion. Often it will do it at night too but if I find the right position I can sleep. It is not painful but it is beyond annoying, to the point where I can’t find peace of mind because I’m not settled in my body. I’ve tried local and distal needling, local and distal bleeding, cupping, moxa, gua sha, stretching, foam roll, yoga, taiji, etc. I’ve tried just about every Sa’am channel except for KI. Some provide relief for a few hours, days or even weeks, but it always comes back. Lately I’ve begun to think it’s an injured nerve which of course doesn’t tell us much clinically but has led me to consider seeking out an MRI or a nerve conduction test, just so I can get my arms around it some more. I’ve also been trying different herbal formulas. They all work to completely suppress the twitching for about two weeks and then it comes back. I’m at that point now with my third formula and am about at the end of my rope with this. I’ve tried Gui Zhi Jia Ge Gen Tang, Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang, and most recently Bu Yang Huan Wu Tang. Sometimes I experiment with mixing the GZJGGT with the BYHWT. It was seeming like Huang Qi was the magical herb to nourish my tissues and strengthen them in order to repair the nerve damage but my shoulder is back to its old tricks. Please, any insight that can be offered would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Why not Kidney? It is the SI counterbalancer.

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Good point. I haven’t thought about Sa’am for this in a while but my thinking then was that this was blood stagnation or some sort of consolidation so KI could only exacerbate it. I will try it later today or tomorrow. I should also mention that I threw the coins and got mountain over earth changing to mountain over mountain. I was about to post in Harmen’s discussion board about it.

I never thought of myself as KI deficient, both in the TCM sense and in the Sa’am sense, but we are in a helping profession and that can lead to a tendency to give ourselves away, so to speak. I’m interested to see what a KI+ tx can do for me.

Toby mentioned a case of SI channel itching. K+ did the trick.
Sometimes channel, sometimes quality.
It’s about time Sa’am has some acronyms. :slight_smile: From now on it will be SCSQ.
Please let us know what happens.


Which side is it on?

It also occurs to me that it is hard to treat yourself and maybe not as effective. I know I’ve had some good results treating myself but it’s often hard to get the needling right on the hands and arms with just one hand.

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It’s on the left side. I’ve had a good amount of practice needling myself and I feel confident doing it. That being said, maybe it would be more effective to have someone else do it.

I could also use some guidance from the herbal perspective. Is this a taiyang issue since it’s at the surface? Is it a shaoyang issue since it’s in a pivot zone? Huang Qi and Gui Zhi formulas seem to have the most impact but it still keeps coming back.

I have had some nice progress with this that I’m excited about. I will update soon. Thank you for your responses.

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After doing a KI+ tx I felt really really good, relaxed and grounded, and it took away the twitch for most of the next day. When it came back I did it again, and a few hours after that when it returned once more I did SI+. The next day I did one more KI+. That may seem like a lot within a short time span but I’ve been desperate for any relief (which I ultimately did not get btw, because it came back yet again). During this time I also became inspired to do another treatment that, like KI+, I had thought about but had put aside for reasons I’ll explain. That treatment was a 1.5 cun needle directly into the motor point of Teres Major. The point is close to the rib cage and therefore at a higher risk of pneumothorax, and I had even more trepidation since I’d be doing it on myself, requiring a difficult stretch around to the back of my shoulder. This was 48 hours ago and the muscle has been sore ever since. The twitch has diminished but is still there.

In the course of thinking about and treating this issue I’ve gone back and forth on the best way to address it. Some of the time I would think, this is energetic in nature and the right Sa’am treatment will take care of it. Other times I would consider it a musculoskeletal issue but could not wrap my head around what exactly might be causing it. I would also play around with how to address it with herbs. The truth is probably somewhere in between. I’m still trying to make sense of it all.

Last night online I came across a rare disorder of the shoulder called Quadrilateral Space Syndrome that describes my presentation very well. It is a compression of a nerve and/or artery that pass through the space bordered by Teres Major, Teres Minor, Tricep and Humerus. My path forward now is more motor point needling, stretching and foam roll, with support from Sa’am as needed. If necessary I might get an MRI to see if there is damage that requires surgery.

I really don’t want to be cut open but it may come to that. Or does it have to? One of the questions in all this is, what methods are needed in any given scenario? For instance, I love Sa’am and for a little bit was thinking that that could be the answer. Then I started to let go of that idea. Now I think I’m coming to the realization that yes, Sa’am does have the power to fix this however I’m just not skilled enough in the system yet.

I was excited to try KI+ because I read elsewhere on this forum about a KI+ treatment that worked for a patient who described her shame and her pain as feeding off each other. In the course of living with this twitch, often when it would arise I would create negative self-talk about not being able to just relax, that if I could relax I wouldn’t have this, etc. It seemed like a lock-and-key solution that would no doubt work. While I still have the twitch, doing KI+ helped to free my mind up from a loop I had gotten myself stuck in.

I’m still thinking about the lessons of the hexagrams I threw. Mountain is very prevalent in both, as a primary and as an enveloping trigram. It has to do with stubbornness and boundaries, and in medicine it represents the back. I intend to post in the forum to get Harmen’s opinion but I need to chew on this whole thing a little more.

Hi Adam,

Sorry to hear that this symptom is so distressing.

That does sound like a lot. I usually want to put 2 days in between treatments to give the body time to integrate.
Dr Wang Ju Yi, of Applied Channel Theory Fame, as well as Dan Bensky, talk about channel confusion/exhaustion from too many treatments in too short a time. Dan mentions that he refuses to see patients who are receiving what he deems too much treatment, usually from other practitioners. Bodies can be exhausted by too much work being done on them.
Toby hasn’t said anything about this from the Saam perspective except that he doesn’t treat people more than once a day.

It sounds like it would also help to get someone’s perspective involved. It is hard for anyone to look at their situation objectively.

Best wishes.

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Point well taken, thank you. I’d never be this aggressive with a patient but as I said I was in a rough place. Things are continuing to calm down for me. I think maybe the Yi was trying to show me to not be so stubborn and try every treatment I could think of. It took me posting on here though, to finally attempt the things I’d ruled out.

It just adds to the suffering to have this incredible toolbox and not be able to find something that gives lasting relief.
Our own struggles teach us so much, but being a student in this way can get really old.

Good luck.

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