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Acu in Practice: Arthritis and Kidney Support

Welcome to Acu in Practice! Say Hello to Willy – who despite being diagnosed with lumbosacral stenosis about 5 years ago is still maintaining a good attitude and his mobility. Willy’s symptoms of hind end weakness and discomfort do wax and wane, but his condition overall has remained stable. In addition, his lab results evaluating organ health status are healthy and unchanged. At 13 years, there is no evidence of renal insufficiency – his BUN, CRET, SDMA and urine concentration are all within normal range.

The main reason that his guardian sought acupuncture as part of Willy’s treatment plan was to address his pain and reduction in mobility. However, there are many additional benefits to receiving acupuncture and herbs, including extra support for the kidneys. Many of the acupoints used for lumbosacral stenosis, hind end weakness and sciatic pain, are also points used to nourish the Kidneys. In this way, acupuncture can help to prevent occult clinical disease prior to the emergence of clinical signs or changes in lab values. This concept is not limited to the Kidneys and is largely thought to occur due to the positive effects that specific acupuncture points have on blood flow to specific organs.

Willy receives a combination of acupuncture, herbal therapy, food therapy and nutritional supplementation, laser therapy and PSGAG to stay at his best.


Willy’s TCM Diagnosis:

Kidney Qi Deficient Bi Syndrome, Liver Blood Deficiency with Stagnation in the GB and BL Channels.

A typical Acu RX for Willy’s appointment:

GV 20 – grounding

BL 17 – Nourish Blood, relieve Stagnation in the BL Channel

BL 23 – Local for lumbar tension/pain, Nourish Kidneys

GV 4 – local for lumbar tension/pain, Nourish Kidneys

Lumbar Ba Hui – local for lumbosacral stenosis/pain, Nourish Kidneys

BL 54 – Clear Stagnation from the Channel, combat hind end weakness

GB 31 – Clear Stagnation from the Channel, local for nerve inflammation, in this patient it is also often a trigger point.

LIV 13 – move Blood and Qi in the Liver Channel

ST 36 – Tonify and move Blood and Qi, local for hind limbs.

*note: Willy respectfully declines points on the extremities.


This post was created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA (IVAS) and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.


Willy never forgets!