Wrist Ankle Acupuncture and Acupuncturists Without Boarders

I recently discovered wrist ankle acupuncture (WAA) and I started using it with some of my patients who have severe pain in the GB 29 area. I got some 1 ½ inch needles and started learning how to thread them just under the skin, this is usually a painless process especially if I pinch the skin and then start threading slowly. These points seem to be very powerful and there are only twelve of them so there is not too much to memorize.

For hip pain I sometimes need only one or two needles, I have been able to treat shoulder pain with just one needle inserted near TW5 and under the skin needling toward the shoulder. WAA can be used in conjunction with the Balance Method since both systems use points below the elbows and below the knees. I like any system that helps me to use fewer needles! For more information check out the book Wrist-Ankle Acupuncture: Methods and Applications by He Hon Lao. I recently joined the local chapter of Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) to support their efforts to treat vets with the five ear point NADA protocol. Since the place where we have been treating them is a little bit outside the city attendance has been spotty. We have been getting mostly Vietnam Vets from a homeless shelter for Vets in Boston. To reach our current location they have to get a ride and since many of them are physically disabled or suffering from PTSD we have been looking for a location closer to the shelter to make it easier for them to come. There are a couple of churches nearby that look like good possibilities. Unfortunately we are not allowed to treat right in the shelter which is frustrating but I guess post 9-11 laws prohibit this. You know how dangerous our ear needles can be! I am being patient with the whole process, it can take a while to find the right location and then get folks to come regularly, but the potential for healing is so great from these simple little treatments. AWB is in Iowa right now giving treatments to people trying to cope with the effects of the recent flooding there.

Here is more info on this if you want to get involved:

AWB has launched a response to the Iowa disaster. ~ Thanks to Kirk Moulton’s initiative (Chicago L.Ac.), and Susan Reed’s willingness to take over the reigns (Maine L.Ac.), we now have teams on the ground in Iowa. We conducted a mini training for Iowa practitioners and many of them have volunteered to help do community acupuncture for the disaster.

We have been treating evacuees and Red Cross workers at several shelters (having their invitation is a first and we are very happy about that!). We are setting up other venues as we speak. We are still working with the Governor’s office, the public health department, FEMA and the Iowa Medical Board to attempt to get permission for out-of-state licensed acupuncturists to come to Iowa (a good example of why it is best to get emergency rulings into your state laws ahead of time!)


From a Red Cross worker at the shelter in Iowa City, Michelle M: ” I haven’t felt this way since I was baptized for the second time! I feel so much more relaxed. I feel closer to God. Thank you so much.”

From David K, one of the shelter clients: “I haven’t felt this good in twenty years. It was like I was floating and all the tension in my body melted away. When can I get another treatment?”

From Temple Judah News: Our city and community has been struck by tragedy and destruction. We each carry the dampness in our lungs and in our hearts. So much has darkened the skies of our community-evacuations, losses of property – uncertainty, disruption and fear. And we have also seen great generosity and compassion.

Since our initial email of one week ago, we have raised $1,855.00 plus a few more memberships have come in which help the cause as well. Thank you so much to those who have donated. Mobilizing an effort like this takes a large amount of work from our very small organization.

Please consider donating so we can continue to help the people of this terribly devastated area.

Click Here To Donate Now!

You can also send a check to AWB at the address below.

 Thank you!

Acupuncturists Without Borders

37 Kelly Lynn Drive Sandia Park,

NM, New Mexico 87047

(505) 266-3878


Author: thomasriordan

<p> Tom Riordan has been involved with Eastern philosophy and healing arts since 1990. After earning a B.A. in History at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, he spent four years working at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. In addition to daily hatha yoga and meditation practice there, Tom completed the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training the Kripalu Bodywork Training. </p> <p> Tom is a graduate of The New England School of Acupuncture, in Newton, MA, the oldest accredited acupuncture school in the United States. He maintained a private practice for several years in Columbia, Missouri. He was the first person to be licensed to practice acupuncture in that city. He became very active in the State acupuncture association by serving as secretary for two years and treasurer for one year. Tom is certified by the National Council for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and he is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. </p> <p> He currently practices in Medford, MA where he has maintained a community acupuncture clinic since 2007. </p>

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  1. Hi Tom and other wrist and ankle acupuncture afficionados

    any updates on how you’re currently using WAA in your practice that you’d like to share?  I’ve just gotten around to laminatling the 4 page handout so generously shared by Anson on this forum and have tried the technique on myself for plantar fascitis and am excited by its possibilities… Would love to hear more folks experience and how they’re incorporating it into CA.