Arrival of Qi

[1st International Symposium on Quantum Medicine. November 17-22, 2001, Bled, Slovenia, p. 116-118]

MIkhail Teppone, Romen Avakian, Igor Karneev

Arrival of Qi” in traditional Chinese medicine
Phenomenon of “Arrival of Qi” (De Qi) was described from the very beginning of acupuncture. At the ancient time in the classic Chinese books it was written, that “acupuncture therapy does not take effect until arrival of Qi”. Later they noticed, that quick arrival of Qi suggested good effects in treatment, slow arrival of Qi retarded effects in treatment. If there is no needling reactions, doctor should concentrate his mind, insert needle to a certain depth, apply special manipulation and wait for Qi, which “seems a fish bites on fishing pulling the line downward” [1,2].

So “Arrival of Qi” is especially important phenomenon in acupuncture.

Modern investigations of Arrival of Qi” phenomenon
If needle is inserted to a certain depth, the patient may feel soreness, numbness or distention at the place of needling. In this case it is possible to observe the changes of the biophysical parameters of the skin around the point.

Special needle manipulation can stimulate different sensations, moving along legs, arms or trunk. They are named the phenomenon of “propagated sensations along the channels” (PSC). There are manifest and latent PSC, but both of them can be detected by changing the low electrical resistance, cutaneous potentials, sound signals, temperature, spontaneous visible light, etc.

Changes in functional activity of the certain organs can be observed when PSC arrives in their region [3-5].

Classification of Arrival of Qi”
Analysis of the literature on acupuncture and our own experience has persuaded us to accept the phenomenon of “Arrival of Qi” broader, than it is usually has been done. We consider that any reactions (latent or manifest) of the point-channel system, stimulated by the influence upon Acupoints or by Qi Gong practice, including appearance or disappearance of different clinical manifestations of diseases, belong to the phenomenon of “Arrival of Qi”. One should not confuse: “Arrival of Qi” is not same as a presence or absence of any symptoms. But it is phenomenon of changing the Qi condition at the points, channel, organ, element, etc., which can be accompanied by various sensory reactions, including changing the intensity, appearance or disappearance of some symptoms. Intensity of “Arrival of Qi” phenomenon defines the speed of changing Qi condition of the certain structures and effect of treatment.

Phenomenon of “Arrival of Qi” can be classified in accordance with:

  • functional condition of the patient,
  • structures involved into the reaction,
  • type of Qi stimulated into the reaction.

I. Initial functional condition of the patient and his structures:
   a) “Arrival of Qi” appearing in case of Excess of the Acupoints, Channel, Organ, Sea, etc.
   b) “Arrival of Qi” appearing in case of Deficiency of the Acupoints, Channel, Organ, Sea, etc.

II. Structures, involved into the reactions:
   a) Local sensory reactions at the place of acupoint,
   b) “Propagated sensations along the channel”,
   c) “Arrival of Qi” of the Organ or more complex and deep structures: element, sea, Yin, Yang.

III. Etiology of the disease and the type of Qi, involved into the reactions:
   a) Exogenous factors and Wei Qi mainly,
   b) Emotional factors and Ying Qi mainly,
   c) Genetic reasons and Yuan Qi mainly.

Extremely High Frequency (EHF) - Puncture
Last 30 years at the territory of the previous Soviet Union extensive research on the problem of biological effects and medical application of low intensity millimeter (MM) band electromagnetic radiation (EMR) have been conducted (wavelength 10.0-1.0 mm, frequencies 30.0-300.0 GHz, power 1.0-0.001 mW) [6-8].

At the beginning of this investigations they considered, that every living organism had his own or “resonance” frequencies. This hypothesis was a base of the Microwave Resonance Therapy (MRT) [9]. During the first procedure of the treatment a doctor acted on the skin projection of some patient's acupoint by means of MM EMR, changed the frequencies of the radiation and monitored the sensory reactions of the patient. Usually patients had sensations of warm or cool, waves or creeps and others at the certain region or moving along the extremities and trunk. Some of patients had changes of their emotional condition and so on. The comfortable sensations appearing at the place of “sick organ” served as a criterion for individualization of the therapeutic frequency. During the sensory reactions, the changes of the functional activity of different organs were observed and detected by means of electrocardiograph, electroencephalograph, electro-gastrography, heat monitor, etc. [9-11].

We took the temperature at the skin projections of Acupoints and revealed that sensory reactions were accompanied be changes of the temperature at the certain acupoints. For example, feelings of “fullness and heaviness in the abdomen” was accompanied by increase of the temperature (0.2-0.5oC) at the points Ren-12 (Zhongwan) and St-25 (Tianshu), but feelings of “emptiness and lightness in the abdomen” was accompanied by decrease of the temperature at the same points. Sensation of “vertigo” was accompanied by changes of the temperature at the Liver Channel points. Feeling of “changes of the weight” was accompanied by the changes of the temperature at the Spleen Channel points, etc. [12].

The correlation between the patients' sensations and changes of the temperature at the Acupoints permitted of suggestion, that the sensory reactions occurring during Microwave Resonance Therapy were the same as the phenomenon of “Arrival of Qi” known from Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Later we already had enough theoretical, experimental and clinical data to be sure, that in EHF-therapy the leading role in enhancing the treatment efficacy was played not by the MM EMR frequency but by the zone-acupoint to which the radiation was applied [13-15]. The frequency determined the peculiarity of MM EMR to be absorbed by the water-contained structures of the skin [16-17], the absorption and reflection and hence, the intensity of irritation of the stimulated zone. The end nonspecific effects of EHF-therapy were realized by means of participation of various regulator systems of macro-organism [14].

The individualization of the Acupoints in accordance with TCM and the stimulation of the “Arrival of Qi” by means of the MM EMR have resulted in “Extremely High Frequency (EHF)-Puncture”.

EHF-Puncture is needle-free, noninvasive and painless. The MM EMR is passed to skin projections of Acupoints through the dielectric wave-guide. Phenomenon of “Arrival of Qi” during EHF-Puncture has some peculiarities which reflect high therapeutic activity of this new puncture modality [18].

Arrival of Qi” during Extremely High Frequency (EHF)-Puncture

1. The functional condition of the patient.
They consider, that “for the effect of reinforcement and reduction, the functional status of the patient is the internal cause, while acupuncture manipulation is the external cause operative only through the internal cause... “. “...The effect of acupuncture manipulations depends on whether or not Qi is attained. When Qi is attained in patients with deficiency syndrome, this may be considered as the effect of reinforcing acupuncture, when Qi is attained in patients with excess syndrome, it is the effect of reducing acupuncture... “ [19].

EHF-Puncture can be applied in case of Deficiency and Excess. The modality of the EHF-influence depends on the duration of irradiation. For reinforcing effect the duration does not exceed 2-5 minutes. It is necessary to wait for the first sensory reaction appears. For sedating effect the exposure time should be 15-20-30 minutes. It is necessary to wait for the appearance of the sensory reactions, the build up of their intensity and following subsiding. In case of patient with the syndrome of Deficiency, “Arrival of Qi” appears rather quickly. It correlates with the “place of Deficiency” and is comfortable usually. But in case of Excess at the beginning of the procedure patient may have aggravation of his initial presented symptoms (because of the reinforcing effect during the beginning of the EHF-influence), which disappear later.

2. The structures involved into the reactions.
During EHF-Puncture sensations at the place of influence observed in cases, when there is local disorders mainly. Usually in the beginning of the procedure different sensations moving along the patient's legs, arms, and trunk or just along the certain channel (warm, cool, waves, creeps, etc.) appear. After that the patient experiences various sensations, which reflect the elimination of his initially presented disorders. For example, a patient with the syndrome of Spleen Deficiency has symptoms of digestive system and “heaviness in the abdomen”. After 1-2 minutes irradiation on the point Sp-2 (Dadu) he begins to feel “increasing lightness in the abdomen or in the entire body”, “rocking”, or even “flying above the couch”. Irradiation of the point B-13 (Feishu) during 1.5 - 2.0 minutes for the Deficiency of Lung makes breathing to be deeper and prolonged. Some patients experience various “visual sensory reactions” in spite of the closed eyes that could be “changes of colors”, “appearance of light” or even more complex visual images looking like dreams.

But if there are no channel disorders, from the very beginning, a patient may have “Arrival of Qi” of the Organ without “propagated sensations along the channel”.

EHF-Puncture may stimulate the “Arrival of Qi” of various structures by influence upon the one point. For example, female patient after pregnancy had obesity, irregular menstrual cycle, appearance bruises even after slight injury, dizziness and headache, but good complexion. These complaints could be diagnosed as Excess of the Blood Sea. She needed the procedure named “draining the See of Blood” and required to be influenced on exit points of the Sea, confluent points of the Extra (Curious) channels connected with this Sea and group Luo-point. In this case, we used reduction (long-time) exposure on the points: St-37 (Shangjuxu), St-39 (Xiajuxu), Sp-4 (Gongsun) and Pc-6 (Neiguan) in turn; then we applied reinforcement (short-time) exposure on the Three Hand Yin Luo-point Pc-5 (Jianshi).

Acupoint St-37 (Shangjuxu) has various functions which belong to different structures and “depth”:

  • it releases syndrome Excess on the top;
  • the low He-Sea point of the Large Intestine;
  • exit point of the Blood Sea.

In the beginning of the EHF-exposure on the St-37 (Shangjuxu) patient had “fullness and heat sensations in the chest and head”. Then “moving in the abdomen” appeared. Afterwards there was appearance and aggravation of headache and dizziness. After disappearance of all these symptoms we could be sure that the point St-37 (Shangjuxu) had reacted as an exit point of the Blood Sea.

3. Different type of Qi, involved into sensory reaction.
Chinese syndrome diagnosis provides to know the etiology of disease and the type of Qi, which is necessary to correct.

a) Diseases caused by Exogenous factors: These diseases usually have syndrome of Excess at the certain acupoints, channel or organ. During the initial influence upon the points, where the Evil Qi can be dispersed (ashi, Shu-Stream, Jing-River, He-Sea, Luo-Connecting, Yuan-Primary, Xi-Cleft, Front-Mu, etc.) patient may have aggravation of the symptoms of his disease. But they disappear later. If there are syndrome of Deficiency of Tendino-Muscular or Luo-Channel, short-time exposure upon the necessary Acupoints to stimulate Wei Qi is accompanied by comfortable sensations at the corresponding place.

b) Diseases caused by Emotional factors: Patient may have Excess or Deficiency of some Regular Channels or Organs, caused by disorders between Yin-Yang or 5-Elements related pairs. In these cases the main role to treat belongs to restore the normal condition of Ying Qi.

If there are disorders between Yin-Yang related pairs, Yuan-Primary and Luo-Connecting points are applied. Usually short-time exposure on the Yuan point of the Channel with Deficiency is accompanied by appearance of comfortable PSC and then “Arrival of Qi” of the correlated Organ. Luo-point of the Channel with Excess responses on the EHF-influence quite slowly with appearance, aggravation and disappearance of uncomfortable PSC and Organ «Arrival of Qi».

Disorders between 5-Elements related pairs can be corrected by short-time EHF-exposure on the reinforcing and Back-Shu points of the Channel-Organ with Deficiency. PSC and Organ “Arrival of Qi” is comfortable and correlates with the function of this Organ.

In spite of the fact, that both Wei Qi and Ying Qi disorders can be of Excess type and during EHF-puncture uncomfortable “Arrival of Qi” appears, intensity of these discomfort will be different.

Wei Qi disorders with Excess are conditioned by the presence of Evil Qi which is reinforced at the initial time of the procedure. So uncomfortable sensory reaction is a usual phenomenon and can be rather intensive. Excess of Ying Qi is conditioned by the own human Qi and so in spite of some aggravation of the symptoms at the beginning of the EHF-influence, there is no additional complaints and uncomfortable “Arrival of Qi” is not so intensive and long as at the first case.

c) Diseases caused by genetic reasons: Yuan Qi can not be in Excess condition. Constitutional or genetic disorders are Deficiency type usually: Deficiency of Yin or Yang, Deficiency of Sea or Deficiency of the certain Organ or Element, etc. All of these syndromes require reinforcement upon special Acupoints. It is preferable to apply higher frequencies of MM EMR and principles of Chinese chronotherapy. “Arrival of Qi” is not intensive and always is comfortable. Results of treatment appear slowly but may be rather stable. For example, a patient suffering from chronic lymphatic leukemia was treated be EHF-exposure on the “marrow Sea” points: Du-17 (Naohu) and Du-20 (Baihui). He felt that “something was coming inside his skull”. Application of special radiometer to measure the deep temperature inside the skull revealed increasing the temperature on 1.0-1.5 Co at the depth of 6 cm (the penetration depth of MM EMR into living tissue does not exceed 0.1-0.2 millimeters). Superficial temperature of the skin did not change. The clinical and hematological improvement began two weeks later.

To conclude this theme we would like to point at the main peculiarities of the phenomenon of “Arrival of Qi” during EHF-puncture:

1) EHF-Puncture can stimulate different kinds of “Arrival of Qi” phenomenon without needle manipulation. Sensory reactions may even be observed in paralyzed extremities of spinal trauma patients;

2) EHF-Puncture can stimulate different kinds of “Arrival of Qi” phenomenon of various structures during influence upon one and the same acupoint;

3) During EHF-Puncture sensory response realizes not at the place of MM EMR exposure but at the place of “Qi” disorders;

4) During EHF-Puncture only one side of the body should be influenced but sensory response observed at the both sides;

Practical application of the “Arrival of Qi” phenomenon during EHF-Puncture

1. Individualization of the regimen of EHF-Puncture (the time of EHF-exposure): for reinforcement doctor should wait for the appearance of the first sensory reactions usually comfortable, but for the reducing method specific feelings must appear, become stable and disappear;

2. To make TCM diagnosis to be more exact in accordance with the:

  • trajectory of the PSC,
  • speed of appearance and disappearance of “Arrival of Qi”,
  • nature of “Arrival of Qi”.

For example: there is a problem with joints, so there is blocking the Shao Yang level [Huandi Neijing Linshu, chapter 5, “Roots & knots”]. But sometimes it is difficult to differentiate Excess or Deficiency nature of the blocking level. If the first sensory reactions appear after short-time (1-3 minutes) of EHF-exposure upon the “knot” point of the Shao Yang level - SI-19 (Tinggong) and they have comfortable or indifferent nature: waves, moving, warm, relaxation, etc., the diagnosis is Deficiency; but if sensory reactions appear after long-time (5-10 minutes) slowly and have uncomfortable nature: pain, numbness, tension, etc., the diagnosis is Excess, and so on.

3. To study additional functions and disorders of the different structures of the point-channel system and related phenomena. For example, simultaneous application of EHF-Puncture and Acupuncture may stimulate appearance of “visual” image looking like light cone surrounding the inserted needle.

4. To value preliminary effectiveness of the generator for EHF-Puncture, etc.

In spite of the fact, that EHF-Puncture makes the first or the second steps only, we hope that intensive and extensive “Arrival of Qi” phenomenon during this new puncture modality demonstrates great perceptiveness of its development.


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15. Teppone M., Vetkin A., Kalin A., Krotenko A.: Extremely High Frequency Therapy of Duodenal Ulcer. Klinicheskaya Meditsina, 1991; 69 (10): 74-77.

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18. Teppone M., Krotenko A.: Extremely High Frequency (EHF) Puncture Therapy and Syndromes of Traditional Chinese Medicine. World J Acupuncture-Moxibustion. 1996; 6 (1): 9-16.

19. Discussion on Reinforcement and Reduction Manipulations in Acupuncture and Moxibustion. J. Trad. Chin. Med. 1992; 12 (1): 3-9.

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