“The method is quick to grasp and clear – simply understand facing up or following on and you can work.”
Acupuncture Needle Angles
The above quotation describes the need to angle the needle with or away from the flow of qi when either strengthening a deficient Organ or calming an Organ that is hyper-functioning. In general, the needle is angled towards or against the flow of qi but only a few degrees away from the perpendicular. Large angles are rarely used unless the point is situated on a bone, for example Large Intestine LI 6. In this case it is necessary to use a more oblique angle in order to insert it to the required depth.
Depth Of Insertion Of Acupuncture Needles
Acupuncturists do not use extremely deep needle insertions. The depth of insertion varies according to which point is being used but 0.5 cun is common on an arm or leg. In this case a one inch long needle is most often used (approximately 2.5 cm). Half-inch needles are used for nail points when the insertion is very shallow. Needles one-and-a-half inches long are used for deeper insertions such as Ren points on the lower abdomen.
Acupuncture Needle Manipulation
A practitioner usually inserts a needle to the required depth, then gently turns it in order to make contact with the patient’s qi. As the turn is slight —180° for tonification and 360° for sedation — this requires a continuous movement and clear intention on the part of the practitioner.