An introduction to Yamamoto New Scalp Acupunctre (YNSA)
The technique that was developed by Dr. Toshikazu Yamamoto in scalp acupuncture has been existent for over forty years now and as per my understanding, this has been a groundbreaking finding with a lot of prospects in the future. He first showcased his work back in 1973 at the Annual Ryodoraku Congress that was conducted in Tokyo and after gaining limelight there, he went on to develop more innovative techniques after extensive research and study. As a result, he was able to establish over more than 50 points.
The concept of Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture, (YNSA) developed by Dr. Toshikazu Yamamoto is different from the Chinese scalp acupuncture (SA) in which, the areas were acupuncture is done has an impact on the underlying nerves. However, the areas for different nerves vary in YNSA and it is considered as a somatic representation that depicts ear, nose, mouth or foot acupuncture. As per his technique, different areas in the hairline correspond to different areas of the body and it varies across individuals. (fig.1)
YNSA has three major classifications for points
- Kinetic apparatus are associated with basic points.
- Sensory organs and brain points have corresponding points.
- Ypsilon points have a relation to the internal organs.
The basic points are named so because they were the first points that Dr. Yamamoto discovered. Each of these points represent different parts of the human body. Although each basic point has a large scope for treatment, correctly locating these points requires practice and experience, and is essential before attempting to needle the Ypsilon points. Failing to correctly locate these points does not produce the expected result and incorrect location of these points was often the reason for discontinuing use of the method.(fig-2,3)
Although a neurometer would be helpful for correctly locating these points, the high electropermeability of the scalp's skin makes correct location difficult. With experience, Dr. Yamamoto was able to locate each point using his fingertips to palpate the scalp. The correct location of a point can be felt as an indentation or a minute protrusion, which is sensitive and/or painful when pressure is applied. In order to confirm a point's location, Dr. Yamamoto applied pressure at different locations in order to make the patient aware of the different sensation when pressure was applied at the correctly located point.
When needling a basic point, the needle is subcutaneously inserted in an anteroposterior direction until the patient experiences the sensation of a small electric shock. After insertion, the needle may have to be maneuvered or juggled a little in order to locate the exact spot and achieve the best therapeutic result.
The duration and choice of YNSA treatment depends on the severity of the case. In acute cases, only one treatment session in which a needle is placed between 5-20 minutes may be sufficient for achieving therapeutic benefit. If the problem is chronic, the number of treatment sessions will be more than one and the duration of each session could be as long as one hour in order to achieve therapeutic benefit.
Electrostimulation can also be considered in order to improve clinical outcomes but is not essential. Dr. Yamamoto proposed that electrostimulation could be possibly used for treating very long standing chronic conditions.
Dr. Yamamoto has also used a helium-neon (He-Ne) laser on YNSA point as an alternative treatment in children and very nervous patients with an acute condition.
He also reported that asthma and angina, which are two major conditions of internal organs, could be successfully treated by needling the basic E point.
Sensory Organ and Brain points
The points are named according to the organ each point represents. The manner in which each point is detected and needled is the same as that described for the basic points.The YNSA points, A-E, and the three sensory points, ear, nose, and eye, are represented on the occipital or YIN part of the scalp. These points can be needled when there is no response to treatment at the YIN position. Dr. Yamamoto has also commented that these points not customarily needled.
Although the Ypsilon points represent the inner organs and can be needled for treating these organs, these points can also be used to treat unrelated conditions and pains. Dr. Yamamoto also stressed that these points are different from the Chinese acupuncture points. To use these points, a practitioner must become familiar with the abdominal test zones Since the abdominal test zones are used for diagnosis and require the patient to get undressed, Dr. Yamamoto developed a neck diagnostic field, whose use eliminates the need for the patient to undress. He added that using this field for diagnosing is difficult because its area is small.Dr. Yamamoto has also added that he uses western methods of clinical examination and diagnosis, such as blood tests and imaging by X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI), consideration ensure proper diagnosis before needling the Ypsilon points for treating patients.In oriental medical thinking, many aches and pains in unrelated areas are caused by a disorder or an anomaly of the internal organs and are not due to disease. Put simply, every pain does not have to be associated with a disease. In such cases, the corresponding test zone will be painful and/or tense on examination. (fig-6)
According to these findings, an acupuncturist has to locate the exact Ypsilon point for needling. For example, a patient with shoulder pain will exhibit sensitivity in the test zone of the liver. Hence, the acupuncturist will have to locate and needle the Y5 point in order to relieve the pain and relax the abdominal test zone. In addition to these beneficial outcomes, other abdominal zones may become sensitive to examination, and the acupuncturist may have to needle other points in order to render a patient symptom free. (fig-7,8)
Key Points for Ensuring the Effectiveness of YNSA
-Determining the Exact Location of the Needling Points.
- Correct Needling Procedure.
Electrostimulation and laser stimulation of the points can be used to stimulate the points if required.
-Exclusivity of YNSA
While undergoing YNSA, a patient can also receive other types of treatment.
The patient has to be calm and tolerate any pain for YNSA
By using the treatment method of Dr. T. Yamamoto, a variety of treatments can be given. It can be achieved with minimal time and needles and noticeable results can be observed even in chronic cases.