Before I proceed any further, let me make it absolutely clear that I am not promoting acupuncture treatment as a remedy for the sorts of ailments that I am using as examples. However, an understanding of the whole system and its ramifications, and how, in a way, it parallels the distribution of the blood, will help me to develop my proposition. If the flow of blood to any organ or part of the body is inhibited and reduced from its natural level, inevitably disease will result. Regarding the acupuncture system as electrical circuitry carrying minute currents, there are many ways in which the 'resistance' of a circuit can be increased, imbalance caused, and disease created. Remembering that I am an electrical engineer used to dealing with the minute currents that one had to measure in a variety of nuclear installations, certain reactions will be obvious to me that may escape others.

Let me give some actual examples that may serve to illustrate one of the points that I am trying to make. I was helped in the development of my thinking through an encounter with someone who practiced the electrical form of acupuncture. Diane used electrical measurements to detect imbalances between the various meridians. At the time that I met her, I had been pondering on the reason why so many women who developed breast cancer did so in the left breast. I had been going for some time to assist at one of the centres that offered the 'Gentle Approach' to cancer, and of those who came for my therapy I only met one whose initial cancer was in the right breast. My original thoughts focussed on the wedding ring, for this reason: if an electrical conductor is surrounded by another conductor, then the current in the former will be reduced. Thus, I thought, the wedding ring might inhibit the normal flow in a meridian that has the peculiar name of the 'Triple Heater' meridian, that begins on the ring finger and which is very closely associated with the endocrine system. Might this be the culprit? With Diane's help we first took measurements on a finger, and then repeated them with a ring in place, and found what I had expected - the measurement taken with the ring in place was lowered. The same results were obtained using close fitting metal bracelets, such as expanding wristwatch straps.

I soon had a real demonstration with a woman who had a right breast cancer. As I applied my therapy I pondered 'why?', and then had a potent response. Having comparatively little time with each person, I had devised a strategy that involved touching certain acupuncture points in sequence - sequences that usually concluded with points on the circulation meridians that are found on the wrist. My touching them actively stimulated the circulation and resulted in a feeling of well-being and warmth being felt by the individual. Pulling the sleeves back to locate the points, I found on her right wrist two tight gold chains that "I never take off". The chains had been in place since her teens and she was now in her fifties and they were tight to her wrists, though not so tight that they interfered with the circulation of the blood. Finding my points, which were above the level of the chains, I sat touching both arms for about five minutes. Her final comments as she left me were that she felt a lovely 'glow' throughout herself - except for her right hand, which was stone cold. I tried to develop the ideas that I was formulating through discussion with a variety of people, but apart from a passing interest, active support was zero, and one soon gets tired at pushing at 'closed door' minds.

I first became aware of the possibility of a connection between 'acupuncture' and mental health in relation to Alzheimer's disease. I had never actually thought about the condition until I saw on television a film called "Do You Remember Love?" It was a sympathetic depiction of the development of dementia in a middle-aged American woman university lecturer. At the time I could only name two individuals who had died from Alzheimer's. One was the film star Rita Heyworth, and the other was someone from the village in which I had formerly lived. Apart from being female, they had one important feature in common - they had both been dancers. The local woman had been a ballet dancer and had continued with dancing as she taught many young aspirants in our district. The thought that came to me on seeing the film and thinking about the two women, was that damage to the feet of a dancer is likely to occur frequently. This would be particularly so in someone who regularly dances on points, and bearing in mind that for many girls the urge to become a dancer develops early, when dedicated practice can soon distort feet that are still being formed. And so, unlikely though it may seem, I am proposing a link between damage to the feet and damage to the brain.

I shall include diagrams of the feet in the final section in which I shall give other references. It will be a short section and so easy to print and refer to while reading this discussion. The meridians are named for the organs of the body, but are not specific to those organs when treating ailments. Those involved on the feet are: Spleen, Sp; Liver, Liv; Stomach, S; Kidneys, K; Gall, G; Bladder, Bl. I have listed only those points that are relevant to my argument, and would point out that while some of the conditions listed are not specific in the terms used in Western medicine, the descriptions are appropriate to my proposition.

Liver (Liv) 1 Unconsciousness, fainting, 'appearance as though dead', headaches.

Liv 2 Headache, head dizzy, insomnia, angry easily, hysteria, madness, insanity, epilepsy, fits, convulsions in children, neurasthenia.

Spleen (Sp) 1 Madness, little children cantankerous.

Sp 2 Agitated, melancholic.

Sp 3 Mad, agitated, melancholic.

Stomach (S) 40 Throat numb, cannot speak, madness, 'sees ghosts', laughs madly.

S 41 Vertigo, madness, fits, convulsions in children, incoherent speech, frightened, agitated.

S 42 'Wants to undress in public', wanders around aimlessly, 'every month madness'.

S 44 Melancholic, fear and trembling, nightmares, 'dislikes the human voice'.

S 45 Fainting, cerebral anaemia, 'like a corpse', deviation of mouth, dementia, insomnia, neuropathy.

Kidney (K) 1 Fainting with cold limbs, prone to fear, madness, epilepsy, alarm in children, paralysis, pain in head and nape of neck, eyes dizzy, vertigo, hypertensive ecephalopathy. (The position of K1 is on the plantar surface of the foot, almost below and two centimetres proximal to Liv 2).

Point A is on the second toe, adjacent to Liv 2; it is not a classical point but has been added by more recent research. One could use it to treat 'articular degeneration of the atlas/axis joint'.

Other vulnerable locations are at the ankles where one might encounter either physical damage or the commonly observed 'going over' at the ankle. Acupuncture points that could become activated in these circumstances, together with relevant maladies are:

Bl 62 Madness, epilepsy, dizziness, occipital neuralgia, tension headaches, spastic conditions of the uterus.
The symptoms of many diseases of the spinal cord can be helped, though not cured, in the early stages of the disease, by this point.

G 39 Cerebral haemorrhage, hands and feet uncoordinated, throat numb, chorea, neurasthenia, madness, fear, bad temper. (Specialised point for bone marrow, leucocytosis).

In 1997 I responded to a broadcast on BBC radio 4 in which the discussion centred on the high proportion of professional footballers who were contracting and dying from Alzheimer's disease. The natural conclusion of the programme contributors was that it was heading the ball that probably caused the onset of dementia. My own assessment, based on the arguments above, was that equally with heading the ball, foot, ankle and shin damage are the most likely injuries sustained by footballers. Nervous depression, insanity, 'suddenly becomes mad' are just three relevant conditions that could be treated from points on the lower leg. I also pointed out that of the inmates of a ward for demented women where I used to visit a friend, very few were likely to have headed footballs. A patient in Lancaster Moor Hospital, my friend had chosen to be placed in this particular ward because she found it to be quieter than the one that normally housed women with her range of problems. Of the women in the ward, one stood out in the context of my argument. About sixty years old, she walked around incessantly in stocking feet, revealing the most distorted bunions that one could possibly see. The big toe on each foot crossed the others virtually at right angles - Liv 2, K 1 and Point A being the three most likely to sustain damage.

Visiting someone else in my local hospital, someone who was a patient in the geriatric ward, I overheard the nurse who was issuing medication say to one woman, who appeared to be marginally demented, that if she took her medication 'the voices would go away'. Did the dementia result from hearing the voices, or did the voices manifest as the mind became disturbed? Somewhat 'chicken and egg' it would seem.



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