One of the most common clinical findings during an acupuncture exam is tenderness along the hip-waist area commonly known as the girdle. Pain in the front of the girdle may point to hernia, reproductive, or digestive issues. Tenderness at the back and sides points to issues with structure, muscles, and particularly the connective tissue that binds muscle to structure. I thought I’d share something about the utility of treating the sacrum for back and side tenderness.
The hips are a complex of bones that form a kind of tower. Altogether there are five structures involved: thigh (2), “hip” (2), and sacrum. The sacrum forms the keystone of the tower, much like a keystone at the center of a classical stone arch. Onto these bones is a complex network of muscular and fascia attachments that are geometrically arrayed in a way that might be likened to a compass.
As the keystone of the body structure, the sacrum is a critical site for treating the body’s structural imbalances. Since it bears much stress from holding the body erect and serving as the fulcrum of activity, the structural core so to speak, the sacrum requires the destressing that acupuncture provides.
In the language of “dry-needling,” this stress is referred to as trigger points. In Japanese acupuncture, the very same phenomenon is called an “induration.” In standard Chinese medicine these sites are simply known as “ouchy” (a-shi) points. Whatever it is called, treating these points on the sacrum have wide-reaching effect for the body’s structure, including the hip and waist.
Conscious Acupuncture Exam
A Conscious Acupuncture examination involves a thorough diagnostic approach that combines the interview with digital meridian imaging and palpatory inspection. Palpation primarily involves detecting tenderness at sites that correspond to the function of organs and flow of blood at the juncture of important body structures, e.g., legs and arms to torso and neck. One of the most important junctures at the back is the area of the hip, where the “thigh bone” connects to the hip bone and the hip bones (illium) connects to the sacrum.
Pain on the right will often reveal tenderness at the left. This is due to the body’s intrinsic self-regulatory tendencies that compensate for compensate for imbalance in one area by putting the stress on another. As is often stated in these blogs, the site of pain is rarely the site whence the problem originates. Treating sites of compensation in addition to the origins of pain is essential to a Conscious Acupuncture approach to pain at the hip waist area. Addressing the sacrum is central to this holistic approach.
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