Figure 2. Side view of the vertebral column on a cadaver specimen, deep view. Skin and erector spinae tissue has been removed. 1.5-inch needle is inserted through the supraspinous ligament and into the interspinous ligament (IP). The finger is indicating
For an increased needle stimulation, needling the Du Mai tissues level with the vertebral fixation is another powerful technique to add to the point prescription.
When needling the tissues of the Du Mai, the needle depth is very important. More times than not, when needling into the interspinous ligament and applying needle technique, the qi sensation is propagated either up or down the spinal column and Du Mai trajectory.
When needling the Du Mai point, the needle will pass through subcutaneous tissue, the superficial fascia, into the supraspinous ligament and then deeper into the interspinous ligament (Fig. 2). Average needle depth for an adult thoracic spine is 0.75-1.15 inches.
The supraspinous and interspinous ligaments are innervated by the dorsal rami and are rich with proprioceptive nerve endings, which compliments the point prescription discussed previously.
This point prescription is up to the discretion of the practitioner and is to be combined with other body points to become a comprehensive treatment protocol.
In addition, when the spinal level associated with affected organ back-shu points is fixated (locked facets joints of 2-3 vertebral segments that decrease vertebral motion), this could directly affect the neural signal and communication to the organ.
I continue to be impressed by the combination of Yin-Yang Therapy point combination and using the simple manual method of mobilizing the thoracic vertebrae, for middle jiao organ patterns. Check out this video for a mobilization of T8-T9 vertebrae: