Tung Style Acupuncture • Susan Johnson • Qi150

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There are many ways to do acupuncture. Each method gives you a glimpse into the workings of the body, each one gives you a different map of the terrain. And each method allows us to understand and problem solve with a different set of both mental and physical tools.

Susan Johnson studied with Miriam Lee, who was instrumental not just in bringing Tung Style acupuncture into our western world, but helping to get acupuncture going here in the first place. In this conversation we discuss not just the points and what they do, but more importantly a way of thinking about acupuncture so that you are utilizing the healing resources of your patient without squandering or dispersing them.

Listen into this conversation that starts with Tung acupuncture, but goes into how we think about the work we do, and the kind of spirit that we bring to it.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Susan’s background studying under Dr. Mirium Lee and Tung’s Points
  • Using Tung’s points and opposites 
  • Bleeding, it is not what you might think
  • How can traditional acupuncturists take and use Tung’s points and way of thinking
  • Putting people back in touch with what’s within them their “superpower”
  • Walkthrough of Susan’s process
  • Practice never gets boring and loving acupuncture 
  • Quieting yourself enough to listen to your patients
  • It takes time and experience really become educated as a Chinese medicine doctor
  • Sometimes you can’t fix everybody/not everybody is meant to be your patient

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Once you have studied, the academics and then Tung’s Acupuncture, the most important advise i could give any practitioner, is to silence your mind when sitting across from your patient, and listen for what it is you need to know to provide the best possible outcome. Most humans are constantly broadcasting what it is that they really need and want, what is missing in their lives. Allow them to pierce your open heart and mind, and you will know exactly what to do.

I suppose, as in any profession, there are outstanding acupuncturists and there are mediocre ones. I have committed my life to providing every tool i can think of to teach Master Tung’s Magic Points, an extraordinary ancient Taoist system of acupuncture, that will pretty much guarantee that you will have an outstanding practice and a bursting toolbox to treat just about anything that comes your way, with TCM. With 34 years of clinical practice and a brand new 565 page book, called, “Master Tung’s Magic Points: A Definitive Clinical Guide,” you’ll have enough to keep you busy for the next ten years, easily, and to build a very successful practice for yourself and your patients who need YOU.

My original teacher of this style of acupuncture was Dr. Miriam Lee, OMD., one of the first licensed acupuncturists in the state of California. In 1987, she and i travelled to HeFei, China, to study bleeding techniques with a third generation bleeder, the late Dr. Wang Xiu Zhen. It was life-changing, for sure. That same year, Dr. Lee introduced me to Dr. Young Wei-Chieh, who was a direct disciple of Master Tung Ching Chang, and who has been my primary teacher of this system, ever since. Dr. Young is still teaching and writing but has now closed his practice in Southern California.

Straight out of ACTCM, 1984, in San Francisco, i opened my first acupuncture practice in the Upper Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco, in 1985. I specialized in the treatment of HIV/AIDS (at that time) and taught myself how to treat all kinds of common ailments and rare opportunistic diseases, things like Candida, Pneumocystis pneumonia, the side-effects of radiation and chemotherapy, Karposi’s Sarcoma, ITP, just to name a few. It was eye-opening for a young 25 year old and heart breaking to work so hard and watch 25 year olds die. I truly learned some extraordinary things, working on all of the AIDS wards in all of the major hospitals in San Francisco, but perhaps the most impactful was that when you die is not nearly as important as how you live!!!

In 1988, after nearly five years of intense stress and mind-blowing results with Traditional Chinese Medicine, i moved my practice to Santa Cruz, where I’d been living in the mountains, since 1979, and have practiced there ever since. Many of my HIV patients travelled to see me there, and some are still alive today.


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Links and Resources

Visit Susan's website for books, DVDs, online and live class offerings.


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Leave a comment on Qiological's Facebook page.

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Medicine Unfolds in Relationship



The power of resonance, exploring Tung style acupuncture • Henry McCann • Qi014

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Tung style acupuncture is known for its curious collection of points that can be a challenge to the mind for those of us that learned to think about acupuncture strictly from a channel or function perspective.

The methods handed down from Master Tung invite us to think about the resonance between points, structures, locations and tissue. It encourages us to consider not just the Spleen channel, but why its helpful to think of it as the leg tai yin as well. As well as why the shoulder is like the hip, and overlapping areas of influence can make for a more potent acupuncture treatment.

Listen in as we discuss the power of resonance, how unlearning is part of learning something new, and why you don't have to understand everything from the beginning, but it's helpful if you keep pushing yourself to find the threads that connect.

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Show Highlights
3:25    How Henry got interested in Tung style acupuncture
7:44    What we need to unlearn so as to make room to learn something new
10:31   A little riff on Ran Gu, Kidney 2
12:32   The importance of resonance
15:12   When to use which taiqi resonance
22:16   Different “systems” of acupuncture are really just ways of prioritizing and privileging information so as to adjust the qi in a particular part of the body
29:40   What it means when someone says a point is “empirical”
32:00   Further considerations on taiji resonance
38:43   Riffing on Linggu
51:07   Treating the Kidney from the wrist
59:43   Closing remarks

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“While on the path of medicine, the choice of medicinals is not difficult. What is difficult is recognizing the pattern. But, it really is not difficult recognizing the pattern. What really is difficult is differentiating Yin and Yang.” -Zheng Qinan

The guest of this show 

During summer vacation after my first year at Oberlin where I was pursuing degrees in music and in Japanese history, a friend and I took a day trip out to Pennsylvania to attend a martial arts seminar that promised to teach us the true secrets of the masters. It turned out to be an acupuncture point striking seminar and while interesting, it wasn’t until the end that it would change my life. The last event of the day was an advanced demonstration for which I was volunteered by my friend. In short, the teacher knocked me out using a very light touch strike on two points (I won’t say which they were!). In one second I went from a skeptic to a believer. I knew, in my body, that everything I had read about acupuncture, channels, and Qi was very deep and very real.

I finished Oberlin and then lived in Okinawa as a Fulbright scholar, and while there continued my training in martial arts. That entire experience led me to enroll at the New England School of Acupuncture where I started my formal training in Chinese medicine, followed some years later by my doctoral degree from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Today I live in New Jersey with my wife and son, and when I’m not teaching Chinese medicine I see patients in my private clinic. I have a passion for early Chinese medical classics, and trying to bring their teachings into modern clinical practice. I also have a passion for practicing Chen Taijiquan and Qigong, which I teach in northern New Jersey not far from my clinic.

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Links and Resources

Visit Henry's online course offerings and his informative blog at
Henry's clinic website also has blog worth reading.
Henry also has a website dedicated to his qi gong and tai chi offerings.


Join the discussion!
Leave a comment on Qiological's Facebook page.

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