Dupuytren’s contractures more commonly affects the 3rd and 4th fingers and is more prevalent in males than females. It is also regarded as having a family history and has also been called the “Viking Disease” because men from Scandinavia have a higher incidence. The liver is also thought to play a role as those with liver cirrhosis are more prone to it. Acupuncture treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture may provide a safe alternative to surgery as it is often not very effective.
What causes Dupuytren’s contracture according to traditional Chinese medicine?
There are a number of factors involved from a Traditional Chinese medical diagnostic perspective. From an acupuncture treatment point of view, it depends on which meridians are blocked. If the contractures occur at the 4th finger then the heart and small intestine meridians are involved. Chinese medicine says that the liver plays a role in the health of the ligaments and tendons. Western medicine has also observed a connection between the liver and Dupuytren’s so acupuncturists use liver and sometimes gall bladder points to help moisten and soften tight ligaments and tendons.
What are the Sinew meridians?
In Chinese terms, there are meridians that consist of muscles, tendons and ligaments so these can also be treated to help the Dupuytren’s contractures. These sinew meridians can be treated with acupuncture points near the finger nails.
Can moxibustion help Dupuytren’s contractures?
The application of moxibustion because of the heat that is produces, is of benefit as it helps promote blood circulation to the area. Moxibustion can also help relieve pain.
Are there any classical acupuncture point prescriptions to help Dupuytren’s contractures?
The Great Compendium of Acupuncture, a book dating back to 1601 recommended acupuncture point combinations known as the yuan-luo pairing. In particular, the combination of the acupuncture points Daling and Waiguan was used treat “contracture of the palms”.
There are over 500 members of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists which is now also known as Acupuncture New Zealand.