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Dave Shipsey Interview

Dave Shipsey is a Registered Acupuncturist, Author and Teacher. He discovered Abdominal Acupuncture in 2000 whilst on a one year clinical and medical Acupuncture internship in Nanjing, China, under the supervision of Dr Han. In October 2015 he published the book “Mastering the Art of Abdominal Acupuncture, a Concise Guide to Treating Numerous Painful Conditions”. This peer reviewed book is the first of its kind to be published in English. Today, Dave travels around the world to teach his own Abdominal Acupuncture training courses.

Q: Dave it is our pleasure to host your workshop in Amsterdam in November. Can you please tell us how you got interested in Abdominal Acupuncture in the first place?

DS: I was lucky enough to work as an intern with Dr. Yan Han in Nanjing in 2000 as part of my acupuncture training. Dr. Han, was one of Professor Bo’s students and she used it a lot in the hospital. Her patients really liked it and the results she was getting were rapid and effective, I was spell bound after observing patients pain disappear shortly after the abdominal treatment started. I asked her to teach a weekend class and after that I was committed to this wonderful system and recognised that this was going to be my niche! I have been using abdominal as my main system ever since!

Q: Abdominal Acupuncture is another very efficient microsystem. What advantages do you reckon this system has over other microsystems?

DS: Unlike many other micro-systems abdominal acupuncture has access to all the regular and extra ordinary meridians. It utilises many energetically powerful points and is in the vicinity of all of the Zang Fu organs. The abdomen is our second brain and so I think abdominal acupuncture also has the benefit of being able to have a profound effect on the whole body through a number of ways, by means of the interactions with the hormones found in the intestines such as Dopamine and Serotonin which have a huge regulatory function for the whole body.

Q: Every microsystem appears to be particularly effective in treating certain disorders. What is it for Abdominal Acupuncture?

DS: I find the abdominal acupuncture tends to be really effective for all kinds of painful conditions. It has the ability to treat a number of problems at the same time, for instance people suffering with multiple pain sites such as with arthritis or fibromyalgia. Because of the the energetics of the area, abdominal acupuncture can also effectively treat the root of the problem.

Q: What are the mechanisms behind AA in Chinese medicine terms? And from a more western/scientific point of view?

DS: From a TCM perspective we are using points in the area of the Dantian or the “field of Elixir” which includes many energetically powerful acupuncture points. As I said earlier we are also able to directly access the prenatal Qi of the extra ordinary meridians. Abdominal acupuncture can also access numerous Front Mu and influential points, indirectly the abdomen and can also access Back Shu points through the Biao Li / internal and external connection. The abdominal area can also access all of the Zang Fu organs and the triple burner, thus giving multi facetted benefits.

From a more western perspective the navel is where all embryogenesis originates from and so at one stage cells that went on to become your shoulder or your hip were once located in the area that we use in abdominal acupuncture treatments. And recognising that the abdomen is our second brain with 90% of serotonin (the happy hormone) and dopamine here, this potentially gives abdominal acupuncture a huge amount of power at regulating the homeostasis of the body. 70% of our immune system is in this area and the mucosal (APUD) cells of the intestines produce a powerful opiate like pain killer.

Q: What does a typical AA treatment look like? How deep do you needle? How long do you leave he needles in? How long until patients see results?

DS: And abdominal acupuncture treatment can be quite simple the only area that needs to be exposed is just between Ren12 (Zhongwan) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan), depending on what you were treating the number of needles can range from one, to 20 plus! the depth of the needles is usually between 0.1- 1 cun or a little deeper. Most most of the needles are not felt. Occasionally one or two points might sting! In the course of the 18 years that I have been using abdominal acupuncture I could count on one hand the number of people that did not like it. Needles are usually left in position for 20 to 30 minutes. Patients will often see results within the first five minutes of starting treatment, the benefits of the treatment can last for a number of days or even weeks. Sometimes the benefits are not noticed until the next day.

Q: Are your patients not afraid of getting needled on the abdomen?

DS: Sometimes patients are little bit sensitive about exposing their abdomen but I have a very simple and easy way of putting their mind at ease (I will show you this when I get to Amsterdam!), I have only had a small number of people insist I use another method rather than the abdomen.

Q: The reason why we got interested in AA is because a previous attendant of your course told us that he had a female patient with amenorrhea for years. One AA treatment and she had her period. What is your experience with gynecological issues such as amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, PCOS, endometriosis, infertility, etc.? 

DS: Because of the energetics of the abdominal area and the connection with all of the extra ordinary meridians, especially the Ren Mai, the Chong Mai etc and the location of the reproductive organs the ability of abdominal acupuncture to utilise the prenatal Qi it can be very effective at resolving many gynaecological problems.

Q: Last question: what does it take to become a Master at Abdominal Acupuncture?

DS: It takes a little bit of time some knowledge particularly of the anatomical areas, practice at locating and utilising ahshi points and probably most importantly Learning the subtleties of the needle technique and depth’s with abdominal acupuncture. The more that you use abdominal acupuncture and test your results the faster you will acquire the skills necessary to become a master. All of these aspects of abdominal acupuncture will be covered in the seminar this is why I try and include as much practical skills as possible in my courses.

Mastering the Art of Abdominal Acupuncture, Amsterdam

Abdominal Acupuncture is particularly effective for muscular skeletal problems such as back aches, sciatica, disc prolapse, neck pain, frozen shoulder, R.S.I  tendonitis & rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Want to master the Art of Abdominal Acupuncture? Join us for a 2 day intensive training about the “Art of Mastering Abdominal Acupuncture” on November 17th – 18th 2018 in Amsterdam. Sign up today, only limited spots available!