The intention of needling these points is to stimulate the appropriate spinal nerve. Huatuojiaji has a very special location, just next to Du Mai (Governing Vessel), and not far away from the Bladder Channel of Foot Taiyang either. Therefore, it has intimate relationships with zang-fu organs. In practice, huatuojiaji is often used to regulate and harmonise the five zang and six fu.
Personally, I prefer using Huatuojiaji not only because appropriate spinal nerves can be located and treated, but also because of another function – warming and activating Yang Qi. Du Mai is the sea of Yang; plus it is on the back, back belongs to Yang as well, so Huatuojiaji is good at assisting body’s Yang Qi.
In practice, I like using Huatuojiaji when I treat conditions that affect nerve system and manifest as Yang deficiency, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), and ME/CFS/PVFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome). Different techniques can be used on Huatuojiaji, needling, massage, moxibustion, etc. Personally I prefer moxibustion, a technique of applying burning moxa to certain acu-points or certain area. Normally if patients feel comfortable, I will give them spare moxa sticks and teach them how to apply it at home with someone’s help.