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Acupuncture/Stiff Person Syndrome


Hi Michael, I have a new patient coming in/w SPS later today. Care to share any pearls? I practice Japanese Style acupuncture, no herbs. DC

Daria -

I have seen a total of two actual SPS cases with several patients who had received that diagnosis but had it turn out to be something else (usually from improperly prepared MMDA or adulterants in IV heroin; those cases generally resolved, while the two SPS cases continued to worsen.)

My general techniques are around French energetics or Japanese channel therapy.  The approach I took with the SPS patients was to use Luo points with the idea it is a surface/connecting channel issue.  Given that SPS sometimes comes on after a severe emotional disturbance (like many other autoimmune conditions) I viewed this as originating primarily as Lung and Heart disturbance with Shao Yang association.  That led to an approach using LU7, HT5, GB34 etc as primary points.  In autoimmune conditions I will typically use HT7/GB40 alone for a few minutes at the end of the primary point formula.  This seems to often have a profound effect on the emotional relationship to the disease.  (This is based a lot on Yves Requena's work with the concept of terrains.)

I hope this is of some use or interest.  Of my two patients, one stabilized for some time (a male in his 30s) and the other (female in her 50s) continued to worsen and was lost to follow-up.  I remember them well.

Mike Zanoni


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Michael M. Zanoni, MS, LAc


I am knowledgeable about severe and chronic pain from musculoskeletal or neurological conditions, especially trauma, headache, and fibromyalgia. I can provide guidance that will assist healing and recovery after illness or surgery. I have a particular interest in long-term chronic conditions that are becoming progressively worse or intermittently severe (such as viral hepatitis, Crohn's, or Takayasu syndrome.) I have extensive experience treating endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid problems, where the primary condition is being monitored by a Western-trained physician, and cancer where there are specific treatment goals other than cure (e.g., decrease of pain; reduction of side effects of radiation and chemotherapy; lessening of edema; palliative treatment of associated conditions.) I do not treat or answer questions about infertility, ALS, or senile dementia.


I have practiced Oriental medicine for over sixteen years in a variety of settings. Much of my practice has centered around a busy clinic specializing in severe long-term chronic pain conditions and palliative care. For several years I worked in a hospice program. I also established a non-profit community clinic providing care to under-served and homeless patients. My work has found me in an HIV clinic in San Francisco, a busy private practice in Oregon, to traveling on muddy 4-wheel drive roads to see dying patients. I now teach acupuncture and Oriental medicine at a school in Hawaii.

My training was at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco where I received a masterís degree in Chinese Medicine. I have current board certifications in Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbology from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I also have certifications in Chinese tui na bodywork, Physical Rehabilitation Training, and biofeedback. I am licensed to practice acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. I also have BA, MS, and PhD degrees in subjects not directly related to Oriental medicine.

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