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I was treating a 50-year-old woman for multiple problems. She had stagnation of Qi and Blood, as well as deficiency of the Liver, Kidney and Spleen. One symptom that bothered her was tinnitus of the left ear. After a number of treatments the tinnitus was improving, but I wanted to open up the circulation of qi to her head by treating the Stomach meridian. I palpated ST 9, which is located over the carotid artery, next to the Adam’s apple. On the left side of her neck, the artery was swollen-looking and purple in color – it looked much different from the right side of her neck. I tried needling ST 9 on the left side. Later, the patient told me that the next day, the ST 9 area was even more swollen than before, but there was no pain. By the day after that, the swelling had disappeared and her ear was completely free of tinnitus. When I looked at her neck, the left side now looked even better than the right side.


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