Last December, I spent one week with Dr. Yoshito Mukaino (1947-) at his Sports Science Laboratory on the campus of Fukuoka University to learn his M-Test (Meridian Test) . I did not know anything about this test until I heard about it from Denmei Shudo Sensei last November. Shudo Sensei told me, “I do not practice it personally, but it is quite an interesting new method.” I was interested in learning it and called Dr. Mukaino asking him if he could teach me his method within one week. He answered yes. So, I visited him.
Dr. Mukaino says, “The M-Test (Meridian Test) is an easy and quick method to find the meridian that needs treatment. I developed it for acupuncturists who have just graduated from school and started to practice. It is easy to learn and always accurate. You can say goodbye to your guessing work in your diagnosis.”
Dr. Mukaino is a medical doctor and a professor of Sports Science at Fukuoka University.
As his father and brother are acupuncturists, he was always interested in acupuncture. When he was a medical intern, he did a research about the weight loss effect of auricular needling. He proved it was effective scientifically and his result became the talk of the town throughout Japan. (I will promise to write about his recipe for successful weight loss using auricular needling next time!)
The effectiveness of the M-Test (Meridian Test) has been proven through its use in hundreds of clinical cases. Diagnosis and treatment using this method has gradually spread throughout the sports world in Japan, Canada and Europe, especially in Germany.
I hope this method will help you in the actual battle field.
Theoretical Foundation of M-Test (Meridian Test)
As a professor of Sports Science, Dr. Mukaino found that the distribution of meridians is closely related to body movement and when there is abnormality in a meridian, movement of our body is restricted somewhere along this meridian. Also, Dr. Mukaino claims that “any symptom that appears along with an abnormality of the body, accompanies some abnormality in movement of the body. We observe clinically that the loss of smooth movement of the body is not limited to disorders of the organs of locomotion, but also many disorders of internal organs.”
He believes that restriction of movement is an important sign in finding the abnormalities in the meridians.
1) Meridians and Movement of Extremities
Dr. Mukaino found two groups of meridians among the Exteriorly-Interiorly related meridians when he observed the movement of the upper and lower extremities.
- Group A :
- Paired meridians that bear a similar load from a single body movement. These are called Adjoind Meridians.
- Group B :
- Paired meridians that bear an opposed load by a single body movement. These are called Opposed Meridians.
For instance, when the wrist joint is flexed towards the ulnar side (Illustration 1), the radius side is extended and Interiorly-Exteriorly related Lung and Large Intestine meridians bear the extension load. These meridians are Adjoind Meridians. When the palm is flexed (Illustration 2), San Jiao meridian bears the extension load, and when the palm is superextended (Illustration 3), Pericardium meridian bears the extension load. These meridians are Opposed Meridians.
2) Meridians and Movement of the Torso
In the torso, Kidney and Bladder meridians oppose each other and Gallbladder and Liver meridians adjoin each other. Spleen and Stomach meridians cross over each other at the lower abdomen, but they keep their adjoining relationship.
- Group A) Adjoined Meridians:
- Spleen meridian and Stomach meridian,
- Liver meridian and Gallbladder meridian
- Group B) Opposed Meridians:
- Kidney meridian and Bladder meridian
Here again, the meridians that belong to Group A) bear a similar load and Group B) bear opposite loadfrom a single body movement.
3) Movement of the Torso and Extraordinary Meridians
There are three Extraordinary meridians that are related to body movement. Ren and Du meridians are the axes of the anterior and posterior body. Ren meridian is related to all movements that extend Lung, Large Intestine, Spleen and Stomach meridians. Du meridian is related to all the extension movements of Heart, Small Intestine, Kidney and Bladder meridians. Dai meridian is the transverse axis of the body. Dai meridian is related to all extension movements of Pericardium, San Jiao, Liver, and Gallbladder meridians.
4) Four Types of Abnormal Reactions
According to Dr. Mukaino’s observation, the restriction of movement due to abnormality in the meridian accompanies four types of expressions: pain, stretched feeling, dullness and malaise (abnormal sensation).
A) Pain and stretched feeling are attributed to Excess (Shi) of Yang meridians. In addition, these are two Yin meridians can exhibit Excess symptoms (pain and stretched feeling). They are Pericardium meridian and Liver meridian. The Excess symptom of Yin meridians suggests Blood Stasis (Xue Yu; Oketsu).
B) Dullness and malaise are attributed to Deficiency:
- Dullness and malaise in the anterior-posterior parts of the four extremities are Yin Deficiency.
- Dullness and malaise in the posterior torso (neck, back and waist) are Yang Deficiency.
- Dullness and malaise in the anterior torso are Qi Deficiency.
M-Test (Meridian Test)
The principle of Dr. Mukaino’s M-Test (Meridian Test) is very simple. Let the patient stretch the meridians by putting on a light load, and ask if the patient feels any pain, stretched feeling, dullness or malaise. For example, if a patient feels pain when she flexes her neck backward (Illustration 4), the affected meridian(s) could be either Large Intestine, Stomach, or Ren meridian.
Flexing the neck backward stretches these meridians, and if the location of the pain is in the posterior neck (for instance on Bladder meridian), then these meridians (one, two or all or them depending on the case) are causing the pain due to the movement.
It is important to remember that the stretched meridian decides the affected meridian, not the location of any abnormal reactions. Abnormal reactions can appear on any part of the body along the affected meridian when an affected meridian is stretched.
In this example, you can narrow down the affected meridian from these three meridians to one, by either adding a further test or palpating each meridian to find any abnormal point, for instance an Ashi point, an induration or a dented point.
Flexing the neck backward and the pain appears in the center of the posterior neck, Ren meridian is attributed, because this meridian is stretched. If the pain appears right side of the posterior neck, Large Intestine meridian of the right hand and the right side Stomach meridian in the abdomen should be palpated. If you find any abnormality (Ashi points, indurations or dented points), you treat these points with needles or press tacks.
Application of M-Test (Meridian Test)
M-Test (Meridian Test) can be applied to find the affected meridian in cases of shoulder pain, lumbar pain and so forth. Also, Dr. Mukaino claims that it finds all Zang-Fu organ problems, too.
If a patient suffers from pain in his right side neck, and this pain appears when the patient flexes his neck laterally, stretching the right side of his neck, then this pain is caused by affected San Jiao meridian. You will find reactive points when you palpate the patient’s San Jiao meridian on the right arm (same side as the pain). These points should be treated.
If a patient suffers lumbar pain, and this pain appears in the left flank when the patient flexes the body laterally to the right, stretching his left flank, then this lumbar pain is caused by affected Gallbladder meridian. You will find reactive points when you palpate the patient’s Gallbladder meridian in the left leg and foot. These points should be treated.
Believe it or not, it works! Please try it, simply stretching the meridian which yoususpect. If the meridian shows any abnormality (pain, stretched feeling, dullness or malaise), this meridian is affected. This finding allows you to decide the meridian you have to treat. Palpate this meridian and find any change like tender spots, induration or a dent. These changes indicate to you that these points should be treated by needling.
If you train yourself to do the procedure of testing all 14 meridians, you can check for abnormalities of all the meridians within 10 to 15 minutes. This procedure of testing all 14 meridians is designed by Dr. Mukaino to be like a short stretching exercise.
If you have any difficulty when you try the M-Test (Meridian Test), Dr. Mukaino will help you by
I can also help you, when you need a help in English: E-mail: Najomk@aol.com