Introduction to Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA)

Introduction to Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA)

To live in harmony with yin and yang means life: to act contrary to them means death.1

Aspire to the principle, behave with virtue, abide by benevolence and immerse yourself in the arts.” – Chinese Proverb

What is YNSA. A complete acupuncture microsystem of the scalp utilizing Basic (anatomical) and Ypsilon (channel) points to affect the human body through the bioelectric and biochemical systems, enabling the patient to move toward balance and harmony, which is health.

History of YNSA. Discovered by Toshikatsu Yamamoto, MD, PhD, Miyazaki, Japan, in 1973 and currently practiced in Japan, Europe, North America, Brazil, and Australia.

YNSA success. Thousands of patients have received pain relief and restored health utilizing YNSA for such infirmities as stroke, herniated discs, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches, to name a few.

While treating patients in his hospital and clinic, Toshikatsu Yamamoto, MD, PhD, of Miyazaki, Japan, discovered and developed a new system of scalp acupuncture, Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA). He first presented this system of scalp acupuncture at Ryodoraku Congress in Osaka, Japan, in 1973. Dr. Yamamoto then developed the YNSA system of neck and abdominal diagnostic procedures coupled with scalp, chest, and pubis microacupuncture treatment. He did this while caring for patients with acute and chronic neurological conditions at Yamamoto Hospital in Nichinan, Japan.


YNSA is a microsystem of acupuncture. Dr. Ralph Alan Dale of Miami, Florida, introduced the term microacupuncture at the 1974 Third World Symposium on Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Dr. Dale defined microacupuncture as the expression of the entire body’s qi in each major anatomical region.2 Microacupuncture systems have been identified by Dale on the ear, foot, hand, scalp, face, nose, iris, teeth, tongue, wrist, abdomen, back, and every long bone of the body. Each region is a functional microcosm of the traditional energies of the whole body. Every part of the body contains the representation of an energetic microorganism through microacupoints and microchannels that reiterate the topology of the body.3

The Microsystems

An acupuncture microsystem is defined as a single part of the human body that, when accessed, can directly influence the entire body’s qi, blood, and moisture—from the organ to the cellular level—resulting in changes of physiology and symptomatology.4 Every microsystem manifests neurological reflexes connected to parts of the body that are remote from the anatomical location of that particular microsystem. These reflexes can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. They can be activated by acupuncture needles, massage, moxibustion, heat, electrical stimulation, and magnets. Locations of distant tender points are not random but are related to the neurological reflex pattern that is centrally mediated. The microsystem reflex map of the body represents the anatomical arrangement of the whole body. Somatotope means representative body area or map. The somatotope of YNSA is oriented in an upright pattern and its representation is ipsilateral, which means same side; that is, if the right shoulder hurts, the YNSA acupoint will be most likely on the right side of the scalp. Furthermore, there are bidirectional connections in the microsystem point when pathology is in a specific organ or body part, which is indicated by changes in the skin conductivity; thus, stimulating that microsystem point can produce changes in the corresponding parts of the body. Cutaneous stimulation triggers nervous system messages to the spinal cord and brain, activating bioenergetic changes, biochemical exchanges, and alterations in the electrical firing of neuronal reflexes.

All microacupuncture systems interact with the macroacupuncture systems; the 12 regular, paired channels, the two single midline channels, and the eight extraordinary vessels. Therefore, the treatment of one system will produce changes in the body’s functional patterns as diagnosed by other systems. Treatment of the overall macrosystem affects the functioning of the microsystems.3 The bioelectrical and biochemical effects of placing a needle on the scalp will be discussed in Chapter 2. One of the current theories of how this microsystem of acupuncture may work is explained in the Fractal Field Model of the structure of the organism, which will be explained later in Chapter 2.4 YNSA is a somatotopic representative microsystem. The entire body is anatomically and functionally represented on the scalp in an upright manner (Fig. 11).

YNSA utilizes two types of needling categories: (1) Basic, which correspond with anatomical locations and (2) Ypsilon, which correspond to the 12 paired acupuncture channels. The Basic points correspond to the axial and appendicular neuromusculoskeletal structures. The Ypsilon points are representative of the 12 channels of body acupuncture. The 12 channels are shown in Table 11.

To determine the necessity for these Ypsilon points, Dr. Yamamoto developed a specialized palpatory neck diagnostic procedure called YNSA neck diagnosis, which will be discussed in Chapter 5.

Figure 1–1 Yin/yang somatotope.

To date, YNSA’s greatest use is in the treatment of pain and neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction and disease. Clinically, YNSA is amenable to both hospital and outpatient settings. Starting with the patient’s history and presenting complaint(s), adding a standard medical physical examination combined with the YNSA neck diagnosis procedure, a skilled practitioner is provided with all the information needed to render a YNSA diagnosis and deliver a high quality YNSA treatment. Utilizing YNSA neck diagnosis to determine which Basic and Ypsilon points need treatment, one is able to be very specific and effective in achieving a balance of qi, blood, and moisture, thereby harmonizing the body’s bioelectric system with just a few needles.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture is the body acupuncture system consisting of over 365 acupuncture points (acupoints) strung together in 14 meridians or channels. TCM is the macrosystem of acupuncture. It is classical, channel-based acupuncture, where all acupoints are defined by a channel and correlate with specific acupoint functions, effects, and spirit; some of these functions include entry/exit, luo connection, xi cleft, and yuan source. The YNSA microsystem honors and recognizes the important functions, effects, and spirit of the TCM channels and their points. YNSA Ypsilon points encapsulate all those points’ actions within the TCM channel into just one acupoint on the scalp. There are many macroacupuncture or TCM acupoints on the scalp, including the gall bladder (GB), bladder (BL), triple burner (TB), governing vessel (DU), and stomach (ST). With rare exceptions, YNSA points are not the same acupoints at all. This YNSA system is not a macro or body acupuncture system.

Table 1–1 The 12 channels
Organ Point Channel Standard Abbreviation

Lung LU
Large intestine LI
Stomach ST
Spleen SP
Heart HT
Small intestine SI
Urinary bladder BL
Kidney KI
Pericardium PC
Triple burner TB
Gall bladder GB
Liver LR


YNSA is an acupuncture microsystem that is different, yet similar, in some aspects from the other well-known microsystems: Chinese and French Auricular, Korean Hand, and Chinese Scalp Acupuncture. The Chinese and French Auricular systems are limited to the ear for diagnosis and treatment. The Chinese and French auricular systems are derived from TCM. “The theoretical origins of auricular therapy derive in the first instance from classical descriptions of the pathways of the channels (meridians). Of the twelve primary channels (meridians), the six yang channels skirt portions of the ear either directly or through a branch channel and the six yin channels have no direct connections, but are nevertheless indirectly linked through their inner and outer relationships with the yang channel.”5 “More than 200 acupuncture sites were charted on the auricle by Chinese medical workers.”3 Auricular points are named for their corresponding anatomical part, or effect3; these range from purely anatomical to functional to psychological states of being.2 With the use of a device measuring electrical resistance on the auricle of the ear, research in Europe, America, and Asia has found the auricle to be diagnostic and therapeutic in treating a variety of diseases.3

Auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture) has both functional and anatomical points. It also has acupoints that relate to the progression of illness in the four phases, which, when identified during the corresponding phase of health (or illness), are amenable to effective treatment. Auricular diagnosis often uses an acupoint finder and treatment with electrical stimulation of the point. The late Paul Nogier, MD, of France, discovered and developed the three somatotopic phases of illness progression in ear acupuncture as described in his 1981 book, De L’Auriculotherapie a L’Auriculomedicine, which was translated in 1983 to From Auriculotherapy to Auriculomedicine. This work discusses the three phases, which he defines as ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm; he later added the fourth phase, neuromusculoskeletal, on the back of the pinna which largely relates to the neuromusculoskeletal system.6 These four phases are related to, and correspond to, the progression of disease within the human body.

Auricular acupuncture is often done using an electronic detection device that can be both diagnostic and therapeutic. Using Dr. Nogier’s phases and an electrical device, one is able to follow the progression of reflective changes in the disease state as it goes from affecting the superficial to internal organ, and from internal organ to deeply affecting the patient’s mind and finally the spirit. Like Nogier’s auricular acupuncture, YNSA has four phases of treatment.

   Phase 1 Ectoderm treated in Yin of YIN for Superficial (acute) illness/dysfunction

   Phase 2 Mesoderm treated in Yang of YIN for Organ dysfunction/disease

   Phase 3 Endoderm treated in Yin of YANG for Mind/cognate dysfunction/disease

   Phase 4 Neuromusculoskeletal treated in Yang of YANG for Spirit and severe disease

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Jan 7, 2017 | Posted by in PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION | Comments Off on Introduction to Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA)
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