May 11, 2022

The Sa’am Acupuncture Method

Sa’am acupuncture is unique among acupuncture practices for many reasons. Its minimal use of needles is perhaps the most strikingly unique feature for the patient who has had other forms of acupuncture treatment. Saam treats the body’s core imbalances with a 4-needle technique. Jeffrey Russell at Abacus Chinese Medicine is a practitioner.Louisville acupuncture

The Saam method originated in 17th century Korea, reportedly by a wandering Buddhist monk for whom the method is named. Saam has been widely received as a superior and creative practice in Korea and other countries. It spread for example from Korea to Japan and to China, impacting their medical traditions as a result. (1)

The Archetypal Organs in Saam Acupuncture

A significant focus in Saam is on the East Asian medical view of bodily organs. It conceptualizes their normal physiology, as well as the nature of pathology, in archetypal terms. The archetypal characteristics are said to lie upon a continuum between polar opposites. For example, an archetypal expression can be described as somewhere on the continuum between one pole of overactivity to the other of deficiency. The goal of treatment with Saam acupuncture is to establish a balance away from either extreme. Because of this intensive focus on the archetypal organs, Saam has been called an “organ centered consciousness”. (2)

Using the archetypes, the clinician gains information about overall physical health, present symptoms, aspects of personality, and diagnostics within traditional Chinese medicine correspondences. Needle placement is generally concerned with transporting energy into areas of deficiency that need to be strengthened.

Saam and Neurophysiology

Among its many benefits, a particularly powerful function of Saam acupuncture is its intervention in the neurophysiology of the patient. “Saam acupuncture… has the advantage of increasing parasympathetic nerve activation and adjusting the balance of the autonomic nervous system”. (3)  “Given its individualized and practical characteristics, (the method) is expected to make significant contributions to the understanding and the treatment of neurological disorders through basic research and clinical trials. (4)

1. Jung, Y; Lee, D; Ahn, S. A Research for Tradition and Identity of Saam Acupuncture Method. Korean Journal of Acupuncture. 2012; 29: 537-553.

2. Evan Mahoney Saam Medical Meditation: Transcendental Acupuncture Experience, Organ Centered Consciousness (Saam Acupuncture and Medical Meditation Book 1)

3. Park, M; Kim, S. A Modern Clinical Approach of the Traditional Korean Saam Acupuncture. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine.2015.

4. Yin, C; Park, H; Chae, Y. Korean acupuncture: the individualized and practical acupuncture. A Journal of Progress in Neurosurgery, Neurology and Neurosciences. Volume 29: 10-15. 2007.


If you would like to book an acupuncture appointment with Jeffrey, contact us at:

(502) 299-8900. Text is always received and answered more promptly.



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