Acupuncture points, do you know anything about them?

Acupuncture points, do you know anything about them?

When you want to have acupuncture treatment, you see an acupuncturist. Your acupuncturist will put needles into your skin. However the treatment is not just put needles anywhere in your skin. The points for needling chosen are important to achieve best treatment results. There are 365 essential acupuncture points in the body and many more. Which acupuncture points to choose and right for your? Many people heard of tongue and pulse diagnosis. Do you know acupuncture points can contribute to the diagnosis and treatment? Acupuncture point is the essential factor in acupuncture diagnosis and treatment. There are pathological changes of the corresponding acupuncture points for particular conditions. For example, Diji (SP 8) is the most important and commonly used point for the treatment of dysmenorrhea. According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), SP 8 is the Xi-cleft point of the Spleen meridian of Foot Taiyin, where the meridian qi accumulates deeply and is suitable for treating acute pain and blood disease. Primary dysmenorrhea (period pain), a medical condition of cramping pain in the lower abdomen occurring before and during menstruation, is acute pain and blood disease in TCM. Tenderness in SP8 can be detected in patients with period pain. Pain threshold at this point is significantly lower. And this point is often used to treat period pain.

Acupuncture point’s electrophysiological property

Acupuncture points are the sites where acupuncture needles are placed in the acupuncture treatments. What is the electrophysiological property in these points? Recently a research studied power spectral differences of electrophysiological signals at acupuncture points and non-acupuncture points. In this study, 10 acupoints and non-acupuncture points were chosen to see if there are electrical differences between acupoints and non-acupoints. 4 adjacent non-acupoints around each acupoint were chosen as a control group in 10 healthy subjects. The results show that acupoint electrophysiological signals have higher Power Spectral Density and power than nearby non-acupoint areas. The maximum power difference between acupoints and non-acupoint is 61.5% appeared in LI 11. From physiological view, the percentage is high enough to show the electrical specificity of acupoint, which is strong proof of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory and one of the bases for further research. As acupoint electrophysiological signals are driven by internal organs, they can reflect the health condition of internal organs effectively, and so analysis of acupoint electrophysiological signals may be a new way to diagnose organ diseases instead of with the experience of doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Which acupuncture points are frequently used in lower back pain?

There are 360 classic acupuncture points in human body according to Chinese medicine theory as mentioned above and there are more discovered. The selection of appropriate acupuncture points is the first step to obtain therapeutic effects. How acupuncturists select acupuncture points? There are three basic principles to select acupuncture points: the first is local acupoints near the area where symptoms occur; the second is distant acupoints along the meridian and the third is distant acupoints based on symptom differentiation. Lee SH et al analysed acupuncture points from 53 studies using modern techniques to extract most commonly used acupuncture points. There were 33 most frequently used acupoints for lower back pain (LBP). The most frequently used acupoints in the treatment of low-back pain were BL23 (51%), BL25 (43%), BL24 (32%), BL40 (32%), BL60 (32%), GB30 (32%), BL26 (28%), BL32 (28%), and GB34 (21%). All local acupoints for LBP are on the Bladder and the Governing vessel especially at the low back position of these meridians. Most of the distant acupoints are on the Bladder and Gallbladder meridians. The acupoints include seven acupoints (BL23, BL24, BL25, BL26, and BL32 as local points and BL40 and BL60 as distal points) on the bladder meridian and two acupoints (GB30 as a local point and GB34 as a distal point) on the gallbladder meridian.


Chen S et al (2015) Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015:158012. doi: 10.1155/2015/158012. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

Zhou Q Acupunct Electrother Res (2014) 39:169-81

Lee SH et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2013) 2013:402180

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