Acupuncture Body Points - An Explanation

This article provides a brief explanation of acupuncture body points.

Acupoints or trigger points employed in effective treatment might not always be located at the same area of the body as the symptom. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) works on selecting acupoints based on their effectiveness on the Meridian System in providing relief from symptoms and balancing the yin, yang, and qi.

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A note about Acupuncture Body Points - An Explanation

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. Taking these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of certain holistic remedies.

The main twelve meridians in the human body are along the arms and legs. The twelve meridians are as follows: lungs, pericardium, heart, stomach, large Intestine, spleen, small intestine, urinary bladder, gall bladder, liver, kidneys, and triple warmer. Most of these meridians are representative of their physiological function and not their anatomical structure and this is the reason some meridians have no corresponding anatomical structure.

Meridians are further classified into yin and yang groups.

  • The yin meridians of the arms are lungs, heart, and pericardium. The yang meridians of the arms are both the large and small intestines, and the triple warmer.

  • The yin meridians of the leg are spleen, kidneys, and liver. The yang meridians of the legs are stomach, bladder, and gall bladder.
  • Acupuncure body points, or human body trigger points, are located by employing a measuring system called cun, which is regulated according to its distance from different key palpable anatomical body points.

    The World Health Organization has recognized close to 400 basic acupoints based on the meridians in the human body. While some acupuncture body points are hardly used, some are considered extremely significant therapeutically and are employed often to treat a wide number of ailments.

    Acupuncture body points or acupoints are generally located by palpation and on confirmation of tenderness in these areas. Another way of locating acupoints is by examining the warmth, or temperature of the skin in this area, and also by the texture of skin in these areas.

    These acupuncture body points or acupoints are known by their conventional names, or by the name of the meridian along which they are located, followed by a numerical value to represent the order on which the point is located on that particular meridian. An acupoint on the hand could be called Hegu, and represented as LI 4, which translates to fourth point on the large intestine meridian. Here LI represents Large Intestine.

    The main acupuncture body points or point system associated with different physiological body functions based on organ systems contained in the TCM structure can be described as follows:

    Five Transporting System - explaining acupuncture body points

    In this point system, the flow of energy or vital force referred to as qi flows through various channels like water in the river. According to this system, trigger points are located on the path of the energy flow. Here qi is explained as bubbling from spring, which slowly increases in depth and breadth just like a river that arises from a point and flows down the mountain. The five transporting systems are as stated below:

    Jing-well Point System:
    This system describes the energy points as Jing-well points to be located at the point where the energy or qi arises or bubbles up. Jing-well points are mostly the primary or beginning points on the yang poles or they could be the final or end points of the yin poles, with a few exceptions, all these points are located at the tips of one's extremities like the tips of fingers and toes. Nan Jing and Nei Jing explained that the jing-well points are responsible for the fullness below the heart or in the epigastric and hypochondrium areas and are concerned with diseases of the yang organs.

    Ying-spring Point System:
    These acupuncture body points are described as points where the qi "slides" or "glides" down the route / channel. The ying-spring points are responsible for maintaining the heat in the body and alternations in complexion.

    Shu-stream Point System:
    These acupuncture body points are described as points where the qi points "surge" or "pour" down the route / channel. These shu-stream points represent the weight in the body and are responsible for aches and pains in the joints and other related disease conditions.

    Jing-river Point System:
    The points in this system are located where the qi "flows" or "moves" down the channel or route. The jing-river points are representative of cough and dyspnea, fever and shivers, marked by change in voice, and other conditions of the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones.

    He-sea Point System:
    Here the points are located where the energy or qi gathers and starts going deeper into the human body. The he-sea points are representative of energy flow in the opposite direction and conditions like diarrhea and other ailments resulting from irregular or erratic diet and drinking habits.

    Five Phase Point System

    This system associates each of the five transporting systems with one of the five elements of nature, namely wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

  • According to the five phase point system, on the yin poles or channels, the jing-well points are associated with wood. The ying-spring points are associated with fire, shu-stream points are associated with earth, jing-river points are connected with metal, and he-sea points are water points.

  • Similarly on the yang poles or channels, the jing-well points are related to metal, ying-spring are associated with water, shu-stream to wood, jing-river to fire and he-sea points are associated with earth.

    Thus, the five transporting points are correlated with the five phase point system in order to arrive at the acupuncture treatment plan for various diseases.

    Apart from the above-indicated systems, the following points represent various problems:

    Xi-cleft Points
    These are key points on the channel or pole where the energy and blood collect and push down and deeper into the human body. These acupuncture body points are representative of acute or sudden painful conditions and problems.

    Yuan-source Points:
    The yuan-source points on the channel are points where yuan qi is accessible.

    Luo-connecting Points:
    These points are present on the channel or route where the luo meridian deviates. Each of the twelve meridians as described above has a luo point that diverges from the main meridian.

    Back-shu Points:
    These are present on the paraspinal muscles located on either side of the spine. Acupuncture theory indicates that the qi or energy of all organs are transported to and from these points and could be influenced by them.

    Front-mu Points:
    These points are situated near the relevant organs. These points affect the organs they represent directly and not the associated route or channel.

    Hui-meeting Points:
    These set of points are said to have certain profound effects on particular tissues and organs. Some popular hui-meeting points are, blood, bones, and bone marrow.

    Thus, based on the effectiveness of the points in relation to their location on the meridian, in releasing blocked energy, acupuncture treatments evolve various treatment plans to help heal various disease conditions.

    This article would have given you an overall idea of acupuncture body points. For more information, do read the other related acupuncture articles.

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