Essential Guide To Acupuncture Points

earacupoint

The human body contains a lot of pressure and acupuncture points. These acupuncture points can provide pain relief and affect an individual’s health and wellbeing.

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a person’s life energy (qi, 氣) flows along fourteen meridian lines in the human body. Most acupuncture points are located along these fourteen meridians and connect with specific organs or groups of organs in the body. 

Our essential guide to acupuncture points explores:

  • What is an acupuncture point?
  • How many acupuncture points are there?
  • Where are the acupuncture points in the body?
  • What does acupuncture treat?

What Are Acupuncture Points?

With ancient origins in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture points are scientifically measurable phenomena. 

A growing body of research — including medical studies that take advantage of modern technology such as infrared imaging, LCD thermal photography, ultrasound and CT imaging — confirms the existence of cluster points in the body, corresponding to the acupuncture points of traditional Chinese medicine. According to research by Chenglin et al. (2013), these acupuncture points have a higher density of micro-vessels and contain a large amount of involuted microvascular structures compared to non-acupuncture areas of the body. 

Stimulating these acupuncture pressure points is proven to help reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, or stimulate endorphins — all of which provide natural pain relief.

How Many Acupuncture Points Are There In The Human Body?

How many acupuncture points are there? While there’s no exact agreed upon number of acupuncture points, according to the World Health Organisation, there are at least 361 acupuncture points. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body.

Acupuncture Chart

Do you have an ANTA-branded acupuncture or Chinese meridian chart available that I can include in the blog post?

What Are The Acupuncture Points?

Acupuncture Points Head

Acupuncture Points Top of Head - Baihui - One Hundred Meetings (Du-20)

Chinese Meridian: Governing Vessel

Location: At the top of the head, directly above the apex of the ears on the midline of the head.

Uses: The Baihui (GV 20) pressure point is traditionally used as a treatment for headache, vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and nasal obstruction. 

Acupuncture Points On Forehead - Yintang - Hall of Impression (M-HN-3)

Chinese Meridian: Extra Point

Location: In the centre of the forehead, at the midpoint between the two ends of the eyebrow. At the point associated with the ‘third eye’.

Uses: Applying pressure to the Hall of Impression acupuncture point can help calm stress, alleviate anxiety, agitation or insomnia, and relieve pain and headaches.  

Acupuncture Points For Eyes

Acupuncture Points for Cataracts - Jingming - Bright Eyes (Bl-1)

Chinese Meridian: Bladder

Location: 0.1 cun above the outer or inner corner of the eye, where the eye meets the nose. 

Uses: This pressure point is one of the best acupuncture points for early stage cataracts and glaucoma.

Acupuncture Points for Cataracts - Tongziliao - Pupil Crevice (Gb-1)

Chinese Meridian: Gallbladder

Location: In the hollow on the side of the eye, approximately 0.5 cun lateral to the outer canthus.

Uses: This pressure point can help with conjunctivitis, sore or dry itchy eyes, early stage cataracts, blurred vision and headaches. 

Acupuncture Points Neck

Acupuncture Points For Headache - Jianjing - Shoulder Well (Gb-21)

Chinese Meridian: Gallbladder

Location: Midway between the midline at the base of the neck and the acromion, at the highest point of the shoulder. To locate it, simply pinch your shoulder muscle at the base of the skull with your middle finger and thumb. 

Uses: The acupuncture point can help with the treatment of colds, the flu, headaches, neck pain, fever, and lowering blood pressure. 

Acupuncture Points Arm

Acupuncture Points Arm - Neiguan - Inner Pass (Pc-6)

Chinese Meridian: Pericardium

Location: 2 cun above the transverse crease of the wrist, between the tendons of palmaris longus muscle and musculus flexor carpi radialis.

Uses: This point is useful for treating heart palpitations, angina pectoris, nausea, vomiting, spasms and convulsions. 

Acupuncture Points Wrist - Shenmen - Spirit Gate (HT-7)

Chinese Meridian: Heart

Location: At the ulnar end of the transverse crease of the wrist, in the depression on the radial side of the tendon of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle. 

Uses: Stimulating this pressure point may help treat insomnia, depression, agitation, heart disease and fatigue, and relieve nausea and stomach pain.

Acupuncture Points Arm - Waiguan - Outer Pass (TE-5)

Chinese Meridian: Triple Energizer

Location: 2 cun above the transverse dorsal crease of the wrist, between the ulna and radius.

Uses: The Waiguan acupuncture point typically used to help treat migraines, cold and fever, redness and swelling of the eye, tinnitus, and numbness of the upper extremities. 

Acupuncture Points in Hand

handacupoint

Acupuncture Points For Headache - Hegu - Joining Valley (LI-4)

Chinese Meridian: Large Intestine

Location: On the dorsum of the hand, midway between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side. To locate this acupuncture point, simply trace a finger down the palm side of the thumb until you reach the wrist crease. 

Uses: Applying gentle but firm pressure to this point can help improve breathing issues and respiratory problems, reduce stress, stop headaches, fevers and inflammation, and relieve pain in the shoulders, teeth and neck. 

Acupuncture Points in Hand - Houxi - Back Stream (SI-3)

Chinese Meridian: Small Intestine

Location: The depression in front of the 5th metacarpophalangeal joint.

Uses: Applying firm pressure to this pressure point can help relieve earaches, headaches in the back of the head, and neck pain. 

Acupuncture Points Wrist - Lieque - Broken Sequence (LU-7)

Chinese Meridian: Lung

Location: Superior to the styloid process of the radius, 1.5 cun above the transverse crease of the wrist.

Uses: The Lieque pressure point is used to treat headaches, neck stiffness, coughing, asthma, sore throat and wrist conditions.

Acupuncture Points Legs

Acupuncture Points Legs - Zusanli - Leg Three Miles (St-36)

Chinese Meridian: Stomach

Location: 3 cun below the knee, one finger-breadth from the anterior crest of the tibia.

Uses: The Zusanli acupuncture point is helpful for treating digestive disorders, anemia, immune deficiency and fatigue.

Acupuncture Points Legs - Weizhong - Middle of the Crook (Bl-40)

Chinese Meridian: Bladder

Location: Midpoint of the transverse crease of the popliteal fossa.

Uses: The Weizhong pressure point is used in the treatment of back pain, hip impairment, muscular atrophy, leg pain, abdominal pain and nausea.

Acupuncture Points Ankle - Taixi - Supreme Stream (KD-3)

Chinese Meridian: Kidney

Location: Just behind the inner ankle, in the depression between the prominence of the medial malleolus and heel tendon.

Uses: The Taixi acupuncture point is used for treating a sore throat, toothache, deafness, tinnitus, dizziness, asthma, thirst, insomnia, lower back pain and menstrual irregularities.

Acupuncture Points Ankle - Sanyinjiao - Three Yin Intersection (SP-6)

Chinese Meridian: Spleen

Location: On the inner side of the leg just above the ankle, 3 cun directly above the tip of the medial malleolus, on the posterior border of the tibia.

Uses: The Sanyinjiao pressure point is useful in treating digestive disorders, hormonal disorders (such as irregular menstruation) and immune disorders.

Acupuncture Points Feet

Acupuncture Points - Feet

Pressure Point On Foot - Taichong - Supreme Rush (Liv-3)

Chinese Meridian: Liver

Location: On the dorsum of the foot, in the depression distal to the junction of the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones.

Uses: The Taichong acupuncture point is used to decrease anxiety and stress, regulate menstruation and treat menstrual cramps, reduce pain in the chest, treat eye disorders, alleviate headaches, insomnia, and reduce high blood pressure.

 References

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  • Campbell A. Review of: Bivins R. Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine. In: Acupuncture in Medicine; 2002; 20(1): 49-52.
  • Ceniceros S, Brown GR. Acupuncture: a review of its history, theories, and indications. South Med J. 1998;91(12):1121-1125.
  • Chen H, Shi H, Ng C, Chan S, Yung K, Zhang Q. Auricular acupuncture treatment for insomnia: a systematic review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 1, 2007, 13(6): 669-676. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17718650
  • Chenglin, Liu, Wang Xiaohu, Xu Hua, Liu Fang, Dang Ruishan, Zhang Dongming, Zhang Xinyi, Xie Honglan, and Xiao Tiqiao. "X-ray phase-contrast CT imaging of the acupoints based on synchrotron radiation." Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena (2013).
  • Chez RA. Acupressure and other therapies for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. In: Saltmarsh N, ed. The Physician's Guide to Alternative Medicine. Atlanta, Ga: American Health Consultants; 1999:211-214.
  • Dean CF, Mullins M, Yuen J. Acupuncture. In: Novey DW, ed. Clinician's Complete Reference to Complementary/Alternative Medicine. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2000:191-202.
  • Denmei S. Japanese Classical Acupuncture: Introduction to Meridian Therapy. [English version] Seattle, Wash: Eastland Press; 1990.
  • Ergil KV. China's traditional medicine. In: Micozzi MS, ed. Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone Inc.; 1996:185-223.
  • Fletcher J. Hand pressure points: Everything you need to know. Medical News Today, 2019. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324699.php
  • Gao D. Chinese Medicine. New York, NY: Thunder's Mouth Press;1997:191-197.
  • Kirkham D. ​​What are Acupuncture Points? The Foundation of Acupuncture and the Triggers for Healing. Acupuncturist Seattle, 2015. http://acupuncturistseattle.com/acupuncture-learning-center/acupuncture-points/
  • Micozzi MS, ed. Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone Inc.; 1996:204-213.
  • Rothfeld GS. The scientific mechanisms of acupuncture. In: Wisneski LA, ed. The Physician's Integrative Medicine Companion. Newton, Mass: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000:24-28.
  • Vickers A, Zollman C. ABC of complementary medicine: acupuncture. BMJ. 1999;319:973-976.

 

 

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