Acupuncture is an alternative medical science, which involves the use of needles, in healing disorders. It is amongst the oldest treatment techniques used in history, dating back to the 2nd century. The true science behind acupuncture, is that certain areas of the body are sensitive to stimulation. Such areas are called meridians. Acupuncture points are locations all over the body, at which insertion of needles will start the healing process.
Think of the body as a crossroad, of various roads and channels, whose traffic is energy. Energy flows throughout the body, on various paths, to help the body function normally. But if any path is hindered or blocked, then the energy flow is blocked and that area falls sick. So using needles to free up the blockage, that path can be freed and restore the flow of energy. But you can't just poke needles anywhere on your body, and expect to get cured. And it doesn't work that fast, or for everyone. An acupuncture points chart is used, to map out the meridians and points linked to a condition. While there are at least 400 points present, take a look at some common acupuncture points, which help in a number of ailments.
Well-Known Acupuncture Points
☯ He Gu (L14)
- Western name : Union Valley
- Large intestine meridian point
- Located on the back of the hand, in the fleshy area between the thumb and the first finger
- A key acupuncture point used for pain relief in all parts of the body. It also treats constipation, head and chest colds and urges energy flow through the upper body.
☯ Lie Que (LU7)
- Western name : Broken Sequence
- Lung meridian point
- Located on the arm, inside area just above the wrist
- This point is a very strategic location to address a variety of disorders, in the upper body. Asthma, sore throat, headaches, cough are some illness. It helps in relieving neck stiffness and wrist issues.
☯ Tai Yuan (LU9)
- Western name : Great Abyss
- Lung meridian point
- Located on the wrist, inner side. The point is at the wrist crease, on the radial side of the radial artery
- One of the 8 influential points in the body. It eases wrist and arm pain. It is the meeting point for the lungs and large intestine meridians, so both areas can be stimulated from this point.
☯ San Yin Jiao (SP6)
- Western name : Three Yin Crossing
- Spleen meridian point
- Located on the inner region of the leg, just above the ankle
- Three meridians intersect at this point, the spleen, kidney and liver. So it becomes a common point for curing disorders in these 3 meridians. It helps with immune system disorders and hormonal problems like irregular menstruation and impotence.
☯ Zu San Li (ST36)
- Western name : Leg Three Li
- Stomach meridian point
- Located on the front of the leg, immediately below the knee
- One of the most common acupuncture points used. Very effective in illness or disorders in the abdominal region, like nausea, vomiting, swollen abdomen and digestive disorders. Recently, this point has proved helpful with anemia, weakness and fatigue and immunity issues.
☯ Feng Chi (GB20)
- Western name : Wind Pool
- Gallbladder meridian point
- Located at the back of the skull, where the neck meets the skull
- Very powerful point, helps with headaches and neck pains. Useful for head area problems, like dizziness, eye issues and colds and flu. This point can also be used for blood pressure related issues.
☯ Shen Men (HT7)
- Western name : Spirit Gate
- Heart meridian point
- Found on the outer side of the wrist, near the crease
- For emotional problems and mental disorders, this is the point. Helps with hysteria, depression and agitation. It can treat insomnia and disturbing dreams. This point is also important for heart problems, like palpitations and chest pain.
☯ Tai Chong (LV3)
- Western name : Great Surge
- Liver meridian point
- Found on the dorsum or top of the foot, parallel to the space between the first and second toes
- This point helps with emotional energy and control. It helps with regular menstruation, eye disorders and reduction of blood pressure and chest pains. It helps in the passage of wind and easing headaches.
☯ Tai Xi (KD3)
- Western name : Great Ravine
- Kidney meridian points
- Located on the ankle, inner region
- This point is effective in diverse areas. It helps with asthma, sore throats and toothaches along with dizziness, deafness and thirst, in the upper body. In the lower regions, it treats lower back pain, frequent urination and hormonal issues, like impotence and menstrual irregularities.
☯ Wei Zhong (UB40)
- Western name : Bend Middle
- Urinary bladder meridian point
- Found at the back of the knee, in the depressed area
- Helps with increasing urine quantity and easing lower and higher back pain. It is a useful point for leg region muscle issues, like pain and immobility and atrophy.
While the thought of having needles poked into you, in multiple parts of the body is very frightening, the actual procedure is really painless and in fact soothing. The needles are smaller and solid, as compared to standard injection-use needles. You should be cautious, in choosing an acupuncturist. As you can see from the above acupuncture points, thorough medical knowledge and experience is necessary. A licensed and qualified acupuncturist will know what point to use and when, and use correct and clean equipment as well.
While acupuncture is a medical science, without chemical medicines, it has its limitations. For chronic illnesses or emergencies, this is not the treatment to undergo. Acupuncture is useful, when other forms of treatment, like surgery or therapy have failed. For example, if you have insomnia, but do not want to take sleep-inducing drugs, try acupuncture.