Important Note Regarding Acupuncture and Acupressure Points:
- The location of the acupuncture points described in the figure and in textbooks should be considered as rough guides. Experienced acupuncturists will determine the exact location of the acupoints at the time of needle insertion using techniques such as acupuncture/acupressure point palpitation.
- While selection of acupuncture meridians/channels and acupuncture points are an important element of effective treatment, there are other equally or more important factors that greatly influence the treatment outcome. Those are intensity (including depth of needle insertion and method of stimulation) and duration of the acupuncture stimulation. Both traditional theory and scientific research show that stimulating exactly the same acupoint can elicit entirely different responses at two different times. In other words, effective acupuncture treatment does not solely depend on the selection of acupuncture points or channels, but equally or more so depends on how these acupuncture points are stimulated by using acupuncture, moxibustion, or acumoxa techniques.
Posted by TH Tanaka, Nov 23, 2013
Various acupuncture points have been used to treat anxiety disorders and symptoms induced by emotional stress.
Anxiety Points Located on Upper Back
According to the Nanjing, an ancient acupuncture text, the region between the scapulas is considered to be associated with emotions. Thus, the muscles in this area are commonly tightened, among individuals with chronic anxiety disorders as well as people who have been under chronic emotional stress.
From a neuro-anatomical perspective, the area is also closely related to stress and anxiety conditions. Thoracic spinal nerves (T2-T4) innervate to the heart as well as the muscles and skin of the intra-scapula region. Prolonged hyper excitation of the cardiac sympathetic nerve irritates the muscles and skin in this area via the physiological mechanism called visceral-somato reflex.
Other Anxiety Acupuncture Points
- Palmer side of forearms (acupuncture points along Pericardium Channel)
- Medial (inner) side of lower legs (acupuncture points along Liver Channel)
- Abdominal acupuncture points around navel
- Acupuncture points near upper cervical region (parasympathetic stimulation)
- Acupuncture points near sacrum region (parasympathetic stimulation, especially used for emotional issues related to female hormones such as PMS and PMDD)
- Many other points have been used for anxiety related symptoms beside the above mentioned points. Experienced acupuncturists select different acupuncture points based on each patient’s presented signs and symptoms.
- Experimental studies have demonstrated that physiological responses to a single acupuncture point can vary greatly, depending on the stimulation methods used. In other words, simply inserting an acupuncture needle into the above mentioned “anti-anxiety point” does not necessary create a relaxation response. One of the common physiological responses associated with relaxation is decreased heart rate which results via sympathetic beta suppression, parasympathetic activation, or both. When the point is inadequately stimulated, the heart rate could be increased via sympathetic activation, parasympathetic suppression or both as shown by some previous studies in acupuncture.
Acupuncture Point for Breech Version
Usually, moxibustion is used to stimulate BL67 acupuncture point.
BL67 (Zhiyin) Acupuncture Point Location:
On the little toe, lateral to the distal phalanx, 0.1 f-cun proximal to the lateral corner of the toenail; at the intersection of the vertical line of the lateral side of the nail and the horizontal line of the base of the toenail.
Acupuncture Point Used to Relieve Nausea and Vomiting
Stimulation of a PC6 acupuncture acupressure point has been traditionally used to relieve nausea.
A Cochrane systematic review of 40 clinical trials in 2009 by Lee et al. concluded that the use of P6 acupoint stimulation can reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting after surgery, with minimal side effects. The risks of postoperative nausea and vomiting were similar after P6 acupoint stimulation and antiemetic drugs.
Lee A, Fan LT, Stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15;(2):CD003281
PC6 (Neiguan) Acupuncture (acupressure) Point Location:
On the anterior aspect of the forearm,between the tendons of the palmaris longus and the flexor carpi radialis, 2 B-cun proximal to the palmar wrist crease.
Sinus Acupuncture Points
Acupuncture points for sinusitis, sinus infection, sinus congestion, sinus pain and headache
Traditionally, a variety of acupuncture/acupressure points have been utilized for sinus problems. Commonly used acupoints for sinus problems are not only located around frontal, ethmoid, maxillary sinuses on the face, but also on arms, legs, neck, back and abdomen.
Acupuncture points are selected based on many factors including clinical history and severity of condition, as well as patient’s presented constitutional patterns according to traditional acupuncture assessments.
On the head, 1 B-cun superior to the anterior hairline, on the anterior median line.
On the face, in the nasolabial sulcus, at the same level as the midpoint of lateral border of the ala of the nose.
On the face, in the infraorbital foramen.
On the head, in the depression at the medial end of the eyebrow.
Acupuncture Points Used for Shoulder Pain and Injuries
Acupuncture Points Used for Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
LI15: Jianyu 肩髃 ：On the shoulder girdle, in the depression between the anterior end of ateral border of the acromion and the greater tubercle of the humerus.
LI16: Jugu 巨骨 : On the shoulder girdle, in the depression between the acromial end of he clavicle and the spine of the scapula.
SI9: Jianzhen 肩貞: On the shoulder girdle, posteroinferior to the shoulder joint, 1 B-cun uperior to the posterior axillary fold.
SI10: Naoshu 臑兪: On the shoulder girdle, superior to the posterior axillary fold, in the depression inferior to the spine of the scapula.
SI11: Tianzong 天宗: In the scapular region, in the depression between the upper one third and lower two thirds of the line connecting the midpoint of the spine of the scapula with the inferior angle of the scapula.
SI12: Bingfeng 秉風: In the scapular region, in the supraspinatous fossa, superior to the midpoint of the spine of the scapula.
Acupuncture Points Used for Migraine Headaches
Various acupuncture points are used to treat migraine sufferers by acupuncture. While most acupuncture textbooks simply indicate “acupuncture points for migraine”, it is important to remember that underlying physiological status of migraine is different during the actual migraine episode and between the migraine attacks. Thus, different treatment protocols should be used depending on the patient’s migraine status. This is the same approach as in modern conventional medicine in which medications with different biological actions are typically prescribed for controlling the actual migraine pain and for migraine prophylaxis. For more information regarding migraine and acupuncture treatment in general, click here.
- Points used for migraine can vary from patient to patient depending on each individuals unique constitutional patterns.
- Some points may not be advisable to be used during actual migraine episodes.
There are many other important acupuncture points for migraine in other parts of the body including arms, legs, abdomen and lumbarsacral regions (mainly used for female hormone triggered migraine).
Acupuncture Points for Appetite Control and Weight Loss
Auricular Acupuncture Points
Ear acupuncture points are commonly used as a part of weight management acupuncture treatment program. The ear acupuncture points, such as Shen Men, Hunger, and Stomach points, as shown on the image below, can be helpful to suppress appetite and control certain cravings. Those and other ear points are also used during smoking cessation, drug abuse, alcohol addiction, and other detoxification therapy programs.
There are more than 200 points in the ear. It is important to find the most responsive points. The use of an electrodermal response device is recommended in order to locate the exact location of the point.
Abdominal Acupuncture Points
In some comprehensive weight control and body shaping programs, acupuncture points on abdomen and other parts of the body are also used to improve digestion, assist liver function, encourage urinary flow, and address hormonal imbalances.
Ear Acupuncture is an Effective Way to Naturally Suppress the Appetite
There are two brain areas closely connected to our eating habits. The first area, which is called the feeding center (lateral hypothalamus), is responsible for the feeling of hunger. The other area is called the satiety center (hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus) and is responsible for the feeling of fullness.