The point in the body that is inserted with an acupuncture Cleveland needle is called acupuncture point or acupoint for short. An acupoint is that spot on the body where energy is concentrated. It is a specific location since it is usually where arteries, tendons, nerves or muscles are situated. The Chinese call an acupoint “tsiue” meaning cavity because an acupoint is situated in a hole. Because the difference in the bodies of each person a system of measure was devised to measure each individual for the purpose of finding acupuncture points. The unit of measure is based on the distance of the second phalanx to the third phalanx of the thumb of the patient. The accuracy of locating an acupoint is very important because several of the acupoints have minute surface areas; a mistake in inserting the needles by just a few millimeters can cause problems in the treatment.
The ancient Chinese were meticulous and very concerned about knowing the intricacies of acupuncture even at the advent of acupuncture’s use. Their perseverance is manifested by the making of extant bronze life size statues that aided them in charting the exact location of the energy pathways called meridians and other associated points. Using these statues for training would-be acupuncturists, they envelop the statues with wax and bury water pouches in them to imitate the acupoints over the meridians. A correct needle treatment is when a student inserts a needle to an acupoint and water squirts out. Failing to elicit a water squirt means failure in locating a meridian. An acupoint stimulates the meridian, which in turn, affects yin and yang, the five elements and the organs of the body. Without the knowledge regarding acupoints, there would be no way to assist in the normalization and balance of energy in the body.
One example of how an acupuncturist diagnoses an illness would be a patient experiencing bronchitis during wintertime. The acupuncturist would examine the symptoms and based on his examination and observation diagnose the symptoms as too much yin energy causing cold in the lungs and a deficient yang (warmth). The treatment could incorporate herbal medicine to acupuncture to add heat to the body to offset the yin preponderance in the body and tone the body to boost the immune system.
The acupoints are scattered all over the body and as many as 2000 points exist. Each point corresponds to a meridian, which in turn corresponds to a particular major organ. Most acupuncture treatments are combined with herbal medicine or moxibustion treatment. These treatments including acupuncture are all part of traditional Chinese medicine.
There is no other type of treatment that can treat so many kinds of disorders than acupuncture can that is why it is used practically all over the world.