Understanding Acupoints and Meridians in Chinese Medicine

The translation in English of acupuncture points is not really that accurate in the true sense of traditional Chinese medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture in Saratoga Springs is just one among many modes of treatment. It involves the insertion of filiform needles into pressure points on the body to activate the meridians (Jingluos , in Chinese) to resolve health conditions. In Chinese medicine, the pressure points are named Xuewei or Shuxue which is translated as ‘the transmitting points’.

Being the sensitive points or responsive points on the jingluos and other parts of the body, acupuncture points or acupoints, for short, are special locations in which energy is conveyed between the surface and the inner structures of the body. These points can reflect unhealthy conditions or diseases via the painful sensations felt when they are pressed or touched. Acupoints are (but not limited to) what your acupuncturist uses to treat your conditions. A body that lacks positive energy can be overwhelmed by harmful or negative energy, which can enter the body through these acupoints, resulting in illness. These points need to be stimulated or activated to mobilize and boost positive energy, which leads to Yin/Yang energy balance which then cures the illness. The three kinds of acupoints are the:

1. “Yes” points
2. Extraordinary points
3. 14-main-meridian points

The ‘Yes’ points are also known as the pain points, and they have no fixed or named locations. In relation to the disease, they are the sensitive points. They are called “yes” points due to a story in which a patient being treated by a practitioner will utter an “oh, yes” when the doctor pressed a spot inadvertently.

Acupoints known as the extraordinary points have fixed names and locations. Those locations do not lie on any specific meridian.

The spots on the conception and governor vessels as well as the 12 main meridians are the 14-main-meridian points. Each spot has a fixed location and a unique name. The 14-main-meridian points are the most important acupoints in the body.

All in all, the human body has about 360 acupoints. One can be easily intimidated by the sheer number of points to remember. However, in actuality, no one needs to memorize all these points for self-caring and self-healing purposes. We just need to remember around 20 of the most effective and widely used acupoints. But if you really need to utilize more points, you can use an acupuncture point or meridian chart for reference.

Each point possesses a meaningful and unique label, which provides certain vital information about a specific point. This may involve the location, usage, or main function of the point among others. In the United States, the Anglicized version of the Chinese name is used. If you don’t have a basic understanding of Chinese, it may be difficult to comprehend the significance of each name. It’s fairly easy, though, to remember the format of the international symbols for acupoints. It makes a lot of sense that the symbols are related to the meridians since most of the acupoints anyway belong to one specific meridian. You can take a couple of letters of that meridian that have been abbreviated and number the points from their starting point to their end point. The Xue hai acupoint, for example, in English literally translates to ‘the sea of blood.’ This point is often utilized to treat blood-related conditions. Sp10 is the English symbol of this point since it is the 10th point from the start of the spleen meridian and lies along the spleen meridian.

Locating an Acupuncture Point

Thinking an acupoint as a small precise area makes acupoints easier to find than viewing them as tiny points. Two coordinates are required to find an acupoint on a 2D plane. We use a distance and reference point to locate a sensitive point. You use your own hand to measure the distance. “Cun” is the unit of measurement used. One “cun” is equal to the width of your thumb at the mid joint. Two “cun” is the width of your three middle fingers at the mid joints. Three “cun” equals the width of your four fingers (excluding your thumb) at mid joints.

The location on the body where the acupoint is found is known as the reference point. Your ankle bone’s highest point or the tip of your nose is an example of reference points. How do you know if you have found the right point? You are on the right point when you apply pressure to that point and you feel some pain or soreness (if you feel an acute type of pain, you may have a problem in some other part of your body). There is a primary point in each main meridian. One of the most effective ways to enhance the positive energy in a meridian is by stimulating this point.

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