What are the Most Common Acupuncture Points?

Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years. It is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice that punctures the skin with needles at certain anatomical locations. Known as acupuncture points, these specific locations are found along meridians, which are energy pathways through the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points in the body.  So, which acupuncture points are targeted most often? It depends on the condition you need to treat.

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Acupuncture Points and Corresponding Health Conditions

Specific points in the body are frequently correlated with common health disorders and conditions. Here are just some of the points used to treat anxiety, depression, pain, digestive issues, and menstrual cramps. 

Anxiety and Depression

Individuals suffering from anxiety and depression will often find that their acupuncture therapist will commonly target these acupuncture points.

  • EXHN3 (Yintang)
    This point is located between the eyebrows.
  • HT7 (Shenmen)
    This point is in the crease of your wrist.
  • GV20 (Baihui)
    This point is located on the top of the head.
  • LI4 (Hegu)
    This point is located between your index finger and the base of the thumb.

Digestive Conditions

People who struggle with bloating, acid reflux, indigestion, constipation, and stomach pain may have the following acupuncture points treated by their therapist.

  • ST36 (Zusanli)
    This point is located beneath the kneecap toward the outer edge of the leg.
  • SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
    This point is located roughly three inches above the inner ankle bone.
  • CV6 (Qihai)
    This point is located about 1.5” below the belly button.
  • CV12 (Zhongwan)
    This point is located about 4” above the belly button.
  • BL21 (Weishu)
    This point is located about 1.5” on either side of the spine, approximately 6” from the small of the back.

Pain

Because pain can affect any area of the body, the points treated will vary. Acupuncture is used to treat myriad types of pain including arthritis, headaches, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and pain in the back, neck, leg, knees, and cancer pain. Here are some of the common points treated for a variety of types of pain.

  • LI4 (Hegu)
    This point is located between the base of the thumb and the index finger.
  • GB20 (Fengchi)
    This point is located on the base of the skull where it connects to your neck. 
  • PC6 (Neiguan)
    This point is located above the wrist on the inner arm.
  • LU7 (Lieque)
    This point is located on the inner arm above the wrist
  • SI13 (Houxi)
    This point is located below the pinky finger on the side of the hand.
  • K13 (Taixi)
    This point is located behind your inner ankle. 
  • BL40 (Weizhong)
    This point is located on the back of the knee.
  • LV3 (Taichong)
    This point is located on the top of your foot between the big toe and the second toe.

Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual pain affects most women at some point. If you schedule acupuncture therapy for menstrual cramps, your therapist is likely to treat the following points. 

  • LR3 (Taichong)
    This point is located near the middle of the foot between the bones of the first and second toes.
  • SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
    This point is located roughly three inches above the inner ankle bone.
  • SP9 (Yin Ling Quan)
    This point is located on the inner calf below the knee.
  • SP8 (Di Ji)
    This point is located a few inches from SP9 on the inner calf.
  • LR9 (Lin Bao)
    This point is located on the inner thigh several inches above the knee. 

Acupuncture is a Non-Pharmacological Treatment for Health Conditions

Studies have shown time and again that acupuncture can be used to reduce or alleviate symptoms of wide-ranging health conditions. As a non-pharmacological approach to reducing pain from headaches, migraine, arthritis, cancer, sciatic, sports injuries, and menstrual cramps, pregnancy, acupuncture has helped millions to enjoy a better quality of life. Before scheduling acupuncture treatment, confirm that the practitioner is licensed and experienced.

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