Information Technology to Select Effective Acupoints for Therapy
Phil Rogers Ireland
From over 55 textbooks and hundreds of clinical articles, data on acupoints used in specific conditions were assembled in a database. A summary of the database (“Acupuncture Formulas: Top Ten Points for Common Conditions”) is at [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/ad2.htm]. I will demonstrate the database in action.
To access data for the most used acupoints for treatment of a specific symptom, see the “Keyword and Fast Find Page” at [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/ff.htm]. Introductory pages are at [homepage.eircom.net /~progers/adtop.htm] and [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/ad1.htm]. Those unfamiliar with acupoint names or locations will find them at [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/pt.htm]. Acupoints for genitourinary and related conditions are covered in more depth at [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/gu1.htm].
Change is the most fundamental principle of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): nothing stays the same. Even in the same subject, causes and manifestations of disease change with time. Therefore, as great chefs avoid cookbooks, great acupuncturists avoid standardized (“Cookbook”) AP. Instead, based on their clinical findings at each session, they select and vary the acupoints used between sessions. However, well-based Cookbook AP is helpful for beginners and is effective in simple AP-responsive conditions in humans and animals. For background data, see the author's papers on AP [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/rogpubco.htm], especially those in the references at the end of this paper.
Mastery of acupuncture (AP) takes decades of study of the fundamental principles of TCM. Acutherapy is no panacea. It can work only if the correct points and procedures are used, and only if the adaptive-homeostatic mechanisms of the recipient can respond adequately. Adaptation is the key to health, happiness, and life itself. These data are given in good faith; they and the related files are for use by trained acupuncturists. In spite of our best efforts, imperfection, suffering, and death are as much everyday realities as beauty, health, and life. The Law of Change (day-night, life-death, joy-sorrow, pleasure-pain) is absolute and inflexible. Within that Law, even Masters must fail! Their loved ones (parents, children, friends) and their animals must suffer dis-ease and must die sometime. Death is the ultimate failure to adapt. C'est la vie. The author cannot guarantee the success of these prescriptions, nor be held responsible legally, morally, or in any other way, for any consequences arising from use or misuse of these data, or data in related articles.
This page [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/ad1.htm] describes the structure of the acupoints database, basic Laws of selecting effective acupoints, and how to evaluate the likelihood that points in any given output may or may not be effective. Before using the Acupoint Formulas, readers should know the details in Appendix 1 which lists the acupoint conventions (coding systems) used, and has hyperlinks to the Channel Points, Renmai (CV) Points, Dumai (GV) Points, New Points (N), Strange Points (Z), Hand Points (H) and Other Points (O). Appendix 1 also lists details of the Structure and Headings of the Point's Index, the 12 main Laws of Point Selection and advises users on considerations before making the final selection of Points.
Twelve Basic Laws of Point Selection
Successful AP therapy depends on the selection of effective points. There is wide scope for creativity in point selection; very few Masters select exactly the same combination of points in any given case, but all Masters observe one, or several, of the following “Laws”:
1. Eight Principles, Six Levels, Six Level Variant (Mirror Technique), Five Phase Theory, Points for Specific TCM Syndromes [See “Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine” (Wiseman and Feng, 1998, Paradigm Publications, Brookline, Mass, USA, 945pp)].
2. Points according to the innervation.
3. AhShi (tender) points (trigger, myalgic, fibrositic, motor, REPP points).
4. Local points or points locally on nearest Channels.
5. Distant points on Channels controlling problem area.
6. Combine local and distant points or Yin and Yang points (e.g., Yuan (Source) point of the problem part, organ or Channel and the Luo (Passage) point of its linked Channel).
7. Points “Fore and Aft”, “Above and Below”, “Left and Right”, “Circling the Dragon” (encircling the problem area).
8. Extra-Channel Points well known for their symptomatic effects.
9. Back and Abdomen combination: SHU (BL Reflex) + MU (Front Alarm) or points near the SHU and MU.
10. XI (Cleft) point of affected organ/Channel in acute diseases.
11. Scar / neural therapy to improve electrical conductivity of scars and soft tissue injury by needling, injection, laser, physiotherapy etc.
12. Tianying point—under the ulcer base, into the cyst etc. Always seek the Ahshi (tender) points, especially Trigger Points!
Final Selection of Points
Experienced acutherapists seldom work with fixed-point selections. At a given session, they treat what they see, or feel, or sense, at that time. In later sessions they may vary, or alternate, the points. Frequent overuse of a point may create scarring or reduce its efficacy for subsequent use. If you use this “Cookbook” in your selection of points, be aware of the following:
1. High point scores (ratings), with multiple authors, indicate the most commonly used (important?) points. If the first point listed has a score < 0.40, this indicates poor agreement between authors and may indicate a prescription of doubtful value.
2. The first 4–6 points in each prescription list are the most frequently cited points. Additional points may be added from those remaining, if other symptoms indicate a need for them.
3. Prescriptions with fewer than two authors, or with little variation in point scores, may be of doubtful value!
4. The most common prescription for local or organ problems is: local points + AhShi points + distant points.
5. When needling, always provoke Deqi (needle sensation). Expect poor results if poor needle sensation is reported!
6. The number of needles per session should normally be < 12 (use as few as possible).
7. Alternate prescriptions if in doubt or if result is not satisfactory after 1–2 sessions.
8. Research workers seeking “non-active” points for placebo or control groups of subjects should not use any point listed in these prescriptions. As “active” points, they should consider points in the Top Ten of each list.
Structure of the Point Index for Body Organs, Parts and Functions
The common formulas in Appendix 2 are sorted by their codings (Lesion Codes) to follow a regional sequence as follows: 01xxxx Emergencies/First Aid; 02xxxx Head, its organs/functions; 03xxxx Neck, thyroid; 04xxxx Thoracic limb; 05xxxx Thorax, its organs/functions; 06xxxx Abdomen, its organs and functions; 07xxxx Pelvic limb; 08xxxx Skin and hair; 09xxxx General, immunity
Headings of the Points Index in Appendix 2
In the headings below, entries with a star* are new data from a recent review of Acupuncture in Genitourinary and related Conditions (qq).
010100 Emergencies | 010200 First aid | 020100 Psyche and mental disorders | 020200 Addictions | 020300 Brain, its functions and parts, meninges, polio, convulsions | 020323 Memory: loss of; amnesia; forgetful | 020349 Brain, meninges | 020350 CVA, polio, paralysis, hemiplegia | 020351 Convulsions, epilepsy, tetanus, tremor | 020353 Spinal cord | 020400 Head, forehead, vertex, occiput, temple, headaches | 020433 Forehead, frontal sinuses | 020434 Vertex | 020435 Occiput | 020436 Temple | 020500 Face, cheek | 020600 Eye, eyelid, vision etc | 020700 Nose, nostril, nasal sinuses, olfaction | 020800 Throat, pharynx, larynx, tonsil, voice | 020900 Ear, hearing, Menieres disease, eustacian tube, mastoid etc | 021000 Lip, oral muscles | 021014 Mouth | 021100 Tooth, gum | 021124 Tooth, upper | 021125 Tooth, lower | 021200 Tongue, speech | 021222 Saliva, salivary glands etc | 021300 Maxilla | 021313 Chin | 021315 Mandible | 021316 Temporomandibular joint, masseter | 021317 Maxilla, mandible | 030000 Neck and cervical spine | 030129 Thyroid, parathyroid | 040000 Thoracic limb, its organs and functions | 040200 Shoulder, scapula, clavicle | 040300 Axilla | 040400 Arm, humerus | 040500 Elbow | 040600 Forearm, radius, ulna | 040700 Wrist, carpus | 040800 Hand, palm | 040900 Finger | 050000 Thorax and back, its organs and functions | 050001 Thorax, chest, ribs, sternum | 050002 Thoracic spine, back area | 050200 Heart, pericardium | 050228 Circulation, blood pressure | 050229 Arteries, veins, arteriosclerosis, ischaemia | 050300 Oedema, fluid retention, ascites | 050400 Blood, body defences, haemorrhage, thymus etc | 050500 Respiratory system (trachea, bronchi, lung, cough, etc | 050541 Pleura | 050543 Trachea | 050544 Bronchi, lung, pneumonia, asthma | 050545 Cough general | 050600 Oesophagus | 050700 Diaphragm | 060000 Abdomen and back, its organs and functions | 060000* Abdominal Disorders* | 060141 Abdomen upper, epigastric, hypochondriac area | 060142 Abdomen middle, periumbilical area | 060143 Abdomen lower | 060200 Dorsolumbar/ thoracolumbar spine and area | 060228 Coccygeal area | 060231 Lowback (lumbosacral, renal, sacroiliac, lumbar, sacral) | 060231* Lowback, lumbar, sacral and pelvic area disorders* | 060232 Waist, flank area | 060300 Liver (inflammation, calculi, jaundice, acetonaemia etc) | 060323 Gallbladder, bileducts (inflammation, calculi, obstruction) | 060400 Spleen | 060410 Pancreas, diabetes mellitus, hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia | 060500 Gastrointestinal tract | 060503 Indigestion, inappetance, nausea, vomiting | 060542 Pain, colic, spasm in abdomen or its organs, peritonitis | 060543 Diarrhoea, dysentery, constipation | 060600 Stomach and duodenum | 060700 Small intestine, appendix, caecum, colon, rectum | 060752 Anus, tenesmus, prolapse, piles | 060753 Inguinal area, groin | 060754 Perineum | 060754* Perineum* | 060755 Male and female external genitalia and pubic area | 060800 Urogenital (general conditions) | 060900 Urinary tract and functions | 060900a* Urinary disorders* | 060900b* Urinary incontinence, or retention* | 061000 Genitalia female and reproduction | 061000a* gynaecology, obstetrics, mammology* | 061000b* Female infertility, functional sterility* | 061000c* ovary and PID* | 061000d* uterus and cervix* | 061000e* clitoris, vagina and vulva* | 061000f* Amenorrhoea, oligoamenorrhoea and delayed menarche* | 061000g* Anovulation* | 061000h* Leucorrhoea, leukorrhagia, gonorrhoea* | 061100 Pregnancy: conditions of | 061101 Pregnancy: forbidden/abortion points; may induce miscarriage | 061125 Parturition | 061125a* before, during and after parturition or abortion* | 061126 Postpartum conditions | 061200 Mammary female | 061200a* Mastopathy, mammary disorders, milk disorders* | 061300 Menstrual cycle, contraception | 061300*a Menstruation* | 061300*b Dysmenorrhoea and menorrhalgia* | 061316 Menopause: general points for flushes and menopausal problems | 061316* menopause and climacteric* | 061400 Reproduction male (impotence, spermatorrhoea etc ) | 061400a* Andropathies* | 061400b* Male infertility, spermatopathy, abnormalities of sperm count or quality* | 061500 Genitalia male | 061500c* Testicle* | 061500d* Ejaculation* | 061500e* Prostate* | 061500f* Penis, urethra, sex drive, male impotence, erectile dysfunction* | 070000 Pelvic limb, its organs and functions | 070200 Buttock | 070239 Hip | 070240 Thigh, femur | 070300 Knee, popliteal | 070315 Patella | 070400 Leg, calf | 070417 Tibia, fibula | 070429 Achilles area, heel | 070500 Ankle, tarsus | 070503 Tarsal-metatarsal | 070600 Metatarsal, foot | 070608 Toe | 080000 Skin | 080124 Hair, skin: alopecia; baldness; hairloss; oppilation | 090100 Fevers | 090101 Chills | 090200 Sweating problems | 090300 Infections: malaria, TB, cholera, typhoid, typhus, herpes, etc | 090400 Immunity | 090410 Tonic effects | 090419 Gangrene, ischaemia of extremities | 090420 Lymphadenopathy | 090421 Allergy [lungs, skin, gut, vasomotor etc—all sources] | 090421a Allergy and allergic shock—all sources [see above; add from here in nose, head and gut problems] | 090500 Bones, joints (general) | 090600 Muscle, tendon, soft tissues (general) | 090700 Analgesia, pain control (general) |
This page [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/ad2.htm] contains the Acupoint Formulas. It gives the “Top Ten Points” for major body functions, organs and parts. The format of each formula has 12 columns:
The values in the columns above are:
The Keyword and Fast Find Page at [homepage.eircom.net/~progers/ff.htm] allows users to view the Keyword List and select a word (organ, body part, lesion or symptom) from it, or to Fast Find a Formula using the first letter of the search word of interest to access that part of the Keyword List. The Database is Copyright but colleagues are welcome to use the data in clinical practice. The author is in discussion with a developer of TCM Software to upgrade the package to include modern graphics, client files, accounts management, and basic information on TCM.
Having seen a demonstration of how to search the database, colleagues may be interested to access the data live on the WWW for use in their clinical practices. These data are useful for beginners and as a means of self-testing one's knowledge of acupoint selection for many common conditions in humans. They can be used successfully in animals by the transposition method (Rogers 2001).
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