Acupuncture Points: Where They Are and What They Do
With a current rise in alternative medicine therapies, acupuncture has grown to be a popular supplemental option to help treat pain and improve overall wellness. This well-known traditional Chinese medicine is often used to alleviate a variety of pain associated with conditions such as headaches, fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, dental pain and more. Acupuncture has also been known for its help in treating specific health conditions. Today, we’ll delve into the various acupuncture points that exist on the body and how these specific locations are said to help treat certain areas and illnesses.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles on specific points across meridians on the body. These meridians are the channels through which qi, or life energy, flows. The meridians are a non-physical energy network similar to Western medicine’s circulatory system.
Wondering why your acupuncturist is inserting needles on specific spots on your body? These are called acupuncture points, and their exact locations have a purpose.
The number of acupuncture points on the body varies today, but it was first established to match the number of days in a year: 365. In 1991 however, the World Health Organization identified 361 acupuncture points. These points are mapped along 14 main meridian channels, one for each of the 12 inner organs, one along the spine, and one along the abdomen. Each point uniquely affects certain organs, areas, or body systems along each acupuncture treatment zone on the body. Stimulating these acupuncture points on the body balances the flow of energy and prevents blockages of that energy, which in turn can help treat certain disorders and diseases.
How exactly acupuncture works to relieve pain, however, is heavily debated. While some say that inserting a needle in an acupuncture point releases a pain-relieving chemical, other hypotheses say the needles help release endorphins or secrete a growth factor that helps nerves regenerate.
10 Common acupuncture points and their purposes
Below is a list of 10 common acupuncture points on the body and the illnesses they are associated with helping to treat.
Gallbladder channel: Located at the back of the base of the skull, this point helps treat disorders such as the common cold, flu, headaches, neck pain, and fever.
Governing Vessel: The governing vessel is located on top of the head and helps treat vertigo, ear and nasal disorders, and mental disorders.
Heart channel: The heart channel is located on the outer side of the wrist and helps treat mental disorders such as insomnia and depression, as well as heart disease and fatigue.
Kidney channel: Located behind the inner ankle, this point helps treat a variety of conditions, from sore throat, insomnia, and asthma, to deafness and lower back pain.
Large intestine channel: The large intestine channel is located on the back side of the hand and helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Liver channel: This channel is located on the top of the foot and is used to balance emotional energy, treat headaches and eye disorders, reduce blood pressure, and regulate menstruation.
Lung channel: Located above the wrist on the inside of the arm, the lung channel helps treat upper body disorders such as headaches, neck stiffness, cough, asthma, and wrist conditions.
Small intestine channel: The small intestine channel is located on the side of the hand and is used to help treat mental disorders, seizures, neck stiffness, and fevers.
Spleen channel: This channel is located on the inner side of the leg above the ankle and helps treat hormonal and immune disorders, as well as influences the digestive system.
Stomach channel: Located on the front of the leg below the knee, the stomach channel helps treat digestive disorders, immune deficiency, and fatigue.
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