Popularity of the Acupuncture Points

From 251 papers, 386 studies were analysed and 381 unique acupuncture points were identified*; placed in order of occurrence from high to low the following table was produced ranking the acupoints in order of popularity. For example, ST-36 was the highest ranking most chosen point, being selected in 183 of the 386 studies or 47% of the time.

Popularity of the Acupuncture Points chart

*This data is an extract from a research report compiled by Austin Austin that sought to consider Ma Dan-Yang’s Heavenly Star Points including to some extent, Fine Jade True Person’s 11 Heavenly Star Points, and to compare their popularity with the most commonly used acupoints in contemporary practice.  The author considered it of interest to know how popular the Heavenly Star Points might be in modern practice and what the most popular acupoints overall were. To accomplish this, papers and journals giving accounts of the use of acupoints were studied and the acupoints used were extracted. This data was used to deduce the most popular acupoints overall and rank them along with the 12 Heavenly Star Points. Other considerations such as Dan Jie point couplings and complex needle manipulation were considered as possible factors in the potency of the Heavenly Star Points. The results suggested that many of the Heavenly Star Points were ranked highly and therefore do appear to be popular points. As some acupoints seem to be significantly more popular than others, then perhaps these points warrant higher priority in point selection. It was concluded that the most popular and least popular acupoints merit further research to ascertain whether there is a relationship between popularity and efficacy.

**Moxa only

©2014 Austin Austin www.austinacupuncture.co.uk


Reference list of studies used to obtain acupoint data for Popularity of the Acupuncture Points:

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Halevi, S. (2004) The Treatment of Gangrenous Diabetic Abscess by the “Ring of the Dragon” Acupuncture Technique. Journal of Chinese Medicine, 74, pp. 5-9.
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LI, K., WEI, D., and LI, J. (2008) Acupuncture plus Acupoint-Injection for Treatment of Cervical Spondylosis of Vertebroarterial Type. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 28(4), pp. 243-244.
Li, Z. (2002) The Extraordinary Vessels & Gynaecological Diseases. Journal of Chinese Medicine, 70, pp. 14-17.
Li, Z. (2003) Regulating the Penetrating and Conception Vessels to Treat Dysmenorrhoea Two Case Histories. Journal of Chinese Medicine, 73, pp. 13-15.
Li, Z. (2004) The Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome By Acupuncture. Journal of Chinese Medicine, 74, pp. 22-24.
Li, Z. (2005) Facial Paralysis Treatment by Chinese Medicine. Journal of Chinese Medicine, 77, pp. 57-60.
Linde, M., Fjell, A., Carlsson, J., and Dahlöf, C. (2005) Role of the needling per se in acupuncture as prophylaxis for menstrually related migraine: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Cephalalgia: An International Journal of Headache, 25(1), pp. 41-47.
Lindfield, H. (2002) Chronic shoulder pain in stroke. Are we missing the acupoint?. Physiotherapy Research International, 7(1), pp. 44-50.
LING, L., JIANG, X., XUE, J., WANG, M., and KE, R. (2008) Clinical Study on the Visceral Differentiation-Based Acupuncture Therapy for Insomnia. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 28(4), pp. 270-273.
Liu, Z. (2008) Clinical observation on the effect of earlobe-bleeding plus body acupuncture in 85 cases of common acne. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine = Chung i Tsa Chih Ying Wen Pan / Sponsored by all-China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 28(1), pp. 18-20.
Longbottom, J. (2005) A case report of postulated Barre Lieou syndrome. Acupuncture in Medicine, 23(1), pp. 34-38.
Lore, R. (2005) Acupuncture Anaesthesia in Surgery and the Use of Integrative Medicine in the Treatment of Breast Cancer Sequelae. Journal of Chinese Medicine, 79, pp. 23-27.
Lu, M. and Liu, X. (2008) Insomnia due to deficiency of both the heart and spleen treated by acupuncture-moxibustion and Chinese tuina. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine = Chung i Tsa Chih Ying Wen Pan / Sponsored by all-China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 28(1), pp. 10-12.
Luo, H. (2000) Clinical case report: breast lumpectomy with acupuncture anesthesia. Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, 1(3), pp. 151-155.
Ma, T., Kao, M., Lin, I., Chiu, Y., Chien, C., Ho, T., Chu, B., and Chang, Y. (2006) A study on the clinical effects of physical therapy and acupuncture to treat spontaneous frozen shoulder. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 34(5), pp. 759-775.
Maa, S., Sun, M., Hsu, K., Hung, T., Chen, H., Yu, C., Wang, C., and Lin, H. (2003) Effect of acupuncture or acupressure on quality of life of patients with chronic obstructive asthma: a pilot study. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 9(5), pp. 659-670.
Macnair, S. and Yi, Z., (2001) Cases from the London School of Acupuncture Teaching Clinic.Journal of Chinese Medicine, 65, pp. 22-25.
MacPherson, H., Thorpe, L., Thomas, K., and Geddes, D. (2004) Acupuncture for depression: first steps toward a clinical evaluation. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine,10(6), pp. 1083-1091.
Magnusson, A., Svensson, R., Leirvik, C., and Gunnarsson, R.K. (2004) The effect of acupuncture on allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled clinical trial. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 32(1), pp. 105-115.
Maioli, C., Falciati, L., Marangon, M., Perini, S., and Losio, A. (2006) Short- and long-term modulation of upper limb motor-evoked potentials induced by acupuncture. European Journal of Neuroscience, 23(7), pp. 1931-1938.
Manheimer, E., Lim, B., Lao, L., and Berman, B. (2006) Acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis–a randomised trial using a novel sham. Acupuncture in Medicine: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, 24 Suppl, pp. S7-14.
Martin, D.P., Sletten, C.D., Williams, B.A., and Berger, I.H. (2006) Improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms with acupuncture: results of a randomized controlled trial. Mayo Clinic Proceedings,81(6), pp. 749-757.
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