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  Location of Acupuncture Points:

  At present, different methods are used to locate the acupuncture points. Correct and convenient methods are always helpful for localizing them. Sometimes two or three methods are used to locate a single point. The commonly used methods are described below:

Anatomical land marks:

  This is a common method, where anatomical markings such as, bony prominences, eyebrows, hairlines, skin creases etc. are used as a guideline to locate the points. For example, Weizhong (UB-40) is situated at the middle of popliteal crease, Sizhukong (TW-23) is located at the lateral end of eye brows and so on.   

Use of Fingers: 

  In this method, the Chinese "T-sun" is taken as a standard unit of measurement, which is also known as "body inch". Due to the variation of physical built of different persons, it is not convenient to use inch or centimeter in the measurement of points. Therefore the finger measurement of the patient is taken as a criteria.

  The distance between the distal most and middle crease of the middle finger on palmar aspect is taken as I "Cun" or "T-sun'. The breadth of the distal phalange of the thumb at the widest portion is also equal to I "Cun" of "T-sun".

The combined breadth of four fingers at the level of proximal interphalangeal joint of little finger is equal to 3 "Cun" or "T-sun".
The combined breadth of index and middle fingers is 1.5 "Cun" or "T-sun".

  If the "Cun" of acupuncturist is equal to patient's "Cun", he can use his fingers to locate the points on the patient. But when there is any difference of "Cun", it is always wise to take proportional adjustment of "Cun", of acupuncturist to that of the patient.          


Proportional Measurement

 People vary in their physical built and configuration, from time to time and place to place.  But it is also true that the relative proportion of various parts of the body remain constant. Applying this principle, we can use some important anatomical landmarks as well as their intervening distances as a tool to locate the acupuncture points. The practically useful measurements are


This method is very popular in private practice because it is possible to locate an acupuncture point very accurately by using acupunctoscope. In fact skin over the acupuncture point shows lower electrical resistance i.e. having high electrical conductivity. On this principle, different types of electronic instruments called acupunctoscopes or point detectors have been devised. 

The patient is asked to grip one of the two electrode rods connected with point detector and the acupuncturist holds the other electrode having a blunt end to explore the body surface for reactive points. Perfect location is signaled by a continuous interrupted sound and light from the instrument. It is frequently used in ear acupuncture but not in body acupuncture.


To locate acupuncture points with higher degree  of accuracy, the use of cunometer is advised. This is a special instrument having two metallic blades fixed to each other. It can be used for measurement of multiple "Cun". For acupuncture anaesthesia, it is always advisable to use a cunometer.     

Position of the Patient:

  To locate certain acupuncture points,  the patient is advised to attain a definite position. For e.g.

  • The point Quchi (LI-11) is located when elbow is in semi flexed position. 

  • The point Hoku (LI-4) may be located by adducting the thumb to make the first interossious muscle prominent.

  • The point Fengshi (GB-31) may be located by asking the patient to stand with full stretched upper limbs by the side of the trunk. Now, the point is located where the middle finger touches the lateral sides of the thigh.

  • The point Yamen (GV-15) can be located by asking the patient to flex his head. 


Position of the Acupuncturist:

  Some particular points can be located with the help of some particular positions of acupuncturist. For e.g.

  • The Point Lieque (L-7) may be located by interlocking the patient's  and acupuncturist's hand, the tip of the index finger of the acupuncturist will indicate the location of the point, provided the "Cun" is equal.

  • To locate the point Xuehai (Sp-10), the acupuncturist should put his palm over the patient's patella; this point lies where the acupuncturist's thumb rests.    



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