What is the significance of an acu-point?

All acupoints have one element in common: they are able to become sensitive, tender or even painful when exposed to a pathologic disorder. The process of sensitizing is still a puzzle to scientisits and clinicians.

Tender acupoints gradually develop when homeostasis declines. The degree of their sensitivity changes when homeostasis (the yin-yang balance) changes - most acupoints show practically no sensitivity when homeostasis is optimal. Acupoints become tender when homeostasis declines or the body is insulted by pathologic factors.

Once homeostasis declines, health deteriorates . Then the chain reaction follows:

  • decreased immune function
  • self-healing capability is impaired
  • different pathological disorders may be developed

Acupoints appear in the human body according to two models, systemic or symptomatic.

Systemic Model of Acupoint Formation

Passive acupoints appear all over the body systemically when homeostasis declines. A physically healthy person always has from a few to about 20 passive acupoints in the body. More passive acupoints will appear symmetrically all over the body when the healthy person gradually develops chronic problems, such as chronic diseases and degenerative problems related to age, poor diet, bad posture, lack of exercise, or persisting physical or emotional stress. These passive acupoints are formed in predictable sequence. We can predict homeostatic acupoints because they are related to homeostatic decline. Once homeostasis is restored some homeostatic  acupoints are gradually desensitized and eventually tenderness disappears.

Symptomatic Model of Acupoint Formation

If a healthy person sustains an acute injury such as in vehicular accidents or sports-related injury, or is afflicted with an acute disease, such as a cold or muscle sprain tender points will appear around the injured area or in related skin or muscle segments. These local tender points are termed symptomatic acupoints.

Some acupoints appear as a result of a vicious circle of metabolic energy crises. Such acupoints maintain a higher temperature than surrounding tissues because of sustained muscle contraction. Acupuncture needling is able to relax the muscle which breaks the vicious circle of energy crisis and restores normal blood circulation.