How do you select acupuncture points?
The accurate selection of acupuncture points requires that knowledge of the general anatomical location of points be matched by experience and sensitivity in the fingertips. Mr. Sorei Yanagia, the most renowned acupuncturist in modern Japan and the first principal of my Acupuncture College wrote in his book The Complete Book of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Medicine, "When performing acupuncture and moxibustion for disease prevention and treatment, one must, at any cost, be very strict in selecting acupoints...Is the purpose of acupuncture merely for stimulation? No, we do not think this way. While stimulation of the living body makes one metal needle or one pinch of moxa effective, we believe that it is the accurate selection of acupuncture points that contribute most to their effectiveness."
There are three different types of acupuncture points I choose for treatment. The first types are local points chosen for their effectiveness in providing symptomatic relief. To locate their exact position, I usually palpate for tension, pressure pain, heat and/or indurations. The second types are distant points chosen to address energetic and structural imbalances in the patient. To locate these points, I usually feel for a subtle depression or indentation in the tissues. The third types are special effect points: standard acupuncture points for specific problems and for strengthening the body's self-healing power. They may or may not be easily palpable, but their effectiveness has been empirically proven throughout history.