Standardized Acupuncture Points

By Lara Evans Bracciante

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, April/May 2005.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has brought together a team of experts from Japan, China, and South Korea to standardize acupuncture points. The 2,000-year-old Chinese therapy is now used around the world, but there are placement discrepancies for 92 of the 361 basic points on the body. (Traditionally, there are 365 acupuncture points; the WHO recognizes 361.)

Over the last several years, acupuncture has gained popularity in the West in treating the imbalance of qi, or vital energy, which can lead to illness. Several controlled studies have shown acupuncture to have a positive effect on a variety of conditions, from infertility to cancer. The WHO is expected to formalize the acupuncture points in 2006.