Trigger Points

Trigger Points

As Humpty-Dumpty noted, ‘acupuncture means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

From the perspective of reality based medicine, the fact that so many kinds of acupuncture are legitimate strongly suggests that none of the are. There is Chinese and Japanese and Ear and Foot and Tongue and German and Electro and Acupressure. Raking a child with a small piece of metal is ‘acupuncture’. There is even voodoo acupuncture where a acupoints on a voodoo doll are hit with a metal hammer to alter the qi. Really.

And that does not include all the alternative ways to alter qi such as cupping and moxibustion.


There are so many potential ways to alter qi, I always wonder why they even bother to make a map. Every point on the body can be a potential acupuncture point. Except, of course, the genitalia.  No acupoints there. It is why I smirk whenever I see a paper that suggests an anatomical basis of meridians for one form of acupuncture. If true, would it not invalidate all the other forms of acupuncture? Of course no pseudo-medicine is ever altered by data. So I suspect all form of acupuncture are safe from contrary data.

There is also trigger acupuncture. Rather than needling the mythical acupuncture points, they needle trigger points. And by and large trigger acupuncture is no different than ‘real’ acupuncture for the treatment of pain, more evidence that the acupuncture points just do not matter. But it not the classical acupuncture points that are important with trigger points

However, this study found a probable correspondence of trigger points to a different class of acupuncture points, the a shi points…

What are shi points?

Acupuncture points are mainly (but not always) found at specified locations along the meridians. There also is a number of acupuncture points with specified locations outside of the meridians; these are called extraordinary points and are credited to treat certain diseases. A third category of acupuncture points called “A-shi” points have no fixed location but represent tender or reflexive points appearing in the course of pain syndromes.

Given the numerous styles of acupuncture and the different acupoints, any place on the body, it appears, is amenable to acupuncture so the underlying conceptual framework of acupunctures is, well, pointless.

I know.  Picky picky.  Western reality will never explain the mystery that is acupuncture.  At least until the concept of beer goggles becomes accepted.

Points of Interest 4/23/2014
Points of Interest: 4/22/2014