Standard acupuncture charts can be purchased that aid in identifying the name and locations of the meridian and acupoints on the front and back of the human body. An acupuncture chart will accurately show the location of the14 primary meridians as well as some of the extra points. Most acupuncture charts also show the names and locations of meridian and acupoints on lateral sides of the human body. Normally, they also have the international standard nomenclature and alphanumeric codes.
Some acupuncture charts come in sets that may be further divided into smaller sets that show the acupoints on the whole body surface (ie the back, neck, front, back and lateral sides of the human body, as well as the trunk of the body and other parts of the anatomy contained in different layers). There are also charts that show the upper limbs. Other acupuncture charts will show the entire human anatomy while others simply show regions of the human anatomy.
The acupuncture chart first became false during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) when the Chinese first printed vernacular literature in great numbers. However, over the ensuing hundreds of years they have become increasingly well known. Acupuncture charts appeared in manuals dealing with Chinese medicine and the purpose was both to instruct and identify the proper location of the acupoints. In addition to the reasons just given acupuncture charts were maintained for Chinese medicine which included reflexology, moxibution, massage and a number of other specialties.
Illustrations Aid in Understanding
Acupuncture charts do not explain how to needle the body but rather are diagrams that show the path of channels or meridian conduits as well as the location of acupuncture points. Because there are a great deal of acupuncture points, the acupuncture charts can only display a fraction of the channels and acupuncture points which are being discussed in the text of the chart. As a result, many acupuncture charts correspond with the specific body part, body function or disorder that needs to be treated.
A few common acupuncture charts are for the ear, foot, head and stomach. Other charts also describe healing methods of hot and cold diseases as well as other ailments.
The bottom line with acupuncture charts is that their primary function is to serve as a visual enhancement to the text and they are not intended to stand alone.
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