Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) recognizes and uses a system of acupuncture points located throughout the human body. The exact number of acupuncture points can vary depending on the classification system and the tradition followed. However, there are some commonly referenced numbers:

  1. 365 Classical Points: Traditional Chinese medicine historically identified 365 classical acupuncture points on the body, which corresponded to the number of days in a year.
  2. Meridian Points: There are 12 primary meridians in TCM, each associated with specific organs or functions in the body. These meridians have a varying number of acupuncture points along their pathways. The most commonly referenced meridians are the Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium (Heart Protector), Triple Burner (Triple Energizer), Gallbladder, and Liver meridians.
  3. Extra Points: In addition to the classical points, there are also extra acupuncture points located outside the primary meridians. These points serve specific purposes and can vary in number depending on the source.
  4. Trigger Points: In modern acupuncture and trigger point therapy, practitioners also work with trigger points, which are specific points in muscles or soft tissues that are used to alleviate pain and muscle tension.

So, the number of recognized acupuncture points can vary between approximately 365 classical points and hundreds more if you include extra points. In practice, acupuncturists commonly use a subset of these points for specific treatments based on the patient’s condition and needs.