One of the most important things in True Acupuncture is point location. Even if you are able to correctly diagnose the patient the treatment will fail or give only short term results if proper acupoint location isn't done. This may seem obvious to you however, if you went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) school then you may have picked up the idea that point location is easy. My impressions as a new student were always that the acupoints were about one centimeter in size and you can fish your way to acquire Qi. . . well, that is not accurate. The reality is, there are several levels of acupoints with True Acupoints giving the strongest and longest lasting effects. Other points (secondary acupoints) often give little to no effect even when needled dead center.
Modern Chinese Medicine does not put a strong emphasis on point location. If you watch a modern TCM practitioner from China needle you will often witness a blur of needle insertion. I was always amazed at how quickly 20 needles could be placed into a person, literally within 60 seconds. The problem here is, acupoints are 1-2 millimeters in diameter. Being more than a couple millimeters away from the center of an acupuncture point will often result in minimal effect, and if any effect takes place it is usually of short duration. There simply is no possible way to locate the center of a true acupoint within seconds. . . well, unless you are enlightened, maybe.
This explains why most patients have some relief from the treatment but within a few days the symptoms have returned. This has raised the belief in acupuncturists around the world that more frequent visits to the acupuncturist are required. If the truth be told, less visits are needed with proper point location. A patient treated properly with a True Acupoint needled dead center rarely will need to be treated within a week and usually two plus weeks or more should be taken. It is often the case that the effects of such a point only begin showing maximal impression one week after treatment.
What is noticed when a True Acupuncture Point is needled dead on is something very different than the typical response patients have to treatment — decreased effect immediately following the treatment, instead what is seen is, increased physiologic response over time. In other words, the patient continues to get better and better as time increased from the point of treatment. This is verified via the radial pulses. What is seen in the pulses is an increased movement toward the direction of the treatment as time from the treatment increases. This will often continue for two or more weeks.
This is a unique phenomenon to needling a True Acupoint. No other acupuncture body points respond with this type of physiological change. Having now outlined their uniqueness I hope that you will take it to heart just how important it is to properly differentiate primary from secondary and other acupoints.
This is THE most important topic in True Acupuncture and it is very very important that you become aware that 99.99% of the time you needle you are not hitting the center of a True Acupoint. Being more than 2 mm off greatly reduces the effects and only major points have influence that ranges to a centimeter in size and that influence is minimal compared to the center. Furthermore, many of these points are not located where Traditional Chinese Medicine currently locates them.