Acupoint therapy is a general term for health treatments involving the acupuncture points of traditional eastern medicine, the acupoints. When the term acupoint therapy is used, it usually implies that the skin-piercing needles of traditional acupuncture are not involved in the treatment. Instead, a small device, sometimes called an acupoint pen, is used to exert pressure on the acupoints. These acupoint pens may also emit a small, therapeutic, electrical pulse, or waveform. Some acupoint practitioners may not use a pen, but stimulate the acupoints using their hands or fingers. By applying therapy to acupoints, practitioners attempt to restore the body’s natural healing mechanisms to a balanced state, so that the body itself can work to eliminate any illnesses that may be affecting it.
The traditional acupoints used in Acupoint therapy have been researched extensively over the history of eastern medicine. They are said to represent the pathways for the circulation of qi (also ki or chi) around the body. It is thought that if the body is affected by disease, the body’s response will be centred around the relevant acupoints.
There are three main categories of acupoints, the regular acupoints of the twelve meridians and two vessels, the extraordinary points, which tend to relate to specific forms of disease, and the ashi points which, unlike the other points, do not have definite names or locations on the body and are usually specific to the illnesses of particular patients.
The regular acupoints of the twelve meridians are much better understood than the others. The twelve meridians relate to the following organs: lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, pericardium, san jiao (triple burner), gall bladder, liver. Du (posterior) and Ren (anterior) are the acupoints of the two vessels. A trained practitioner will attempt to treat illnesses in particular bodily organs by making use of the relevant acupoints.
Acupoint Therapy involving an acupoint pen evolved out of treatments first developed by German, Willy Penzel, in the mid 20th century. Penzel combined his own careful observations and experiences with over three thousand years of Eastern medical tradition. Penzel’s treatments are known as Akupunkt-Massage According to Penzel, or APM.
Penzel’s treatments were based on the idea that each of the 12 meridians has a double that runs along the opposite side of the body. Thus each meridian has a yin and a yang version of itself. Penzel’s treatment is intended to bring the body into harmony by balancing the yin and yang sides. It is thought that if yin and yang are in harmony, the body will no longer be in conflict and thus will be better able to combat illness. Penzel sought to treat not only physical illness but also to treat mental and emotional disturbances. The use of an acupoint pen rather than needles was essential to Penzel, the rounded tip of the pen would be run along the meridians and thus promote the flow of qi.
There are now a variety of acupoint pens available on the market. Some of these products may be suitable for home use, so that an untrained person may self-administer acupoint therapy. Because the acupoint pen never penetrates the skin, the process is safe and painless. Some acupoint pens look almost like a regular pen but with a round, metallic tip. Others look more like a tool that a dentist would use. More sophisticated devices incorporate LCD screens that provide diagnostic information regarding your body and health. These high-tech acupoint pens are designed to let you know when you have found the acupoint, thus training is not necessary in order to locate them.
Since acupoint therapy is a general term, the results that you may expect will vary depending on the qualifications of your practitioner or the quality of the acupoint pen that you use. Through proper administration of acupoint therapy, a person can not only overcome illness, but prevent illness from occuring in the first place. All this is achieved without having to penetrate the skin with needles as is the case with traditional acupuncture.