Acupuncture Point Dynamics – reflections from the author

When I began this project back in 1980, I knew it was going to be a big job but I had no idea how big. Initially I envisaged it as a three-stage process. Firstly, I planned to do a comparative analysis of a range of modern texts on acupuncture point indications and actions. I chose texts from different parts of China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, France, Vietnamese French and USA to afford as broad a range of traditions as possible. The second stage was to explore the historical profile of each indication for each point. As an experiment, I did this with ST 36 (Zusanli) and this eventuated in the paper ‘A Short History of Point Usage: Zusanli’*. This paper took more than a hundred hours to prepare, so it became clear that this was too ambitious a task to undertake for each major point, at least in the short term, so I did not take this any further. Stage Three was going to be an exploration of the modern acupuncture research literature to show which points had been validated as effective for which indications, and what physiological actions were associated with which point. For example, which points were demonstrated to be effective for migraine, and which points had specific physiological actions such as down-regulating Substance P or reducing the expression and sensitivity of TRPV1 receptor.

Now, forty years later I have completed Stage One. While I have attempted to inject some historical and research perspectives into this text, this has only been done at a relatively superficial level, and there is much work still to be done on Stages Two and Three. It is my hope that what I am unable to complete in my lifetime, will perhaps be taken up by other scholars who see value in this project.

‘Acupuncture Point Dynamics’ (Volumes 1 and 2) is structured in four sections for each meridian – Major Points Summary, Point Indications Summary, Point Actions Summary, Analysis of Major Points. Volume 1 covers the six foot meridians, while Volume 2 covers the six hand meridians, Governing Vessel and Conception Vessel. Here are some sample pages from each section.


*McDonald, J. (1995) A Short History of Point Usage: Zusanli. Pacific Journal of Oriental Medicine, 6:35-44

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s