As many people are aware, there are hundreds of defined acupuncture points on the human body. The various systems of acupuncture use these points to affect how the body functions as a way to improve health and healing of the body. What many people are not aware of, are the various classifications and categories of types of acupuncture points. There are many systems of categorizing the points into functional groups. This is how acupuncturists match the diagnosis of the patient to the points to be used for treatment.
There is an interesting group of points that are often used a little differently. While they are often used for treatment, many times they are used for diagnosis as well. These points are referred to as mu or alarm points. They are found on the torso of the body and correspond to various dynamic systems in the functioning of the body. When there is a disruption in the function of a particular system of the body, the corresponding alarm point will often be tender to the touch. Alarm points are often seen as like the warning lights on a dashboard of a car. The warning light indicates a problem in a specific system but does not provide a lot of information as to what the problem is.
Most alarm points are in odd depressions on the torso and generally do not get pressed accidentally. An acupuncturist looking to confirm a diagnosis will often push on the various alarm points related to the suspected issue. If the point is extremely tender, it will confirm to the acupuncturist what is going on and how the patient should be treated. Because the points are in odd locations, it is often a surprise to the patient that a point is tender. These points can be extremely useful in certain instances where the patient symptoms are confusing. In these cases it can be unclear to the acupuncturist exactly what is going on in the body. A tender alarm point can often provide that bit of extra information that allows the practitioner to determine the proper diagnosis and treatment.
These points can be very useful to the patient as well. If a patient is prone to a particular problem, the patient can check the tenderness of specific points to see if problem is getting worse or better depending on the tenderness of the associated alarm point. Patients who have found that they have odd tender spots on the body can learn from an acupuncturist how that point relates to their overall health. The first step is to talk to a Nationally Board certified acupuncturist to find out more about how various signs and symptoms relate to health and what can be done to improve overall health of the body.