Acheologists determined that Neolithic man, 8000 years ago used a primitive type of acupuncture tool called the bian-shi. It is a pyramidal shaped stone used to lance boils and stimulate certain points on the body to relieve pain. Later a sharp piece of bone was used for the same purpose and during the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC to 1100 BC), the metal acupuncture needle was invented. As they tracked their clinical results, they discovered acupoints with similar functions formed a line on the body and the sensation of the de – Qi would follow a certain pathway…a meridian or Jing-Luo.
There are 12 paired regular channels that relate to the Zhang – Fu organs and 8 extraordinary channels, 2 of which follow the midline.The Governing vessel on the dorsal midline and Conception vessel on the ventral midline. There are also collateral and divergent channels that are smaller branches of the major meridians that link the organs and meridians to one and other to form an intricately connected pathway throughout the body.
You may have heard acupoints called different names by different practitioners. This is because we have several ways of naming the points. The Traditional nomenclature system is based on the location on the body, its corresponding zhang-fu organ, its therapeutic effect or a symbolic meaning. Some examples are Er – jian = tip of ear, Wei-shu = stomach association point, Jing-Ming = Brighten the eye, or Da-feng-men = great wind gate – which releases wind (seizure, itching, ect).
The western nomenclature system names the meridian and the location on the meridian, for example, BL 1 is the 1st point on the bladder meridian or HT 9 is the 9th or last point on the heart meridian. In veterinary medicine, some of the points are transpositional, meaning we have changed the location slightly to get the desired result but have to use a different anatomic point because of anatomical differences, ie horses only have 1 finger/toe, we cut off the thumb and big toe of the dog (dew claws), people don’t have tails and obviously Bl 67, on the little toe, the last point on the bladder meridian will be in a different place on a dolphin or snake.