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Table 1 Justification of acupoint in electroacupuncture for postoperative pain control based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

From: Combined electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture for postoperative pain after abdominal surgery for gynecological diseases: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

  Location TCM indication Suggested technique
Core acupoints (used in all treatment sessions)
LI4 (Hegu) Dorsum of hand, at the level of the midpoint of the second metacarpal bone, between first and second metacarpal bones Helps in abdominal pain. Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.0 cun
ST36 (Zusanli) Antero-lateral leg, 1 middle-finger breadth next to the anterior crest of tibia, 3 cun under the depression lateral to the patellar ligament Stomach’s lower He point, helps in regulating Qi and blood circulation. Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.5 cun
SP8 (Diji) Medial leg, posterior to the tibia, 3 cun under the depression inferior and posterior to the tibia medial condyle Xi (Cleft) point of the Spleen meridian, helps in abdominal pain Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
SP10 (Xuehai) Antero-medial thigh, 2 cun above the medial cranial pole of the patella. Helps in tonifying and circulating blood Needle perpendicularly 1.0–2.0 cun
LR3 (Taichong) Dorsum of foot, within the depression between first and second metatarsal bones. Helps in regulating liver Qi and blood Needle obliquely upward 0.5–1.0 cun
Additional acupoints: Before surgery (first treatment session): LR14, ST25, EX-CA1, CV4, and CV12 will be used. After surgery (second to seventh treatment sessions): 4 acupoints selected from below will be used, PC6 is the first choice
GB26 (Daimai) Lateral abdomen, at the level of the umbilicus, below the free end of the 11th rib Crossing point of the Gallbladder and the Dai meridians Needle obliquely 0.5–1.0 cun
GB34 (Yanglingquan) Lateral leg, at the depression inferior and anterior to the head of the fibula He (Sea) point of the Gallbladder meridian and Influential Point for the tendons Needle obliquely upward 0.5–0.8 cun
GB41 (Zulinqi) Lateral-dorsal aspect of the foot, lateral side of the little toe’s extensor muscle tendon Shu (Stream) point of the Gallbladder meridian and the meridian’s Confluence Point with the Dai meridians Needle perpendicularly 0.5–0.8 cun
HT3 (Shaohai) Elbow, at the middle of the medial end of the transverse antecubital crease and the medial epicondyle of the humerus He (Sea) point of the Heart meridian, helps in regulating heart Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.0 cun
HT7 (Shenmen) Palmar aspect of the wrist, ulnar end of the transverse crease Shu (Stream) and Yuan (Source) points of the Heart meridian, helps in calming the Shen (spirit) Needle perpendicularly 0.3–0.5 cun
KI4 (Dazhong) Medial foot, at the back of and below the medial malleolus, in depression in front of the Achilles tendon Helps in gynecological disorders Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.0 cun
KI6 (Zhaohai) Medial foot, at the depression below the medial malleolus Helps in gynecological disorders Needle perpendicularly 0.5–0.8 cun
LI11 (Quchi) Elbow, at the middle of Chize and the lateral epicondyle of the humerus Helps in abdominal pain Needle perpendicularly 1.0–2.5 cun
LR5 (Ligou) Medial leg, 5 cun on top of the medial malleolus. Luo (Connecting) point of the Liver meridian, helps in gynecological disorders Needle transversely 0.5–0.8 cun
LR14 (Qimen) Thorax, on the mammillary line, in the six intercostal space under the mammilla Front Collecting Point (Mu point) of the Liver meridian, helps in regulating liver Qi and blood Needle transversely 0.5–1.0 cun
LU7 (Lieque) Antero-lateral forearm, in front of the styloid process of the radius, 1.5 cun away from the wrist crease Confluence Point of the Ren meridian and the Lung meridian Needle obliquely upward 0.2–0.3 cun
PC6 (Neiguan) Palmar aspect of the forearm, between the tendons, 2 cun away from the transverse crease of the wrist Luo (Connecting) point of the Pericardium meridian, helps in gastric pain and calming the Shen Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.5 cun
SP6 (Sanyinjiao) Behind the medial tibia, 3 cun above the tip of the medial malleolus Helps in gynecological disorders Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.0 cun
SP14 (Fujie) Abdomen, 4 cun away from the anterior midline, 1.3 cun below Daheng Helps in peri-umbilical pain Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
SP15 (Daheng) Abdomen, 4 cun away from the umbilicus Helps in abdominal pain Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
SP16 (Fuai) Abdomen, 4 cun away from the anterior midline, 3 cun above Daheng Helps in abdominal pain Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
SP21 (Dabao) Lateral chest, in 6th intercostal space, on mid-axillary line Collateral meridian of Spleen, helps in total body pain Needle obliquely backward 0.5–0.8 cun
ST23 (Taiyi) Abdomen, 2 cun above Tianshu Helps in reducing irritability Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
ST25 (Tianshu) Abdomen, 2 cun away from the navel Front Collecting Point (Mu point) of the Large Intestine meridian, helps in circulating Qi Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
ST27 (Daju) Abdomen, 2 cun below Tianshu Helps in lower abdominal distention and pain Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
ST34 (Liangqiu) Anterior thigh, 2 cun above the superior lateral corner of the patella Xi (Cleft) point of the Stomach meridian, helps in acute stomachache Needle perpendicularly 1.0–1.5 cun
CV4 (Guanyuan) Abdomen, 3 cun under the navel Front Collecting Point (Mu point) of the Large Intestine meridian, helps in invigorates original Qi (Yuan Qi) Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.0 cun
CV12 (Zhongwan) Abdomen, 4 cun above the navel Front Collecting Point (Mu point) of the Stomach meridian, Master Point of the Fu organs, helps in regulating Qi Needle perpendicularly 0.5–1.0 cun
EX-CA1 (Zigong) Abdomen, at the level of 4 cun under the navel and 3 cun away from the midline Helps in gynecological disorders Needle perpendicularly 0.8–1.2 cun