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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 543943, 16 pages
Review Article

A Review of Acupoint Specificity Research in China: Status Quo and Prospects

1Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sichuan, Chengdu 610075, China
2Foreign Languages School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sichuan, Chengdu 610075, China
3Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Beijing 100010, China

Received 15 April 2012; Revised 17 September 2012; Accepted 19 September 2012

Academic Editor: Wolfgang Schwarz

Copyright © 2012 Ling Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The theory of acupoint specificity is the basis for elucidating the actions of acupoints as employed in clinical practice. Acupoint specificity has become a focus of attention in international research efforts by scholars in the areas of acupuncture and moxibustion. In 2006, the Chinese Ministry of Science approved and initiated the National Basic Research Program (973 Program), one area of which was entitled Basic Research on Acupoint Specificity Based on Clinical Efficacy. Using such approaches as data mining, evidence-based medicine, clinical epidemiology, neuroimaging, molecular biology, neurophysiology, and metabolomics, fruitful research has been conducted in the form of literature research, clinical assessments, and biological studies. Acupoint specificity has been proved to exist, and it features meridian-propagated, relative, persistent, and conditional effects. Preliminarily investigations have been made into the biological basis for acupoint specificity.