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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 256754, 16 pages
Research Article

An Acupuncture Research Protocol Developed from Historical Writings by Mathematical Reflections: A Rational Individualized Acupoint Selection Method for Immediate Pain Relief

1HanseMerkur Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, House O55, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
2Group TAMS, Department of Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Science, University of Hamburg, Vogt-Kölln-Strasse 30, 22527 Hamburg, Germany
3World Federation of Acupuncture Societies, B-701, Dongjiu Building, Xizhaosi Street, Dongcheng Distict, Beijing 100061, China

Received 27 July 2012; Revised 19 September 2012; Accepted 24 September 2012

Academic Editor: Di Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Sven Schroeder 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.


While balancing yin and yang is one basic principle of Chinese medicine, balancing methods for combination of meridians and acupoints had been described throughout the history of Chinese medicine. We have identified six historical systems for combinations of acupuncture points in historical writings. All of them represent symmetrical combinations which are defined by the steps in the Chinese Clock. Taking the historical systems as a basis, we calculated the possible combinations that fit into these systems they revealed, leading to a total of 19 systems offering new balancing combinations. Merging the data of these 19 systems, there are 7 combinatorial options for every meridian. On the basis of this data, we calculated 4-meridian combinations with an ideal balance pattern, which is given when all meridians balance each other. We identified 5 of these patterns for every meridian, so we end up with 60 patterns for all the 12 meridians but we find multiple overlapping. Finally, 15 distinct patterns remain. By combining this theoretical concept with the Image and Mirror Concept, we developed an acupuncture research protocol. This protocol potentially solves some problems of acupuncture trials because it represents a rational reproducible procedure independent of examiner experience, but the resulting treatment is individualized.