Acupuncture points are not always chosen locally to treat a problem. Often distal points are chosen. These points are generally located quite far from the diseased area (often below the elbows and knees) , but are chosen for their ability to treat the problem.
There are two kinds of local acupuncture points: classical acupuncture points which are located close to the area of pain, and, points of sensitivity (not actual points) which are referred to Ashi points which may also be chosen due to their responsive nature.
These acupuncture points may consist of one or a combination of two or more points which have been proven over time to be very effective in the treatment of a particular disorder. The clinical basis for these treatment protocols are based purely on experience.
The twelve regular meridians are paired together into six groups. One of each pair represents the interior aspect of the relationship while the other represents the exterior of the relationship. For example the Spleen and stomach are one pair. The stomach represents the exterior aspect of the couple and the spleen the interior. If there is a problem with the stomach points may be chosen on the spleen channel to effect its partner.
Front and Back
Often points are chosen from both the front of the body and the back of the body in order to elicit balance in the acupuncture treatment. A good example of this would be the combination of a Front (Mu) point and a Back (Shu) point in the treatment of a disorder.
Upper and the Lower
Disease in the upper part of the body can be treated by selecting points in the lower part of the body, and disease in the lower part of the body can be treated by selecting points in the upper part of the body. The combination of DU 1 with DU 20 in the upper to treat prolapse of anus is one example of this type of point location.
Left and Right
Acupuncture points in the right side of the body may be selected for diseases in the left side of the body and vice versa. This type of treatment may be implemented for the purpose of balancing the energy in a meridian on different sides of the body OR in the case of head acupuncture, one side of the head may be treated to effect the opposite side of the body.