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Table 1 Acupuncture point selection rationale

From: Acupuncture or auricular electro-acupuncture as adjuncts to lifestyle interventions for weight management in PCOS: protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study

Acupuncture pointRelevant Chinese medicine indication(s) for PCOSLocation
Zu San Li (ST36)Harmonises Stomach, fortifies Spleen and resolves damp, supports correct Qi original Qi and fosters tonifies Qi and nourishes Blood and YinBelow the knee, 3 cuna inferior to Dubi, one finger breadth lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia
San Yin Jiao (SP6)Tonifies Spleen and Stomach Qi and resolves damp, harmonises Liver and tonifies Kidney regulates menstruation, harmonises Lower Jiao, invigorates Blood, calms the spiritOn the medial side of the lower leg, 3 cun superior to the prominence of the medial malleolus, in the depression close to the medial crest of the tibia
Tian Shu (ST25)Regulates Intestines, Spleen and Stomach, resolves damp and damp heat, regulates Qi and Blood, eliminates stagnationOn the abdomen to 2 cun lateral to the umbilicus
Feng Long (ST40)Transforms phlegm and dampness, clears phlegm from the heart and calms the spirit, activates the channel and alleviates painOn the lower leg, midway between the tibiofemoral joint line (level with the popliteal crease) and the lateral malleolus, two finger- breadth later to Tiaokou ST38
Zhong Wan (CV12)Harmonises the middle Jiao, tonifies the Stomach and fortifies the Spleen regulates QiOn the midline of the abdomen, 4 cun above the umbilicus and midway between the umbilicus and the sternocostal angle.
Qi Hai (CV6)Fosters original Qi, tonifies Qi, tonifies the Kidneys and fortifies Yang, rescues the collapse of Yang, regulates Qi and harmonies BloodOn the midline of abdomen, 1.5 cun inferior to the umbilicus and 3.5 cun superior to pubic symphysis
Qu Chi (LI11)Clears heat, cools Blood, eliminates wind, drains damp and alleviates itching, regulates Qi and BloodAt the elbow, midway between Chize LU5 and the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, at the lateral end of the transverse cubital crease. (This point should be located with a flexed elbow.)
Yin Ling Quan (SP9)Regulates Spleen and resolves damp, opens and moves water passages and benefits the lower JiaoOn the medial side of the leg, in the depression in the angle formed by the media condyle of the of the tibia and the posterior border of the tibia
Shui Fen (CV9)Regulates the water passages, harmonises the intestines and dispels accumulationsOn the midline of the abdomen, 1 cun above the umbilicus and 7 cun below the sternocostal angle
Zhong Ji (CV3)Regulates Qi transformation and drains damp heat, drain dampness, benefits the uterus and regulates menstruation, dispels stagnation and benefits the lower Jiao, fortifies the KidneyOn the midline of the lower abdomen, 4 cun inferior to the umbilicus and 1 cun superior to the pubic symphysis
Guan Yuan (CV4)Fortifies original Qi and benefits essence, tonifies and nourishes the Kidney, warms and fortifies the Spleen, benefits the uterus and assists conception, regulates the lower JiaoOn the midline of the lower abdomen, 3 cun inferior to the umbilicus and 2 cun superior to the public symphysis
He Gu (LI4)Activates the channel and restores the YangOn the dorsum of the hand, between the first and second metacarpal bones, at the midpoint of the second metacarpal bone and close to its radial border
Qi Xue (KI13)Regulates the penetrating and conception vessel, regulates the lower JiaoOn the lower abdomen, 3 cun below the umbilicus, 2 cun superior to the superior border of the symphysis pubis, 0.4 cun lateral to midline (Guanyuan CV4)
Fu Liu (KI7)Benefits the Kidneys, regulates the water passages, drains damp and clears damp heatOn the medial aspect of the lower leg, in the depression 2 cun superior to Taixi KI3, on the anterior border of the Achilles tendon. (KI3 is located in the depression between the tip of the medial malleolus and the Achilles tendon)
Shui Dao (ST28)Warms the lower Jiao, regulates menstruation and benefits the genital regionOn the lower abdomen, 2 cun lateral to the midline and 3 cun inferior to the umbilicus level with Guanyuan Ren 4. Note: The 2 cun line located between the midline and palpable border of the rectus abdominis of the umbilicus.
Tai Chong (LR3)Spreads Liver Qi, subdues Liver Yang and extinguishes wind, nourishes Liver Blood and Liver Yin, regulates menstruation, regulates lower JiaoOn the dorsum of the foot, in the hollow distal to the junction of the first and second metatarsal bones
Yang Ling Quan (GB34)Spreads Liver Qi and benefits the lateral costal region, clears Liver and Gall Bladder damp heatBelow the later aspect of the knee, in the tender depression approx. 1 cun anterior and 1 cun inferior to the head of the fibula
  1. Acupuncture point nomenclature as per World Health Organisation guidelines for meridian alphabetic codes
  2. aA cun is a measurement used in locating acupoints and corresponds to the distance between the two medial ends of the creases of the interphalangeal joints, when the patient’s middle finger is flexed.