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  • The regular meridians are distributed symmetrically on the l


    The 12 regular meridians are distributed symmetrically on the left and right sides of the body, and run along their fixed courses. The temperature of paired bilateral acupoints shows symmetry and correlation to the left and right sides. One member of our research group, Bing Xiong, compared the skin temperature of bilateral source points of the 12 regular meridians, and proved symmetry and correlation of temperature in paired acupoints. Following acupuncture of the right LI4, the Hegu acupoint, the change ratio of mean blood flux was increased in the contralateral Hegu acupoint in healthy volunteers for a period ranging from 30 minutes, 60 minutes, to 150 minutes after stimulation. Consistently, manual acupuncture or electroacupuncture at unilateral Zusanli (ST36) and Xiajuxu (ST39) for 6 weeks significantly improved university students\' ankle dorsiflexor strength and muscle activation in both legs. Similarly, acupuncture at right Xiaohai (SI8) and Jianwaishu (SI14) all increased electromyographic activity and strength in the ipsilateral and contralateral upper trapezius muscle 20 minutes after needle withdrawal. Moreover, contralateral needling rather than conventional acupuncture at acupoints of Chize (LU5) and Jianliao (TE14) of 106 patients with stroke-induced hemiplegia showed an elevated effective rate as defined by the decreased neurological deficit score and increased Modified Barthel Index and Fugl-Meyer Assessment score. Last, but not least, pretreatment with electroacupuncture at the left Zusanli (ST36) attenuated inflammatory pain of right lower knee arthritis induced by p97 in rats. The totality of these findings highlights the bilateral acupoint symmetry with therapeutic implications. A study has revealed that acupuncture at Taichong (LR3) specifically activated contralateral middle occipital gyrus, ipsilateral medial frontal gyrus, superior parietal lobe, middle temporal gyrus, rostral anterior cingulate cortex, lentiform nucleus, insula, and contralateral thalamus. Moreover, acupuncture at Neiting (ST44) might selectively activate ipsilateral secondary somatosensory area, contralateral middle frontal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, lingual gyrus, lentiform nucleus, and bilateral posterior cingulate cortex. In general, acupuncture can elicit complicated ipsilateral and contralateral cerebral activation patterns, which might be involved in the mechanism of the specific therapeutic effects of different acupoints. Skin conductance and finger temperature of stroke survivors with hemiparesis were statistically higher in the unaffected hand compared with the paralyzed hand. In some cases, the characteristic symmetry feature of skin temperature between the symmetric locations of the human body might fail. Acupuncture is widely used to treat many diseases, such as obesity, pain relief, peripheral facial paralysis, and knee osteoarthritis, and to improve sleep disturbance in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. It is an effective intervention for managing the symptom of cancer-related fatigue, for prevention of radiation-induced xerostomia among patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and for improving the quality of a patient’s life. However, the efficacy of acupuncture is still a controversial issue. In reports of cancer-related fatigue treated with acupuncture, Alexander Molassiotis and colleagues reported bilaterally or unilaterally ST36, SP6, LI4, GB34, and SP9 with some flexibility by therapists at their discretion to maintain an equal dose of treatment effectively managing the symptom, whereas Gary Deng and colleagues reported bilaterally or unilaterally CV4, CV6, KI3, ST36, SP6, and LI11 without the predefined clinical significance to reduce fatigue. The acupoint combination is exceedingly important for purposes of efficacy during the acupuncture treatment. Up until now, there exists no sufficient digital parameter to judge meridian health condition. Meridians and acupoints are considered energy channels with acupoints being the nodes. Laser acupuncture could improve the skin temperature of premature babies and neonates without any risks. Acupuncture stimulation could change the local temperature by improving the local blood supply, but may also increase approximate entropy values and decrease the microcirculatory blood flow variability parameters. Skin temperatures of acupoints may be a sensitive parameter to manifest acupoint and meridian health condition. An infrared thermometer could be widely applied to measure acupoint temperature, with the advantage of noninvasiveness, simplicity, and sensibility.