Effects of acupuncture on functional gastrointestinal disorders: special effects, coeffects, synergistic effects in terms of single or compatible acupoints

J Tradit Chin Med. 2023 Apr;43(2):397-408. doi: 10.19852/j.cnki.jtcm.20230105.002.


Objective: To investigate how the "special effect"/ "coeffect"/"synergistic effect" can achieve a positive result using an "acupuncture prescription" for functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in clinical practice, based on the characteristics of single/compatible acupoints and acupuncture techniques.

Methods: According to the search strategy, we searched six electronic bibliographic databases and provided a summary for this overview.

Results: A large body of evidence has shown that acupuncture has positive effects in the treatment of FGIDs. However, the "prescription" intervention involved different single acupoints, compatible acupoints and acupoints based on expert consensus.

Conclusions: The core acupoints, including Tianshu (ST25), Zusanli (ST36), and Shangjuxu (ST37), emphasize the application of special acupoints, meridian points and nerve segments, and the two-way regulatory effect found in this study is often used as the basis of acupoint selection and acupoint prescription for acupuncture treatment of FGIDs.

Keywords: acupuncture; acupuncture points; co-effects; gastrointestinal diseases; special effects; synergistic effects.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • Acupuncture Therapy* / methods
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Meridians*