This depends on the condition being treated. Although the acupuncture points are located throughout the entire body, usually the needles are placed on the extremities from your elbows down to your hands, and from your knees down to your feet. Other common areas include the abdomen, back, and ears.
When treating orthopedic/musculo-skeletal pain it is common to insert the needle into the area of pain to disperse stagnation and bring back proper circulation to the area. Typically no more than 5-15 points are used and sometimes even less.
The are over 350 points regularly utilized in the traditional system, but this is just the beginning. There are multiple modalities of treatment encompassing their own points as well. In all, there are arguably thousands of points across the body, each one stimulated individually and in unison with others to treat the patient.
Points are located along channels or networks known as “meridians”. There are 12 major meridians in the body. Each of these is like a highway transporting energy and blood to its respective internal organ (Liver, Heart, Lung, Spleen, Kidney, etc.). When the energy in a meridian is not moving properly, it can, in turn, affect the proper functioning of the organs and cause imbalances throughout the body producing the symptoms of disease and pain. Points are accessed along these meridians to correct imbalances and/or reduce pain.