Response to Letter Regarding Article, “Randomized Trial of Acupuncture to Lower Blood Pressure”
We welcome the useful and attentive comments of Vannacci and colleagues concerning our study of acupuncture to lower blood pressure in mild to moderate hypertension.1 Their criticism that Taiyang is not a unilateral but a bilateral needling point is correct, and this point was actually needled bilaterally. We apologize for this misclassification in the text. Active and sham needling points can be easily recognized from Figure 1 of our article, which shows Taiyang at its correct location.
Concerning the nomenclature of acupuncture points, Vannacci and colleagues were not satisfied with our use of German abbreviations. There are various acupuncture point nomenclatures in use worldwide, and the World Health Organization system2 is not universally used. This is precisely the reason why we included a figure showing the location of the points. We think, however, that the desire for a unified nomenclature is reasonable and therefore offer the following list of German abbreviations of traditional Chinese medicine meridians and the corresponding World Health Organization nomenclature (The numerical values of the individual points on the meridians are identical in both systems): Bl corresponds to BL (bladder), Di corresponds to LI (large intestine), KG corresponds to CV (conception vessel); Ks corresponds to PC (pericardium), LG corresponds to GV (governor vessel), Mp corresponds to SP (spleen), Ma corresponds to ST (stomach), and Ni corresponds to KI (kidney), with Pl standing for placebo (sham acupuncture point) in our figure.