Why spend hundreds of dollars on reference books and study guides when the option of digital learning is literally in the palm of your hand? These smartphone and tablet applications provide tons of valuable information for anyone with an interest in acupuncture — whether you’re just beginning to study or are already a learned practitioner. Quiz yourself on what you know, explore 3D charts and graphs, compare actual photos of acupuncture points, take personalized notes, and search possible diagnoses by symptom with these eight fantastic acupuncture apps.
A Manual of Acupuncture
This app is adapted from the essential 1998 book by Peter Deadman, Mazin Al-Khafaji, and Kevin Baker and features the same informational text on point locations, indications, and names, as well as the book’s original anatomically correct illustrations and detailed commentaries. A Pro subscription to this app is $52.99, and includes the full text and illustrations from “A Manual of Acupuncture,” interactive anatomy and pathway videos, self-testing modules, detailed descriptions, the option to add your own notes, and more. The Lite subscription is free, and features limited access. This app is an in-depth and accessible version of the book perfect for both those studying and teaching the practice of acupuncture.
Shen Acupuncture App
“The Shen-Atlas of Acupuncture” is a reference book with over 1,000 pages of information and over 400 high-quality illustrations and charts of acupuncture points on four anatomical levels. The app includes full access to the atlas as well as interactive options, including a search option and “MyDatabase,” which allows you to save and organize notes, pictures, and specific acupuncture points. Shen Acupuncture App is free for the first month, and $11.99 a year (or a monthly charge of $1.49) afterward.
Hand Acupuncture App
Specifically focused on the reflexology acupuncture points of the hand, this app breaks down the illustrations and charts into two groups: the palm points and the points in the back of the hand. At only $0.99, the Hand Acupuncture App is a deal if you are studying or practicing reflexology, allowing you to compare points with 3D illustrations of the different anatomical levels of the hand (skin, muscles, bones, and nerves).
This app by Miridia Technology Inc. is an interactive program that includes treatment protocols, anatomic charts and illustrations, search functions, and quiz modules in order to test your knowledge. One of the coolest things about this app is that it also includes actual photographic examples of acupuncture points in addition to illustrations, paired with detailed descriptions of points, locations, functions, and symptoms. Acupuncture Points — or simply “Points,” as it’s commonly referred to — is only available for use on iPhones for $36.99, but an Android release is in the works.
Visual Acupuncture 3D
Focusing on 3D illustrations, Visual Acupuncture 3D is an app that assists in studying meridian pathways and anatomical point locations. Interactive anatomy models are available with the option of hiding, fading, or switching between anatomical levels. Available on both iPhone and Android, this app is $3.99 a month with additional in-app package purchase options to expand your subscription.
AcuRhythm Pro is an app that focuses on chronoacupuncture, a type of acupuncture that heals by selecting points that are more active during different parts of the day. The app is $3.99, and calculates the most effective open points using various theories, including seasonal points and intergenerational theory.
Acupuncture Assistant translates information from TCM Points and provides full detailed descriptions (including the original Chinese name, meaning, category, localization, point indications, and more) of 390 acupuncture points with illustrations. This app includes an edit option for you to add your own notes on each point, a timer to time out patients, a search option module, and treatment suggestions. Acupuncture Assistant is available on both iPhone and Android for $6.99 to $7.99.
TCM Clinic Aid
With a large searchable database, TCM Clinic Aid is an excellent reference for students and practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Acupuncture point descriptions, herbal formulas, individual herbs, diagnoses (search by symptoms), and tons of images are all included in the program, which ranks in the top 100 for medical apps in the iTunes store. TCM Clinic Aid is $14.99 and offers additional in-app package purchase options to expand your subscription.