To analyze the characteristics of acupoint combinations (formula) for facial palsy in ancient lite-rature, so as to optimize the related acupoint prescriptions in clinical practice.
The database of ancient acupoint prescriptions for facial paralysis was established first after searching and collecting the related acu-moxibustion literature (178 categories as monographs, specific volumes of a book, etc.) by using key words of "facial palsy" or "deviation of the eye and mouth" including Chinese terms of "Diaoxianfeng ()" "Wopi ()"and "Kouwo()". The characteristics of acupoint selection were analyzed and acupoint prescriptions were optimized using bipartite network community structure partition.
The results indicated that of the 56 acupoints for facial palsy collected in the literature, Shuigou (GV 26), Dicang (ST 4), Jiache (ST 6), Hegu(LI 4), Fengchi(GB 20), Zusanli (ST 36), Neiting (ST 44), Tinghui (GB 2), Chengjiang (CV 24) and Shangguan (GB 3) are the core acupoints in clinical application. The acupoints of Dicang (ST 4), Jiache (ST 6), Shuigou (GV 26), Fengchi(GB 20), Neiting (ST 44), Hegu (LI 4), Zusanli (ST 36), Lieque (LU 7), Shangguan (GB 3) and Erjian (LI 2) are most frequently selected for forming prescriptions.The optimized acupoint prescriptions are composed of Tinghui (GB 2), Fengchi (GB 20), Fengshi (GB 31), Xuanzhong (GB 39), Dicang (ST 4), Jiache (ST 6), Zusanli (ST 36), Dazhui (GV 14), Baihui (GV 20), Quchi (LI 11) and Jianyu (LI 15). Core acupoints were mainly distributed on the Stomach Meridian of Foot Yangming, Large Intestine Meridian of Hand Yangming and the Governor Vessel. Acupoints at the face and head are used more frequently than those in any other parts of the body. Specific acupoints are used more frequently than non-specific acupoints, among which Conf-luent Acupoints are most frequently used.
In the treatment of facial paralysis in ancient China, selection of local acupoints is the basic principle and some specific acupoints are the core acupoints in ancient acupuncture prescriptions.