This study aimed to explore the characteristics and principles of acupoints, which were applied for treating tension-type headache (TTH).
Four databases were searched for the literature studies of treating TTH with acupuncture and moxibustion up to September 1, 2020. Titles, journals, authors, key words, interventions, main acupoints, and outcomes of the included literature studies were extracted and inputted into the self-established Data Excavation Platform of Acupoint Specificity for analysis.
In total, 128 papers containing 137 prescriptions, 89 meridian acupoints, and 7 extraordinary acupoints of treating TTH with acupuncture and moxibustion were included. The total frequency of acupoints’ application was 763 times. Fengchi (GB20), Baihui (GV20), Taiyang (EX-HN5), Hegu (LI4), and Taichong (LR3) were used most frequently. The acupoints in Yang meridians were utilized more than those in Yin meridians (66.1% vs. 17.8%), and the acupoints in the Gallbladder Meridian of Foot Shaoyang were applied most commonly. 59.9% (457/763) of the applied acupoints were on the head, face, and neck, and 31.7% (242/763) were on the four limbs. Additionally, the proportion of specific acupoints’ application was 78.2% (597/763).
The prescription of Fengchi (GB20), Baihui (GV20), Taiyang (EX-HN5), Hegu (LI4), and Taichong (LR3) might be relatively reasonable in clinical practices of treating TTH with acupuncture, which should be verified in further studies.

Copyright © 2021 Lingyun Lu et al.