Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Shangxing : Upper Star

Du-23 : Extraordinary Governing Vessel 23

Alternative Name(s): Mingtang, Guitang, Guigong, Shentang
Translation: Hall of Brightness, Ghost Hall, Ghost Palace, Hall of the Spirit

Sun Si-miao Ghost point (4th trinity)
One of the "59 piercings" for clearing Heat in Su Wen Ch. 61

At the top of the head on the midline, 1 cun posterior to the anterior hairline and 0.5 cun posterior to Shenting Du-24. Can also be seen as midway between Baihui Du-20 and the glabella.

Transverse insertion 0.5 - 1 cun

Several classical texts warn that excessive moxibustion at this point will raise the yang and lead to lack of clarity of vision (Deadman et al, 2001).

TCM Actions:
Benefits the nose and eyes
Eliminates wind, benefits the head and dispels swelling
Calms the spirit

TCM Indications:
  • Nasal obstruction and discharge, nasal obstruction accompanied by headache, inability to distinguish the fragrant from the foul, nasal polyps, clear nasal discharge, rhinitis, ceaseless bleeding from the nose and mouth.
  • Visual dizziness, pain of the eyes, short sightedness, redness and swelling of the face, swelling of the skin of the head, head wind.
  • Malaria, febrile disease with absence of sweating, mania-depression.

    Superficial Innervation: Ophthalamic branch of trigeminal nerve (CN V1)
    Dermatome Segment: CN V1 ophthalamic branch of trigeminal

    Mainly used for disorders of the nose and eyes.


    Ghost Points:
    The fourth trinity of Ghost Points, consisting of this point, Quchi LI-11, Huiyin Ren-1 and Huiqian or Yintang, is concerned with self-destructive behaviour, self-harm and attempts at suicide.

    This point's actions to open the portals to the senses reflects its ability to treat psychosomatic sensory loss. It is also classically indicated to stop bleeding caused by self harm. This point is generally bled with plum blossom needling (Yuen, 2005, 3 Spirits & 7 Souls).


    Ge Hong (4th century) relates a cure for sexual possession of a woman due to having intercourse with a malignant spirit. The symptoms include talking and laughing to herself, depression and delirium.

    The cure involves a ritual and acupuncture. First the master conceals 5 needles in his hair and sets up a vessel full of water with three strips of red cloth placed over the top and a sword laid flat over the top. Next, he calls out the patient's name. She will try to run but must not be allowed to leave. Then, he takes a mouthful of water and sprays it over her, glaring furiously. After repeating this three times he wipes the water from her face and snaps his fingers above her forehead by the hairline and asks her if she wants to be cured. She will not answer until doing this twice, snapping the fingers 7 times each.

    Then insert a needle at Renzhong Du-26, at Jiache St-6, this point and Yintang. Cross examine her thoroughly and she will gradually regain consciousness and the possession will come to an end.

    Strickmann, M. (2002), Chinese Magical Medicine, p. 242. Stanford University Press.


    The "59 piercings" are named in the Su Wen Ch. 61 and mentioned in Su Wen Ch. 32 for treating Heat diseases. This point along with Xinhui Du-22, Qianding Du-21, Baihui Du-20 and Houding Du-19 clear Heat from counterflow in the Du channel.

    Ling Shu Ch. 23, On Heat Diseases, gives a different set of "59 Piercings but includes 3 points 1 cun above the hairline and 3 fen to either side which would be to either side of this point if the hairline implied is the anterior hairline.

    Ling Shu Ch. 24, On Counterflow Diseases, seems to employs the points from the Su Wen in treating headache, dizziness and heaviness of the head. It advises draining from the five points on each of the five channels on the top of the head, including this point, followed by the hand Shaoyin and then foot Shaoyin.

    Reference Notes: (click to display)