Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Taibai : Supreme White

Sp-3 : Foot Taiyin Spleen 3

Shu-Stream and Earth point

Yuan-Source point
Horary point of the Spleen channel

Trigger point (Travell & Simons, 1998, Trigger Point Manual)

On the medial side of the foot in the depression proximal and inferior to the head of the first metatarsal bone.

Perpendicular insertion 0.5 - 1 cun

TCM Actions:
Tonifies the spleen and resolves dampness and damp-heat
Harmonises the spleen and stomach
Regulates qi

TCM Indications:
  • Deficiency of the Spleen and Stomach, heaviness of the body with pain of the bones, oppressive sensation of the four limbs, leg qi, borborygmus, borborygmus with stabbing pain, diarrhoea, undigested food in the stool, diarrhoea with pus and blood, dysenteric disorder, constipation, haemorrhoids.
  • Cutting pain of the abdomen, pain of the abdomen, distension of the abdomen, distension of the epigastrium, pain of the epigastrium, pain of the epigastrium and Heart, distension of the chest and lateral costal region, vomiting, hunger with no pleasure in eating, sudden turmoil disorder with hands and feet counterflow cold.
  • Febrile disease with fullness and oppression and inability to lie down, febrile disease that begins with heaviness of the head, pain of the forehead, heat in the body with agitation and fullness.
  • Pain of the knee and thigh, joint pains, lumbar pain, atrophy disorder.

    Superficial Innervation: Superficial peroneal nerve from L4 - S1
    Dermatome Segment: L4

    Trigger Point Associations:
    Muscle: Flexor hallucis brevis
    Myotome Innervation: Medial plantar nerve from tibial nerve from sciatic nerve (L4 - S3)
    Pain Referral Pattern: To head of first metatarsal with spillover to great toe
    Indications: Diseases of the foot

    Ling Shu Ch. 6 suggests piercing the Ying and Shu points of the Yin channels if a disease is in the Yin of the Yin realm (e.g. the Zang organs) suggesting this point and Dadu Sp-2 in diseases of the Spleen.

    Ling Shu Ch. 9, On Ends and Beginnings, advises that in the case of Heat associated with receding Yin Qi the Yang conduit should be pierced once and the Yin conduits twice. Based on other recommendation to use the He-Sea of the Yang conduits (Ch. 19) and the Yuan-Source with the Ying-Spring points (Chs. 6, 19 and 24) to clear Heat from the Zangfu, that would suggest this point, Zusanli St-36 and Dadu Sp-2 as a protocol to clear Heat in the Stomach/Spleen. Next it advises that in Cold associated with receding Yang Qi the Yang should be pierced twice and the Yin once but no such obvious protocol is evident for this situation. Another interpretation that would match with common practice today, based on the idea of odd numbers being Yang/moving/clearing while even numbers are Yin/tonifying/reinforcing, is that the points on the channel to be cleared are pierced on one side only while those on the channel to be tonified are pierced bilaterally.

    Ling Shu Ch. 19, on the Four Seasonal Qi, advises using the Shu-Stream points, unless the diseases are in the Fu organs, in which case the He-Sea points are chosen.

    Ling Shu Ch. 23, On Heat Diseases, recommends in cases of Heat disease accompanied with spontaneous sweating which is in accordance with the norms and further sweating is indicated removing the disease through this point, Taiyuan Lu-9, Yuji Lu-10 and Dadu Sp-2. Draining these points makes the Heat disappear, supplementation here makes a sweat emit. If sweating is extreme then Sanyinjiao Sp-6 ends it.

    Ling Shu Ch. 24, On Counterflow Diseases, employs the point combination mentioned in Ch. 6 for the treatment of Heart pain. It advises piercing this point and Dadu Sp-2 when treating a severe Heart pain accompanied by distended abdomen and fullness in the chest, associated with the Stomach.

    Ling Shu Ch. 34, On the Five Disturbances, advises this point and Zusanli St-36 to remove disturbing Qi in the Stomach and Intestines causing cholera symptoms (vomiting, cramps and watery diarrhoea).

    Ling Shu Ch. 44, On the Qi Moving in Accordance with the Norms, indicates that the Shu-Stream points should be pierced in summer or when the disease becomes milder and then more severe again. The seasonal aspect should not be interpreted literally as it describes the time periods of weakness and severity as "controlled by summer". It also describes the morning, afternoon, evening and night cycle of the day to be like the four seasons of the year with afternoon corresponding to summer.

    Reference Notes: (click to display)