Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Ganshu : Liver Shu

Bl-18 : Foot Taiyang Bladder 18

Back-Shu of the Liver

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the ninth thoracic vertebra (T9).

Oblique insertion towards the spine 0.5 - 1 cun, or transverse-oblique insertion 1 - 1.5 cun

Perpendicular needling or oblique needling away from the spine carries a substantial risk of causing a pneumothorax.

TCM Actions:
Spreads Liver qi
Regulates and nourishes Liver Blood
Pacifies Wind
Cools Fire and clears Damp-Heat
Benefits the eyes and sinews

TCM Indications:
  • Distension and pain of the lateral costal region, epigastric pain, abdominal (ji ju) masses, focal distension, hypogastric fullness and pain, lower abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, shan disorder.
  • Fullness of the chest, cough with chest pain, cough with fullness of the lateral costal region and inability to catch the breath, shortness of breath, shortness of breath, jaundice, dry mouth.
  • Much anger, mania-depression, epilepsy.
  • Coughing blood, spitting blood, vomiting blood, nosebleed.
  • Blurred vision, redness of the eyes, night blindness, excessive lacrimation, redness pain and itching of the inner canthus, superficial visual obstruction, upward staring eyes, dizziness, visual dizziness, pain of the nose, pain of the supraorbital region.
  • Rigidity of the neck and spine, pain of the spine, lumbar pain, pain of the neck and shoulders, lockjaw, opisthotonos, cramps, pain of the sinews, tetany.

    Superficial Innervation: Posterior cutaneous thoracic nerves from T9
    Dermatome Segment: T9
    Deeper Structures: Dorsal rami of spinal nerves from T9

    As back-shu point of the liver this is the main point on back for regulating all aspects of Liver function, smoothing qi, cooling heat and pacifying wind emanating from liver dysfunction.

    Ling Shu Ch. 51, On the Back Transport Points, advises that the back Shu points of the Yin organs should be pressed. If this elicits a response, either pain or the relief of a existing pain, then these points should be supplemented or drained with moxa and not pierced. To supplement with moxa the cone is to be left to burn down naturally, to drain it is to be blown on to make it burn more fiercely.

    Ling Shu Ch. 52, On the Wei Qi, considers this to be the tip of the foot Jueyin meridian with the tip being at Zhongfeng Liv-4.

    One of the Aggressive Energy Drain points in five element acupuncture, along with Feishu Bl-13, Jueyinshu Bl-14, Xinshu Bl-15, Pishu Bl-20 and Shenshu Bl-23, indicated where psychological or emotional issues are blocking treatment. They are needled from left to right, top to bottom, with the exception of Xinshu Bl-15 that is needled last, along with controls outside the Bladder channel at the same levels. If aggressive energy is present the points should become redder than the test points and are left until the redness disappears. If not then needles can be removed and treatment continued.

    In Tibetan medicine:
    Moxa point (AMNH, Tibetan Medical Paintings)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)