Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Jinsuo : Sinew Contraction

Du-8 : Extraordinary Governing Vessel 8

Master Tung's Five Mountain Ranges
Master Tung's Behind the Heart points

On the midline of the back, in the depression below the spinous process of the ninth thoracic vertebra (T9).

Oblique superior insertion 0.5 - 1 cun, or transverse inferior insertion up to 6 cun in "xiangwei needling" to connect with Zhongshu Du-7, Jizhong Du-6 and Xuanshu Du-5.

The spinal canal lies between 1.25 and 1.75 cun deep to the skin surface, varying according to body build.

TCM Actions:
Soothes the liver, pacifies wind and relieves spasm
Calms the spirit

TCM Indications:
  • Upward staring eyes, clonic spasm, epilepsy, childhood fright epilepsy, stiffness and contraction of the spine, pain the Heart.
  • Mania, mad walking, incessant talking, jaundice, anger injuring the Liver.

    Superficial Innervation: Medial branches of dorsal rami of T9
    Dermatome Segment: T9

    This point is also on the 3rd trajectory of the Chong mai connecting the Chong with the Du for Invigorating Yang in cases of Bi Obstruction due to Blood Stagnation (Yuen, 2005, The Extraordinary Vessels).

    In "xiangwei needling" the Du is needled transversely against the direction of the channel in order to reduce excess conditions, in this case in disorders of the Liver, Gallbladder, Stomach, Spleen and back (Liu Yan, 2008, Diagrams of Acupuncture Manipulations, p.121).

    Ling Shu Ch. 26, On Miscellaneous Diseases, advises pressing this point, piercing abd then pressing again for pain in the Heart. If it does not end immediately the spine is palpated up or down to find a new point and this is pierced.

    In Master Tung's system this point is one of the five mountain ranges (Wu Ling). They consist of five sets of points in three lines representing the phases of the Wu Xing in a series of lines:

    The first set is along the midline, below each vertebrae from T2 to T11. From T2 to T8 relate to Fire, T9 to T11 relate to Earth.
    The second set is 3 cun from the midline. from T2 to T9. From T2 to T6 relate to Metal, T7 to T9 relate to Wood.
    The third set is 6 cun from the midline from T2 to T8. From T2 to T4 relate to Metal, T5 to T8 relate to Wood.

    They are indicated for fever, common cold, hypertension, headache, lumbar pain, numbness of the hands and feet, hemiplegia, acute stomachache, vomiting or acute enteritis by releasing heat, wind and stagnation from the organs relating to their phase and treated with a pricking method to release a drop of blood (McCann, 2014, Pricking the Vessels).

    Tung's Behind the Heart (Hou Xin or Bei Xin) points are located under spinous processes from T4 to T9, 1.5 cun laterally to T4 to T7 and 3 cun laterally from T4 to T6. They are indicated for "wool like furuncles", clove sores, weakness and debility of the Heart zang, Stomach diseases, acute heart disease leading to numbness and paralysis, wind-cold entering the interior, severe wind-cold, stroke, externally contracted diseases that manifest with papules. They clear heat from the Heart and Lung and release the exterior so are useful in dermatological disorders (ibid.).

    Tung's prick to bleed technique may make greater sense than regular needles as shallow depth without retention may be safer over the spine and lungs and the larger gauge used may provide better stimulation to this relatively insensitive area.

    In Tibetan medicine:
    Edelweiss flowers are burnt in cones like moxa over crushed garlic at this point as a gall bladder point to relieve indigestion, yellow eyes, jaundice, gallstones, loss of appetite, constant headaches and lack of digestive heat (Bradley, 2000: Principles of Tibetan Medicine)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)