Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Zhiyang : Reaching Yang

Du-9 : Extraordinary Governing Vessel 9

Homeostatic point 20 (Ma, Ma & Cho, 2005, Biomedical Acupuncture for Pain Management)
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 seventh thoracic vertebra (T7).

Oblique superior insertion 0.5 - 1 cun

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

TCM Actions:
Fortifies the spleen, drains dampness and regulates the middle jiao
Trears jaundice
Unbinds the chest

TCM Indications:
  • Cold in the Stomach, inability to eat, emaciation, borborygmus, heaviness and pain of the four limbs, weakness of the four limbs with malaise of the whole body due to exterior heat or cold pathogen, diminished qi difficulty in speaking.
  • The five types of jaundice, fullness of the chest and lateral costal region, cough, dyspnoea, heat in the Kidneys.
  • Pain of the lumbar spine, stiffness of the spine.

    Superficial Innervation: Medial branches of dorsal rami of T7
    Dermatome Segment: T7

    According to Ma, Ma & Cho (2005) this is the first vertebral point to become tender when homeostasis declines, presumably due to its location just under the level of the scapula which makes it a mechanical pivot. Similar to H1 (Quchi L.I.-11) and H4 (Yinlingquan Sp-9) this can be used to assess the homeosatic status of that patient. T5 tends to produce the next tender point and then other points from T1 - 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 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 liver point and T8 as the liver point to relieve eructation, vomiting, blockage of the diaphragm, liver tumors and strengthen the liver (Bradley, 2000: Principles of Tibetan Medicine).

    If gates along the microcosmic orbit are considered in terms of qabalistic sephirot then this point would be equivalent to chesed.

    In Hindu tantrism this point would be the likely equivalent of the Anahata chakra.

    Reference Notes: (click to display)