Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Qimai : Spasm Vessel

SJ-18 : Hand Shaoyang Triple Burner 18

Posterior to the ear, in a small depression on the mastoid bone, one third of the distance along a curved line drawn between Yifeng SJ-17 to Jiaosun SJ-20 following the line of the rim of the ear.

Subcutaneous insertion along the course of the channel 0.3 - 0.5 cun, or prick to bleed.

TCM Actions:
Benefits the ears
Calms and pacifies wind

TCM Indications:
  • Tinnitus, deafness, pain behind the ear.
  • Headache, head wind, vomiting, diarrhoea, seminal emission, discharge from the eye, dimness of vision.
  • Infantile fright epilepsy, clonic spasm, fright and fear.

    Superficial Innervation: Greater auricular nerve, from the cervical nerve plexus (branches from C2 - C3)
    Dermatome Segment: C2

    Galen recommended arteriotomy "behind the ear" and so probably at Yifeng SJ-17, or on the occipital artery at this point or Luxi SJ-19 for scotomatics (blind spots) and people with "chronic hot and spiritous pains in the head" (Brain, 1986, Galen on Bloodletting, p.97).

    Aretaeus performed arteriotomy in front (probably Taiyang) and behind the ears for epilepsy (ibid.: p.97, footnote).


    Avicenna describes venesection at this point in his treatise On Venesection:

    "There are three small veins (posterior auricular veins) located behind the ear where it meets the hair. One of the three veins is more visible and is venesected at the start of water and vapour accumulation in the head coming from the stomach; for this reason it is beneficial in the case of ear and back-of-the-head sores, as well as in head disease. Galen rebuffs the notion that venesecting the veins behind the ears causes sterility [lowering of libido] as sought by reclusive individuals.
    The arteries behind the ears, the posterior auricular arteries, are venesected incases of conjunctivitis, beginning of glaucoma, leucoma, night blindness and chronic headache. Their venesection is not free of risk, and the incision slow to heal." (Aspects of Treatment According to General Diseases, 21st section in Abu-Asab, Amri & Micozzi, 2013, Avicenna's Medicine).

    Reference Notes: (click to display)