Acupuncture Points Notebook

: Zhongzhu : Central Islet

SJ-3 : Hand Shaoyang Triple Burner 3

Shu-Stream and Wood point

Mother point of the Sanjiao channel

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

On the dorsum of the hand, in the depression just proximal to the fourth and fifth metacarpo-phalangeal joints. Locate with the hand resting in a loose fist. May also be located as the apex of an equilateral triangle formed by this point the prominences of the metacarpo-phalangeal joints of the little and ring fingers.

Perpendicular or oblique insertion directed proximally, 0.5 - 1 cun

TCM Actions:
Clears heat
Benefits the ears
Clears the head and eyes
Activates the channel and alleviates pain

TCM Indications:
  • Tinnitus, deafness, earache, one-sided headache, pain of the temples, dizziness, redness and pain of the eyes, superficial visual obstruction, throat painful obstruction.
  • Itching of the body and face, red face, red face with absence of sweating, febrile disease, febrile disease with headache, chills and fever, aversion to wind and cold, chronic malaria, mania.
  • Inability to flex and extend the fingers, redness, swelling and pain of the elbow and upper arm extending into the shoulder, numbness of the four limbs, pain of the spine and the level of the Heart.

    Superficial Innervation: Ulnar nerve from C8 and T1
    Dermatome Segment: C7, C8

    Trigger Point Associations:
    Muscle: Fourth dorsal interosseous
    Myotome Innervation: Deep branch of the ulnar nerve (C8–T1)
    Location Notes: Together with ulnar Yaotongxue. Trigger points for the other interossei may be found anywhere between the metacarpals
    Pain Referral Pattern: To side of affected finger
    Indications: Arthritic pain in the fingers ; Heberden's nodes

    In five element acupuncture this point is reinforced to tonify Sanjiao deficiencies.


    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.


    In Tung acupuncture this point equates to the Zhong Bai, Middle White, point indicated for Kidney deficiency patterns, often combined with the Da Bai and Ling Gu points (Sanjian LI-3 and proximal to Hegu LI-4) for lumbago (Chu, 2015).

    One explanation for this could relate to the five element attribution of this point as the tonifying/mother point of the San Jiao channel and the San Jiao's close relationship to the Kidneys and the balancing of Water and Fire.


    In Mayan medicine:
    Commonly used for pain in the hand and arm, up to the elbow (Garcia, Sierra, Balam, 1999: Wind in the Blood)


    Medieval phlebotomy point (John de Foxton, 1408: Liber Cosmographiae,; Hans von Gersdorff, 1517: Feldtbüch der Wundartzney,


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


    In Thai massage:
    Acupressure point indicated for headache, sciatica and shoulder pain/injury/arthritis (Salguero & Roylance, 2011, Encyclopedia of Thai Massage)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)