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  Traditional Acupuncture
       Qi        Yin/Yang        Five Elements        Channels        Points
       Diagnosis        Zang-Fu Organs        Chinese Syndromes
  QI Next   Back to Top
The concept of Qi (sometimes spelled "Chi", pronounced "chee") is a central concept in Tao teaching that lays the foundation of Chinese Medical thought and acupuncture.
Qi is commonly interpreted as the vital energy that gives life to all living matter. There is nothing comparable in allopathic (conventional Western) medicine. While human physiology in allopathic medicine is organized according to specialized function, Chinese medicine is more concerned with the dynamics of the interrelationships, especially the patterns of vital energy.

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  Yin/Yang Next   Back to Top
Yin and Yang are counter poles; they are each other's opposite in which life is searching for harmony and balance.
Health in this philosophy means balance between Yin and Yang. Illness means that one of the two is too strong or too weak.
The theories of Yin and Yang and Five Elements that exist in dynamic balance and are organized in the systems of cyclic autonomic regulation, by its essence represent the Confucian ideology.
Within this philosophy, all aspects of the invisible and visible world exist in mutual dependence. This view, in turn, explicates the teachings of "Yin-Yang" and of the "5 phases of transformation".
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  Five Elements Next   Back to Top
Another basic concept of acupuncture is the teaching of the Five Phases of Transformation (also known as the Five Elements, more common term and less accurate).
According to the Five Elements philosophy, everything, including energy, passes through cycles. In nature, this can be seen in the four seasons and in the body it is evidenced by the interactions between the main organs.
The Five Elements theory assumes relationships between Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.
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  Channels Next   Back to Top
According to Chinese medicine, the invisible Qi circulates along a system of conduits. They form a complex network of main channels, minor capillaries and collaterals. There are 14 main interconnected pathways called "meridians" through which this energy circulates, and surface to about 400 acupuncture points. Each meridian is intimately connected with one of the viscera of the body, and each manifests its own characteristics and bears the name of the organ related to it. For example, there's a Liver channel, Heart channel etc.
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  Points Next   Back to Top
The 14 main meridians (channels), through which Qi circulates, emerge to the skin surface at the precise locations called acupuncture points. Local stimulation of different acupuncture points (needling, laser, electricity, etc) can influence the activity of corresponding meridian in specific and predictable manner.
361 Points on the meridians described in the classical ancient Chinese medical manuscripts. They are complimented by 171 Extra-Meridian Points with their specific features. Over the last fifty years, 110 "New" Points and 142 Auricular Points discovered.

  More about Points Next   Back to Top

The tables below represent common knowledge. They are collected from acupuncture manuals and "the must" for acupuncture students preparing for the mid-term and board exams. Please feel free to print them out. Many students prefer to keep these tables handy to make it easier to memorize them.

The "Martial Arts Points" may be somewhat more entertaining for wider audience.

The Five Shu (The Five Elements) Points
Horary Points
Tonification / Sedation Points
Yuan-Source Points
Yuan points & The Luo points
Xi-Cleft Points
Back-Shu points & Front-Mu points
The Eight Extra Meridian Points
Group Luo Points
The Three Jiao Points
The Four Sea Points
The Seven Dragons Points
The Enry/Exit Points
"Husband/Wife" Points
Main Spirit Points
Muscle Meridian Meeting Points
Upper Lower He-Sea Points
Window of Sky Points
Command Points
Martial Arts Points

Index of Acupoint Codes, Names, Translations & Locations

  The Five Shu (The Five Elements) Points Next   Back to Top

The Five Shu Points are situated in the peripheral part of each meridian , below elbows and knees.

Traditionally , these points are the places where the Qi of channels is transferred and each of them corresponds to one of the five elements. In addition, one Shu point on each channel corresponds to the same element as the channel as a whole. This point is referred as the hourly (horary) point.

According to the relation of the Five Elements theory, each meridian has a "mother" point with reinforcing effect on the meridian (tonification point) and a "son" point with a reducing effect (sedative point).

*(H) = Hourly (Horary) Point
*(T) = Tonification Point
*(S) = Sedative Point
The Five Shu Points of Yin Channels

CHANNEL / POINT Jing-Well (Wood) Rong-Spring (Fire) Shu-Stream (Earth) Jing-River (Metal) He-Sea (Water)
Liver Liv-1 (H) Liv-2 (S) Liv-3 Liv-4 Liv-8 (T)
Heart H-9 (T) H-8 (H) H-7 (S) H-4 H-3
Pericardium P-9 (T) P-8 (H) P-7 (S) P-5 P-3
Spleen Sp-1 Sp-2 (T) Sp-3 (H) Sp-5 (S) Sp-9
Lung L-11 L-10 L-9 (T) L-8 (H) L-5 (S)
Kidney K-1 (S) K-2 K-3 K-7 (T) K-10 (H)

The Five Shu Points of the Yang Channels

CHANNEL / POINT Jing-Well (Metal) Rong-Spring (Water) Shu-Stream (Wood) Jing-River (Fire) He-Sea (Earth)
Large Intestine LI-1 (H) LI-2 (S) LI-3 LI-5 LI-11 (T)
Urinary Bladder UB-67 (T) UB-66 (H) UB-65 (S) UB-60 UB-40
Gall Bladder GB-44 GB-43 (T) GB-41 (H) GB-38 (S) GB-34
Small Intestine SI-1 SI-2 SI-3 (T) SI-5 (H) SI-8 (S)
Triple-Warmer SJ-1 SJ-2 SJ-3 (T) SJ-6 (H) SJ-10 (S)
Stomach S-45 (S) S-44 S-43 S-41 (T) S-36 (H)

The Five Shu Points of Yin and Yang Channels can be summarized in the table below. The channels (meridians) are presented in the consequent order.

Lu LI St Sp Ht SI Bl K P TW GB Liv
Wood 11 3 43 1 9 3 65 1 9 3 41 1
Fire 10 5 41 2 8 5 60 2 8 6 38 2
Earth 9 11 36 3 7 8 40 3 7 10 34 3
Metal 8 1 45 5 4 1 67 7 5 1 44 4
Water 5 2 44 9 3 2 66 10 3 2 43 8
  Horary Points Next   Back to Top

  Lu LI St Sp Ht SI Bl K P TW GB Liv
Horary 8 1 36 3 8 5 66 10 8 6 41 1
  Tonification / Sedation Points Next   Back to Top

  Lu LI St Sp Ht SI Bl K P TW GB Liv
Tonification 9 11 41 2 9 3 67 7 9 3 43 8
Sedation 5 2 45 5 7 8 65 1 7 10 38 2
  Yuan-Source Points Next   Back to Top

  Lu LI St Sp Ht SI Bl K P TW GB Liv
Source 9 4 42 3 7 4 64 3 7 4 40 3
  Yan-Source and Luo-Connecting Points Next   Back to Top

According to the traditional Chinese theory each Yang Meridian (Large Intestine, Stomach, Small Intestine, Urinary Bladder, Sanjiao, Gall Bladder) has a related Yin Meridian (Lung, Spleen, Heart, Kidney, Pericardium and Liver).

Yang Meridians are distributed externally while Yin Meridians are distributed internally. Thus there are six couples of Meridians which are spread in parallel (exteriorly - interiorly related Meridians).

The Luo point is located proximal to the Yuan point and it doesn't belong to the Five Shu Points, but is a special point category.

From there, starts the transverse Luo vessel which ends at the Yuan point of the coupled Meridian. The longitudinal Luo vessel starts from the Luo point and running parallel to the Meridian ends directly to the channel's internal Zang or Fu organ.

When a channel is distorted, we can stimulate the Yuan point of the affected Meridian and the Luo point of its exteriorly - interiorly related Meridian.

Lung L9 LI6
Large Intestine LI4 L7
Stomach S42 Sp4
Spleen Sp3 S40
Heart H7 SI7
Small Intestine SI4 H5
Urinary Bladder UB64 K4
Kidney K3 UB58
Pericardium P7 SJ5
Sanjiao SJ4 P6
Gall Bladder GB40 Liv5
Liver Liv3 GB37
Du Mai - Du1
Ren Mai - Ren15
  Xi-Cleft Points Next   Back to Top

  Lu LI St Sp Ht SI Bl K P TW GB Liv
Xi-Cleft 6 7 34 8 6 6 63 5 4 7 36 6
  The Back-Shu Points and Front-Mu Points Next   Back to Top

Back-Shu points are specific points , located on the back of the body, where the Qi of Zang-Fu organs is infused.

From modern prospective these points correspond to the zones of sympathetic enervation.
There is also strong correlation between Back-Shu points and Chakras in Aurvedic medicine.

Front-Mu points are located at the chest and abdomen where the Qi of Zang-Fu organs is infused. When a Zang-Fu organ is diseased , there is an abnormal sensation (tenderness or a sensitive spot) in the corresponding Back-Shu and Front-Mu points. The Back-Shu and the Front-Mu points can be used indepedently or in combination. These points are named according to corresponding zang-fu organs.

Lung UB13 L1
Pericardium UB14 Ren17
Heart UB15 Ren14
Liver UB18 Liv14
Gallbladder UB19 GB24
Spleen UB20 Liv13
Stomach UB21 Ren12
Triple Warmer UB22 Ren5
Kidney UB23 GB25
Large Intestine UB25 S25
Small Intestine UB27 Ren4
Urinary Bladder UB28 Ren3
  The Eight Extra Meridian Points Next   Back to Top

Master Couple Luo X-Cleft Points on Meridian
SI-3 BL-62 DU-1    
LU-7 KI-6 CV-15    
SP-4 MH-6 CV-15   KI-21, CV-21, KI-11
GB-41 SJ-5 CV-15   GB-26, GB-27, GB-28
KI-6 LU-7   KI-8 KI-6, KI-8
BL-62 SI-3   BL-59 BL-1, BL-59, BL-62, GB-20, GB-29, SI-10, ST-4, ST-3, ST-1, LI-15, LI-16
MH-6 SP-4   KI-9 KI-9, SP-13, SP-15, SP-16, LR-14, CV-22, CV-23
SJ-5 GB-41   GB-35 BL-63, GB-35, GB-13 - 20, DU-15, DU-16, ST-8, SI-10, SI-15
  Group Luo Points Next   Back to Top

3 Arm Yang SJ-8
3 Leg Yang GB-39
3 Arm Yin PC-5
3 Leg Yin SP-6
  The Three Jiao Points Next   Back to Top

Upper Jiao Middle Jiao Lower Jiao
CV-17 CV-12 CV-7
  The Four Sea Points Next   Back to Top

Sea of Blood BL-11, ST-37, ST-39
Sea of Qi CV-17, BL-10, ST-9
Sea of Marrow GV-15, GV-16, GV-19, GV-20
Sea of Nourishment ST-10, ST-36
  The Seven Dragons Points Next   Back to Top

Left Right
BL-11 BL-11
BL-23 BL-23
BL-61 BL-61

Left Right
ST-25 ST-25
ST-32 ST-32
ST-41 ST-41
  The Enry/Exit Points Next   Back to Top

  Lu LI St Sp Ht SI Bl K P TW GB Liv
Entry 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Exit 7 20 42 21 9 19 67 22 8 23 41 14
  "Husband/Wife" Points Next   Back to Top

  Main Spirit Points Next   Back to Top

Water BL-44 KI-24
Metal LI-8 LU-3
Earth ST-9 SP-4
Fire HT-4 HT-7
Wood GB-24 LR-14
  Muscle Meridian Meeting Points Next   Back to Top

3 Arm Yang GB-13
3 Leg Yang SI-18 or ST-3
3 Arm Yin GB-22
3 Leg Yin CV-3
  Upper Lower He-Sea Points Next   Back to Top

Lower He-Sea ST-37 ST-36 ST-39 BL-40 BL-39 GB-34
Upper He-Sea LI-9 LI-10 LI-8
  Window of Sky Points Next   Back to Top

BL-10 MH-1
ST-9 CV-22
TH-16 GV-16
LI-8 SI-16
LU-3 SI-17
  The Command Points Next   Back to Top

Abdomen St-36
Head & Neck LU-7
Back BL-40
Face & Mouth LI-4
  Martial Arts Points Next   Back to Top

"Kiss of the Dragon" point
Quote from "On-line Questions and Answers":

Date: 02/24/2003
From: Michael Kilby
I know this may seen like a retarded question, but last I saw the movie "Kiss of The Dragon" and Jet Lee in the movie had this wrist band with acupuncture needles on it and throughout the movie (to stop his enemies) he would take a needle and stick it on certain areas of the body IE: Neck & arms. This would basically paralyze them so they could not move. Well, he also used one on this guy and placed it on the upper part of his neck and it (of course) paralyzed him and sent the blood to his brain and he had blood pouring out his eyes. Pretty cool actually.
I think that part was Hollywood style, but I was just curious if you can paralyze someone by placing a needle on certain areas of the body? Didn't want to ruin the movie that's why I wanted it confidential.
Thanks, Michael K.


Dear Michael,
Yes, it is a movie in Hollywood style. Nevertheless, your question is very interesting.
The "Kiss of the Dragon" point is actually point 15 of the Governing Vessel. It is a popular and widely used point for therapeutic purposes. Also known in Martial Art as a knock out point and even as a lethal point.
The therapeutic needling requires great caution as the incorrect angle of the needle insertion can (in theory) direct the needle into the cerebellum and even into the brain stem.
The effect may be very harmful (just another reason to make sure that your acupuncturist is qualified and experienced). However, in practice, no adverse effects associated with this point were reported, and to do harm by needling this point an acupuncturist must be extremely ignorant, arrogant and very creative at the same time. Or it would require a secret knowledge and special skill available only to select Hollywood stars.
Also, take a look at the chart of the Martial Arts Points on my web site. Go to Acupuncture - Traditional - Points - scroll down. I prepared the diagram for illustration.
Thank you for the remarkable question. With your okay, I will post your question on the web site. And, by the way, Jet Li in that movie was magnificent, I am his big fan.

Best regards,
Alex Tatevian, DA
Date: 02/24/2003
From: Michael Kilby

Thank you for the response! It has opened my eyes alot. That would be great for you to post it. Thanks again and take care!
  Diagnosis Next   Back to Top
In ancient times, laboratory analyses and tests were not available and acupuncture diagnosis relied mostly on observation. Observation of the skin, eyes, tongue, pulse, etc. can tell a seasoned acupuncturist more than you can imagine. Different schools emphasize different techniques. For example, Japanese acupuncturists do not examine the tongue, but instead palpate the abdomen as part of a routine exam and treatment.
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  Zang-Fu Organs Next   Back to Top
The zang-fu theory explains the physiological function, pathological changes, and mutual relationships of internal organs. Zang and fu consist of the five zang and six fu organs. In traditional Chinese medicine the zang and fu organs are not simply anatomical substances, but more importantly represent the generalization of the physiology and pathology of certain systems of the human body.
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  Chinese Syndromes Next   Back to Top
The basic syndromes of traditional Chinese medicine provide foundation for understanding of the nature of disease; signify the location of pathological changes, the condition of body resistance and pathogenic factors.
There are different methods for differentiating syndromes based on a variety of concepts: "the eight principles"; the theory of zang-fu organs; the theory of six channels; the theory of wei, qi, ying, and xue; the theory of the sanjiao; the theory of qi, blood, and body fluids; according to etiology, etc. Each of these methods has its characteristics and emphasis, while in clinical practice they are interrelated and complement each other.
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