top of page

Lung 7 and the Front Functional Line

Lung 7 (LU 7) is known to be the confluent point for the Conception Vessel (CV), and as the name implies there is a connection to the lower abdomen and uterus. In this blog post, I will explore a myofascial basis for the connection between LU 7 and the lower abdomen.


Superficial Front Arm Line, Brachioradialis, & the Front Functional Line

In the image on the left, we can see the Superficial Front Arm Line (SFAL) which includes the pectorals major, forearm flexors, and lattisimus dorsi. The acupuncture point LU 7 is located 1.5 cun above the wrist crease and on the lung meridian. This places it in the region of the tendon of the brachioradialis muscle. As part of the LU meridian and SFAL, the brachioradialis has fascial connections to the pectoralis major which connects to the sternum.


When considering the functions of acupuncture points and their relationship to the myofascial lines, it is important to remember that structural and mechanical forces are involved in acupuncture's effects on the muscles, fascia, and connective tissues. These mechanical effects have been well-researched, and it is known that some of these changes occur within the proteins of the connective tissues. (1,2)


In the image below, we see the Front Functional Line (FFL) in the middle and the Superficial Front Line on the right. The FFL is a kind of extraordinary myofascial line because it includes muscles from both the Superficial Front Arm Line and the Superficial Front Line.


S. Front Arm Line, Front Functional Line, & Superficial Front Line

As mechanical forces (qi energy) move through these lines, we can understand how a needle at LU 7 can affect the muscles on these lines. As an example of how qi moves through the myofascial lines, contract your inner forearm muscles by flexing your wrist and contracting the muscles on the yin side of your forearm. Try to isolate the contraction only in the forearm flexors but notice how the biceps will also contract. Similarly, notice how attempting to isolate the contraction in the forearm flexors also causes the pectoralis major muscles to contract. Even if you try to keep your biceps and pec major relaxed, it is impossible as you tightly squeeze and contract your forearm flexors. As you do this exercise you may also feel your abdominal muscles tighten as you flex your forearm.


This simple exercise demonstrates how qi and mechanical energy move through the myofascial lines and meridians.


Next, let's try contracting the abdominal muscles and specifically the abdominis rectus which is part of the Superficial Front Line. As you squeeze your abdominal muscles notice how tension and contraction will also move into the pec major muscles. You may also feel those contractile forces move into your shoulders and down your arm. Once again, we can feel how mechanical forces or qi energy move through the myofascial lines and meridians.


While the above exercises are a macro demonstration of how energy moves through the lines, similar micro-movements can occur with acupuncture, especially when the needles are twirled in circular directions.



Traditional Functions of Lung 7


The functions of LU 7 are very diverse and for a quick review, this point has the following effects.


  1. Opens the lung meridian and promotes the descending of qi by the lungs. Treats cough, asthma, sore throats, and common colds. Expels wind and phlegm.

  2. Opens and regulates the Ren/Conception Vessel. The CV meridian and LU 7 are often used to treat lower abdominal pain, menstrual disorders, and hernias.

  3. Benefits the head and neck

  4. Regulates the water passages


While we can consider the functions of acupuncture points from a traditional energetic perspective, it is also useful to be aware of neurological and myofascial changes that result from acupuncture. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the neurological implications of needling LU 7, we can see from the images above that the pec major is a key muscle that is related to the LU meridian and Superficial Front Arm Line (SFAL). When using points like LU 7 and PC 6 for chest tightness, some of the benefits of these points likely relate to their ability to release muscular contractions and myofascial disharmonies in the SFAL.


Chronic Contraction in the Front Lines Due to Postural Imbalance


Another way to look at this is to take a common problem such as excessive forward hunching that results from age, excessive bending over, and desk work. With excessive forward hunching, many of the muscles on the front lines will become chronically contracted such as the anterior neck muscles, the pectoralis muscles, and the rectus abdominis.


This can cause several health problems including neck and back pain, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and even abdominal and digestive problems.


By needling LU 7 it is possible to release some of the chronic contractions that can develop from excessive hunching. This can in turn result in benefits for conditions like chest tightness, neck and upper back pain, kyphosis, and lower abdominal discomfort. Lung 7 may also be paired with PC 6 and HT 4 to create a powerful point combination for chest tightness occurring with neck and upper back pain. This combination is best used when excessive contractions are present in the front myofascial lines, thereby causing excessive lengthening and weakness in the back and neck muscles.


When postural imbalances, kyphosis, and front-line contractions are found, it is also useful to teach the client movements to open their chest by retracting the shoulders while expanding the chest forward and up. Gentle backbends such as upward dog, cobra, and seated backbends are also helpful in restoring postural balance, strengthening the back muscles, and stretching the front lines.


By integrating a myofascial perspective into traditional methods we can better comprehend the functions of acupuncture points. This has many implications and helps to produce better clinical results with fewer needles. To learn more, consider taking some of my classes and learn how qi energy relates to biomechanics, posture, and myofascial lines.


Save 30 - 50% on my courses at the link below.




Sources


1. Langevin, Helen, et al., “Biomechanical response to acupuncture needling in humans,” J Appl Physiol, 91:2471-78, 2001.


2. Langevin, Helene, et al., “Mechanical signaling through connective tissue: A mechanism for the therapeutic effect of acupuncture,” FASEB J, 15:2275-82, 2001.



436 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page