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Master Tung's Hand Points

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

acupuncture points on the hand

There are over 25 Tung acupuncture points on the hands and they each have diverse functions. Here's some tips for using them more effectively. There are three major things to consider:

  1. Traditional Teachings, Methods, Meridians & the 6 Systems

  2. Myofascial Lines and Functional Anatomy

  3. Innervation and the Nervous System

Traditional Teachings and Methods

Typically when you learn about these points you will study the location and traditional functions. Related to this are mirroring and imaging. Since many of us are already familiar with this I don’t want to spend too much time on it. Suffice to say each point has numerous functions related to the meridians they are located on, and the meridians they connect to in the six systems.

For instance, 22.01 and 22.02 are indicated for lung disorders, cervical and upper back pain. Since they are located on the lung meridian we can expect them to treat lung conditions. Their ability to treat the upper back and neck is usually explained by way of imaging, and the connection between the LU and UB meridians in system two and four in Tan’s systems approach.

I love these points but rarely use them because they are extremely sensitive and painful to needle. Do not use these points on new patients or those who are extra needle sensitive or they will disappear from your clinic. There are other points we can use that have similar effects but are not so painful to needle. Xiao Jie (22.13) located nearby can treat the neck and shoulders but does not hurt so bad. Xiao Jie is also very good for anterior shoulder pain in the region of LU 1 and LU 2. We can understand this specific function about Xiao Jie through the myofascial lines.

The points 33.13 and 33.14 can be used instead of 22.01 and 22.02 for upper back pain, and can be combined with LU 7 to reach the neck. Similarly, 22.08 and 22.09 work in a very similar way to 22.01 and 22.02 but are not so sensitive to needle. Note that both groups 22.01 & 22.02 and the small intestine meridian points (22.08 & 22.09) get to the deeper levels of the myofascia. Both groups are also very good to use when treating cervicogenic conditions related to the head, neck, shoulders and arms.

small intestine meridian, large intestine meridian, lung meridian

What I mostly want to bring your attention to in this post is how different points affect the myofasical lines. The arms have four major myofascial lines that mirror the meridians and explain many things about point functions. Rather than memorize point functions, learn the myofascial anatomy and then you will gain a greater command of the functions of the points. This is because form and function are always interrelated in complex systems.

In regards to Master Tung's hand points, we need to consider what points are on what line. Points 22.01 & 22.02 are located in the thenar muscles and influence both the SFAL and the DFAL. Points on the dorsal (yang) side of the hand such as Ling Gu (22.05), Da Bai (22.04), 22.03, 22.06, and 22.07 are all on the SBAL, while the small intestine points are on the DBAL.

Distinguishing between these lines helps us to

understand many of the fine nuances of point functions.

The Ling Gu Combination vs. the Yao Tong Xue Combination

A great combination for low back pain is to use Ling Gu, Da Bai, and Xia Bai (22.04, 22.05, 22.07). These three points treat many patterns of lumbar pain and sciatica; however, they tend to work better for more acute patterns. They can be useful for chronic conditions, but that is another discussion. What I want to compare this combination to is using Yao Tong Xue (YTX in the picture) with 22.07.

acupuncture points on the hand for neck and back pain

Two Similar Point Combinations

  1. Ling Gu, Da Bai, Xia Bai (22.07)

  2. Yao Tong Xue & Xia Bai (22.07)

These two point combinations work in a very similar way for lumbar pain. Note how all of these points are on the Superficial Back Arm Line.

The Difference Between the 2 Groups

While the two groups work similarly for lumbar pain, they do have some distinct differences. The points 22.04 and 22.05 are located on the large intestine meridian, and 22.05 strongly affects the thumb and its related myofascia and nerves. In some regards, this makes the Ling Gu combination more powerful, but for treating lumbar pain, the two groups work almost identically. If a patient either responds or doesn't respond to one group, using the other point group doesn't change the results in 90 - 95% of clients.

However, since Ling Gu is located at the thumb joint and affects the nerves differently than YTX it has more diverse functions. We use Ling Gu for headaches, lung conditions, reproductive disorders, and more; however, we don't use YTX for those conditions. Why is Ling Gu more powerful for those other disorders? A lot of this has to do with the nervous system. It's beyond the scope of this post to go into the details about the thumb, thenar muscles, and nerves. For now let's just recognize that Ling Gu has different and more powerful effects on the nerve fibers than Yao Tong Xue. This also explains why it is effective for migraines, gynecological patterns, and pain in general. This brings me to the third point about gaining a greater command of Tung's methods. To jog our memory here are those three points again.

  1. Traditional Teachings, Methods, Meridians & the 6 Systems

  2. Myofascial Lines and Functional Anatomy

  3. Innervation and the Nervous System

While much can be said about the nerves I want to make my concluding remarks about myofascial anatomy and acupuncture point functions. Here is the picture of the arm lines again.

acupuncture meridians and myofascia

The more you understand the anatomy of the myofascial lines, the more you will comprehend the functions of acupuncture points. This applies to the traditional points, Tung's points, points on the hands, special points, and all the various systems of acupuncture.

When you learn about the muscles on these lines, and how the myofasical chains form structural and functional units for movement, you will gain a deeper command of acupuncture. There are also concepts related to myofascial anatomy such as bio-mechanics, tensegrity, and force transmission that relate to, explain, and validate our traditional theories about qi circulation and propagation.

I have wrote volumes about this and gone into all the nitty gritty details in my courses, but much of the teachings can be summarized in this simple statement.

Form & Function, Anatomy & Physiology,
Point Location & Point Function are Intimately Related

To learn more about my classes on Acupuncture and Myofascial Lines Visit:

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