Dr. Tan's Systems and Master Tung's Points
An Integrative Course

The Balance Method as taught by Dr. Richard Tan is a profound system that every acupuncturist needs to be familiar with.  The method is based on the connections between the meridians according to their traditional names, internal-external relations, and the horary cycle.  The table demonstrates the ST meridian associations.  

The actions of Master Tung's points are also best understood according to these six systems, and they provide a platform for comprehending the energetics of Tung's points.  

Many of us may be familiar with Dr. Tan's systems and Master Tung's points; however, we can increase our knowledge of these points and systems by relating them to each other.  

Additionally, my work also focuses on how the Balance Method and Master Tung's points can be better understood when we consider fascial planes.  

Stomach Meridian System Connections:

System 1:  ST   -   LI  (Yang Ming Pair)

System 2:  ST   -   PC  (Yang Ming - Jue Yin)

System 3:  ST   -   SP  (Internal - External)


System 4:  ST   -   PC  (Horary, Opposite on Clock)


System 5:  ST   -   LI   (Horary, Next to Clock)


System 6:  ST 

The Superficial Front Line and the Stomach and Pericardium Connections

The image with the blue muscles shows the fascial plane of the superficial front line (SFL), and can help us to understand both Dr. Tan's systems and Master Tung's points. 

The points 88.01 - 88.03 are located above the middle of the patella on the thigh, and are indicated for heart disorders and stomach conditions.  


By following the fascial lines we can see how the points on the thigh connect to rectus abdominis and the sternum.  Needling points on the thigh affects the fascial plane of the SFL, and can produce therapeutic results in non-local areas.  


On the interior side of the sternum, pericardial ligaments attach to the sternum, and these connective tissue relationships can be anatomically traced to better understand Tan's six systems and Master Tung's points.  

Stomach Meridian Systems and Tung's Points

The table below shows the system connections for the stomach, as well as the Master Tung points that are located on the connecting meridians.  For instance, Ling Gu and Da Bai are on the large intestine meridian, which has a system one connection with the stomach.  These points treat stomach and intestinal pain and disorders, in addition to other symptoms.  


*The points indications listed for each of the Tung points are only those related to the stomach meridian and organ functions as understood in Chinese medicine.  

The meridian circuits listed in the last row are synonymous with the Global Balance Method, and demonstrate connecting channels that form what I call circuits, they are covered in detail in my book Meridian Circuit Systems: A Channel Based Approach to Pattern Identification.

By Integrating Dr. Tan's Systems with Master Tung's Points we can better understand both of these Methods.  

Let's look at another example:

The Four Horses located on the stomach meridian are the most commonly used points for lung conditions in Master Tung's acupuncture; however, the stomach does not have a direct connection with the lungs in the six systems.  

In the meridian circuits and Global Balance Method, we find that the yang ming pairs with the tai yin channels.


This is a second degree connection between the stomach and lungs.

Additionally, Master Tung points on the LU channel can be used for gastrointestinal and spleen disorders.  These points include 22.11 (Tu Shui, Earth Water), Xiao Jie, and 44.08 - 44.10.  These points can be used for stomach and intestinal inflammation, as well as spleen related patterns.   

The Yang Ming - Tai Yin Pair

ST    -    LI

 -            -

SP    -    LU

Master Tung stomach meridian points for the lungs include: 

Four Horses

Four Flowers

Here again we see the fascial plane of the superficial front line, which is very similar to the stomach meridian.  From this we can see how the points on the thighs and legs on the stomach channel, connect to the sternum and SCM muscle.  This can partially explain many of the benefits of the Four Horses for treating lung conditions.  

By understanding Dr. Tan's six systems, Master Tung's points, meridian circuits, and the fascial planes, we can have a comprehensive perspective that allows for more accurate pattern identification and treatment results.   

Features of the Course: Tan's Systems and Tung's Points 

A Complete Review of Dr. Richard Tan's Six Systems

Integration with Master Tung's points on the Connecting Meridians

Meridian / Circuits and Global Balance Method

Introduction to the Fascial Planes

PDF and Audio Files


james.spears @ ihsociety.com​​

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