GB 21

Acupuncture Point Theory

GB 21 Acupuncture Point Applications and Theory

The acupuncture point "GB 21" , 肩井, is represented by "Jian Jing" in pinyin and "Shoulder Well" in english and may be found:

On the shoulder directly above the nipple at the midpoint of a line connecting GV 14 and the acromion at the highest point of the shoulder.


Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Local point for occipital headache, tight trapezius muscles and/or neck/shoulder pain.
  • Phlegm related issues of the head and neck - embolic stroke, neck lumps, swollen lymph nodes, tumors.
  • Phlegm related issues of the breast and chest - mastitis, breast abscess, asthma, dyspnea.
  • Stongly influence Qi downward - useful for rebellious Qi, cough.
  • Contraindicated in Pregnancy, useful for difficult labor, retained placenta.
  • Gao Wu felt that balancing GB 21's strong descending action with ST 36's strong centering action is important.
  • Tong Ren/Tam Healing System: Release the neck and shoulders and descend energy.

GB 21 has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

Cautions with pregnancy (PG)
No needling with history of heart disease.


Gb 21 has the following theoretical associations which serve as important guideposts in designing an effective treatment protocol:

  • Intersection Point of the GB, TH, ST & Yang Wei Meridians

While not necessarily valid clinically, SI 14 (Local point for shoulder and scapular region pain…), SI 15 (Asthma, cough, coughing up of blood (hemoptysis).…) and ST 12 (Shoulder pain (esp. that radiates to neck). Neck…) are nearby.

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