Acupuncture Point Foundations

Categorizations and Theory

Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Point Functional Groupings

Traditional Chinese Medicine utilizes a number of theories which group acupuncture points together based on their functions and/or other relationships. Many of these theories are important in a clinical setting and are used, along with other theory and diagnostic information, to decide which acupuncture points will be used for a given diagnostic pattern or condition.

For complete information about a single point, you may click on it within the chart. For more information about a category, click on the "detailed theory" link

Chart Theory Five Shu Points


Chart Theory Five Element Points


Chart Theory Lower He Sea Points


Chart Theory Xi Cleft Points


Chart Theory Yuan Source Points


Chart Theory Luo Connecting Points


Chart Theory Back Shu Points


Chart Theory Front Mu Points


Chart Theory Hui Meeting Points


Chart Theory EV Master Coupled Points


Chart Theory Command Points


Chart Theory Four Seas Points


Chart Theory Sky Window Points


Chart Theory Thirteen Ghost Points


Chart Theory Entry/Exit Points


Chart Theory Shokanten Points


Five Shu Points
Up Theory

Yin Meridians Jing-well (Wood) Ying-spring (Fire) Shu-Stream (Earth) Jing-river (Metal) He-Sea (Water)
LU LU 11 LU 10 LU 9 LU 8 LU 5
PC PC 9 PC 8 PC 7 PC 5 PC 3
HT HT 9 HT 8 HT 7 HT 4 HT 3
SP SP 1 SP 2 SP 3 SP 5 SP 9
LV LV 1 LV 2 LV 3 LV 4 LV 8
KD KD 1 KD 2 KD 3 KD 7 KD 10
Yang Meridians Jing-well (Wood) Ying-spring (Fire) Shu-Stream (Earth) Jing-river (Metal) He-Sea (Water)
LI LI 1 LI 2 LI 3 LI 5 LI 11
TH TH 1 TH 2 TH 3 TH 6 TH 10
SI SI 1 SI 2 SI 3 SI 5 SI 8
ST ST 45 ST 44 ST 43 ST 41 ST 36
GB GB 44 GB 43 GB 41 GB 38 GB 34
UB UB 67 UB 66 UB 65 UB 60 UB 40

Five Element Points
Up Theory

Channel Mother Child
Lung (Metal) LU 9 LU 5
Large Intestine (Metal) LI 11 LI 2
Stomach (Earth) ST 41 ST 45
Spleen (Earth) SP 2 SP 5
Heart (Fire) HT 9 HT 7
Small Intestine (Fire) SI 3 SI 8
Urinary Bladder (Water) UB 67 UB 65
Kidney (Water) KD 7 KD 1
Pericardium (Fire) PC 9 PC 7
Triple Heater (Fire) TH 3 TH 10
Gall Bladder (Wood) GB 43 GB 38
Liver (Wood) LV 8 LV 2

Lower He Sea Points
Up Theory

Grouping Channel Point Channel Point
Yang Ming Large Intestine ST 37 Stomach ST 36
Shao Yang Triple Heater UB 39 Gall Bladder GB 34
Tai Yang Small Intestine ST 39 Urinary Bladder UB 40

Xi Cleft Points
Up Theory

Channel Point
Lung LU 6
Large Intestine LI 7
Stomach ST 34
Spleen SP 8
Heart HT 6
Small Intestine SI 6
Urinary Bladder UB 63
Kidney KD 5
Pericardium PC 4
Triple Heater TH 7
Gall Bladder GB 36
Liver LV 6
Yin Qiao Vessel KD 8
Yang Qiao Vessel UB 59
Yin Wei Vessel KD 9
Yang Wei Vessel GB 35

Yuan Source Points
Up Theory

Channel Point
Lung LU 9
Large Intestine LI 4
Stomach ST 42
Spleen SP 3
Heart HT 7
Small Intestine SI 4
Urinary Bladder UB 64
Kidney KD 3
Pericardium PC 7
Triple Heater TH 4
Gall Bladder GB 40
Liver LV 3

Luo Connecting Points
Up Theory

Channel Point
Lung LU 7
Large Intestine LI 6
Stomach ST 40
Spleen SP 4
Heart HT 5
Small Intestine SI 7
Urinary Bladder UB 58
Kidney KD 4
Pericardium PC 6
Triple Heater TH 5
Gall Bladder GB 37
Liver LV 5

Back Shu Points
Up Theory

Channel Point
Lung UB 13
Pericardium UB 14
Heart UB 15
Governing Vessel UB 16
Diaphragm UB 17
Liver UB 18
Gall Bladder UB 19
Spleen UB 20
Stomach UB 21
Triple Heater UB 22
Kidney UB 23
Qihai (Sea of Qi) UB 24
Large Intestine UB 25
Guanyuan (Gate of Source) UB 26
Small Intestine UB 27
Urinary Bladder UB 28
Zhonglu (Center Back Muscles) UB 29
Baihuan (White Ring) UB 30
Gaohuang (Vital Region) UB 43

Front Mu Points
Up Theory

Channel Point
Lung LU 1
Large Intestine ST 25
Stomach CV 12
Spleen LV 13
Heart CV 14
Small Intestine CV 4
Urinary Bladder CV 3
Kidney GB 25
Pericardium CV 17
Triple Heater CV 5
Gall Bladder GB 24
Liver LV 14

Hui Meeting Points
Up Theory

System Point
Zang LV 13
Fu CV 12
Qi CV 17
Blood UB 17
Sinews GB 34
Vessels LU 9
Bones UB 11
Marrow GB 39

EV Master Coupled Points
Up Theory

EV Master Point Coupled Point
Conception Vessel LU 7 KD 6
Governing Vessel SI 3 UB 62
Chong Vessel SP 4 PC 6
Dai Vessel GB 41 TH 5
Yin Qiao Vessel KD 6 LU 7
Yang Qiao Vessel UB 62 SI 3
Yin Wei Vessel PC 6 SP 4
Yang Wei Vessel TH 5 GB 41

Command Points
Up Theory

Area/Function Point
Abdomen ST 36
Lumbar Region UB 40
Head & Posterior Neck LU 7
Face & Mouth LI 4
Heart, Chest & Epigastrium PC 6
Fainting & Collapse GV 26

Four Seas Points
Up Theory

Sea Points
Sea of Qi ST 9, CV 17, GV 15, GV 14
Sea of Blood UB 11, ST 37, ST 39
Sea of Water & Grain ST 30 (upper point), ST 36 (lower point)
Sea of Marrow GV 20, GV 16

Sky Window Points
Up Theory

From Ling Shu Ch. 21 From Ling Shu Ch. 2
Renying ST 9 Tiantu CV 22
Futu LI 18 Tianchuang SI 16
Tianyou TH 16 Tianrong SI 17
Tianzhu UB 10 Fengfu GV 16
Tianfu LU 3 Tianchi PC 1

Thirteen Ghost Points (from Sun Si Miao)
Up Theory

Name Point
Ghost Palace GV 26
Ghost Hall GV 23
Ghost Pillow GV 16
Ghost Market CV 24
Ghost Faith LU 11
Ghost Leg LI 11
Ghost Heart PC 7
Ghost Cave PC 8
Ghost Bed ST 6
Ghost Fortress SP 1
Ghost Path UB 62
Ghost Seal Guifeng (Extra Point) on the underside of the tongue, one cun from the tip of the midline
Ghost Store Essentially CV 1, originally described as Yumentou (Extra Point - Women) / Yinxiafeng (Extra Point - Men)

Entry Exit Points
Up Theory

Channel Entry Exit
LU LU 1 LU 7 * (LU 11)
LI LI 4 * (LI 1) LI 20
PC PC 1 PC 8 * (PC 9)
TH TH 1 TH 22 * (TH 23)
HT HT 1 HT 9
SI SI 1 SI 19
SP SP 1 SP 21
ST ST 1 ST 42 * (ST 45)
LV LV 1 LV 14
GB GB 1 GB 41 * (GB 44)
KD KD 1 KD 22 * (KD 27)
UB UB 1 UB 67

Shokanten Points and the Nine Continent Pulses
Up Theory

Effected Area Division Area Pulse Location Shokanten
Sides of the Head Tai Yang Upper Tai Yang KD 12
Eyes & Ears Shao Yang Middle TH 21 ST 25 / KD 21
Mouth & Teeth Yang Ming Lower ST 2 ST 27
Lungs Tai Yin Upper LU 9 LV 13
Heart Shao Yin Middle HT 7 KD 16
Chest Jue Yin Lower LI 4 LV 14 / KD 19
Liver Tai Yin Upper LV 3 LV 13
Spleen Shao Yin Middle ST 42 KD 16

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