ST 12

Acupuncture Point Theory

ST 12 Acupuncture Point Applications and Theory

The acupuncture point "ST 12" , 缺盆, is represented by "Quepen" in pinyin and "Empty Basin" in english and may be found:

In the midpoint of the supraclavicular fossa, 4 cun lateral to the anterior midline.


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

  • Shoulder pain (esp. that radiates to neck).
  • Neck/throat issues - tightness/pain.
  • Cough, counterflow qi, sore, swollen throat (rebellious lung qi).
  • Internal branch of the ST meridian connects here directly from the Stomach, Spleen & Diaphragm - tonify middle warmer.
  • Tong Ren/Tam Healing System: Used to effect the circulation within the subclavian artery.  Useful for bursitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. 
  • Falls into the category of Window of the Sky points within the Tam Healing system.

ST 12 has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

Avoid Artery (AA)
No Deep Needling (NDN)

A single acupuncture point is not commonly thought of as an empirical way to influence a TCM diagnostic pattern. ST12, however, is a strong candidate to be incorporated into an acupuncture protocol for patients who exhibit: Stomach Qi Deficiency and/or Stomach Rebellious Qi

ST 12 may potentially be used, in coordination with a well designed acupuncture treatment protocol, to influence the following conditions: Acid Reflux Disease (GERD), Asthma, Bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), Cough, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Sore Throat and/or Tennis Elbow

While not necessarily valid clinically, CV 22 (All throat/vocal cord disorders - sore/dry throat…), GB 21 (Local point for occipital headache, tight trapezi…) and KD 27 (Opens & relaxes the chest - asthma, constrict…) are nearby.

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