Shoulder Pain

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

Shoulder Pain Connections

Below you will find various relationships to the concept of and potential clinical approaches for shoulder pain. It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine (and most related systems), treatment for "shoulder pain" is rarely designed with the resulting "shoulder pain" exclusively in mind.

For non-practitioners, we recommend reading treating the "cause" and not the "symptoms" for more on the overall approach and the importance of the TCM diagnostic system in formulating treatment approaches.

Associated Content, Writings and Products

Some acupuncture points are considered "empirically" related to a specific condition or diagnostic pattern. While this would rarely, if ever, dictate the entire composition of a treatment, the following points should be considered, possibly even more so within the context of acupressure:

  • EX Huatuojiaji at C4 (Sides of Spine at C4)
    .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes…
    C4 innervates the areas of the mouth, jaw and chin.  May be…
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  • EX Huatuojiaji at C6 (Sides of Spine at C6)
    .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes…
    C6 innervates the thyroid gland and is used for a range of …
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  • EX Huatuojiaji at C7 (Sides of Spine at C7)
    .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes…
    C7 innervates the parathyroid gland and as it has a role in…
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  • HT 1 (Highest Spring)
    In the center of the axilla on the radial side of the axill…
    Regulate Qi flow from the torso to the arm and vice versa -…
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  • HT 2 (Cyan Spirit)
    With the elbow flexed, 3 cun above HT 3 on the ulnar side o…
    Local point - in many classics needling this point is contr…
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  • LI 7 (Warm Dwelling)
    5 cun above the crease of the wrist (LI 5).
    Xi Cleft Point useful for pain due to stagnation along the …
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  • LI 9 (Upper Ridge)
    3 cun below LI 11 on the LI 5 to LI 11 line.
    The following relationships exist between the ST and the LI…
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  • LI 10 (Arm Three Li)
    2 cun below LI 11 on the LI 5 to LI 11 line.
    The following relationships exist between the ST and the LI…
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  • LI 14 (Upper Arm)
    On the radial side of the upper arm, 7 cun above LI 11 at t…
    Local point for pain in the shoulder and upper arm. Weakne…
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  • LI 15 (Shoulder Bone)
    Anterior and inferior to the acromion in a depression found…
    Shoulder Disorders, rotator cuff injuries, adhesive capsuli…
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  • LI 16 (Great Bone)
    In the upper aspect of the shoulder between the acromial ex…
    Adjunctive point with LI 15 for shoulder issues, particular…
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  • LU 2 (Cloud Gate)
    6 cun lateral to the anterior midline, below the clavicle i…
    Similar to LU 1 but used more often as a local shoulder poi…
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  • PC 2 (Celestial Spring)
    2 cun below the end of the anterior axillary fold between t…
    Opens the chest and invigorates the blood - cardiac pain / …
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  • SI 3 (Back Ravine)
    When a loose fist is made, at the ulnar end of the distal p…
    Master Point of the GV, effects entire pathway. Pain in th…
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  • SI 5 (Yang Valley)
    On the ulnar end of the transverse wrist crease in a depres…
    Local point for the hand and wrist. Neck and shoulder pain…
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  • SI 6 (Nursing the Aged)
    Dorsal to the head of the ulna in the body cleft on the rad…
    Acute and Severe Pain, in the neck, shoulder a/or arms. Us…
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  • SI 9 (True Shoulder)
    1 cun above the posterior end of the axillary fold, posteri…
    Local point for shoulder and arm pain and/or movement/contr…
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  • SI 10 (Upper Arm Shu)
    With the arm abducted, directly above SI 9 in a depression …
    Local point for shoulder and upper arm pain, swelling and/o…
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  • SI 11 (Celestial Gathering)
    On the scapula in a depression at the center of the infrasc…
    Breast problems, mastitis, insufficient lactation, breast p…
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  • SI 12 (Grasping the Wind)
    Directly above SI 11 in the center of the suprascapular fos…
    Local point for shoulder, scapula and/or arm pain, numbness…
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  • SI 13 (Crooked Wall)
    At the medial extremity of the suprascapular fossa midway b…
    Local point for shoulder and/or scapular region pain, weakn…
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  • SI 14 (Outer Shoulder Shu)
    3 cun lateral to the spinous process of T1 (GV 13).
    Local point for shoulder and scapular region pain. Neck pa…
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  • SI 15 (Central Shoulder Shu)
    2 cun lateral to the spinous process of C7 (GV 14).
    Asthma, cough, coughing up of blood (hemoptysis). Local po…
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  • ST 12 (Empty Basin)
    In the midpoint of the supraclavicular fossa, 4 cun lateral…
    Shoulder pain (esp. that radiates to neck). Neck/throat is…
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  • ST 38 (Ribbon Opening)
    8 cun below ST 35, one finger width lateral from the anteri…
    Empirical point for shoulder issues - pain, motor control, …
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  • UB 41 (Attached Branch)
    3 cun lateral to the GV line, level with T2, on the spinal …
    Useful for dispelling cold and wind from the upper back and…
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  • UB 42 (Po Door)
    3 cun lateral to GV 12 and UB 13, level with T3, on the spi…
    Reinforce the Lung Shu (UB 13) for Lung related disorders: …
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