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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 1, 2000, Vol. 18, Issue 10

The "Forbidden Points" of Acupuncture!

By John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA)
Of the approximately 1,000 acupuncture points on the body, only a few have been shown through historical and clinical experience to be contraindicated for certain types of stimulation.
Throughout history, the two primary methods of acupoint stimulation have been moxibustion, the burning of the herb artemesia vulgaris at the acupoint, or the insertion of acupuncture needles. Today, with the advent of electronic forms of stimulation and laser beams, the acupuncture points which are forbidden to both acupuncture or moxa can be safely and effectively treated.

One of the most memorable experiences in my acupuncture career involves a class I was teaching some years ago. Commenting on the birthrate in Mao Tse Tung's People's Republic of China, I noted that in the mid-1960s, Chairman Mao issued an edict proclaiming no married couple could have more than one child. This was an attempt to keep the population of China at one billion or less by the year 2000. The latest estimates I have seen of China's population is 1.4 billion. Even though it was a noble attempt, it didn't quite work. However, it is hard to imagine what the population would have been had this edict not been put forth.

If a woman in China is pregnant with a second child, or in numerous cases, if the couple knows the first pregnancy is a girl, the couple will go to the medical clinic for an abortion. One common method of abortion is simply to use strong acupuncture point stimulation of San Yin Chiao (SP6) in conjunction with He Gu (LI4). The abortion is generally realized within 24 hours.

After relating this information to the class, a doctor in the class suddenly became pasty white and began to experience dry heaves. He ran outside, and through the closed doors, I could hear him become violently ill. During the class break, I found the doctor in the hall with his head in his hands sobbing uncontrollably. The doctor stated that he and his wife had been married for 12 years, and with both he and his wife having come from large families, they were excited about having their own. They both wanted a houseful of kids.

As the doctor continued, he told me his wife had been pregnant seven different times over their 12-year marriage. Each time she became pregnant, shortly into the pregnancy, she would miscarry. She had sought the help of numerous specialists to no avail. She had no problem in becoming pregnant, but could never take the fetus to term.

The doctor was distraught about the "abortion" points. To boost her immune system and provide the best possible health for his wife's pregnancies, he had stimulated SP6 and LI4 each time she was carrying. He was sick to think he may have inadvertently caused the abortion of the fetuses.

The story ends on a happy note. At last report, the couple have three children. They named the first child, a girl, Johnna (after me)!

Take appropriate caution concerning the following list of forbidden acupoints. Disobeying the rules can be quite costly.

Point --Stimulation Point --Stimulation
LU 11 Moxa
LU 10 Moxa
LI 4 Needle during pregnancy
LI 15 Moxa
LI 19 Moxa
LI 20 Moxa
ST1 Needle
ST 2 Needle
ST 7 Moxa
ST 8 Moxa
ST 9 Needle (deep)
ST 17 Needle, moxa
ST 25 Needle during pregnancy
ST 32 Moxa
SP 2 Moxa during and shortly after pregnancy
SP 6
SP 7
HT 1
HT 2
SI 10
SI 11
SI 18
BL 1
BL 2
BL 6
BL 49
BL 51
BL 54
BL 56
BL 60
Needle during pregnancy
BL 62
BL 67
Needle during pregnancy
KI 11
P(CX)8 Needle two times in same treatment or with nasal polyps
TH 7 Needle
TH 8
TH 16
TH 19
TH 23
GB 1
GB 3
Needle (deep)
GB 4
Needle (deep)
GB 5
Needle (deep)
GB 15
Moxa (potential blindness)
GB 18
GB 21
Needle heart problems or in pregnancy
GB 22
GB 33
GB 42
LIV 12
CV 4
Needle or moxa during pregnancy
CV 5
Needle or moxa in female patient
CV 8
CV 11
Moxa during pregnancy
CV 14
Needle (deep)
CV 15 Needle
CV 17
GV 4
Moxa in young males
GV 6
GV 11
GV 15
Needle (deep)
GV 16
GV 17
Needle or moxa
GV 23
GV 24
GV 26
Moxa (extreme warning)
GV 28

Most acupuncture authorities will agree with this list. It is imperative that acupuncturists know and understand the potential risks if these points are stimulated with needle or moxa. Laser and electronic stimulation have been shown to be acceptable substitutes in virtually all cases.

Click here for previous articles by John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA).

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