The Eight (Hui) Influential Points

By John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA)
Some of the most "influential points" on the body are named accordingly. These particular acupuncture points exert a profound effect on the functioning of the body. Each of them has a specific systemic effect on a particular tissue, body area or organ system.

Because illness may generally assert an effect on multiple sites in the body, the influential points have a practical effect by eliminating superfluous needle stimulation and focusing the treatment on as few points as possible. A classic example would be the influential point GB 34 (just in front of the tibial tuberosity). This point is the classic point for any symptomatology affecting the "sinews." The stimulation of GB 34 has a positive effect on any symptoms dealing with muscles, ligaments or tendons.

Regardless of the location of the musculoskeletal condition, GB 34 will have a positive effect. Whether a person is suffering with rotator cuff syndrome or epicondylitis, the influential point for the "sinews" will have a particular effect, even though it is far removed from the site of discomfort. However, most practitioners will, in addition to GB 34, stimulate local points in the area of pain.

GB 39 is the "influential point of marrow" and is located just above the external malleolus. Marrow is generally referred to as assisting brain function or bone marrow itself. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) bone marrow does not have a relationship to blood formation as it does in Western physiology. The point is not typically used for blood disorders as one might think.

GB 39 has a particular effect on both sciatic neuritis and cervicalgia, as it is a specific point linking the yang meridians of the lower extremity, namely the gallbladder, stomach and bladder. Remember, a meridian affects what it is named after and where it courses. This point has also been used for vertigo and brain dysfunction.

LU 9 is the "influential point of the vessels," a point often used to help make the pulse more prominent in those with fine and weak pulses. This point is used in when using pulse diagnosis and has been used in cardiovascular disease. Its ancient claim to fame is for conditions affecting the pulse.

BL 11 is known as the "influential point of bone." This point is two fingers breadth bilateral to C7-T1. It is probably one of the most controversial points on the body: in part because of its effect on bone, but primarily due to its effect with pathogenic wind. When a patient complains of bone symptomatology due to an attack of pathogenic wind, as in "bi-patterns," this point has a particularly high effect rate. Additional points (BL 12, GB 21, TH 15) have very similar effects.

BL 17 is known as the "influential point of blood." The point is two fingers breadth bilateral to T5-6. This is one of the classic points and deals with blood stasis. In classical osteopathy, this acupoint deals with any condition involving blood. "The rule of the artery is supreme," said Andrew Taylor Still. Anytime pain is a factor, blood will be involved. Think of this point as one of the most important points on the body.

CV 17 (ren mai) is known as the "influential point of chi." Known as the mu/alarm point for the pericardium/circulation/sex meridian, it is particularly related to the lungs. Located two inches above the xiphoid process, it is often used for conditions affecting the lungs and heart. This point has numerous applications, as it is also the fourth chakra; it also has hormonal effects, due to its relationship to the pericardium meridian.

CV 12 (ren mai) is known as the "influential point of the bowels." Located halfway between the umbilicus and the xiphoid process, this point is the alarm point for the stomach. It is perhaps one of the most significant points on the body for any stomach or bowel symptomatology. It has an effect on the spleen meridian.

Liv 13 is the "influential point of the viscera," located at the tip of the 11th rib. This point is known as the alarm point of the spleen. It is one of the premier points on the body, affecting visceral symptomatolgy. This point, when used with BL 38 (on the vertebral border of the scapula halfway between the top and bottom), is legendary for patients with visceral complaints, regardless of its origin. The relationship of the spleen meridians to the extraordinary meridians is one of the most important relationships in the body. This point is critical.

GB 34 is the "influential point of the sinews," located just in front of the tibial tuberosity. This is one of the classic points on the body for any condition affecting muscles, ligaments and tendons. It has been used for thousands of years in every Asian nation.

The eight points presented here are extremely powerful. You will find these points an incredible addition to a clinical practice. Strong caution is urged when using needle stimulation, as some of these points are in sensitive and potentially dangerous areas. Remember: Acupuncture is a principle, not a technique. Therefore, many techniques can be safely used, including laser and electronic stimulation.

Best wishes for your successful use of the principles of acupuncture in the "Year of the Dragon."

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

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