Acupuncture Alarm Points (also known as) Front Mu Points

Mu Points
Mu Points - Copyright

What are Acupuncture Alarm Points, otherwise known as Front Mu points?

Alarm? All these so-called acupuncture alarm points lie on the front or side of the torso

If sore to pressure they may indicate a problem with the corresponding zang-fu organ. By a problem, we don’t necessarily mean a major problem: for example if your Lung Alarm point is sore to pressure, it could just mean you have a respiratory infection – a cold perhaps.

Front Mu points Chart

LungZhongfuLung 1BladderZhongjiRen-3
Large IntestineTianshuStomach-25KidneyJingmenGB-25
SpleenZhangmenLiver 13SanjiaoShimenRen-5
HeartJuqueRen-14Gall BladderRiyueGB-24
Small IntestineGuanyuanRen-4LiverQimenLiver 14


  • These points are useful in their own right of course too, because of either their location or position on the channel or because of the properties they carry. (Yes, different points have qualities, discovered over thousands of years. A ‘property’ of a point might be that is  calming, or cooling, or helps clear Damp, for example.)
  • Only three of these points actually lie on the meridian in question: the Lung Alarm point is on the Lung meridian, the Liver Alarm point is on the Liver meridian and the Gall-bladder Alarm point is on the Gall Bladder meridian. That’s all: the rest lie on other meridians. Quite a few lie on the Conception Vessel channel.

How are these points used?

  • They can be used to strengthen and to disperse energy, though some seem to be used more for one than the other. Personally I’ve never used Gall-Bladder 24 to strengthen the Gall-Bladder, even when the individual lacked ‘gall’ – ie lacked assertiveness and courage. (Perhaps I should.) I’ve often used it to disperse Qi and damp-heat trapped there though.
  • But I use the Lung Alarm point for many kinds of Lung problems, both excess and deficient, likewise the Stomach Alarm point. The Spleen Alarm point, Liver 13, Zhangmen, I tend to use more for excess than deficiency. Other acupuncturists might have different views.
  • The Suffix ‘–mu’ means ‘gathering’ point. The correct name for these points is really ‘front mu’ points. The qi of the zangfu is said to ‘concentrate’ or ‘gather’ here. They seem to have a more direct effect on the zangfu, so can be useful in pathology. However, some acupuncturists prefer not to needle them if there is pathology of the underlying zangfu, not because of possible damage to the zangfu (far from it! – indeed quite the reverse) but because if needled, they may not work so well as alarm points when pressed


A sore acupuncture alarm point suggests caution is necessary with the related zang-fu organ.
Photo by Marvin Esteve
  • Originally they weren’t thought of as a single group. Some were added later, presumably as experienced acupuncturists worked out what they did and where they were – for example the Sanjiao and Pericardium front mu points.
  • Whether or not used as acupuncture alarm points, these front mu points can be used on their own or more commonly in support of other treatments or as the basis for a treatment, with other points added to structure the treatment better.


Not always where the alarm point should be…!

Sometimes, as with all acupuncture points whose positions are delineated in the literature, the position of the actual point may be slightly different. You have to search for it, and confirmation comes when you feel the position, even if the patient doesn’t, or the patient confirms it by responding accordingly – sometimes loudly!


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