Lung point 1 is the first point on the surface of the skin of the Lung acupuncture channel.
- Front mu (alarm point) of the Lung
- Entry point for the Lung channel
- Meeting point of the Lung and Spleen Channels
Location of LU 1 Zhongfu
Zhongfu is in the first intercostal space, about 1 unit (cun) inferior to the depression below the clavicle and medial to the coracoid process.
Notice that little word ‘about’! Usually the point is in the first intercostal space – between the first and second ribs, inferior to the depression below the clavicle and medial to the coracoid process, but sometimes it is level with the second rib.
If you need to use it, the point will nearly always be a bit sore when you press it, so find the sorest place and use that. However, if someone has sprained their shoulder, the whole area may be sore to pressure so then you’re back to working on gut instinct.
Needling Lung 1
Needle depth is half to one cun.
Needle Lung point 1 transversely to the rib cage. What this means is that you should feel where the ribs are running and needle parallel to them. In practice, the ribs have turned in direction almost parallel to the side of the body at this point, ie almost at right angles to their direction across the front of the chest, so when you insert the needle it will be almost vertical to the skin at this point – but not quite!
Needle with caution! Needling too deeply or in the wrong direction can cause pneumothorax: be particularly careful with very thin patients, and not too confident with their opposites.
Sensation when needled can sometimes be felt across to the upper part of the chest.
Action of Lung Point 1
- Regulates and descends Lung qi
- Disperses and eliminates fullness and stuffiness in the chest
- Tonifies true qi (Cheng qi)
- Cools upper warmer and adjusts qi circulation
- Transforms phlegm and cools upper warmer
Indications for Lung point 1
Lung Zang problems from both external and internal pathogens, including from external invasion by wind-cold and wind-heat, like cough.
Also problems from internal causes like qi stagnation fullness, phlegm or phlegm-heat with thick phlegm such as in chronic bronchitis, pulmonary TB, chest pain and difficulty breathing. (Of course, if you’re treating serious conditions like these you would almost certainly need to get good deqi sensation to confirm you’d got the point and it was working. People in China are more used to this than us Western weaklings!)
Also for low Lung qi with difficulty breathing when lying, including such as in pleurisy, pneumonia and asthmatic wheezing.
- In influenza, sensation of heat in the chest
- Shoulder tension (with Lung 7)
- Sweating at night (with Bladder 13)
Comment on Lung Point 1
Although Lung point 1 is the first external point of the Lung channel, in fact the Lung channel arises deep within the body in the region of the stomach, from which it descends to meet with the Large Intestine and then ascends via the cardiac orifice of the stomach, through the diaphragm and into the Lung zang, then up to the throat area and only then laterally to Lung 1.
The divergent branch of the Lung channel starts from the axilla area near Lung point 1, then sends one branch to the Heart channel in the chest and down through the Lung zang to the Large Intestine Zang.
Another branch ascends from the Lung zang through the supra-clavicular fossa to the throat where it combines with the Large Intestine channel and ascends to the nose.
Important Connection with the Stomach
Consequently the Lung zang energy is closely related to the Stomach fu energy.
In practice this means that
- if you eat too a large meal you may have difficulty breathing
- Often if you eat too much of any food that your body finds hard to digest, your nose may fill with phlegm
- Very cold air conditions which inhibit the Lung’s qi and ability to breathe can be combated with warm food or drink.
- If there is nausea or vomiting (from rebellious Stomach qi) in addition to points on other channels, Lung 1 can be used to regulate it.
- In practice this means you might use Lung 1 when using Conception Vessel 12 if symptoms supported such a treatment.
Equally, although the Lung channel doesn’t ascend directly to the nose, it does converge with the Large Intestine channel to go there, so many throat and nasal problems (eg blocked nose, nosebleed) can be regulated through points on the lung channel.
When there is stagnant Liver qi, and weak Lung qi, using Lung point 1 with the last point on the Liver channel (Liver 14), often releases the flow from the Liver channel and invigorates the Lung channel. Use it this way particularly if you have a sensation of congestion in the chest, or with people who are ‘stuffy’! It may help them to open up.
Lung point 1 can be very effective in clearing Lung fullness in the chest such as phlegm, damp and cold.