Lung 11: Shaoshang – Lesser Shang

Lung 11 Shaoshang
Lung 11 Shaoshang

Lung Point 11, Shaoshang, Lesser Shang, is the 11th, and last, point on the Lung acupuncture channel. It has traditionally two properties:

  • Jing-Well point
  • Wood point

Location of Shaoshang

Shaoshang lies on the inner side of the thumb (ie opposite side of the thumb from the first finger) just proximal to the medial border of the nail where it meets the base of the nail.



Depth: 0.1 to 0.2 cun perpendicular or oblique to the skin surface. Often pricked to bleed, in which case – having made sure you have the correct sterilised equipment and have sterilised the area, use a triangular (prismatic) needle or similar to pierce the point and then squeeze out at least one drop of blood.

When needling the point, hold the thumb securely to prevent the patient suddenly moving his hand.


Needling sensation

Very mild to sore. Some patients experience strong pain locally, which can spread up the arm. With these patients the acupuncturist needs some skill, confidence and speed to needle successfully.

(Annoyingly, there are some acupuncturists who claim to cause no pain at these finger-nail points, no matter how sensitive the patient: I don’t believe them.)



Usually almost forbidden, but for very acute epistaxis – nose-bleed: small cones are best.

Actions of Lung Point 11

  • Clears Heat from the body organs and the interior
  • Benefits the throat
  • Revives consciousness after ‘windstroke’ (the technical name given to what in the West is called a ‘stroke’)



Indications of Shaoshang – Lung 11

Lung Heat conditions

  • Swelling and pain of the throat, eg of mumps (parotid glands), tonsils, pharynx
  • Jaw swollen, numbness in the throat, tumours in the mouth or under the tongue, swelling of the tongue
  • Severe nosebleed (moxa directly on the point)
  • Dry, parched lips: patient wants to drink too much and doesn’t eat
  • Cough, pneumonia
  • Fever, especially from external Wind-heat or Wind-cold

For acute sore throats let a few drops of blood escape from Lung 11 after pricking the point. Be careful to use sterile instruments for this. Make sure the hand is warm and let it hang down awhile before proceeding, to encourage blood to pool there. Usually a couple of drops is enough to ease an acute sore throat.

However, if the sore throat is but one symptom among many for an invasion of Wind-Heat or Wind-Cold, these syndromes will have to be treated too.

Lung’s relation with epigastrium and Stomach

  • Belching, stomach feels too full


Lung 11 Cools the Interior

  • Acute fever
  • Febrile diseases with shivering
  • Hot dysentery
  • Full or melancholic feeling under the heart or in the lower chest
  • Mania and epilepsy
  • At first sign of apoplexy of this kind, pricking or bleeding this point may prevent it
  • After stroke, to revive consciousness
  • Revives from fainting


Connected with Lung Channel

  • A sensation of heat in the palm
  • Pain in the fingers


Comment on Lung Point 11

This point is used almost exclusively for excess Heat conditions. (It does not seem to modify Yin deficiency, as with Lung point 10.) 


Why use Moxa to treat Lung-Heat epistaxis?

The curious thing is that moxa is usually forbidden on this point, except in cases of acute nose-bleed.

Since nose-bleed is usually diagnosed as a form of Lung-Heat, what’s the justification for applying moxa? – you may ask! I understand it by considering the way this point is thought to work: it CLEARS Heat.

So if there is an invasion of acute Heat in the Lungs causing acute and severe nose-bleed, anything that makes this point work more efficiently or actively should help. Moxa is the most Yang treatment most acupuncturists have at their disposal.

But if using it for this reason (ie epistaxis caused by the syndrome of Lung-Heat) be careful not to burn the skin in the area. The more precisely you can moxa the point itself, the more effective it should be. Especially in older people whose nerves are less active, it is easy to damage the skin as they may not feel the burning.

Click to return from Lung point 11 to Acupuncture Point location. 

For access to the other Lung channel points, click below:

Lung-1ZhongfuMiddle Mansion
Lung-2YunmenCloud Gate
Lung-3TianfuHeavenly Palace
Lung-4XiabaiProtecting White
Lung-5ChizeFoot Marsh
Lung-6KongxuiGreat Opening
Lung-7LiqueBroken Sequence
Lung-8JingquChannel Gutter
Lung-9TaiyuanGreat Abyss
Lung-10YujoFish Region
Lung-11ShaoshangLesser Shang
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4 Responses

  1. Hello Jonathan,

    Lately I saw many videos on Youtube ( or Tiktok showing (according to them) a Korean method to relieve indigestion or heavy stomach instantly. It tells us to prick Lung 11 point. I tried it once and it worked for me. I don’t know if you have already tried that. What is your opinion about that?

    I really want to thank you for your teaching and advices. For more than 2 years, I followed your teaching and my health is much better now.

    1. Thank you for the link, which I hadn’t seen but it makes sense because Lung and Spleen are both part of the Taiyin energy, so what helps one often helps the other. (Don’t confuse this with the Greater Yin or Tai Yin stage as Cold invades the body which, although it involves the same zang-fu organs, is something else completely.)

      However, probably Lung 11 (pricked) would be more effective against excess type symptoms than against deficiency type symptoms. (Also, because it is a Jing-Well point.)

      So if you have indigestion from over-eating, or from a too spicy meal with sweet, heavy pudding after it, Lung 11 might well help, in the same way as might fennel seed. (In fact Lung 11 is listed as helping to clear Heat and ‘fullness and agitation in the heart area’ which could come from over eating and an overloaded Spleen.)

      But if your digestion is slow and deficient, from weakness, illness or tiredness, or from too much cold food, or from food too cold for it to manage, or from heavy indigestible food even if not over-eaten, you might feel better from drinking a hot ginger tea and placing a warm beanbag or hot-water bottle on your abdomen. (Then REST!)

      In the same way, Spleen 1 (Yinbai) near the medial proximal corner of the big toenail, which is the equivalent point on the Spleen channel, can be used for excess Lung and chest conditions: it ‘unbinds’ the chest and calms the Heart, so useful for a feeling of distension or fullness in the chest, dyspnoea and sighing. Of course you could also use it for the effects of over-eating, like abdominal distension. But again being a jing-well point it is better for acute disorders, not for more deficient, chronic conditions.

      For most of us, it’s probably easier to prick Lung 11 than to unsheathe Spleen 1!

      In either case, if pricking to bleed, be careful! Preferably use alcohol to swab the area clean then use a sterilised needle to do the work: then blood-let just a few drops before letting it dry with a clot. Then cover the area with a dressing or plaster to prevent disloging the clot and allowing harmful pathogens to invade before the point has healed.

      If you must do this, don’t do it too often! Quite apart from scarring at the point, you could upset the body’s inner regulating processes and lose the benefit of this point when one day you might REALLY need it! For long-term health, it is much better to stop eating before you are completely full, to give your body time to digest things as designed. It’s really not a good idea always to rely on the equivalent of the emergency brake!

      1. Thank you Jonathan for your detailed and well explained answer. It helps me understand a lot of things. If I may suggest you one thing, it would be writing an article on Taiyin energy. I have read all the articles on your website and all your books and unless I’m wrong, you haven’t talked about Taiyin energy. I think it would be an interesting topic.

        1. I’m honoured you’ve read so many of my scribblings! Re Taiyin, thank you for your suggestion – it’s on the list. Jonathan

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