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.
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.
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