Lung Point 9 Taiyuan: Great Abyss

Lung Point 9 is over-used by some acupuncturists and under-used by others, because of what we think it does.
Lung Point 9 Taiyuan
Lung Point 9 Taiyuan

Lung point 9 has a number of important properties:

  • Shu-stream point: so can be used to treat the lung organ
  • Yuan source point
  • Earth Point (tonification point)
  • Hui-Meeting point for the Blood Vessels
 

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This page is all technical stuff, mainly useful to acupuncture students, and also to the author, to remind him of stuff he’s forgotten. If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture and the ideas behind it, click here for something more appropriate.

Location of Lung Point 9 Taiyuan

In the wrist crease on the anterior forearm between the radial bone and the first metacarpal bone, between the radial artery and the tendon of abductor pollicis longus – the tendon that abducts the thumb.

 

Needling

Insert needles into Lung Point 9 perpendicular to the skin. Depth? – 0.25 cun is usually enough but in some people can be up to 0.5 cun.

When needling this point, some acupuncturists find the radial pulse, then press laterally to it with a fingernail to push it away (ie medially) as the needle penetrates. I’ve never needed to do this, however, because it’s quite hard to penetrate the artery wall, and the point is usually easy to find just medial to the abductor pollicis longus.

 

Needling Sensation

Lung point 9 produces a heavy aching sensation deep within the wrist joint, spreading out from the tip of the needle.

Actions of Lung Point 9: Taiyuan

  • Tonifies, circulates and supports Lung qi and Lung Yin
  • Stimulates the descending function of the Lung
  • Eliminates Wind and by regulating qi, transforms phlegm: stops cough
  • Harmonises excess Stomach qi
  • Steadies and harmonises the (100) Blood vessels

Indications and Comment for Lung Point 9

Because of the various actions of this point, the origin of the Lung channel in the epigastrium and stomach, the relationship between the lung and the heart in the Upper Jiao, and its relationship with the Large Intestine channel and zang, we can divide its actions into various groups.

However, please realise that in many cases the nature of the symptom means that it could be classified in several ways. Also, it would be wonderful to be able to ascribe complete healing of all the following symptoms to Lung point 9 alone, but in practice few acupuncturists would risk it: they’d use other points to back it up, depending on the exact diagnosis.

Duplication below is on purpose, and not intended to be complete.

 

Tonifies Lung qi and Lung Yin

  • Rebellious Lung qi: cough
  • Sighing and yawning
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing: asthma with much watery phlegm.
  • Lung point 9 is the best point on the Lung channel for conditions with Cold and cold Mucus (for more on this see our page on Lung Phlegm Fluids). Most other Lung channel points are better for clearing heat but as this point circulates Lung qi, and affects Water as well, being the main point on the channel to do so, this makes if often an excellent point for Cold conditions: it’s not that this clears Cold by introducing Yang, but by circulating qi and fluids – more like a Heat Exchanger Pump than a Fire. (However, use Lung 7 Lieque to clear an invasion of exterior Wind-Cold.)
  • Feeling of fullness and oppression in the chest
  • Shivering and panting with cold
  • Oedema of the face
  • Breathing difficulty when lying: can’t lie flat
 

Stimulates the descending function of the Lung

  • Sighing and yawning
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Breathing difficulty when lying: so can’t lie flat
  • Asthma: can’t catch breath 
  • Rebellious Stomach qi: belching, hiccups
  • Difficulty urinating

 

Lung point 9 and Lung qi

  • Frequent tiredness; needs to pause often to catch breath when talking, walking or climbing (eg stairs)
  • Numbness of chest
  • Asthma 
  • Much watery phlegm
  • Breathing difficulty when lying
  • Asthma: can’t catch breath 
  • In chronic conditions, of Lung qi deficiency, one would certainly use other points as well, such as Stomach 36, or Conception Vessel points 12 or 17)

Heat in Lungs and/or Lung yin deficiency

  • Haematemesis: vomiting blood

  • Haemoptysis: coughing up blood
  • Dry throat
  • Agitation: crazy, raving talk, and can’t get to sleep
  • Colitis

 

Lung point 9 and Lung Yin deficiency

  • Insomnia: wakes and worries after 3am (but there are other possible reasons for this, including Liver qi stagnation, Kidney Yin deficiency, Stomach Heat)
  • Palms of the hands are hot. (Interesting how we usually say “palms ‘of the hands’”! Unless you have other palms about your person, surely ‘of the hands’ is redundant? Equally, we say ‘soles of feet’. Where else would they be?) 
  • Asthma: can’t catch breath (although this would almost certainly entail some Kidney qi deficiency as well, possibly caused long term by failure of the Mother-Child relationship between Lung and Kidney, as per the 5 Phase/Element diagram)
  • Dry throat and/or mouth
  • Haemoptysis: coughing up blood
  • Sparse, dry phlegm
 

Lung point 9 and Relationship with Stomach qi

  • Rebellious Stomach qi: belching
  • Difficulty swallowing: stenosis (narrowing) of the oesophagus
  • Toothache
  • Pain in the breasts
  • Eye: inflammation of the whites of the eyes; blepharitis (inflamed eyelids); eye pain
Spreading fluids so they don't get lumpy in one place
Photo by Methi SOMÇAĞ on Unsplash

Meeting Point for the 100 Vessels 

When Lung qi is healthy, the movement of Blood around the body is harmonious. This means that when Lung qi is deficient or excessive, Blood movement becomes disturbed. 

When deficient, it can seem impossible to feel the pulse at the wrist, and difficult even at other points eg the carotid artery in the neck.

An old trick if you can’t feel the pulse, is to needle Lung point 9: this brings qi to all the pulses, at least temporarily. In so doing, of course, you may alter the quality of the pulses making your diagnosis of the kind of pulse less certain:

  • Heaviness, oppression, fullness, in the chest
  • Chest pain: eg of heart and lung
  • Agitation mentally, (crazy talking), with a choppy pulse and difficulty breathing
  • Cardiac pain
  • Distension of the lungs and can’t breathe out properly

 

Lung’s relationship with the Water passages

  • Oedema in the face – but can be elsewhere in the upper part of the body. Typically, the face is puffy on waking in the morning, and/or there are large white bags of fluid under the eyes. (If the bags under the eyes are blue or black, suspect Kidney involvement as well.)
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in the urine

 

Lung Channel problems

  • Pain or weakness in the thumb, wrist, anterior/radial side of the forearm, biceps, shoulder and supra-clavicular fossa.

 

For other points on the Lung channel, 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

Click to return from Lung point 9 to Acupuncture Point location.

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