Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Feishu : Lung Shu

Bl-13 : Foot Taiyang Bladder 13

Back-Shu point of the lung
One of the "59 piercings" for clearing Heat in Su Wen Ch. 61
Master Tung's Double Phoenixes
Master Tung's Nine Monkeys

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the third thoracic vertebra (T3).

Oblique insertion towards the spine 0.5 - 1 cun, or transverse-oblique insertion 1 - 1.5 cun

Perpendicular needling or oblique needling away from the spine carries a substantial risk of causing a pneumothorax.

TCM Actions:
Tonifies lung qi and nourishes lung yin
Descends and disseminates lung qi
Clears heat from the lung
Releases the exterior

TCM Indications:
  • Cough, dyspnoea, asthma, fullness of the chest, shortness of breath with no desire to speak, persistnet cough in children, cold Lung, heat sensation in the chest, chest pain, difficult breathing on lying down, coughing of phlegm, Lung abscess, attack of the Lung by wind, rapid pulse, fever, night sweating with chills and fever and aversion to cold, cold shivering, absence of sweating, throat painful obstruction.
  • Lung atrophy, consumption, consumption with steaming bone disorder, deficiency-taxation fever, tidal fever, night sweating, spiting blood, wasting and thirsting disorder, dryness of the mouth and tongue, deficiency agitation.
  • Mania, heat in the body, mad walking with desire to commit suicide, epilepsy.
  • Fullness with no pleasure in eating, vomiting, vomiting fluid after eating, vomiting of foam, goitre, jaundice, pain of the flesh and itching of the skin, urticaria.
  • Pain of the upper back and shoulder, crooked spine, turtle back in children, lumbar pain and stiffness.

    Superficial Innervation: Posterior cutaneous thoracic nerves from T3
    Dermatome Segment: T3
    Deeper Structures: Dorsal rami of spinal nerves from T3

    As back shu point of the lungs this is the main point on the back for treating all lung disorders.


    The "59 piercings" are named in the Su Wen Ch. 61 and mentioned in Su Wen Ch. 32 and Ling Shu Ch. 23 for treating Heat diseases. This point along with Dazhu Bl-11, Zhongfu Lu-1 and Qupen St-12 clear Heat from the chest. The Su Wen Ch. 61 and Wang Bing only describe this as the "Back Transporter" so could refer to any of the upper Back-Shu points but given the indication of Heat in the chest and all the other points in this group relating to the Lung rather than the Heart or Pericardium then this point seems most likely.

    Ling Shu Ch. 20, On the Five Evils, advises piercing this point, Zhongfu Lu-1, Yunmen Lu-2 and either Qupen St-12 or Tiantu Ren-22 (depending on how the location "in the middle of the Broken Basin" is interpreted) for pathogens in the Lung.

    Ling Shu Ch. 51, On the Back Transport Points, advises that the back Shu points of the Yin organs should be pressed. If this elicits a response, either pain or the relief of a existing pain, then these points should be supplemented or drained with moxa and not pierced. To supplement with moxa the cone is to be left to burn down naturally, to drain it is to be blown on to make it burn more fiercely.

    Ling Shu Ch. 52, On the Wei Qi, suggests this point and some unspecified points on the sides of the chest to release evil Qi in the chest. It advises to press the point for a time until there is a reaction and then pierce with the fine needle and apply a draining technique. Conditions treated are headache, dizziness and falling to the ground, abdominal pain, fullness, distension and accumulation. If it is painful and the pain moves it can be cured easily; if is is a painless fixed accumulation it is difficult.


    One of the Aggressive Energy Drain points in five element acupuncture, along with Jueyinshu Bl-14, Xinshu Bl-15, Ganshu Bl-18, Pishu Bl-20 and Shenshu Bl-23, indicated where psychological or emotional issues are blocking treatment. They are needled from left to right, top to bottom, with the exception of Xinshu Bl-15 that is needled last, along with controls outside the Bladder channel at the same levels. If aggressive energy is present the points should become redder than the test points and are left until the redness disappears. If not then needles can be removed and treatment continued.


    In Master Tung's system a line of points corresponding to the inner back Shu points from T2 to T8, known as the double phoenix points (Shuang Feng), can be pricked to release a drop of blood in cases of pain or numbness in the extremities or arteriosclerosis.
    They all relate to the Fire element and the Heart and so have the function of quickening the Blood in the Heart and the extremities (McCann, 2014, Pricking the Vessels).

    This point is also one of the Nine Monkeys (Jiu Hou) in Tung Lineage acupuncture. They are located at 1.5 cun and 3 cun lateral from the midline level with T2, T3 and T4 and 6 cun from the midline, level with T1, T2 and T3. They are pricked to bleed in cases of scarlet fever phegm and stuck in the bronchia that cannot be expelled (McCann, 2014, Pricking the Vessels).


    Avicenna describes cupping at this point in his treatise On Cupping:

    "Cupping on the back [between the shoulders] is second in effectiveness to venesecting the basilic vein. It is beneficial in relieving shoulder and throat pain... Also, cupping the upper back weakens the mouth of the stomach." (Aspects of Treatment According to General Diseases, 22nd section in Abu-Asab, Amri & Micozzi, 2013, Avicenna's Medicine)

    Any point from Bl-11 to Bl-17 could be indicated by this point but the indications of throat and shoulder pain suggest this one matching Chinese indications best, plus his comment that to avoid side effects "cupping on the upper back should be done slightly higher, unless the reason is to treat the bleeding and coughing, then it should moved lower and not higher".

    He also adds that "Cupping on the upper back and inner sides of the thighs is beneficial in bloody chest disease (hemoptysis) and bloody asthma; however it weakened the stomach and causes heart palpitations."


    In Tibetan medicine:
    Moxa point (AMNH, Tibetan Medical Paintings)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)