Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Wangu : Mastoid Process

GB-12 : Foot Shaoyang Gall Bladder 12

Master point of the Pericardium and San Jiao Divergent Meridians (Chace, The Merging of Ways).

Trigger point (Travell & Simons, 1998, Trigger Point Manual

Meeting of Gall Bladder with Bladder, San Jiao Divergent and Pericardium Divergent

In the depression just posterior and inferior to the mastoid process.

Oblique inferior insertion 0.5 - 1 cun

TCM Actions:
Eliminates wind, benefits the head and alleviates pain
Calms the spirit

TCM Indications:
  • Headache, head wind with pain behind the ear, shaking of the head, stiffness and pain of the neck with inability to turn the head.
  • Toothache, swelling of the cheek radiating to the ear, throat painful obstruction.
  • Hemiplegia, deviation of the mouth and eye, clenched jaw, withering and contraction of the muscles around the mouth, weakness and flaccidity of the legs, atrophy disorder of the arms and legs, malaria, swearing with no aversion to cold.
  • Epilepsy, mania, agitation of the Heart, insomnia, dark urine.

    Superficial Innervation: Dorsal rami of C3 - C5
    Dermatome Segment: C3

    Trigger Point Associations:
    Muscle: Sternomastoid
    Myotome Innervation: Motor - accessory nerve (CN XI), sensory - dorsal rami of C2 - C3
    Location Notes: The trigger point location should be on the belly of the sternomastoid
    Pain Referral Pattern: To back of head and from top of cheek to temple, to the forehead above the eyebrow and into the inner canthus of the eye. Some spillover onto cheek, top of head and front of throat
    Indications: Torticollis ; Myalgia of neck muscles ; Head and facial pains

    When used as part of a Divergent Meridian treatment is paired with the He Sea point, or less commonly with the Yuan Source or Luo Connecting point of the channels (Chace, The Merging of Ways).


    Avicenna describes venesection at this point in his treatise On Venesection:

    "Venesection of the veins below the mastoid process of the temporal bone is beneficial in cases of dizziness causes by light blood and advanced pains of the head." (Aspects of Treatment According to General Diseases, 21st section in Abu-Asab, Amri & Micozzi, 2013, Avicenna's Medicine)

    In the 22nd section, On CUpping, he suggests that "Cupping on the mastoid process is second in benefit to the venesection of the median cubital vein. It is beneficial in heaviness of the horehead, lightening in the eyelids, trachoma, malodor of the mouth, and hardening of the eye... However, cupping on the mastoid process actually causes loss of memory, as has been said, since the back of the brain is the site of memory and is weakened by cupping... Therefore, to avoid side effects, cupping on the mastoid process should be be done slightly lower" (ibid.)


    Lad and Durve (2008) in Marma Points of Ayurveda locate the Karnamula point here or at SJ-17 and associate it with the doshas: Prana Vayu, Apana Vayu, Sadhaka Pitta and Tarpaka Kapha.

    They give the following functions:
    - Benefits facial nerves, especially in cases of Bell's palsy
    - Relieves pain and headaches
    - Enhances kidney function


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


    In Thai massage:
    Acupressure point indicated for ear ailments, facial pain/numbness/paralysis and headache (Salguero & Roylance, 2011, Encyclopedia of Thai Massage)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)