Acupuncture Points Notebook

谿 : Houxi : Back Stream

SI-3 : Hand Taiyang Small Intestine 3

Shu-Stream and Wood point

Confluent point of the Du Mai, coupled with Shenmai Bl-62
Mother point of the Small Intestine channel

On the ulnar border of the hand, in the substantial depression proximal to the head of the fifth metacarpal bone.

Perpendicular insertion 0.5 - 2 cun, directed towards Sanjian L.I.-3. Needle with the hand in a loose fist so the metacarpal bones are lying in the same place, especially if needling towards the opposite side of the hand

TCM Actions:
Benefits the occiput, neck and back
Activates the channel and alleviates pain
Clears wind and heat and treats malaria
Calms the spirit and treats epilepsy
Clears heat and benefits the sesory orifices
Regulates the Du Mai

TCM Indications:
  • Stiffness and pain of the neck, difficulty in turning the neck, one-sided headache, bilateral headache, pain of the back and shoulder, pain of the shoulder, elbow and arm, contraction of the elbow, contraction and pain of the fingers, pain of the lumbar region and knees, hemiplegia.
  • Malaria, night sweating, cold shivering, chills and fever, febrile disease with absence of sweating, fullness of the chest, jaundice, dark hesitant urination.
  • Epilepsy, mania-depression, disorders of the Governing vessel (du mai).
  • Deafness, tinnitus, superficial visual obstruction, redness and pain of the eyes, swelling of the eyes with lacrimation, nosebleed, toothache, swelling of the throat and cheek, redness, swelling and pain of both cheeks, loss of voice following windstroke.

    Superficial Innervation: Ulnar nerve (digital branch) from C8 and T1
    Dermatome Segment: C8

    One of the main distal points for neck and shoulder pain along with Tiaoku St-38 for shoulders and Luozhen (extra) for the neck.


    In five element acupuncture this point is reinforced to tonify Small Intestine deficiencies.


    Ling Shu Ch. 19, on the Four Seasonal Qi, advises using the Shu-Stream points, unless the diseases are in the Fu organs, in which case the He-Sea points are chosen.

    Ling Shu Ch. 23, On Heat Diseases, gives a different list of points for the "59 Piercings" to Su Wen Ch. 61. They include three on the outer and three on the inner side of the hands which most likely includes this point.


    In Tung acupuncture the Wan Shu Yi, Wrist Flow One, point is located slightly proximal to this point. Its indications seem similar to this point echoing the Du and Taiyang channels (Back, neck, shoulder, arm, hip and side of foot pain, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus and urinary disorders). It is often combined with Wan Shun Er, slightly distal to Wangu SI-4 (Chu, 2015).


    Yuen (2005, The Eight Extraordinary Vessels) notes that this point, along with Zulinqi GB-41, is a Shu-Stream point instead of a Luo point like all the other extraordinary vessels because the Du, along with the Dai mai, are concerned with projecting out into the world while the other extraordinary vessels are about taking in from the outside world.


    In Mayan medicine:
    Used to treat pain in the upper extremities (Garcia, Sierra, Balam, 1999: Wind in the Blood)


    Medieval phlebotomy point (Hans von Gersdorff, 1517: Feldtbüch der Wundartzney,


    In ayurvedic medicine:
    Kurchashira marma point
    Size: 1 angula (cun)
    Structure: Tendon
    Effect of Injury: Pain (rujakar marma)
    (Harish Johari, 1996, Ayurvedic Massage, Sanatan Society; Anupama Bhattacharya, n.d. Marma Shastra)


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


    In Thai massage:
    Acupressure point (Salguero & Roylance, 2011, Encyclopedia of Thai Massage)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)