Acupuncture Points Notebook

: Shuitu : Water Prominence

St-10 : Foot Yangming Stomach 10

Trigger point (Travell & Simons, 1998, Trigger Point Manual)
Master Tung's Tonsilitis Nine

On the neck, at the anterior border of the sternocleidemastoid muscle, midway between Renying ST-9 and Qishe ST-11.

Perpendicular-oblique insertion directed medially to avoid the carotid arterym 0.5 - 1 cun

Palpate and hold the carotid artery lateral to the point while needling

TCM Actions:
Benefits the throat and neck
Descends lung qi

TCM Indications:
  • Swelling and pain of the throat, goitre, scrofula.
  • Cough, whooping cough, shortness of breath, dyspnoea, swelling and pain of the shoulder.

    Superficial Innervation: Transverse cervical nerve (C2 - C3)
    Dermatome Segment: C2, C3

    Trigger Point Associations:
    Muscle: Sternomastoid
    Myotome Innervation: Motor functions supplied by ipsilateral accessory nerve (CN XI); Sensation provided by dorsal rami of C2 - C3
    Location Notes: The exact 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

    This point would also be on the upper trajectory of the Chong mai in Jeffrey Yuen's descriptions (Yuen, 2005, The Extraordinary Vessels).


    In Tung's acupuncture the Tonsilitis Nine (Hou E Jiu) points are located between these two points. The centre point is located at the superior notch of the thyroid cartilage with two more 1.5 cun lateral. Two more points are located 1 cun above and 1 cun below each of these three. The lower lateral points would be approximately at St-10. They are indicated for tonsilitis, throat pain, thyroiditis, throat itching and phlegm obstructing the throat. All are pricked to bleed. Due to their close proximity to the thyroid cartilage and blood vessels the skin must be pinched up and pricked to prevent unintended damage (McCann, 2014, Pricking the Vessels).

    This technique, properly performed, could be safer, avoiding the risk of patient's moving and pushing a retained needle deeper than intended.

    Reference Notes: (click to display)