Big Points I Use

Just a simple and fun post here. I remember back in acu-school, first class point location and the teacher there saying that while there are over 360 points we'll be learning, in reality he only uses 50 of them regularly. And as far as he could tell that was true for most veteran practitioners he knew. 

Sooooo last month I remembered that and made a couple of lists of points…you can get my drift below. Read away and if you want list your common points in the comments-and highlight points that you and I don't have in common!


Top top points- hardly a patient goes by without some of these points getting needled. Points have huge and varied effect:

Sp 6, St 36, Lv 3, Gb 40 & 34, Gv 20, yintang, Li 11, Li 4 (ling ku position), Tw 5

Not quite so top points- some of these are specialized but the conditions they are used for are real common like low back pain or neck pain. Others are used almost as much as my Top category and have broad appeal.

K 3, Gb 41, Pc 6, Ht 4 & 7, Bl 65, Sp 3, 4 & 9, Si 4, so jing dian, shi shen cong, da bai, control 3  points

Workin' Joes: medium use points

Pc 7, heart spirit 3, Lu 5, Li 20, bi tong, 3 yellows on thigh, 4 flowers, Bl 62 & 64, St 32, 3 gold (including St 43 & 44), 4 horses, St 41 & 44, Cv 6, 12, & 22, St 25, Lv 4 & 14, K 2 & 6, Si 3 & 6, Tw 6, Ht 3, Lu 10, Gb 31, shen men in ear, Tw 4, Bl 7, wolverine: the ba feng and ba xie points I just call wolverine because I am a modern kinda guy you know. 

less common points

Lv 13, Gb 20, Gb 21, Bl 60, Cv 2, 3, & 17, Lu 1, Gb 39, Tw 17, Bl 1, St 1, tai yang, mu and gu guan, Lu 3, Li 14, 3 yang, 5 NP in ear, ear apex, H/A thread in ear


That's 78 points and I am counting the point combinations (3 yellows, etc) as 1 point and I realize that there's overlap between some point combos and some individuals (like St 36 and 4 flowers). I am probably missing a few points…and there are times when I use certain points ALL THE TIME because I wanna and then I drop them later. The wolverine points are my current faves. I just love driving pieces of metal into people. Notice no back points.

So what you got? 


Thanks Andy, Cris, Demetra, and Lisa for helping me with this.

Skip Van Meter
Author: Skip Van Meter

Skip is Lead Acupuncturist and Co-Founder of <a href="" target="_blank">Working Class Acupuncture</a> in Portland, Oregon. With the earlier part of his life spent acquiring knowledge about geology, urban planning and teaching high school, he has now been an acupuncturist for 19 years, using about a 1,750,000 needles poking his patients. He likes all things soccer, has three fabulous sons, the best wife in the world, and a great dog and two cool cats.

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  1. K 7, 10 and 27– chills em right out.

    UB 40- yes- in recliner

    and jing-well points especially if I’m on a Tan kick- or when channel pain is stubborn and sticks around more than it’s wanted.

  2. GB 42. I used to use 41 and/or 43 a lot, but when I palpated folks, 42 always jumped out. Now it’s my go-to distal GB point.

    Love ST43 too. Any sort of indigestion, also sinus congestion. Usually in combo with 43.5 and 44, maybe even 41. Of course, if I’m needling down there, it almost goes without saying that ST 36 and probably 40 are getting it too.

    Ce San Li and it’s little friend are in my “less common but well loved” collection. Used them tonight for TMJ w/ a temporal headache. I learned them for trigeminal neuralgia, but they seem to do the business on any sort of side of the head/jaw ish.

  3. I got the tip to use SI1 for coughs from someone here a long time ago…it’s a favorite now. Especially when people come in hacking and will cough through the treatment otherwise.
    I tell patients “it’s the Robitussen of acupuncture points!” Because I am huge f-in’ dork. Yet they love me somehow despite this.

    “I just love driving pieces of metal into people.” Indeed.

  4. I don’t know about LV 14, but LV 13 and other belly points like St 25 and SP15, Ren 6/4, 12 are easy enough if the patient is willing let us needle their belly, then we can cover them up with a blanky.

  5. Neck pain – nothing works for me like chong zi & chong xian.

    We use ear/PTSD combo a LOT.

    And that scalp shoulder point thingy that Andy does – located somewhere above the ear apex usually around GB8 or the scalp vertigo area.