TCM Acupuncture Theory - Command Points

Command Point

Traditional Chinese Medicine utilizes a number of theories which group acupuncture points together based on their functions and/or other relationships. Many of these theories are important in a clinical setting and are used, along with other theory and diagnostic information, to decide which acupuncture points will be used for a given condition.

Below you find information regarding the command points. See our Acupuncture Point Categories section for a complete list of point categories.

For complete information about a single point, click on it within the chart.

Command Points Theory and Applications

  • Their are currently 6 commonly accepted command points used within TCM. Some texts only contain four command points as PC 6 and GV 26 were added after the original four.
  • The Command Points are individual points that have strong and broad effects on their related part of the body. They are used to treat any imbalance in their designated areas from any etiology (hot, cold, excess, deficiency) at any stage (i.e. chronic or acute).

Command Points Chart

Abdomen ST 36
Lumbar Region UB 40
Head & Posterior Neck LU 7
Face & Mouth LI 4
Heart, Chest & Epigastrium PC 6
Fainting & Collapse GV 26

There Are (6) Command Point Acupuncture Points

LU 7

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  • LU 7  Broken Sequence
    • Exterior Wind - body aches, chills/fever, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing.
    • Internal Wind - bell's palsy, twitching, spasms, lockjaw.
    • As Master Point of the CV, paired with KD 6 of the Yin Qiao Mai - treats genitourinary and gynecological issues also Yin deficient sore throat.
    • Command Point of the Head and Posterior Neck - useful for any conditions involving these areas.
    • Pain of the thumb - Luo Connecting Point spreads over the thenar eminence.

PC 6

  • PC 6  Inner Pass
    • Similar to PC 3 but more for Chronic Heart symptoms from Qi stagnation.
    • Opens and relaxes the chest, chest tightness, asthma, angina, palpitations.
    • Insomnia a/or other spirit disorders of an excess or deficient nature, mania, nervousness, stress, poor memory.
    • Nausea, seasickness, motion sickness, vomiting, epigastric pain.
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

LI 4

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  • LI 4  Union Valley
    • Releases the exterior for wind-cold or wind-heat syndromes
    • Strengthens the wei qi, improves immunity
    • Regulates the sweat glands, for excessive sweating tonify LI 4 then disperse KD 7 and vice versa.
    • Any problem on the face - sense organs, mouth, teeth, jaw, toothache, allergies, rhinitis, hay fever, acne, eye problems, etc.
    • Toothache use both LI 4 & ST 44 - LI for the lower jaw & ST for the upper jaw.
    • Headache, especially frontal a/or sinus (yangming area).
    • Chronic Pain
    • Influence the circulation of Qi and Blood - Use the four gates, LI 4 & LV 3 to strongly move the Qi and Blood in the body clearing stagnation and alleviating pain.
    • Promote labor or for retained placenta  

UB 40

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  • UB 40  Bend Middle
    • As the Lumbar Command Point, useful for all lumbar related issues: acute low back pain, sprain, muscle spasms, etc.
    • Main point for heat conditions such as summer heat, heatstroke and heat exhaustion.  Nightsweats in some cases from deficiency.
    • Main point for all skin related issues: itching, oozing, inflammation, eczema, etc.
    • Good local point for hip, leg a/or knee pain.

ST 36

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  • ST 36  Leg Three Li
    • Tonify deficient Qi a/or Blood.
    • Tonify Wei Qi and Qi overall - low immunity, chronic illness, poor digestion, general weakness, particularly with moxibustion, very important acupuncture point for building and maintaining overall health.
    • All issues involving the Stomach a/or the Spleen - abdominal/epigastric pain, borborygmus, bloating, nausea, vomiting, GERD, hiccups, diarrhea, constipation, etc.
    • Clear disorders along the course of the channel - breast problems, lower leg pain.
    • Earth as the mother of Metal - will support Lung function in cases of asthma, wheezing, dyspnea.
    • Psychological/Emotional disorders - PMS, depression, nervousness, insomnia.

GV 26

  • GV 26  Water Trough
    • One of two Command Points (with PC 6) added to the original four, for fainting, collapse. Main point for restoring consciousness, for shock, revivial from fainting, weakness, helps patient to awaken, use fingernail in an emergency.
    • Main point for acute low back sprain, helps relieve pain and restore motion, moves stagnation at the opposite end of the channel. After obtaining the Qi, have pateint bend then rotate the waist.
    • Nosebleed, nasal discharge issues, problems with olfactory sensations (smell).
    • Manic-depression and other strong shen disturbances, epilepsy (seizures).  

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