TCM Acupuncture Theory - Shokanten Points and the Nine Continent Pulses

Shokanten - Nine Continent

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 shokanten points and the nine continent pulses. 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.

Shokanten Points & the Nine Continent Pulses Theory and Applications

  • The Nine Continent Pulses may be used when the when the pulse via the radial artery offers inconclusive information.
  • The pulses are also used to aid in the comparative analysis of meridians in the upper and lower portions of the body.
  • The Shokanten points are often used to treat conditions arising from a psycho-emotional background. For example, the use of KD 12 when fear is an associated aspect of a child's bedwetting issues.

Shokanten Points & the Nine Continent Pulses Chart

Pulse Location



Effected Area

Upper Tai Yang Tai Yang KD 12 Sides of the Head
Middle TH 21 Shao Yang ST 25/KD 21 Eyes & Ears
Lower ST 2 Yang Ming ST 27 Mouth & Teeth
Upper LU 9 Tai Yin LV 13 Lungs
Middle HT 7 Shao Yin KD 16 Heart
Lower LI 4 Jue Yin LV 14/KD 19 Chest
Upper LV 3 Tai Yin LV 13 Liver
Middle ST 42 Shao Yin KD 16 Spleen

There Are (16) Shokanten - Nine Continent Acupuncture Points

LU 9

HT 7

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  • HT 7  Spirit Gate
    • Tonify deficiencies of the HT Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang.
    • Emotional issues, especially those with related sleep or thinking manifestations - insomnia, muddled thinking.
    • Heart and Phlegm fire leading to insomnia, anxiety, mania.
    • Physical responses to emotional stimuli - anxiety w/palpitations, nausea w/panic a/or fear.
    • Heart palpitations from any etiology as well as irregular heart beat, pounding heart, angina.
    • Tong Ren/Tam Healing System: Emotional/Psychological issues, w/PC 7 for sweat problems (too much or too little).

TH 21

  • TH 21  Ear Gate
    • Ear problems of an excess or deficient nature, tinnitus, deafness, earache.
    • TMJ problems, upper jaw toothache, combine with ST 6 & ST 7

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 ¬†

LV 3

  • LV 3  Great Surge
    • Generally, resolves stagnation and tonifies Yin - balancing for all LV pathologies.
    • LV Qi Stagnation / LV Yang Rising - headaches, dizziness, canker sores.
    • Eye issues - blurred vision, red, swollen, painful eyes.
    • Menstrual issues from Deficient Blood, Yin, Qi a/or LV Qi Stagnation - dysmennorrhea, amenorrhea, PMS, breast tenderness.
    • Genital issues - pain/swelling, hernia, impotence, semianl emission.
    • Stagnation in the middle warmer - subcostal tension, chest/flank pain, swellings in the axillary region.
    • Digestive issues from LV attacking ST/SP - nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea w/ undigested food.
    • Calming point - anger, irritability, insomnia, anxiety.
    • With LI 4, four gates treatment - powerfully effects the flow of Qi and Blood in the body.
    • Tong Ren/Tam Healing System: Important point to descend energy in the body, generally used after qi gong exercises, energy healing sessions, etc. Helps to avoid qi gong sickness (or running fire) where energy is stuck in the upper part of the head/body and causes issues such as shortness of breath, psychological issues, headache, etc.

LV 13

  • LV 13  Camphorwood Gate
    • Assist with SP Deficient signs esp. from the LV invading the SP - pain and distention of the abdomen, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea (or alternating), bloating, undigested food in the bowels.
    • Hui Meeting Point of the Zang - tonify all Zang organs.
    • Running Piglet Disorder.

LV 14

  • LV 14  Cycle Gate
    • Strong effect on the middle and upper warmers - subcostal tension, chest/rib pain, LV overacting on the LU (cough, SOB).
    • Effects LV organ, Qi/Blood stagnation - hepatitis, gallstones.
    • Emotional imbalances - anger, irritability.
    • Running Piglet Disorder.

KD 12

KD 16

KD 19

KD 21

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  • KD 21  Dark Gate
    • Local point for abdominal and intestinal pain and functional issues.
    • Reflux, vomiting, food stagnation, dystenary¬†- harmonizes stomach.
    • Liver stagnation affecting the breasts - insufficient lactation, breast distention.

ST 2

ST 25

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  • ST 25  Celestial Pivot
    • All intestinal issues - constipation, diarrhea, dysentary, distention, pain, masses/accumulations of any type.
    • Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation, fibroids/cysts, fertility issues and leukorrhea.
    • Connects the Upper and Lower Warmers (pre & post natal Qi).

ST 27

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  • ST 27  Great Gigantic
    • Beneficial for multiple genito-urinary issues in men - impotence (erectile dysfunction), seminal emission, premature ejaculation, difficult urination, etc.
    • Irregular menstruation.
    • Abdominal pain, bloating, hernia.
    • Fear/fright with palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, etc..

ST 42

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  • ST 42  Surging Yang
    • Issues on the upper end of the channel (i.e. mouth/face/head) - upper mouth/teeth issues, toothache, deviation of the face as in bell's palsy or stroke.
    • Local point for foot pain - pain, swelling, redness - also motor control issues of the foot.

(EX) Taiyang

  • (EX) Taiyang  Great Sun
    • Temporal, one-sided a/or migraine headaches.
    • Eye issues - pain, swelling, redness, photophobia, visual acuity.
    • Local point for tootache, facial paralysis, pain, etc.
    • Classically mentioned in the Ode of the Jade Dragon for swelling of the breast (bleed bilaterally).
    • Tong Ren/Tam Healing System: Headaches, dizziness, eye and/or sinus issues. For migraines use with GB 20 and LI 4.

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