Acupuncture Large Intestine Meridian

According to the traditional Chinese description large intestine meridian is a yang channel, associated with the element metal and possesses interior and exterior relationship with the lung meridian.

Total number of points: 20.

Starting point: Tip of the radial side of the index finger.

Terminal point: Between nasolabial-groove and ala-nasi (opposite side).

Pathway: After taking origin from the starting point on the radial side of the index finger, this channel passes over the first dorsal inter-metacarpal space to reach the space bound by the tendons of the muscles extensor pollicis longus and brevis (commonly known as anatomical snuff-box). Here it crosses over the scaphoid bone and courses posterolaterally upwards to reach the lateral side of the elbow. Further, it ascends along the anterior border of the outer side of the upper arm to the shoulder joint and anterior border of acromion up to the seventh cervical vertebra. From here it runs towards supraclavicular fossa and then divides into two branches.

Branches: At the level of supraclavicular fossa, main trunk splits into a superficial branch for the face and a deep inner branch.

Superficial branch: From supraclavicular fossa it ascends up to the neck, passes over interior angle of the mandible and ascends over the upper lip to reach opposite ala-nasi to end over there. There is a crossing of the two opposite large intestine channels at the philtrum.

Inner branch: It descends down from the supraclavicular fossa to lung and from there it crosses the cardiac orifice of the diaphragm and reaches its principle organ, the large intestine.

Therapeutic Indications

  1. All the diseases along the pathway of the meridian.
  2. Painful disorders of any part of the body.
  3. Disorders of the large intestine.
  4. Disorders of the related organ lung.
  5. Skin disorders.
  6. Nasal disorders.
  7. Infections
  8. Conditions where homeostatis and immunity improvement is required.
  9. As analgesic points for all acupuncture anaesthesia.

Description of the Selected Points

LI-4 Hegu (Hoku)

Location: It is located on the highest point of the bulging made by first dorsal interosseous muscle when the thumb and index finger are held close together in adduction.

Indications: Painful conditions of the eye, trigeminal neuralgia, lower toothache, pharyngitis, sore-throat, Bell’s palsy, rhinitis, coryza, pyrexia, and as a supplementary point during any surgical procedure to alleviate pain.

LI4 – Hegu

LI-5 Yangxi (Yanghsi)

LI5 – Yangxi

Location: Over the wrist joint between the tendons of the extensor pollicis brevis and extensor pollicis longus muscles (centre of the anatomical snuff-box).

Indications: Painful conditions of wrist and hand like osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, neurological conditions like wrist drop, painful conditions of the eye, toothache, tinnitus aurium and infantile indigestion.

LI-10 Shousanli (Sanli)

Location: 2 t-sun below. LI-11 (Quchi).
Indications: Hemiplegia, tremors and other involuntary movements of upper extremity, arthritis of elbow, painful shoulder and arm, diarrhea with griping and other abdominal pain. Acupressure point for headache.

LI-10 Shousanli

L1-11 Quchi (Chuchih)


a. Midpoint of the line connecting L5 (Chize) and lateral epicondyle of humerous.
b. Semiflex the elbow and take the lateral end of the elbow crease.

Indications: Malaise, weakness and neurasthenia, hypertension, paralysis of the arm, shoulder and back pain. urticaria, diabetes, skin disorders like psoriasis and dermatitis.

LI-11 Quchi

LI-15 Jianyu (Chienyu)


1. On the depression at antero-inferior border of acromioclavicular joint when the arm is adducled .

2. When the arm is held away from the body in adduction. it is situated in the anteriqr depression of the acromion.

lndications : Periarthritis shoulder (frozen shoulder) paralysis, painful arc syndrome, sprain and strain of the shoulder and all other painful shoulder disorders.

LI-18 Neck-Futu (Futu)

Location: On the neck 3 t-sun lateral to the center of the laryngeal prominence, between the two heads of the sterno-cleidomastoid muscle.
Indications : Excessive expectoration, cough, sore-throat, enlarged thyroid. hoarseness of voice. aphasia and stammering. It is used in thyroid surgery as an acupuncture anesthesia point.

LI-18 Neck-Futu

LI-19 Nose-Heliao (Holiao)

Location: 0.5 t-sun by the side of GV-26 (Renzhong) below the lateral margin of the nostril.

Indications : Stuffy nose, trigeminal neuralgia, upper toothache, rhinitis, epistaxis and smoking addiction, face disorders like Bell’s palsy , wrinkling on face and acne vulgaris.

LI-19 Nose-Heliao

LI-20 Yingxiang (Yinghsiang)

Location : Midpoint of the line drawn horizontally from the highest point of the ala-nasi towards nasolabial groove on the opposite side (Fig. 7.16).

Indications: Trigeminal neuralgia, common cold, upper toothache, maxillary sinusitis and face disorders like Bell’s palsy, wrinkling on face and acne vulgaris.

LI-20 Yingxiang

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