Tsubos and categories of points

Tsubos or acupuncture points are specific points on the body surface, where the Qi of the inner organs (Zang Fu) and Meridians surfaces. Through a pathway system they have a close relationship with particular inner organs and they mutually influence each other.

This means that illnesses of the inner organs surface in specific locations, e.g. as pain when pressed or as a change of skin colour; as well as the stimulation of a point is being channelled inwards to the corresponding organ to support the healing process.

In general, all points along a Meridian have a supportive function for any ailments along the pathway, as well as: illnesses in the related organ, related tissue and corresponding sense organ. Additionally, the points on a pathway act on disharmonies of the paired, internally-externally connected Meridian.

A fundamental distinction is made between: local points which are situated in the region of the illness or in the adjacent area, and distant points which are remotely located from the affected region or diseased organ. In addition to this Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises different specific categories of points, into which special acupuncture areas of interest are summarised.

 The categorization of the point frequently provides a reference for the location.  This means that Alarm points are for instance located on the anterior side of the body, whereas the Transporting points are on the back along the Bladder Meridian. With exception of the Transporting points -Shu-  (on the Bladder Meridian) points of a category lie on different meridians.

The tsubo overview helps in assigning the meridian points to the different categories of points. On this map the Antique points are not taken into account.

Tsubo overview

The most important categories of points are:

  • Transporting points  (Bei Shu Xue)
  • Alarm points (Mu Xue)
  • Source points (Yuan Xue)
  • Connecting Points (Luo Xue)
  • Acute points (Xi Xue)
  • Master point (Ba Hui Xue)
  • Key (Master or Meeting) points of the eight extra Meridians  (Bamai Jiaohui Xue)
  • Antique points (Wu Shu Xue)
  • Tonification points (Bu Xue)
  • Sedation points (Xie Xue)
  • Ben point- Root Point (Ben Xue)
  • Transporting points
  • Key treatment points refer to acupuncture points that as experience has shown, act particularly well on the organ system or on a special clinical state, and therefore find frequent use for specific illnesses.


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