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Shendao DU-11 Acupuncture Point

Shendao DU-11

Chinese: 神道

Pinyin: Shén Dào

Location

On the back midline, in the depression below the spinous process of the 5th thoracic vertebra (T5). 

How to locate

Firstly locate C6 by running the finger down the neck along the midline as it is the first palpable cervical vertebral spinous process. It becomes impalpable when the patients extend their neck. C7 is below C6 and it is still palpable despite that the neck is extended. 

Then from C7, count down 5 spinous processes and locate T5. Shendao DU-11 is in the depression below T5. 

Main actions

  1. Tonifies the Heart
  2. Calms the Mind
  3. Clears Heat
  4. Expels Wind

Needling

0.5–1 cun strictly vertically to the skin or obliquely in an inferior direction, with the patient’s back straight or flexed in order to avoid puncturing the spinal canal.

Oblique insertions should only be carried out by experienced practitioners, as in small persons (irrespective of their body weight), the spinal canal may be reached after only 1.25 cun.

Commentary for Shendao DU-11

Shendao DU-11 is mostly used to treat the Heart related disharmony. It is located near Xinshu BL-15, which is the the Heart's Back Transporting-Shu point. 

Firstly, it tonifies the Heart and calms the Mind so as to treat symptoms such as depression, sadness, anxiety, poor memory, palpitations, disorientation or timidity. 

It is also able to clear Heat or Fire, especially in the Heart.

Finally, it extinguishes Interior Wind, and therefore treats lockjaw or epilepsy in children.