Shenzhu DU-12

Chinese: 身柱

Pinyin: Shēn Zhù


On the back midline, in the depression below the spinous process of the 3th thoracic vertebra (T3). 

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 3 spinous processes and locate T3. Shenzhu DU-12 is in the depression below T3. 

Main actions

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


0.3–1 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 Shenzhu DU-12

Shenzhu DU-12 is often used to treat the Lung related disharmony. It is located at the same level of Feishu BL-13, which is the the Lungs' Back Transporting-Shu point. 

By using Reducing Method, it can be applied to clear Lung Heat, and thus treat symptoms such as Heat in the chest, cough, feeling of Heat, breathlessness, thirst and agitation. 

It can also expel Interior Wind using Reducing Method. Thus it calms related manifestations such as spasms, convulsions, tremors, epilepsy and opisthotonos. 

On the other hand, Shenzhu DU-12 is also often used with Tonifing Method to strengthen the Lung Qi as well as general body Qi, especially after a long-term disease. It can treat allergic rhinitis, asthma, fatigue, weak voice and tendency to catch cold. 

Finally it calms the Mind and opens the Mind's orifices. It is because the Lungs house the Corporeal Soul (Po), which is a physical soul with a centripetal movement, constantly materializing and constantly separating into different constituent aspects. It has connections with 'Gui' ( 鬼 ghosts) and its unsettlement gives rise to hallucination or manic behavior such as the rage with desire to kill people.