Taodao DU-13

Chinese: 陶道

Pinyin: Táo Dào


On the back midline, in the depression below the spinous process of the 1st thoracic vertebra (T1). 

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 1 spinous processes and locate T1. Taodao DU-13 is in the depression below T1. 

Main actions

  1. Clears Heat
  2. Regulates the Governing Vessels


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 Taodao DU-13

Taodao DU-13 is mostly used to clear Heat, especially during the Lesser Yang Stage of the Six Stage theory. The typical manifestations are malaria and alternation of feeling cold and hot. 

It is also able to regulate Governing Vessels, so as to ease spine stiffness, heaviness of the head, visual dizziness, clonic spasm, agitation and fullness, sadness and disorientation.