Sanjian LI-3

Chinese: 三间

Pinyin: Sān Jiān


Located on the radial side of the index finger, in the depression proximal to the head of the 2nd metacarpal bone. 

How to locate

This point will be easier to find if a loose fist is made. Palpate along the radial aspect of the 2nd metacarpal bone in a distal direction until the angle formed between the head and the shaft can be clearly felt.

Sanjian LI-3 is located at the junction of the shaft and the head. It is slightly below its most external curvature.

Houxi SI-3 is located in a comparable position on the ulnar aspect of the 5th metacarpal bone. 

Main actions

  1. Removes Channel Stagnation
  2. Expels Exterior Wind


With the hand relaxed, 0.3–1 cun vertically directly below the lower border of the metacarpal bone towards Houxi SI-3.

Commentary for Sanjian LI-3

Sanjian LI-3 is widely used to treat Painful Obstruction Syndrome of the hand by expelling Wind-Cold from the Channel. Like many Stream-Shu points, it is indicated in joint aches. For example, it can ease redness and swelling of the hand dorsum or difficulties in flexing and extending the fingers. 

It is also used to expel Exterior Wind-Heat, which can cause acute pain in eye, throat, tooth and etc. 

Finally it regulates the Intestine by removing Cold or Dampness. Typical symptoms are diarrhoea and borborygmi.