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Taibai SP-3 Acupuncture Point

Taibai SP-3

Chinese: 太白

Pinyin: Tài Bái

Location

Proximal and inferior to the head of the 1st metatarsal bone, at the junction of the red and white skin. 

How to locate

The metatarsophalangeal joint forms a prominent landmark, when palpate along the border of the red and white skin on the medial aspect of the foot from toes to ankle. 

Taibai SP-3 is located in a depression just proximal to this joint. The depression is at the junction of the head and the shaft of the 1st metatarsal bone.

Main actions

  1. Tonifies the Spleen
  2. Resolves Dampness
  3. Strengthens the Intellect/Thought

Needling

0.5–1 cun vertically or obliquely from medial towards lateral.

Caution: Needling this point tends to be painful.

Commentary for Taibai SP-3

Taibai SP-3 is major point of the Spleen Channel with various functions. 

First of all, it is the Source-Yuan point as well as the the Earth point of the Earth Organ. The Spleen is of the Earth element according to the Five Phases Theory. Therefore, SP-3 strongly tonifies the Spleen, regardless of being Qi, Yin or Yang Deficiency

The Spleen rules the transformation and transportation of Body Fluids. Thus a weaken Spleen can give rise to Dampness accumulation, which eventually becomes Phlegm. Manifestations includes frontal headache, mental confusion, head muzziness and heaviness, epigastrium fullness, poor appetite as well as sticky tongue coating. Using Reducing Needling method, SP-3 is very effective in resolving the Dampness of the Triple Burner by strengthening the Spleen. 

Furthermore, Taibai SP-3 is widely used for resolving chronic Lung Phlegm, caused by weaker Spleen function of transporting and transforming Body Fluids. The Spleen is the mother of the Lungs according to the Five Phases Theory. The Lungs (son) can be strengthened by tonifying its mother Spleen. 

Another function of SP-3 is to strengthen the Intellect (Yi) or thought. The Spleen houses the Intellect, meaning absorbing and remembering information, focusing, studying, thinking, and organizing ideas. If Spleen Qi is strong, it is easy to study, think, and concentrate. If not, thinking can be fuzzy, memorization can be weak, and concentration is poor. The point is effective to stimulate mental powers in patients suffering from chronic post viral fatigue syndrome.