Top 12 heavenly star acupoints you need to know

I believe most of you know what is acupoints, but have you heard of heavenly star acupoints? 

First of all, there are 361 main acupoints!  There’s actually more, but this number is what the The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified as classical points in “A Proposed Standard International Acupuncture Nomenclature Report”. This number is also very close to the number of days in a year. With so many points and so little time, how do you know which ones to use?

Well, Ma Dan Yang, who was a famous daoist practitioner of Traditional Chinese medicine, curated the “12 Heavenly Star points”. It was written in a form of a poem in the Yuan Dynasty in Wang Guorui’s (1279-1368) Ode to the Jade Dragon.

The original poem only had 11 points but  in 1439, over 100 years after Wang’s text was published, Xu Feng included LR 3 (Tai Chong) in his Ming Complete Collection.

This poem is more than 500 years old and it’s also been said that “‘none of the functions of the 360 points are beyond the 11 [now 12] Heavenly Star points”.


12 Heavenly Star acupoints poem

Sanli Neiting points,

Quchi Hegu separated,

Weizhong paired with Chengshan,

Go downward to Kunlun point,

Huantiao and Yangling,

Tongli and also Lieque,

If used in tandem the method is tandem,

If used alone the method is alone,

Use of tandem or alone should be constantly remembered,

To the idle do not heedlessly tell of this,

The 365 points are not beyond the 11,

This method few people know

All locks are broken open,

For treating illness they show powerful results

Like hot water splashed upon snow,

If those studying meticulously seek [these results],

Miraculous skills [develop] without limit.


Why are these 12 heavenly star acupoints so important?

Firstly, except for GB 30, all the acupoints are on the arms and legs, which makes it very safe. Of course GB 30 on the butt area is also a very safe place to do so.

Secondly, the 12 heavenly star acupoints cover all the 6 channel ‘levels’ and 12 main meridians, so basically we’ve got it all covered. If we’ve got malfunction on a certain level, we know which “button” to press to tune it.

  1. Taiyang channel: 3 points on the leg.
  2. Yangming channel: 2 points on the arm, 2 on the leg.
  3. Shaoyang channel: 2 points on the arm.
  4. Taiyin channel: 1 point on the arm
  5. Shaoyin channel: 1 point on the arm.
  6. Jueyin channel: 1 point on the leg.

If you’re not sure what it means, the  6 “levels” refers to the 3 Yang levels and 3 Yin levels.

The 3 Yang is split into Taiyang, Yangming and Shaoyang. The 3 Yin is split into Taiyin, Shaoyin and Jueyin. Each layer is associated with 2 meridians which is linked to their respective organs, that’s why we have 12 main meridians!

Each level will affect different organs hence different symptoms will be presented when you’re attacked by an external pathogen. For example, at Tai Yang stage, if you’re exposed to an exterior cold pathogen, the symptoms are fever, chills, aversion to cold, pain in neck and back area.

The table shows the 6 levels of Yin & Yang and their associated organs.



1) Taiyang – Small Intestine, Urinary Bladder1) Taiyin- Lung, Spleen
2) Yangming – Large Intestine, Stomach2) Shaoying – Heart, Kidney
3) Shaoyang – San JIao, Gall Bladder3) Jueyin- Pericardium, Liver


Fun fact: It takes about 28 minutes for the Qi to go around all 12 meridians around the body. That’s probably why each acupuncture session is about 30 minutes long.  #socool


12 heavenly star Qi cycle

What is each of the 12 heavenly star acupoints for?

Here are some of the main functions of each point. I know it might be quite a lot of information to absorb at first. So, for daily home self are, I would recommend my top 3 acupoints which are easy to locate and do at home.

They are ST 36 , LR 3,  and LI 4, their location pictures are below.

If you’re new to acupressure, you may want to read this first – 5 Acupress Pedia- Ways to Maximise Acupressure Effects.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get help.

These are only some of the main acupuncture points that is useful for self care and is not intended for treatment purposes. If you have any serious problems, do visit a TCM physician. Otherwise, if you travel frequently or prefer to do it at the comfort of your own home and own time, you can always rely on the professional online counselling platform like BetterHelp. It’s the world largest online e-counselling with 2,000 licensed therapists so I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone that you are comfortable with 🙂 You can find out more here.

Top 3 acupuncture points


To make it easier, click here for the 12 heavenly star acupoint pictures and point locations!  (I tried a different kind of acupoint design)


Acupoint Name & MeaningAcupuncture numberMain function of the acupoint


“Leg Three Miles”

ST 36
  • Good for ALL digestive system problems: Bloated stomach, diarrhea,constipation, intestinal noises.
  • For issues around the acupoint: Swollen leg, sore knee or calf, injury from cold, weakness or emaciation.
  • Good for overall general well-being and boosting the immune system.


“Inner Court”

ST 44
  • Clears heat from the Stomach channel and organ.
  • Useful for issues of the face – toothache, facial pain, bell’s palsy, stroke, sore throat, eye pain.
  • Clears Damp Heat in the intestines – diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, GERD (acid reflux).
  • Local point for pain, swelling of the dorsum of the foot.


“Crooked Pond”

LI 11
  • Clears heat – Reduction of high fevers.
  • Clears Damp Heat – to treat skin issues, red, itchy, oozing & inflamed (hives, herpes zoster, acne).
  • Elbow and upper limb disorders


“Union Valley”

LI 4

May induce labour, do not press if pregnant.

  • Huge Influencer for Qi and Blood circulation– Use the “Four Gates”, LI 4 & LR 3 to  move the Qi and Blood in the body clearing stagnation and alleviating pain (natural pain relief)!
  • Strengthens the Wei Qi which is the defensive Qi to improve immunity
  • Face issues –  allergies, rhinitis, hay fever, acne, eye problems, toothache,etc.
  • Headache  especially frontal or sinus (nose).


“Supporting Middle”

BL 40
  • Master point of the Back – useful for all back related issues-  acute low back pain, sprain, muscle spasms, etc.
  • Skin issues – Urticaria, red, itchy skin issues


“Mountain Support”

BL 57
  • Main point for hemorrhoids from any etiology.
  • Local point for pain, swelling and/or cramping of the calf.


“KunLun mountains”

BL 60

May induce labour, do not press if pregnant.

  • Main point for pain anywhere along the spine – chronic low back pain, problems of pain, numbness in the lower limbs.


“Great Surge”

LR 3
  • This is the STRESS relieving point. Often used with its buddy point LI4, to powerfully move Qi and Blood.
  • Eye issues – blurred vision, red, swollen, painful eyes.
  • Menstrual issues – no period, irregular period, PMS, breast tenderness.
  • Calming point – anger, irritability, insomnia, anxiety.


“Jumping around”

GB 30
  • Sciatica- pain, numbness, weakness of lower back, hip, buttocks or lower limbs.
  • Skin issues – urticaria, red, itchy skin issues from wind.


Yang Mound Spring”

GB 34
  • Command point of the Sinews – useful for treating soft tissue anywhere in the body, sore, cramps, pain, spasm, weakness, numbness, paralysis.
  • Sciatica – problems with the low back, hip, lower limbs, knees.
  • All disorders of the lateral regions of the body.
  • Issues related to Gallbladder–  usually with Damp-Heat conditions such as cholecystitis, hepatitis, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, bitter taste in mouth, gallstones.


Connecting Interior”

HT 5
  • Mind and spirit related issues –  anxiety, palpitations, arrhythmia, nervousness, depression.
  • Speech or vocal disorders – TCM believes that the tongue is the flower of the Heart. ie, the Heart meridian open out to the tongue.
  • Clears heat in the Small Intestine (Heart’s partner organ) to treat urinary symptoms.
  • Local point for wrist, elbow and/or hand pain and weakness.


“Lighting Bolt “
or “Broken Sequence”

LU 7
  • Clears Exterior & Internal Wind – body aches, chills/fever, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing. Bell’s palsy, twitching, spasms.
  • Ruler of the Head and Neck- useful for any conditions involving these areas.
  • Master Point of the Ren meridian (runs in front of the body) – treats genitourinary and gynecological problems with KI 6 (kidney point)


So here are the top 12 Heavenly Star acupuncture points for you.

If you haven’t downloaded the point location sheet, you can get it by clicking the button below.

Print & stick on your fridge or wherever you wish and share with your loved ones!
Thanks for reading 🙂



One Reply to “Top 12 heavenly star acupoints you need to know”

  1. With thanks! Valuable information!

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