Ma Dang Yang’s 12 Star acupuncture points and Taoist herbs

work in progress (need to add more herb pictures). commentary on the points and herbs of Taoist Ma Dang Yang.

More details that explains the Taoist tradition of Ma Dang Yang please go here:
MA DANYANG’S TWELVE ACUPOINTS Valuable Points for Acupuncturists to Know and Use by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D.

What I like about this system, it is very similar in point selections that my first acupuncturist Amy used. Of course she used many more, but this system is a good start and great base to work off of. You have a foundation of points, herbs, and formulas. Ma Dang Yang seems to understand the importance of jing “essence” cultivation and preservation, especially into old age as we pass various growth and decline in our age. In Men it is every 8 year cycle, in women it is every 7 years.

Some extra Herbs are added as well, some very common in many formulas. Ma Dang Yang was big on controlling sweating as to not lose excess fluids which can damage blood. Be aware that nowadays sweating is actually not a “bad” thing, as it is associated with moving water and releasing the exterior, for example a sauna or exercise have health benefits. Times are different now with controlled environments with the invention of air conditioning. People with sedentary lifestyle like office workers, need to exercise more from sitting for many hours.

The 12 Star Acupuncture Points:
Pairs that work well together:
1. ST36 with ST44 and LI4 with LI11.
2. BL40 with BL57 and Liv3 with BL60.
3. GB30 with GB34 and HT5 with LU7.
If deficient use tonify/nourish/warm.
If excess use sedate/decrease/cool.

Lieque- Branching cleft LU7 Luo point, Ren mai confluent. Location: Superior to the styloid process of the radius, 1.5 cun above the transverse crease of the wrist between brachioradial muscle and tendon abductor muscle of the thumb.
Action: Releases the exterior and expels wind, promotes the descending function of the lung, pacifies wind and phlegm, benefits the head and nape,
Indication: Headache, migraine, neck rigidity, cough, asthma, sore throat, facial paralysis, tootch ache, pain and weakness of the wrist.

Hegu- enclosed valley LI4 Yuan Location: On the dorsum of the hand, between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, approximately in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal boneon the radial side.
Action: Regulate weiqi and adjust sweating, expel wind and release exterior, regulate face, eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
Activate channel and alleviates pain, induces labour, restores yang.
Indication: Headache, Neck pain, redness, swelling/pain of eye, epistaxis, nasal obstruction, rhinorrhea, toothache, deafness, swelling face, sore throat, parotitis, trismus, facial paralysis.
febrile disease, hidrosis, abdominal pain, dysentery, constipation, amenorrhea, delayed labor, infant convulsion, pain, weakness, impairment of upper limbs.

Quchi- Pool on Bend LI11 He sea earth Location: When the elbow is flexed, the point is in the depression at the lateral end of the transverse cubital crease, midway between LU5 and lateral epicondyl of the humerus.
Action: Clears heat, cools blood, eliminates wind, drains damp, alleviates itching, regulates qi and blood, activates channel and alleviates pain.
Indication: Sore throat, toothache, red/pain eyes, scrofula, urtucaria, hives, motor impairment of upper extremities, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, febrile diseases.

Zusanli- Three miles of the foot ST36 He Sea point, Sea of food point earth. Location: 3 cun below ST35 and 1 finger breath from the anterior border of tibia.
Action: Harmonizes ST, forities SP and resolves damp, supports true Qi and yuan qi, tonifies qi and nourishes blood and yin,
clears fire and clams spirit, activates the channel and alleviates pain, revives they yang and restores consciousness.
Indication: Gastric pain, vomiting, hiccup, abdominal distention, borborygumus, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, mastitis, enteritis, aching of knee joint, beriberi, edema, cough, asthma
indigestion, apoplexy,hemiphlegia, dizziness, insomnia, mania.

Neiting- Inner courtyard ST44 ying spring water Location: Proximal to the web margin between the second and third toes, in the depression distal and lateral to the second metatarsodigital joint.
Action: Clears heat from ST channel and alleviatespain, harmonizes the Liand clears damp-heat, calms spirit.
Indication: Toothache, pain in the face, deviation of mouth, sore throat, epistaxis, gastric pain, acid reflux, abdominal distention, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, febrile diseases.

Tongli- Penetrating the Interior HE5 Luo connecting point Location: When the palm faces upward, the point is on the radial side of the tendon of m.flexor carpi ulnaris, 1 cun above the transverse wrist crease.
Action: Calm the spirit, regulate heart qi and rhythm, benefits the tongue, activates channel and alleviates pain.
Indication: Palpatations, dizziness, blurring vision, sore throat, sudden loss of voice, aphasia with stiff tongue, pain in wrist and elbow.

Weizong- Middle of the crook BL40 He- sea of BL, Gao wu command Earth Location: Midpoint of the transverse crease of the popliteal fossa, between the tendon of m. biceps femoris and m. semitendinosus.
Actions: Benefits the lumbar region and legs, Activates the channel and alleviates pain, cool the blood, clears summer heat,
stops vomiting and dirrhea, benefits the bladder
Indication Lower back pain, motor impairment of the hip joint, contracture of the tendon I the popliteal fossa, muscular trophy, pain in lowr extremites, hemiplegia, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, erysipelas.

Chengshan-Support the Mountain BL57 Heavenly Star point Location: On the posterior of the leg, between BL40 and BL60, in a pointed depression formed below the gastronemius muscle belly when the leg is stretched.
Actions: Relaxes the sinews, activates channel and alleviates pain, benefits calf and heel, treats hemerroids.
Indication Lower back pain, spasm of gastronemius, hemmeroids, constipation, beriberi.

Kunlun- Lunlun mountains BL60 Jing river, Heavenly star Fire Location: In the depression between the tip of the external malleolus and achilles tendon.
Actions: Clears heat and lowers yang, pacifies wind and leads down excess, activates entire BL channel and alleviate pain,
Relaxes sinews and strengthes lumbar spine, promotes labor.
Indication Headache, blurred vision, neck rigidity, epistaxis, pain in the shoulder, back, and arm, sweeling pain of heel, difficult labor, epilepsy.

Huantao- Jumping Circle GB30 Meeting Point of GB and BL. Heavenly star point. Location: At the junction of the lateral 1/3 and medial 2/3 of the distance between the prominence of the great trochanter and the hiatus of the sacrum (GV2) . Side position for patient.
Actions: Activates channel and alleviates pain, benefits hip and leg, dispels wind-damp.
Indication: Pain in lumbar region and thigh, muscular atrophy of lower limbs, hemiplegia.

Yanglingquan- Yang Mound Spring GB34 He Sea, Hui- Sinews, Heavenly Start point. earth Location: In the depression anterior and inferior to the head of the fibula.
Actions: Benefits the sinews and joints, Activates channel and alleviates pain, spreads liver qi and lateral coastal region,
clears Liv. and GB damp-heat, harmozines Shaoyang.
Indication: Hemiplegia, weakness, numbness and pain of the lower extremities, swelling and pain of the lower extremities, knee pain, hypochondriac pain, bitter taste, vomiting, jaundice, infantile convulsion.

Taichong- Great Rushing LV3 Yuan source, Shu- stream, Heavenly star earth Location: On the dorsum of the foot, in the depression distal to the junction of the first and second metatarsal bones.
Action: Spreads liver qi, subdues liver yang and extinguishes wind, nourishes liver blood and liver wind, clears head and eyes,
regulates menstruation, regulates lower jiao.
Indication: Headache dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, congestion, swelling and pain of eye, depression, infantile convulsion, deviation of the mouth, pain in the hypochondriac region, uterine bleeding, hernia, enuresis,retention of urine, epilepsy, pain in the anterior aspect of medial malleolus.

Herbs and Foods:

Herbs that invigorate the blood:
facilitate the flow of blood and augment movement to prevent blood stasis.

Jiang Huang (Tumeric) Herbs that Invigorate the Blood Warm Acrid, bitter Sp, ST, Liv Invigorates the blood, breaks up blood stasis, drives Qi downward, treats wind-damp painful obstructions 3-9g pregnancy

Herbs that Tonify the Yang
These ares are typically warm and drying, which can lead to injury of yin and assist fire.
They are normally used with Qi transformation issues where the KD, SP, and HT are Yang deficient.
They also mostly specifically target the Kidney Yang. That is where you have a cold sensations, cold hands and feet, aversion to cold, lower back pain, and weak pulse.
Infertility, impotence, and leakages are also a sign of weak kidney yang.
Lu Rong ( Deer Velvet) Herbs that Tonfiy Yang Warm Sweet, salty KD, Liv. Fortifies primal yang, generates essence, augments the marrow 1-2g heat related issues.

He Tao Ren (Walnut) Herbs that Tonfiy Yang Warm Sweet KD, LI, LU Tonifies KD and LU, alleviates lower back pain, settles wheezing, moistens intestines, brain tonic. 9-15g phlegm fire.

Yi Zhi Ren (black cardamon) Herbs that Tonfiy Yang Warm Acrid KD, SP Warmly tonifies SP and KD yang, secures urine for bed wetting, assist KD to grasp Qi, stop diarrhea 3-9g lower burner heat.
Tu Si Zi (dodder seeds) Herbs that Tonfiy Yang Warm Acrid, sweet Kd, Liv. Warms primal Yang, nourishes yin, secures essence, tonifies KD, SP, and Liv. w/o cloying. 6-15g Fie from yin def.
Zi He Che (Placenta) Herbs that Tonfiy Yang Hot Sweet salty LIV, LU, KD Warm the KD yang, Tonifies LU and KD Qi, augements blood and essence, neuroasthenic 2-3g heat and yin def.
Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps) Herbs that Tonfiy Yang warm Sweet LU, KD Gently tonifies KD Yang, Augements essence, Tonifes Lung, settles cough and wheezing, stops sweating 3-9g exterior conditions.

Herbs that Tonify the blood
These herbs are used in patterns of blood deficiency and nourish the blood. If patient has pallid face, dizziness, vertigo, lethargy, palpitations, dry skin, menstrual irregulation.
Heart, Spleen , and Liver are most affected by blood deficiency. These herbs are often prescribed with stomach strengthening herbs to prevent indigestion since these herbs can cause sticky and cloying.

Herbs that Stabilize and Bind

These are sour and astringent type of herbs that help to keep fluids in and close orifices. They want to prevent leaking, distension, out of position organs, often in elderly as well.
These herbs do three main things:
1)Stop Sweating: Fu Xiao Mia, Ma Huang Gen, Nuo Dao Gen.
2)Stop diarrhea: He Ji, Yu Yu Liang, Rou Dou Kou, Shi Liu Pi, Chi Shi zhi, Chun Pi, wu Mei, Wu Bei Zi.
3) Stop Lower body leakage spermatorrhea, Leukorrhea, Urinary Frequency: Wu Wei Zi, Lian Zi, QianShi, Shan Zhu Yu, Jin Ying Zi, Sang Piao Xiao, Fu Pen Zi, Hai Piao, Xiao.
Cough is also another type of leakage in this category of herbs.

Shan Zhu Yu (asian cherry fruit) Herbs that Stabalize and Bind warm sour KD, Liv Stabalize KD, secure Essence, Stop excessive sweating, tonify KD and Liv., stabalize menses 6-12g Urinary pain, difficulty due to damp heat.
Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra fructus) Herbs that Stabalize and Bind warm sour, sweet HT, KD, LU contain leakage of qi, stop cough, tonify kindy, bind essence, inhibit sweat, generate fluids, quiet spirit, contain heart qi. “3-6g
” can cause heartburn, unresolved exterior, excess interior heat, early stage rash or cough.

Wu Mei (mume fruit) Herbs that Stabilize and Bind warm sour , astringent LI, Liv, Lung, SP inhibit leakage of Lung qi, stop cough, generate fluids, alleviate thirst, expel round worms, alleviate pain, stop diarrhea, topical for warts. 6-12g internal heat, unresolved external disorder.
He Zi (cherry plum) Herbs that Stabilize and Bind neutral bitter, sour astringent LU, sT, LI bind intestines, stops diarrhea, contain Lung Qi leakage, stop cough, assist throat 3-9g exterior pattern w/internal, stagnation damp-heat

Rou Dou Kou (nutmeg seed) Herbs that Stabilize and Bind warm Acrid LI, SP, ST Binds up Intestines, stop diarrhea, warm middle, Move qi, alleviate pain 3-9g hot diarrhea, stomach heat.
Shi Liu Pi (Pomegranate skin) Herbs that Stabilize and Bind warm sour , astringent LI, ST Binds intestines, stops diarrhea, kills parasites, 3-9g “not to be taken with oil and fats to kill parasite, becomes, toxic.

Chun Pi Herbs that Stabalize and Bind Cold bitter, astringent LI, ST Clears heat, dry damp, bind up intestines, kills parasites. 6-9g ST/SP cold or kindney yin def.

Chi Shi Zhi Herbs that Stabilize and Bind Warm sweet, sour, astringent SP, ST, LI Binds up intestines, stop diarrhea, constrain blood, stop bleeding, promote healing of wounds. 9-18g pregnancy, hot diarrhea, dysentery early stage, damp-heat.

Yu Yu Liang Herbs that Stabilize and Bind neutral Sweet , astringent LI, ST Binds intestines, stops diarrhea, restrain, inhibit, and stop bleeding. 9-18g pregnancy, excess patterns.
Lian Zi (Lotus seed) Herbs that Stabilize and Bind Neutral Sweet , astringent HT, KD, SP Tonify spleen stop diarrhea, tonify KD stablize essence, Nourish heart calm spirit 6-15g abdominal distention, constipation.

Sang Piao Xiao ‘Mantis Egg’ Herbs that Stabalize and Bind Neutral Sweet, salty KD, LIV reinforce the Yang at ming men, secure essence, contain urine (bedwetting, nocturnal emission) 4-9g yin def. /heat signs.

Lian Xu (Lotus Stamen) Herbs that Stabalize and Bind neutral Sweet, astringnet HT, KD, Liv Stronger astringent than lotus seed, summer fire 3-9g “NA

Qian Shi Herbs that Stabalize and Bind Neutral Sweet, astringnet KD, SP tonify and restrain SP and KD, elimate dampness, lower burner astringnet, difficult urination/defecation. 9-15g

Jing Ying Zi “cherokee rosehips” Herbs that Stabalize and Bind Neutral sour , astringent UB, KD, LI bind lower burner to secure essence, contain urination, halt chronic diarrhea.

Fu Pen Zi “chinese rasberry” Herbs that Stabalize and Bind Neutral Sweet , astringent KD, LIV Augment the true yin of the kidneys, contain urine, secure the essence 6-12g Yin def. w/heat

Wu Bei Zi ‘gallnut’ Herbs that Stabalize and Bind Cold Sour, salty KD, LI, LU Stop diarrhea, Contain Lung qi, bind up intestines, transform phelm, resolve fire toxicity 3-9g cough due to wind-cold

Fu Xiao mai ‘wheat grain’
Herbs that Stabalize and Bind Cool sweet, salty HT Stop sweat, augment HT Qi, inhibity HT fluid, clear heat from pores, stop sweat, night sweats. sweating due to exterior pattern

Herbs that Calm the spirit
Long Gu (Fossile bones) Substance that Calm the spirit Neutral Sweet , Astringent HT, Liv, Kd Settles anxiety, calms spirit for emotional distress, Calms Liver and anchors floating Yang, topically for sores 15-30g damp-heat, exterior.

Mu Li (Oyster shell) Substance that Calm the spirit cool salty, astringent Liv. KD heavily settles and calms the spirit, benefits yin, anchors floating yang, prevents leakage of fluids, softens hardness: nodules 9-30g high fever with sweat.

Suan Zao Ren (juJube seed) Herbs that Calm the spirit Neutral sour, sweet GB, HT, Liv, SP Nourish the Heart yin, augment liver blood, quiet spirit, prevent abnormal sweating 9-15g diarrhea, excess heat.

Yuan Zhi Herbs that Calm the spirit warm bitter, acrid HT, LU Calm spirit, Quiet heart, Expel phlegm, clear orifices, reduces abscesses 6-15g yin def, gastritis, peptic ulcers.

Ling Zi (Reishi mushroom) Herbs that Calm the spirit Neutral Sweet HT, Liv, LU Calms the spirit, augments heart qi, tonifies heart blood, tonifies Lung qi, transform phelgm, tonifies Qi, nourish blood 3-15g exterior.

Herbs that Tonify Qi
These herbs strengthen where there is weakness and insufficiency. They need to be added with herbs that expel pathogens. “Support the normal and expel pathogens” is the common phrase. If there is a deficiency pattern of Qi, blood, yin and yang, use these herbs.

Da Zao (Jujube) Herbs that Tonify Qi Warm Sweet SP/ST Tonfies Qi and Blood, Generates fluids, harmonizes SP, moderate toxicity of other herbs 10-30g heat from excess.

Gan Cao (Licorice) Herbs that Tonify Qi Neutral Sweet All channels, HT, LU, SP Tonifes SP Qi, moistens lungs, moderates toxicity, drains fire 1.5-9g overabundant damp.

Huang Jing (solomon seal) Herbs that Tonify Qi Neutral Sweet LU, KD, SP Tonifes qi, Nourish yin, augements essence 9-15g clogged and stagnant phlegm.

Ren Shen (ginseng) Herbs that Tonify Qi Warm Sweet, bitter LU, SP Powerfully tonifes yuan qi of 5 organs, Nourish Yin, Revives collapse, stops heavy bleeding 3-9g Fire, Liver Yang, excess yang

Dang Shen (Codonopsis) Herbs that Tonify Qi Neutral Sweet LU SP Tonifes middle burner, Augments SP and LU Qi 6-9g Excess pathogens.

Tai Zi shen Herbs that Tonify Qi Neutral Sweet, bitter LU, SP Tonify Qi and Yin weakly 9-30g None
Huang Qi (Astragalus) Herbs that Tonify Qi Warm Sweet LU, SP Raises Yang Qi, Tonifies SP and LU, Stops sweating, discharges Pus, Facilitates urination, generates flesh 9-15g Toxic sores and ulcers from heat.

Shan Yao (Chinese Yam) Herbs that Tonify Qi Neutral Sweet KD, LU, SP Tonifes Qi and Yin of SP, LU, and KD. Secures essence, used in Skin/cosmetics 9-30g dampness in ST

Tonfiy yin

Gui Ban (Fresh water turtle) Herbs that tonify the yin cold salty, sweet Ht, KD, Liv Strong tonify Liv & KD Yin, subdues the yang, strengthen bones, unblocks conception vessel. 15-45 g Pregnancy, cold damp ST.

Xin Yang shen (American ginseng) sweet, bitter, cool, enters heart, kidney, lungs, tonifies both qi and yin, cools fire fromyin def. 3-6g not for cold damp obstructing middle, fire from constraint.

Formulas to Preserve the Jing Essence

About Administrator

Coach Matt Stampe is a Database Administrator and I.T. professional. In the world of Bodywork, he has been a Certified Massage Therapist (CNT) licensed with the Virginia Board of Nursing, and has a “Master of Science in Acupuncture” (MSA) at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine ( He is a candidate with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). He has taught hundreds of people Authentic Yang Tai Chi Kung Fu for over 25 years. He was President of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Martial arts club, Secretary and Treasurer of USA chapter of Yongnian Association under Sifu He Weiqi. Experience includes: Kung fu schools: Omei Shaolin (Sifu Lu Xiaoling) 3rd degree Black Sash, Chinese Martial Arts Institute (Sifu Clarence Burris), United States Wushu Academy (Coach Christopher Pei), and Qi Elements (Sifu Nancy Bloomfield), Former Head Coach: Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation centers(Adults Tai Chi), Hope Chinese school (kids classes), NOVA MMA gym in Arlington (kids classes), and VUOM Martial Arts Tai Chi club (Fairfax). He has positively impacted peoples lives whether for health, sport, strength, combat, and spirit. As a true combat athlete, he teaches methods so people can be confident to defend themselves.
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