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The "Forbidden Points" of Acupuncture!
John A. Amaro D.C., FIAMA, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM) (IAMA)


Of all the plants that inhabit earth, only a few (relatively speaking), are considered poisonous for human consumption and should be avoided at all costs. The same can be said of acupuncture points. Of the approximately 1,000 acupuncture points said to be on the body, there are a few which have been shown through historical and clinical experience, to be contraindicated for certain types of stimulation. These points are not forbidden for treatment, they are however, expressly forbidden for use depending on "how" they are stimulated.

Throughout history, the two primary methods of acupoint stimulation have been moxibustion, the burning of the herb artemesia vulgaris at the acupoint or the insertion of acupuncture needles. Today, with the advent of electronic forms of stimulation and laser beam, the acupuncture points which are forbidden to both acupuncture or moxa, can be safely and effectively treated.

One of the most memorable experiences in my career of acupuncture involves a class I was teaching some years ago. I had been commenting on the birthrate in Mao Tse Tungs People's Republic of China and how in the mid 60's, Chairman Mao issued an edict proclaiming no married couple may have more than one child. This was an attempt at trying to keep the population of China at one billion or less by the year 2000. The latest estimates I have seen of China's current population is one billion 400 million. Even though it was a noble attempt, it didn't quite work, however, it is hard to imagine what the population would have been had this foresight not been realized.

The situation in China of having only one child is so extreme, that if a person is pregnant with their second, or in numerous cases, if the couple knows the baby is a girl, (boys are favored), the person will go to the medical clinic and have an abortion. One of the common methods of abortion is simply to use strong acupuncture point stimulation of San Yin Chiao (SP6) in conjunction with HeGu (LI4). The abortion is generally realized within 24 hours.

Upon finishing relating this information to the class and moving on to another topic, a doctor in the class suddenly became pasty white and began to experience dry heaves. He ran outside and through the closed doors could hear him becoming violently ill.
A few moments later, break was called and I found the doctor outside in the hall with his head in his hands sobbing uncontrollably. The doctor stated he and his wife had been married for 12 years and both having come from large family's were excited about having their own. They both wanted a house full of kids.

As the doctor continued, he told me his wife had been pregnant seven different times over their 12-year marriage and each time she became pregnant, shortly into the pregnancy, she would miscarry. She had sought the help of numerous specialists, but to no avail. She had no problem in becoming pregnant, but could never hold onto the fetus.

The doctor became sick because he had just realized at that moment, that each time she became pregnant, in an attempt to boost her immune system and to provide the best health possible for her during her pregnancy, he would stimulate certain acupuncture points. At that moment, he had come to the painful discovery that his wife had not miscarried their baby seven times, but the fact was, he had by his own hand, inadvertently created an abortion by his use of SP 6 and LI 4 each time she was pregnant. .

The rest of the story ends on a happy note as following this discovery, the wife became pregnant again and now at last report, have three children. They named the first one, a little girl, after me, Johnna!

Take appropriate caution concerning the following list of forbidden acupoints. Disobeying the rules can be quite costly. Remember not all the fruit off of all the trees in the garden are ok to eat. Keep this list in a handy place and review it often.

LU 11 Moxa
LU 10 Moxa

LI 4 Needle during pregnancy
LI 15 Moxa
LI 19 Moxa
LI 20 Moxa

ST1 Needle
ST 2 Needle
ST 7 Moxa
ST 8 Moxa
ST 9 Needle (deep)
ST 17 Needle, Moxa
ST 25 Needle, during pregnancy
ST 32 Moxa

SP 2 Moxa during and shortly after pregnancy
SP 6 Pregnancy
SP 7 Moxa

HT 1 Needle
HT 2 Needle

SI 10 Moxa
SI 11 Needle
SI 18 Moxa

BL 1 Moxa
BL 2 Moxa
BL 6 Needle
BL 49 Needle
BL 51 Moxa
BL 54 Moxa
BL 56 Needle
BL 60 Needle during pregnancy
BL 62 Moxa
BL 67 Needle during pregnancy

KI 11 Needle

P (CX) 8 Needle two times in same treatment or with nasal polyps

TH 7 Needle
TH 8 Needle
TH 16 Needle
TH 19 Bleeding
TH 23 Moxa

GB 1 Moxa
GB 3 Needle (deep)
GB 4 Needle (deep)
GB 5 Needle (deep)
GB 15 Moxa (potential blindness)
GB 18 Needle
GB 21 Needle heart problems or in pregnancy
GB 22 Moxa
GB 33 Moxa
GB 42 Moxa

LIV 12 Needle

CV 4 Needle or Moxa during pregnancy
CV 5 Needle or Moxa in female patient
CV 8 Needle
CV 11 Moxa during pregnancy
CV 14 Needle (deep)
CV 15 Needle
CV 17 Needle

GV 4 Moxa in young males
GV 6 Moxa
GV 11 Needle
GV 15 Needle (deep)
GV 16 Moxa
GV 17 Needle or Moxa
GV 23 Moxa
GV 24 Needle
GV 26 Moxa (extreme warning)
GV 28 Moxa

The foregoing list is considered classic by most authorities. Even though everyone will not agree with each of the mentioned points, it is imperative these points be known and understood as a potential for a problem should they be stimulated with needle or moxa as shown here. Laser and electronic stimulation have been shown to be an acceptable substitute in virtually all cases.

John A. Amaro D.C., FIAMA, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM) (IAMA)
Carefree, Arizona
DrAmaro@IAMA.edu