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The metal sound 商 [shāng] and the metal’s Well points to treat the throat

Both LI1 商陽 [shāng yang] and LU11 少商 [shào shāng] acupuncture points share the following:
The same character 商 [shāng] , the same point category – jing well point and both points have indication to treat acute throat pain.

This short article will focus on the points’ name and provide an explanation why these point’s indications are the same according to their point name and why they are so effective to treat acute throat diseases.

• LU11:少商 【shào shāng】

• LI1 商陽 【shāng yáng】

In both of these these two well points 井[jǐng], we can find the character 商 [shāng]. According to the theory of the five phases (五行) each one of the five visceral [臟 zàng] organs have its own sound, known to be called the five sounds [五音 wǔ yīn].

商 [shāng] is the 5th note of Chinese musical scale and represents the sound associated with metal phase, in which both of the lung and large intestine channels are belong to.

So why Both LI1 商陽 [shāng yang] and LU11 少商 [shào shāng] has the metal sound in their name? why any other of the lung or large intestine channels points don’t have the metal sound in their name?

First, LI1 商陽 [shāng yang] is the metal point of the yang metal channel (large intestine), so here the charcter 商 [shāng] suggest us that its a metal channel and the character 陽 [yáng] suggest us its a yang channel, thus it is called 商陽 [shāng yang]. Second, we know that both of these points are Jing-well points [井穴 jǐng xué]. Jing-well points have the ability to clear heat [清熱 qīng rè] especially from the head area, in the channel they are associated with, according to the theory of the five transport points [五輸穴 wǔ shū xué]. Both of the lung and large intestine channels are going to the throat and in both of these points are indicative for treating sore throat.

According to Chinese medicine, when exterior pathogen of wind-heat [風熱 fēng rè] invades the body, it can cause sore throat. therefore, we want to clear heat and the well points [井穴 jǐng xué] are the most appropriate to do so especially in acute condition. It may be because these two points are effective in treating disorders of the throat, the organ that produces the five sounds, so therefore in their name we can find the 商[shāng] sound, which suggest us to use this points for this.

The best way to use this points for acute sore throat is to prick them and let blood out (5-10 drops is enough). immediate throat relief could occur after the bloodletting. Very effective !

*Source: for the explanation of these points’ names I used Grasping the wind by Nigel Weisman



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