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  • Writer's pictureCat Calhoun

Urticaria (Hives)

Hives, also called urticaria, is an outbreak of itchy bumps and swelling that form patches called plaques or wheals. They usually appear rather suddenly. One option for treatment is this set of points.

  • Du 20, Yintang

  • Left side: Si Ma San (88.17), St 43, St 44, St 45

  • Right side: Huo Ying, Huo Zhu, Lv 6* *Master Tung’s Lv 6 is needled right next to the bone along the Spleen channel. Use your fingernail to locate the margin of the bone and slide the needle right next to it.

Point Discussion:

  • Yintang and Du 20 are calming for the mind. Speaking as a kid who got this a lot, I can tell you that it keeps you awake at night and the itching can drive you mad. Could you use other points for this? Sure. Perhaps Yintang and the auricular Autonomic and Shenmen points could be a good option.

  • Si Ma San, also called Four Horses, is a great set of points to use for all kinds of allergic responses. You don’t have to needle deeply, because you are treating the skin. Use a 1.5 cun needle and go about 1 cun deep when you needle the points. Aim for the muscle layer and let it rest there for a bit, then raise it toward the surface area. Master Tung acupuncture is not just a 2 dimensional system, but also uses needle depth to treat various tissues. The deeper the needle goes, the deeper the tissue it treats, so surface treats surface, mid layer treats musculature, deepest layers treat organ tissues and the deep structures of the body. Si Ma San can therefore treat chest pain and shortness of breath (deepest level) or can be used for dermatological applications (shallowest level). You usually needle on the right for women and left for men, but you can needle bilaterally if you feel it is appropriate for your patient.

  • Huo Ying and Huo Zhu are Master Tung’s Lv 2 and Lv 3. These both cool the blood (ying spring effect) and calm the shen. Liver 6 is the Xi Cleft point of the channel, so it’s great for heat and bleeding as well which calms the itching because rashes are heat in the blood and then bleeding under the surface of the skin with the compulsive and maddening itching/scratching response. (It’s making me itchy just thinking about it!)

  • Stomach 43, 44, and 45 are also strong heat clearing points. You can even massage Stomach 45 to bring the blood to the surface, then pinch and prick to bleed. Keep squeezing until you get about 10 drops of blood. If the bleeding stops sooner than you want, swipe it with a cotton ball moistened with alcohol to keep it from clotting until you get the blood you want. You don’t need more than 10 drops.

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