Weight Loss – Huang Mu 4.98/5 (42)

It’s that time of the year.  Everyone is asking me if Chinese Medicine can help with weight loss. My answer is always: “Yes, we can help you, IF you are willing to help yourself also!” Acupuncture can help promote digestion, curb appetite, and deal with emotional eating.

Typically patients who come to me with weight issues (or even digestive disorders) show up with imbalances in the Spleen and Stomach meridians. Often they will also have some type of imbalance in the Triple Energizer (Sanjiao) channel. When I see all three of these channels out of balance I always ask how digestion and food choices have been lately. Usually this becomes confession time for the patient—parties over the weekend, pizza last night, etc.

How do you treat for weight loss with acupuncture? Great question… Here are some approaches that may help.

#1: AcuGraph basic treatment: Balance the graph and give dietary recommendations. It is much easier to tackle a weight loss goal when the body is functioning properly and the meridians are in balance.

#2: Auriculo PC treatment: Use the Weight Control protocol listed in the Auriculo PC program. This will help the patient with appetite control. For added benefit after the patient leaves your office, particularly to help with cravings, add ear seeds for the patient to stimulate as needed.

#3: Advanced TCM theories: Think outside the box. All of us have multiple approaches to treating patients because we have varied educational backgrounds. Analyze the graph in your own way.

Here is what I do:

I love to study points and channel pathways. With so many requests lately for helping patients to lose weight, I decided to do a little extra studying. My studies led me to two recurring thoughts I would like to share in relation to weight loss. The first is a new word that I learned. The second has to do with the function of the Triple Energizer.

New word: Huang

  • Huang means membranes or connective tissue, specifically relating to the spaces between the abdominal cavity and the abdominal muscles. Huang is the tissue that fills the abdominal cavity to surround the organs. According to Giovanni Maciocia, Qi tends to stagnate in the membranes of the abdomen.

Triple Energizer Function

  • The Triple Energizer refers to specific body areas composed of the head and trunk. This is an area of the body where fat accumulates. This channel is responsible for moving qi in and out of the membranes (Huang) which surround the organs. When the Triple Energizer is functioning smoothly it ensures the free flow of fluids through the Lung, Spleen, Kidney, Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, and Bladder channels.

One of my favorite things to study is points. The Chinese name of a point indicates why they were used historically. There are five acupuncture points that have the word “Huang” in them: Kidney 16, Bladder 43, Bladder 51, Bladder 53 and an extra point that I hadn’t heard of before…

I found this “Extra Point” called Huang Mu in Giovanni Maciocia’s book, The Channels of Acupuncture. Giovanni refers to this point as a ‘front collecting point’ for the membranes.

Weight Loss - Huang Mu Point

*This extra point (Huang Mu) is not yet in the AcuGraph or Points software. To locate it, draw a line from the nipple to the umbilicus. (For women the nipple doesn’t always fall into the designated location, so use a location in the 4th intercostal space, directly below the midpoint of the clavicle.) Now, from a point halfway along this line, move horizontally directly below the nipple. (See Maciocia, The Channels of Acupuncture, pg. 44).

What I am finding clinically:

I decided to go back and look at the graphs of my overweight patients to see if there were any commonalities in their Triple Energizer channels.  I found that most of my overweight patients almost always had an imbalance in this meridian.

Last week I conducted a little experiment, paying close attention to patients that showed up with an imbalance in the Triple Energizer. Two common factors showed up for each patient with an imbalance in the channel.  First, the point Huang Mu was tender to palpation for each of them. Second, their pulses felt choppy and sluggish.

The interesting thing is that after I needled Huang Mu, the pulse changed immediately from deep and choppy to even and balanced for every patient!

I feel confident that Chinese Medicine, along with current technology such as AcuGraph and Auriculo PC, can help a person in their weight loss journey.  Isn’t it great to live at a time when we can combine ancient Chinese wisdom with the modern technology of the 21st century? I love my job…

Have a great week!

Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.

Miridia Technology Inc.

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Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.

Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac. is a US licensed acupuncturist in the state of Idaho and certified in the treatment of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Kimberly wears multiple hats in the acupuncture community. She owns her private clinic, Meridian Family Acupuncture. She has spent the last 10 years working for Miridia Technology as an acupuncture Research Analyst–where she helps plan, develop, and integrate modern diagnostic and treatment tools for the ever-evolving scientific world of acupuncture. Kimberly is a world-renown teacher, blogger, columnist, and mentor in the acupuncture community.

33 Replies to “Weight Loss – Huang Mu

  1. Hi Kimberly, thanks for the information. I will try it out. I have the same situation here. People want weight loss and want it fast. I’ll let you know how it goes.


    1. Thanks Ruby! I would love to hear feedback from you. It is a new point for me also, but I am very excited to find how well it corresponds to the graph. I love it when you find little pearls of knowledge along the way. 🙂

  2. I have done many treatments for weight loss. Initially the patient do looses the weight by about 6 kgs.Afterward lot of counseling is required to continue the treatment.I use hunger point and excitation and thyroid points and local points for this.This Huang point is also new to me i will try this. Thank you very much for this. The graet auriculotherapists name is also Huang

  3. Congratulations,Thank you very much for your work,and helpful informations.
    According to my experiences, if the patient has some energetic problems/clinical symptoms, I have to treat these symptomps first, and then the overweight. For instance:(constipation, hyperacidity, gall bladder problems ect.)
    If we do not follow this principle in proper order, we will get weeker/smaller results.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing that Kimberly. I am sure that this information will be put good use and help many clients in managing their weight. I can’t wait to explore the possibilities. My guide Phi Lu has guided me to that point (kind of a spiritusl guidance thing there)a few times before but I knew of no scientific basis for using it until now.

  5. I am also eager to try out the Huang Mu point. About the location- Would that put the point level with CV (Ren) 12 on the nipple line or is it higher or lower? With large breasted women, measuring could be quite a challenge as the 4th intercostal space is still deep in breast tissue. Thanks for your great post and for your help with this.

    1. This point would be higher up on the nipple line than Ren 12. To find the half way spot along the Ren (CV) line you would have to find the half way point between Ren (CV) 17 and Ren (CV) 8. It is in about the 7th intercostal space along the nipple line.

  6. Hi Kimberley

    Fascinating research, I commend your quest for deeper understanding and knowledge. I am also fascinated with your positive results to date and was particularly intrigued at the changes you noted in the pulses of your patients.

    I have found another point which has the designation ‘huang’ and is right on target, location-wise,for weight loss – huangzhiyuan (Ren-4) origin of yuan (Peter Deadman, Manual of Acupuncture).

    I am concerned at locating huang mu, especially on ladies who are overweight and may have rather larger ‘appendages’ than most! Indeed, it may be that the end measurement could be closer to SP-15 on some! Also, whilst I do not doubt your location information, is it possible that using LU-1 and Ren-8 as end points, the positioning could be 1/3 up from Ren-8? If so this would be much easier to use on ladies.

    What depth do you needle?

    Keep up the good work!

    1. You are right. You cannot measure for the nipple line according to a woman’s breast. In school they always taught us to find the nipple location according to where it would be for a 17 year old Chinese boy! I’ve never needled a 17 year old Chinese boy though…. So now what??? 🙂

      If you measure from the center of the sternum to the tip of the acromion process at the end of the clavicle–the half way point is the nipple line. Go directly across from Ren (CV) 17 and down from the half way point on the clavicle. (I don’t ever touch this point, it just gives you a measuring place.) Now you have your landmarks and you can find Huang Mu from there.

      *A good diagram to show you the clavicle line would be on page 63 of Manual of Acupuncture (Deadman).

      You couldn’t measure from Lung 1 because it is not above the clavicle.

      Needling depth: .5 to 1 cun

    1. I am finding Huang Mu to be approximately in the 7th intercostal space. SP 21 is in the 7th intercostal space but the line would not be directly even with SP 21. If you ran your finger along the intercostal space to the front of the body it would curve as you moved to the front of the body.

    1. Actually it is right about at the area where the Stomach line turns into the Spleen line. Look at A Manual of Acupuncture by Deadman on Pgs. 125 and 177.

  7. Very interesting,I do have AuricularPC.I wll venture as per UR gudence and will report back my experience.Thank U.

  8. Every time your explanation about point location is great value, Thanks.
    If you add testimonial of any patient or blue print of weight loss programe includes diet in your next blog, we getting more benefited.
    Thank you

    1. I am working on a follow-up blog showing the results for Huang Mu. I would love to hear what others are doing for weight loss regimens. I would be happy to share mine in a future blog.

  9. oh!great work.thank you very much. i will also try to use this info to assist my patients. but yet to get acugraph!

  10. sir,i see your graph for weight loss of obesity as per my experiance we use thise tcm points and get good result that is stomc25,28,34,40,largeitastine 11,spleen 6,and DU 20.PLESE try and send ur experment to all of my website freinds.Iam also try your graph as you sugested,THANKING YOU.

  11. Hi Kimberly, I am new at acupuncture, I have the acugraph 4 and have graphed and treated about 7 patients now for about 5-12 treatments. This is what I’m finding, after I treat for the first time, the second graph is worse, why is that? What can I be doing wrong, even after I’ve treated the patient several times 6+ my graph is not great. How can I improve my results? Most of my patients have 3+ splits, I haven’t been needling K21, just using laser and electrical, (fear of pneumothorax), I just recently broke down and started needling K21. I’m so glad I read your post, you have deep knowledge in acupuncture and I hope you can help me, help my patients. Thanks.

    1. Hello Zoe,

      Are you waiting 24 hours to regraph your patients? If you graph them right after treatment then you will see skewed results on the graph. Sometimes when a patient comes in with a lot of splits, after they are treated the splits then turn into a high or low reading. It is hard to evaluate with a lot of splits. You say that you have been treating K21… Spleen 21 is the point that you would want to treat for multiple splits. You can needle that point .5 to 1 cun in depth. We like to suggest showing the patient where that point is and have them treat it with thumb pressure themselves multiple times per day before they come back for their next treatment. This brings really nice results for helping to balance a graph.

      Some other suggestions might be to look at the multiple treatment options for the graph. You could treat the suggested ear point or even the back Shu points for good results also.

      I hope this helps…


      1. Hi Kimberly, thank you for your reply, yes I have been treating Spleen 21 and I only treat acupuncture patients on monday, so each treatments is 1 week apart is that ok. I have been needling Spleen 21 alot less superficially than .5 to 1 cun, I’m terrified of pneumothorax. When you needle Spleen 21, in what direction is the head of the needle, perpendicular, towards the feet or head? Regarding the multiple treatment options, I usually use the advace option. Oveall, my patient’s graphs don’t seem to be improving, although my patients say they feel better, I don’t see it on the graph. Some of the pie score decrease for the first two – three treatments. What can I possibly be doing wrong?

        1. Try using the basic protocol instead of the advanced options for now. Another option would be to balance the graph using back shu points or ear points.

          I have found the doing treatment two to three times per week in the beginning gets better results for balancing the graph. If you have patients with extreme stress, everything can be messed up before they come back a full week later.

          You can also teach the person to do thumb pressure at SP 21 3-5 times daily in between visits. This helps a lot! The needling information in Deadman says: “Transverse-oblique insertion along the interecostal space, 0.5 to 1 cun.”

  12. Kimberly, thank you I will try using the basic protocol instead of the advanced and also do back shu points and ear point and have patient stimulate SP21 at 3-5 times daily between visits. Is there a picture where I can visualize “Transverse-oblique insertion of SP21 and one more things, I am needling the body and ear for about 30 minutes, do I needle back shu points for 30 minutes also?

    1. Zoe,

      You can find exact references to point location and explanations on oblique needling in Peter Deadman’s book: A Manual of Acupuncture. See pages 65 and page 204. Pages 66 and 67 give a nice visual aid for which organs are under the surface.

      I have heard of practitioners needling for as few as 10-15 minutes and as many as 45 minutes to an hour. I personally like to leave needles in for 20-30 minutes–whether they are front points, ear points or back points.

      I hope this helps.


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