Acupuncture for Immunologic Disorders
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2009
Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS
Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine, Reddick, FL, USA

Acupuncture Points for Immune-mediated Diseases

 To balance/regulate Wei Qi

 Tonify the Kidney and Yuan Qi: CV-4, GV-4, BL- 23/52, KID-7/3/27, GB-39 (bone marrow)

 Tonify Gu Qi (Spleen), the source of Wei Qi: BL-20/21, ST-36/SP-6, LIV-13/CV-12

 Tonify Lung Qi, distribution of Wei Qi: LI-4/10/11, LU-7/9, CV-17

 Soothe Liver Qi: LIV-3/14, BL-18

 Local acupoints to balance Wei Qi

 In the cervical area: ST-5/9, SI-16, LI-17/18, CV-22/23

 In the inguinal area: ST-30, CV-1

 In general thorax and abdomen: LIV-13/14, CV-17, Kid-10/27

 Acupoints for Wei disorders

 Yuan Source Points: LI-4, LU 9, LIV-3, SP-3, KID-3

 Eight Extraordinary Vessels (CV, GV and Chong Mai): GV 14, GV 6, GV 4, CV 17, CV 12, CV 6, CV 4

 Back Shu Points: BL-18/20/23/13

 Empirical Points: LI-4/11, ST-36, SP-6/10, BL-12/17/52, TH-5, GB-39

 Top 4 immune regulation points: GV-14, ST-36, LI-4, LI-11

Atopic Dermatitis

 Skin allergy due to Wind, atopy

 Contact dermatitis

 IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions

 Pruritus, itching

 Scratching the face, neck and upper body

 Otitis externa

 Red or slightly dry tongue

 Wiry or fast pulse

 Common Pattern: External Wind

 Acupoints: GB-20, BL-10, Er-jian, BL-12, LU-5, LU-7, LI-4, LI-11, BL-17, SP-10, GV-14,

 Herbal medicine: External Wind (E 2042)

Autoimmune Skin Diseases (AISD)

Autoimmune skin diseases can be divided into four TCVM Patterns: Heat Toxin, Blood Heat, Blood stagnation and Qi-Blood deficiency.

Blood Heat

 Depigmentation, crusting, ulceration of the nasal planum or skin


 Erosions of thin-skinned areas (axilla, periocular skin)

 Includes discoid lupus erythematosus, systemic lupus erythematosus, pemphigus

 Red or purple tongue

 Surging and rapid pulse

 Acupuncture: GV-14, LI-4, Wei-jian (Tip of the tai), Er-jian (Tip of the ear), ST-44, Liv-4

 Herbal Medicine: Blood Heat Formula (Qing Re Liang Xue)

Blood Stagnation

 Crusts, scales, eruptions or erosions



 Wood-type animal and behavior

 Purple tongue

 Surging and rapid pulse

 Acupuncture: SP 10, BL 17, LI 11, GV 14, BL 40, BL 18, LIV 3, LI 4, Ah Shi Points

 Herbal Medicine: Mu Dan Pi formula (E 2045)

Qi and Blood Deficiency



 Bleeding ulceration



 Pale and dry tongue

 Deep and weak pulse

 Acupuncture: SP 10, BL 17, SP 9, ST 40, LI 10, ST 36, GV-3/4, Bai Hui

 Herbal Medicine: Han Lian Cao (E 2047)

Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

Spleen Qi Deficiency and Blood Deficiency

 Pale mucous membranes

 Pale tongue, may be more moist (Qi) or dry (Blood)

 Thin, weak pulse, may be rapid

 Acupuncture: BL 20, ST 36, SP 6, LI 10, BL 18, SP 10

 Herbal Medicine: Gui Pi Tang

Damp-heat with Blood Deficiency

 Acute stage

 Depression, exercise intolerance

 Jaundice, low-grade fever

 Pale tongue

 Rapid and weak pulse

 Acupuncture: LI-4, LI-11, GV-14, BL-22, SP-6, SP-9, SP-10, ST 36

 Herbal Medicine: Zhu Huang Tang (E 2076)

Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP)

Wei Qi misreads and destroys thrombocytes (platelets), leading to ITP. The clinical signs are bruising, excessive bleeding following trauma, hematuria, or hematochezia.


 Prolonged hemorrhage


 Pale tongue

 Weak pulse

 It belongs to Qi-blood deficiency. Treatment principles: Tonify spleen qi and heart blood. Acupoints: BL-18/1920/21, SP-6/9/10, LIV-13/14, LIV-3, ST-36, LI-10

 Herbal medicine: Gui Pi Tang

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis

Immune-mediated polyarthritis and immune-mediated polyarthropathies can be caused by Wind Damp Heat initially and then generate Blood Heat with stagnation. It has two TCVM Patterns: Wind Damp Heat and Blood Heat with stagnation.

Wind Damp Heat

 Points: GB-20, BL-12, BL-20, SP-9, LI-4, LI-11, ST-36, GV-14

 Herbal: Bai Hu Si Miao

Blood Heat with Stagnation

 Points: SP-10, BL-17, LI-11, GV-14, BL-10, BL-18, LIV-3, LI-4, Ah-shi Points

 Herbal: Mu Dan Pi


1.  In general, early stage Type I-IV Reactions is Excess Heat or stagnation while late stage Type I-IV reactions are more deficiency: Qi deficiency, Blood deficiency, or Yin deficiency with or without Heat or stagnation.

2.  Immunodeficiency diseases are deficiency with invading pathogens (Heat Toxin)

3.  The TCVM concept of Wei Qi overlaps modern immune system function;

4.  Using acupuncture to benefit Wei Formation is fundamental for treating immune disharmonies;

5.  Herbal formulas to treat Immune Excess will generally be cooling and clearing. Herbal formulas to treat immune deficiency will generally tonify Yuan, Qi and Blood.


Speaker Information
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Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS
Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine
Reddick, FL , USA

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