By Susan Johnson
Four Horses consists of three acupuncture points on each thigh: 88.17, 88.18, and 88.19, Middle, Upper and Lower Four Horses, totaling six points. This point pattern is wonderfully effective, easy to locate, and very versatile. Master Tung’s Points practitioners highly value these points, as they treat a wide and diverse array of disorders. In this paper, I present the point locations and indications, and provide a detailed explanation of how the Four Horses point pattern works when combined with certain other important points in Master Tung’s system.
Four Horses are primary points for asthma and pneumonia, and are also very good for acute or chronic cough. This point combination is my first choice for colds and flus. It is also an excellent choice for allergies, seasonal allergies, and immune system weakness. It is used for rhinitis and all sinus problems, including sinus infection, sinus inflammation, and mucus. Four Horses is effective for nasal polyps and nasal atrophy as well. Nasal atrophy means a loss of the ability to smell, and therefore a subsequent inability to taste; this occurs, for example, in post-surgical patients who wake up from anesthesia and cannot smell or taste.
Four Horses are good for pleurisy, and wonderful for upper back pain. They also treat sciatica and lower back pain due to lung deficiency. These points are very effective for breast pain and chest pain, including chest pain due to injury, especially if the pain moves from the front to the sides. Because this very potent point combination is found between the Shao Yang and the Yang Ming channels, it treats breast and chest pain, which are related to Yang Ming, but it also treats pain that migrates to the side, which relates to Shao Yang. Due to the Shao Yang connection, the points are likewise used bilaterally, or for opposite side rib, costal, intercostal and flank pain.
Four Horses excel in treating nearly all kinds of skin disorders. Muscle treats muscle. Muscle also treats skin. These are fabulous points for the skin—for itching, pruritis, acne, shingles, psoriasis, and eczema. They treat skin fungus as well as thickening of the skin or scleroderma. Located very near the stomach channel and in large muscle with significant nerve and blood supplies, these points tonify the spleen and the qi. They adjust the spleen and stomach, and can be very effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis, as well as skin disorders. You may also use these points for hemiplegia, facial paralysis or spasm, and postpartum invasion of external wind chill causing joint pain, also known as after-birth wind.
This point pattern can help the ears, too. For otitis media, ear inflammation, ear infection, deafness, and tinnitus, try Four Horses. The combination is effective for thyroid issues, hyperthyroid, enlarged thyroid, goiter, and protrusion of the eyeballs due to hyperthyroid.
This incredibly versatile combination may also be used for abdominal pain, lower leg strain or trauma, heart problems, and coronary heart disease.
With proper point location and technique, Four Horses will become invaluable tools in any acupuncturist’s clinical repertoire. The versatility of Four Horses places them in the highest category of effectiveness within Master Tung’s extraordinary point system. In the clinic of Dr. Miriam Lee, OMD, her students called these points “Tung’s Magic Points.” Certain practitioners believe that the word “magic” cheapens or trivializes the points. Of course, the points are not really magic, any more than the I-Ching is magic. However, some of us see magic and nearly transcendental inspiration in the mathematical perfection of the I-Ching. Likewise, we find exquisite beauty in Tung’s Acupuncture Points. Other systems offer profound and inspired points as well, but none are more potent than these. The methods and reasons for the points’ effectiveness will continue to expand, the longer we study and practice them. Few people in the history of mankind have made as significant a contribution as Master Tung, to ease the pain and suffering that is the human condition. Today’s practitioners are deeply indebted to Dr. Young Wei-Chieh for bringing Master Tung’s Acupuncture to the United States, and to Dr. Miriam Lee, OMD, for teaching these points to western students; thanks to the generosity and wisdom of these great teachers, countless practitioners and patients reap the benefits of Master Tung’s profound body of work.
Susan Johnson, L.Ac. was licensed by the State of California, USA, in 1985. She was first exposed to Tung’s Acupuncture in 1982, in the clinic of Dr. Lee Chuan-Djin, OMD (Dr. Miriam Lee) in Palo Alto, California. Susan was a primary student of Dr. Lee for more than twelve years, and they traveled to Hefei, China together in 1987, to study bleeding techniques with Dr. Wang Su-Jen. Also in 1987, Susan was introduced to Dr. Young Wei-Chieh, which began a more in-depth inquiry into these extraordinary points. Since that time, she has taken classes with Dr. Young whenever possible, maintains a clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches courses in Master Tung’s Magic Points throughout the United States.