He Gu (LI-04)

English translation: Joining Valley

International identity number: LI-04, Large Intestine 4

IMPORTANT: This point is prohibited for use during pregnancy

Point Associations:

  • Yuan-Source point
  • Gao Wu Command point
  • Ma Dan-yang Heavenly Star point


Midway between the junction of the 1st. and 2nd metacarpal bones (fingers) and the margin of the web.

Needle insertion:

Perpendicular insertion 0.5 – 1.0 cun. Oblique insertion directed proximally 1 to 1.5 cun.


  • Dispels, exterior Wind,
  • Releases the Exterior,
  • Stimulates the dispersing function of the Lungs,
  • Stops pain,
  • Removes obstructions from channel by activating the channel and alleviates pain
  • Tonifies Qi and consolidates the Exterior,
  • Harmonises ascending and descending,
  • Regulates the defensive Qi and adjusts sweating
  • Regulates the face, eyes, nose, mouth and ears
  • Induces labour
  • Restores the Yang

He Gu (LI-04) is one of Ma Dan Yang’s ‘Twelve Heavenly Star Points’, long considered the pre-eminent list of the most important acupuncture points.

He Gu (LI-04) is one of the most frequently used of all Acupuncture points and has a wide range of uses. It is particularly useful for all kinds of pain in the face, including eyes, ears, and nose. He Gu (LI-04) is a primary point used in Acupuncture anaesthesia.

He Gu (LI-04) induces Labour. It is used in difficult deliveries, and even to expel retained placenta. He Gu (LI-04) is strongly contraindicated during pregnancy.

The combination known as “the Four Gates” includes He Gu (LI-04) and Taichong (Liv-03) is useful for clearing cold and heat obstructions (pain) of the entire body.  Combined with Quchi (LI 11) it is used to reduce high fever of any cause.

He Gu (LI-04) has the action of expelling pathogens and as such is an excellent immunity booster acu point.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.