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.

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.