Needling Master Tung’s Double Child, Double Fairy
Originally published June 4, 2018.
Susan presents her needling notes for these important paired points, along with tips on when to use them and combinations to use with different presentations, in this excerpt from her new book Master Tung’s Magic Points.
22.01 Double Child Chong Zi22.02 Double Fairy Chong Xian
Reaction Area:Lung (also Heart for 22.01 Double Fairy)
- Upper back pain (between spine and scapula, UB43 area)
- Neck pain (Tai Yang)
- Chest pain radiating from the upper back
- Scapular pain
- Shoulder pain
- Upper arm pain
- Difficulty opening and closing the hands or extending the fingers
- Uterine or ovarian cysts or tumors
- Opposite side thenar eminence pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rib pain due to coughing
- Knee pain (if also treating upper back/neck pain. I never choose Double Child/Double Fairy for this indication, but knee pain may respond to these points due to Double Fairy’s additional reaction area of the Heart.)
- Common cold
- Bronchitis (with phlegm that is difficult to expectorate)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Heart palpitations (Again, due to Double Fairy’s additional reaction area of the Heart.)
Location for this Dao Ma point combination:
- 22.01 Double Child and 22.02 Double Fairy are easy to locate because they are often sensitive to palpation. 22.02 Double Fairy is located on the thenar eminence at the base of the palm. Holding the patient’s thumb closed against their hand, with their fingers straight, follow a line down the center of the index finger to locate the point, just distal to the proximal head of the first metacarpal bone. Roll your finger up and over the proximal end of the bone to palpate the point.
- 22.01 Double Child is located approximately 1 cun distal to Double Fairy, just proximal to the distal head of the first metacarpal bone. It is located straight across from the large knuckle of the thumb, one large cun (a big thumb’s breadth) medial to the edge of the hand. A line drawn between Double Child and Double Fairy is parallel to the side of the hand.
- Dao Ma: 22.01 Double Child is combined with 22.02 Double Fairy. I always needle Double Fairy first, and then follow the first metacarpal bone to find Double Child just proximal to the distal head of the bone.
- Positioning: Hold the patient’s thumb against the side of their hand and ask them to relax their thumb, so that the muscles are as soft as possible when needled.
- Blood vessels: The thenar eminence has a large concentration of nerves and blood vessels, making these points more sensitive to palpate as well as needle, and contributing to their powerful effects. Avoid obvious blood vessels when needling.
- Guide tube: When inserting these needles, I use a guide tube, asking the patient to cough while I tap in the needle. I ask the patient to cough again while I quickly insert the needle to depth.
- Stimulation: On the palmar surface of the hands, I use very thin needles (0.16 x 30mm) and stimulate them gently and carefully due to palmar sensitivity. Because of the prevalent nerve and blood supply and the strength of this muscle, strong stimulation is unnecessary. Be sure to watch the patient’s eyes and stop stimulation of the needles if you observe hard blinking, which indicates pain.
- Positioning after insertion: With these needles, the most comfortable resting position is with the patient’s hand on its side, palm facing the body. I may place a rolled-up hand towel under the wrist if the patient prefers it. The patient may be less comfortable if the needles are vertical or hanging downward.
- Unilateral vs. bilateral needling: These points are usually needled on the opposite side to treat neck and scapular pain. However, they can be needled bilaterally for bilateral Tai Yang (UB) neck pain, especially when it is not possible to needle 77.01-77.02 Correct Tendons.
- Needle depth: 0.5-1.0 cun
- Dao Ma: Double Child and Double Fairy are always needled together.
- Energetic pathway: Due to the Tai Yin/Tai Yang connection between the Lung and Urinary Bladder meridians, these points are instantly effective in the treatment of upper back, scapular, and Tai Yang neck pain. If the patient also has upper respiratory issues and/or gastroenteritis, these points will address those conditions as well as upper back and neck pain (22.11/LU10 area). However, I typically choose them only for scapular and neck pain.
- Reaction Area of Heart and Lung: Please note: 22.02 Double Fairy has the additional Reaction Area of the Heart, which explains the indications of knee pain and palpitations.
- Imaging: Though they are always used together, Double Fairy treats the neck while Double Child treats the scapula and upper back.
- Diagnostics: Dark blood vessels found at the proximal end of the thenar eminence are diagnostic of uterine fibroids or tumors, endometriosis or lower jiao stagnation.
- Falling pillow neck: When treating neck pain, I often cup the neck before needling. However, Double Child/Double Fairy points are particularly good in the treatment of sudden onset neck pain that is worsened by cupping or Tui Na. This situation usually occurs when someone has slept near an open window and contracted a wind chill. (The name, “falling pillow neck,” refers to the cervical subluxation that suggests a loss of one’s pillow during the night).
- Neck and back pain: Whereas UB65 Shu Gu with SI3 Hou Xi treats the back, and GB39/77.05-77.07 Three Weights treats the neck, Double Child/Double Fairy covers both.
- Hemiplegia: 22.01 and 22.02 are effective in the treatment of hemiplegia because they are located on the opposite side of the hand from 22.04-22.05 Ling Gu/Da Bai (Spirit Bone/Great White). I use these points for hemiplegia only if there are also respiratory or intestinal indications.
- Ying-Spring point of the Lung: Double Child/Double Fairy points are effective for pneumonia, fever, and bronchitis because they clear heat and sedate fire due to their proximity to 22.11 Earth Water (LU10), the Ying-Spring point of the Lung.
- 22.01-22.02 (Miriam Lee case history): “I once treated a woman with late stage lung cancer. Although there was really no hope of keeping her alive, the family wanted me to treat her to reduce the pain. At 6:00 am I went to her house and needled Double Child/Double Fairy. At 5:00 pm after work I returned to see her and she had no pain at all. Two weeks later she died, but her family was grateful that her pain was relieved.” (Lee, 1992).
- Acute neck sprain: Needle 22.01-22.02 Double Child/Double Fairy on the opposite side with REN24 Cheng Jiang; usually, one treatment is enough. If the onset is sudden, REN24 Cheng Jiang may be enough. For immediate relief rotate the neck every 10 minutes while the needles are retained (Active Qi Moving).
- Chronic neck pain: As a substitute for 77.01-77.02 Correct Tendons, we can bilaterally needle Double Child/Double Fairy, adding REN24 as an immediate fix for neck pain. This is typically done only when the Achilles tendon has been compromised. 22.01-22.02 Double Child/Double Fairy with PC6 Nei Guan is another option. (In classical Chinese medical literature, neck pain is considered a Jue Yin problem.)
- Hand pain: If the patient has difficulty opening and closing the hands, sedate or bleed 33.16 Curve Mound (LU5) on the same side, and then needle 22.01-22.02 Double Child/Double Fairy on the opposite side. For joint pain in the fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis, we can also needle SJ5 Wai Guan as part of the Yang Wei Mai.
- Treating young children: For children five years old or younger who have pneumonia, cough, asthma, or lung problems, quickly insert and remove the needles at 22.01-22.02 Double Child/Double Fairy, without retention, or bleed the Si Feng (Extra Points). These kids may also need upper back cupping, Shoni-shin Japanese pediatric techniques, and/or spinal roll (starting at the bottom, roll the skin up the spine). Children older than five years can retain needles (with a good storybook); with them, I may use 88.17-88.19 Four Horses with A.04 San Cha Three or Miriam Lee’s Ten Needles. Kids of all ages can be cupped, slowly and carefully; the practitioner must adjust the pressure to tolerance.