You have a lot of options for shoulder pain. Try to determine what it is linked to. For instance, if there are signs of Kidney weakness, this could very well be the cause of the shoulder pain. Frozen shoulder often occurs in women going the through Kidney deficiency associated with menopause. In that case Shen Guan would be a most excellent choice.

Explore the points and what their reaction areas are. Palpate the channels affected. Make your intelligent choice based on that.

Location of Pain Point Selections
Bladder Channel Qi Hu / Seven Tigers
Shen Guan is the go-to point for shoulder pain
(especially when neck pain is also a factor).
If you combine it with Sihuashang (77.08) the result is even better.
Shen Guan / Kidney Gate
 Blood letting here is good for many kinds of shoulder pain. Blood letting at Lu 5
*Neck and shoulder pain Palm Three Needles
Double Son / Double Fairy
San Cha points

*Another fun thing to know: there are also “fashion” causes that can contribute to neck and shouler pain. The major offenders are wearing flip flops and going out with wet hair, especially if the hair is shoulder length. Wet hair keeps the neck and shoulders too cool and can cause cold invasion and therefore constriction in the muscles.


Impingement Syndrome

Impingement in the shoulder is a dull ache at the top of the shoulder. At first, it just occurs after activities that have a lot of motions involving putting the arms above the head – basketball, volleyball, painting ceilings, putting up ceiling fans, swimming, etc. As the condition progresses, there will be pain during activities with overhead motions.

Impingement syndrome is generally divided into stages 1 and 2.

Stage 1:
This is the early stage of an impingement syndrome. Pain is generally felt during over head motion. There will also be tenderness at the insertion point of the supraspinatus tendon (the tubercle of the humerus around Si 10) when you palpate, and sometimes even without palpation. There will also be a painful arc of motion when the arm is abducted between 70 and 120 degrees.

Here’s what that looks like in case you don’t remember:

You can generally reverse Stage 1 completely with treatment.

Stage 2: 
You usually see this in people between 25 and 40. In stage 2 the condition has deteriorated. You may not be able to reverse this one because the subacromial bursa has likely thickened and the supraspinatus and biceps tendons have experienced fibrotic changes. These patients will have limited range of motion in abduction and external rotation and will have significant pain through the arc of motion described above. Body mechanics will probably be modified due to the pain.

Regardless of the stage, you can get the best effect by needling this combination:

  1. Ling gu and Da Bai
    Needle on the unaffected side.
  2. San Zhong / Three Weights
  3. Qi Hu / Seven Tigers
Herbal Suggestions

The Evergreen formulas Neck and Shoulder is great for this. It comes in and acute and a chronic version. Arm Support, Traumanex, Flex (Spur), and Flex MLT would also be good options also. You can get 701 patches at most Chinese herbal stores or you could use topical patches like Salon Pas or Tiger Balm patches. Zheng Gu Shui topical would be great for an acute condition also.

Dr. Robert Chu’s Die Da Jiu topical would also be an excellent choice. You can find the recipe for this on the Neck Pain Protocols page.


Quick Master Tung links:

Master Tung Main Page

Master Tung Point Locator

Master Tung Treatment Protocols