Acupuncture Continuing Education

Master Tung Acupuncture Soothes Ankle Pain

A Master Tung acupuncture point relieves pain and swelling due to ankle sprains. Researchers from Fangxian People’s Hospital (Hubei, China) investigated the therapeutic effects of acupuncture point Xiaojie for the treatment of ankle sprains. A Master Tung acupoint is found effective. Translated as small joint, the Xiaojie acupoint is well known for its use in the Master Tung system of acupuncture. Xiaojie is located on the thenar eminence of the hand proximal to the head of the first metacarpal bone on the lung meridian.

The total effective rate of needling Xiaojie combined with therapeutic tendon massage for acute ankle sprain was 45% compared with a group receiving only therapeutic tendon massage that achieved a 41% total effective rate. This modest yet significant increase in clinical effectiveness measured by Zhang et al. is consistent with the findings of another study conducted by Du et al.

In a study entitled Impacts on analgesia and detumescence in ankle sprain treated with acupuncture at Xiaojie point combined with tendon-regulation manipulation, Du et al. conclude that “Acupuncture at Xiaojie point combined with tendon-regulation manipulation achieve(s) an apparent effect of analgesia and detumescence on ankle sprain.” A group receiving tendon massage plus Xiaojie acupuncture achieved a curative rate of 85% and a total effective rate of 100%. Another group receiving only Xiaojie acupuncture achieved a 65% curative rate and also achieved a 100% total effective rate. The total effective rate was calculated as a combination of good and excellent therapeutic results according to outcome assessments in the Mazur ankle score. Parameters included assessments of pain, ability to perform life activities, walking distance, need for crutch or support device, hiking, walking downhill, walking up or down a staircase, running, and range of motion changes. 


Zhang et al. note that Xiaojie acupuncture plus massage reduced pain, swelling, and edema due to acute ankle sprain. In addition, the treatment regimen stabilized the ankle’s motor function. A 0.35 x 50 mm acupuncture needle was inserted into Xiaojie to a depth of 25 mm at an angle between 30 and 45 degrees towards the thenar eminence. Upon elicitation of deqi, the needle was retained for 30 minutes. Treatment was applied for three consecutive days. Acupressure was also applied to:

  • SP5, Shangqiu
  • ST41, Jiexi
  • GB40, Qiuxu
  • BL60, Kunlun
  • KD3, Taixi
  • ST36, Zusanli

The researchers conclude that Xiaojie acupuncture point needling plus tendon massage achieves satisfactory results for the treatment of acute ankle sprain. The treatment regimen reduced edema, swelling, and pain while simultaneously increasing ankle function.

Zhang J, Liu BX & Xie J. (2015). Clinical study on therapeutic effects of Xiaojie point acupuncture and Tendon-soothing exercise for the treatment of gradeⅠandⅡacute ankle sprains. Modern Journal of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine. 24(19).

Zhang H & Deng H. (2010). Xiaojie acupuncture on 45 cases of acute ankle sprain due to earthquake. China Journal of Acupuncture. 29(8): 645.

Du, W. B., G. A. Bao, and R. F. Quan. "[Impacts on analgesia and detumescence in ankle sprain treated with acupuncture at Xiaojie point combined with tendon-regulation manipulation]." Zhongguo zhen jiu= Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion 34, no. 7 (2014): 647-650.