Embedding Catgut in Tissue and Cupping

The embedding of catgut at acupuncture points is a therapy recently intro­duced by a Chinese medical group in Peking. A catgut suture is embedded around a selected point. As the catgut is absorbed into the tissue, continuous stimulation is produced at the acupuncture point which prolongs the effect and obviates the need for frequent needling. The average effect of each such treatment has been found to last for a 4- to 6-week period.

Certain patients have been found to benefit from this procedure; they include those suffering from bronchial asthma, gastric and duodenal ulcers, lumbago, and enuresis.

Points to Use

Bronchial Asthma

Ding Chuan (EM)
Shan Chung (35, VC 17)
Ta Chui (14, VG 14)
Fei Shu (244, BL 13)
Feng Lung (182, ST 40)

Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers

Shan Wan (39, VC 13) join to:
Chung Wan (40, VC 12)

Wei Shu (252, BL 21) join to:
Pi Shu (251, BL 20)
Tsu San Li (178, ST 36)


Yang Kuan (25, VG 3)
Shen Shu (254, BL 23)
Ta Chung Shu (256, BL 25)


San Yin Chiao (304, SP 6)
Kuan Yuan (48, VC 4)
Shen Shu (254, BL 23)


Select one or two points for each treatment, then sterilize the areas routine­ly. Inject 0.5% procaine at points of entrance and exit. Next, make a small incision at the point of entrance with the tip of a scalpel, and using a medium-sized, curved needle threaded with catgut, puncture through the subcutaneous tissue and emerge at the point of exit. The catgut should be embedded at a depth of 1.0-1.5 cm around the selected point. The protru­ding ends of the catgut should be cut as close to the skin as possible (Fig. 53). The suture area is then covered with sterile gauze for a period of several days. Another technique is to suture catgut around the selected acupuncture point to form a subcutaneous “loop suture.”

Recently, lumbar puncture needles have been used to embed the catgut into the acupuncture point. This is simple to do, and the catgut can be embedded at whatever depth is appropriate for the point selected.


Cupping is one of the most ancient methods known for treating disease by creating a condition of localized congestion. This is accomplished by using small jars or cups in which a vacuum is created by heat and then attaching them by suction to the skin at the point selected for the treatment.
Cupping is indicated for low back pain, arthritis, soft tissue injury, sprains, pain or paralysis of the extremities, bronchitis, and asthma.

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