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Poison Points

Cupping Therapy Acupuncture Master Tung

Cupping the DT.01-DT.02 Toxin Areas:

Also known as the Poison Points, these are in an area on the lateral edge of the shoulder blades, where the liver stashes toxins that it cannot fully eliminate from the body. Cupping the Toxin Areas is very effective in clearing accumulated waste or poisons (environmental, pharmaceutical, etc.). I usually cup the Toxin Areas on every patient until their skin stops coloring; on a healthy person, this would be accomplished in two cupping sessions.


The first time a patient is cupped, their cup marks are usually much darker and the treatment is far more uncomfortable than in subsequent cupping sessions. Eighty percent of the toxins that have accumulated are usually removed during the first cupping treatment and also within the first minute, making this time the most painful. The second cupping treatment, done at least ten days later, should remove the residual 20% of toxins, which are usually found in the gaps between the previously applied cups. If this is the case, the third treatment, a few months later, verifies that toxins are not continuing to accumulate. If the area continues to color in the second cupping treatment much as it did in the first session, this is a sign that the toxin buildup is severe. Continue to cup until the color stops appearing.


If, by the fifth round of cupping, the cupped areas are still dark after cupping, this indicates that the patient is likely being exposed to toxins via their environment or is consuming too much animal protein. In my experience, when a patient removes all animal protein from their diet for a few weeks, the color becomes lighter and lighter. Once their skin has stopped coloring completely, animal protein may be reintroduced in significantly reduced amounts. In more than thirty years of practice, I have only seen dark cupping color reoccur three times. Patients should not need to have their Toxin Areas cupped frequently. All of the patients in my practice are kept clean with quarterly or at least bi-annual cupping. I rarely need to seven-star hammer.

Seven-Star Hammering:

A picture tells a thousand words, so before you consider seven-star hammering a patient, I highly recommend that you watch the segments on seven-star hammering and sterile waste disposal in my online bleeding class (Please see Additional Learning Tools).

When to Seven-Star Hammer:

Seven-star hammering followed by cupping of the Toxin Areas is a beautiful treatment, but it is rarely done. This technique is excruciatingly painful, but afterwards, people report enormous relief from severe itching – for example, from shingles, severe poison oak or poison ivy. These are the only reasons I would consider seven-star hammering the Toxin Areas.

Shingles or Herpes:

It is a horrific experience to have shingles. If a patient suffers a severe case, they will never have shingles again and do not need to be vaccinated against it. I am cautious in recommending any vaccine, as most of them contain aluminum, a known neurotoxin. When seven-star hammering for shingles, never hammer and cup an area with blisters, as this would spread the virus. For shingles outbreaks anywhere on the body, the Toxin Areas may be hammered and cupped, and also the local area may be seven-star hammered. Remember to wait until the scabs fall off to hammer the new, fresh, pink skin beneath, while it is still visible. Though local hammering is even more painful than hammering the Toxin Areas, it allows the toxins that are lodged in the nerve endings a way to escape, thus preventing postherpetic neuralgia, a gruesome aftermath of shingles.


The same treatment is also a fantastic way to end repetitive herpes outbreaks. Though the herpes virus is still likely to reside in the spinal cord, it will no longer live in the habituated distal areas. Remember, never hammer a herpes blister; wait for the scab to fall off, as you will then see pink skin indicating the proper location.


Whether this treatment is for shingles or herpes, there are places where cups cannot be applied (such as within the hairline or eyebrow). For these, simply seven-star hammer and then swipe with a sterile gauze pad. The patient should feel immediate relief with the first swipe. When hammering and swiping, always wear gloves and do not make skin contact with the “dirty” blood. Blood products must be disposed of properly; flush them down the toilet or place them in a doubled Sharps bag. Never seven-star hammer the genitals.



When students are learning about detoxification through cupping and seven-star hammering, they tend to get overexcited before they have personally experienced these treatments. I never use a treatment on another person unless I have experienced it. Be sensitive to your patient, as simply cupping the Toxin Area is highly effective 99.9% of the time. Even when you know toxins exist, seven-star hammering is excessive. Simple cupping is enough to handle toxicity from environmental sources, pharmaceuticals, food poisoning, or allergic responses, as well as conditions as common as eczema, psoriasis, and rashes. When, and only when, there is severe itching, I seven-star hammer and then cup the Toxin Area.

Additional Toxin Areas:

In the course of cupping thousands of patients and seeing interesting similarities, I have identified additional Toxin Areas that may be cupped. When the Toxin Areas on the outside of the scapula are cupped, this effectively gives the liver a larger storage area in which to deposit that which otherwise overwhelms it. Areas of pain or discomfort often harbor waste or toxins that the body is unable to eliminate on its own. Toxins also accumulate in places that are not particularly painful, but the skin colors darkly when cupped. I define these places as additional toxin areas, and I suspect that they overlap with the lymphatic system. So far, I have discovered three areas, in addition to DT.01-DT.02, that frequently color in this way. These areas are described below.

Note: To avoid injury in these sensitive areas, be sure to use a cup no larger than the #4 (1.3 cun).

Behind the Earlobes:

Directly behind the earlobes (as close as a cup can be placed without cupping the actual flesh of the earlobe) is another Toxin Area where almost every person’s skin turns black when it is cupped. This area is often very dark on the front half, which is why the cup needs to be directly behind the lobe to remove as much accumulated toxicity as possible – and therefore to get the skin to color as much as possible. It is very useful to cup here until color no longer appears, when treating any kind of Shao Yang neck pain, TMJ, headaches, ear infections, vertigo or tinnitus. Because the skin is dark after cupping on every person I have ever cupped for the first time, it is also part of my standard practice in long-term care.


As an aside, to definitively diagnose an ear infection, the practitioner may palpate directly behind the earlobe. When an infection is brewing, this area is very sore, as is the depression just in front of the opening to the ear. If it is sore upon palpation, cup behind the ear carefully and gently, always using a small cup. Do not cup if it is excruciating, as this indicates that the eardrum is ready to burst. Cupping will not burst the eardrum, but at this advanced stage of an ear infection, the procedure would be far too painful.

Where the Neck and Top of the Shoulders Come Together on the Sides:

When cupping a patient’s neck, it is necessary to shave or oil the fine hair on the back of the neck. I usually begin cupping on the back of the neck, as close to the occiput as I can get. Then, I proceed downward toward DU14 and continue around the sides of the neck to find another Toxin Area located where the neck and top of the shoulder come together. When #4 cups are placed on these toxin points, they stand at a 45-degree angle away from the body. This indicates that the placement is correct. Because these cups are half on the neck and half on the shoulder, toxins are being pulled from the base of the neck, where cervical and thoracic vertebrae unite, tension is held, and toxins accumulate. Frequently, the skin color from cupping this Shao Yang area is even darker than the color found on the Tai Yang where the neck joins the back. Because of the finer muscles, tendons and nerves in this area, please be sure to honor the recommendation to use a smaller sized cup, even on a larger neck.

Where the Sacrum and Coccyx Meet:

This Toxin Area would be likely to color on most people, but I do not routinely cup it, not only because it is inconvenient but also because the area is somewhat private. However, if I am cupping other points in the vicinity, I am sure to catch this one too, even if the patient is not complaining of coccyx pain. I always inform the patient before palpating or cupping a personal area such as this one. It is necessary to stretch the cheeks of the buttocks at the top of the crease in order to keep a small cup from popping off. If you see a tiny line of blood underneath this cup, there is yeast in the crease that may be treated topically with a cream, such as Monistat.

Strengthen Immunity:

Due to the Reaction Area of the Endocrine Glands, the Toxin Points assist in regulating the endocrine system. They are very effective in draining toxins located anywhere in the body, in part because of their proximity to the Small Intestine channel, which drains damp heat. When the skin continues to color from cupping, I frequently extend the Toxin Area and follow the color under the armpit; however, I usually don’t do this in the first cupping session, as the area tends to be painful when cupped, and the skin tends to color darkly. When people are very ill and their entire system is compromised, toxins also accumulate in the area of the rib cage just under the armpit, perhaps influencing or influenced by other pathways such as the Spleen, Heart, Liver and Gallbladder. When this entire area is cleaned through cupping, toxins are dumped into the bloodstream quickly, so the patient needs to rest and drink lots of water to assist in their removal. Be sure to instruct the patient to rest and eat well after a cupping treatment that yields dark skin color. Hardy patients can endure an all-in-one cupping treatment, while extremely fragile patients may prefer multiple cupping sessions to a very thorough one.


Within 48 hours, all patients should expect to feel far better than they did before the cupping. Immediately, however, they may be a little tired while their circulatory system eliminates the toxins that were pulled from structural tissues and deeper organs outward to the surface of the skin. Cupping the Toxin Areas strengthens the immune system, boosts circulation and frees all bodily processes of elimination. The liver loves to have the Toxin Areas cupped.

Breast Inflammation:

Please note that the lower Toxin Point also has the Reaction Area of the Breast, making the cupping of this area a good choice when female patients have premenstrual breast pain.

Cancer Treatment Detoxification:

Of course, I cup the Toxin Areas when detoxing a patient from chemotherapy or radiation (waiting until they have a break from those treatments), whether they are being treated for breast cancer or any other type.

Case History (Poison Oak):

For the first few weeks of this patient’s treatment, I really did not know what he looked like, because he came to me with the most severe case of poison oak I have ever seen. Someone had burned slash in his mountain neighborhood and inadvertently exposed everyone within distance of the smoke to systemic cases of poison oak, via inhalation. This poor man looked like a monster and could not see from either of his eyes. His sinus, nose and lips were so swollen that he could barely breathe through them. Because he had inhaled poison oak into his lungs, it had spread to his bloodstream and throughout his entire body. When he came to me for treatment, he had already received several cortisone injections and was taking prednisone. Because seven-star hammering and cupping of his Toxin Areas immediately and significantly relieved the itching that had him on the brink of suicide, he became my patient for life.

Case History (Shingles):

A woman in her mid-thirties came to me with a patch of shingles on the back of her neck. To immediately stop the burning and itching, I applied a combination of toxic topical herbs mixed with sesame oil to the lesion, and gave her some of the mixture to reapply at home. Weeks later, when the scabs had fallen off, I lightly seven-star hammered the area to complete the treatment. Interestingly, this episode of shingles was the first indication of a compromised immune system. A healthy thirty-year old is unlikely to contract shingles; usually, shingles only occurs in the elderly, weak or compromised. Twenty years later, I cupped her Toxin Areas and bled the site of the original shingles outbreak (1010.07 All Pivot) for nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Her treatment for breast cancer was effective and she returned to her life as a teacher and mother.

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