Chapman reflex points

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Chapman reflex points, or Chapman's points, are small, discrete tissue texture changes located just deep to the skin.[1] The Chapman point is hypothesized to be an outward physical representation of internal dysfunction or pathology of an organ system.[1] No robust data exists to support that they can be used to diagnose or treat disease.


The points were first described by Dr. Frank Chapman, DO[2] in 1920 who described the palpatory findings as "small pearls of tapioca that are firm, partially fixed, and located under the skin in the deep fascia fascia."Chapman considered these areas to be viscerosomatic in nature and referred to them as neurolymphatic points. Lymphatic congestion and distinct low pain threshold of a Chapman reflex area is considered possible indication for dysfunction/pathology of the associated organ system. One study of patients hospitalized with pneumonia demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between the presence of Chapman lung reflex points and pneumonia.[1]

Chapman reflex points are primarily used by chiropractors and by the group of osteopathic physicians who incorporate osteopathic manipulative medicine into their practices. Chapman, or neurolymphatic reflexes, are considered to have both diagnostic and therapeutic value. Diagnostically as distinct lymphatic congestion and low threshold palpatory pain of these reflex points may indicate the need for targeted examination of the associated organ or system and therapeutically as treatment of these reflex points is considered to improve lymphatic circulation.

Proposed anatomical locations of Chapman reflex points[edit]

Anterior Posterior
Heart 2nd intercostal space (ICS), left lateral border of sternum.
Lungs Upper lung: 3rd ICS, just lateral to the sternum

Lower lung: 4th ICS, just lateral to the sternum.

Stomach 5th ICS on the left: acidity of the stomach

6th ICS on the right: peristalsis of the stomach

T6 to T7, in the intercostal space, about 2 cm lateral from the spinous process.
Liver 5th and 6th ICS
Gall bladder 6th ICS, mid-clavicular line.
Pancreas Lateral to the costal cartilage between the 7th and 8th ribs on the right Transverse process of T7 and T8 on the right.
Adrenals 2" superior and 1" lateral to the umbilicus Between the spinous and transverse processes of T11 and T12
Kidney 1" superior and 1" lateral to the umbilicus Between the spinous and transverse processes of T12 and L1.
Appendix Tip of the 12th rib on the right transverse process of T11
Bladder Periumbilical region
Urethra Anteriorly in the myofascial tissues along the superior margin of the pubis ramus about 2 centimeters lateral to the symphysis.
Prostate Myofascial tissue along the posterior margin of the iliotibial band. Sacral base (superior sacrum), bilaterally.
Colon greater trochanter to just above the knee on the Iliotibial band.


  1. ^ a b c Washington, K; Mosiello, R; Venditto, M; Simelaro, J; Coughlin, P; Crow, WT; Nicholas, A (October 2003). "Presence of Chapman reflex points in hospitalized patients with pneumonia.". the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 103 (10): 479–83. PMID 14620082. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology" (PDF). American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. April 2009. p. 10. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 

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