The Chinese character used to depict ‘Xi’ shows woven threads and a valley. Thus, ‘Xi’ relates to small bodies of flowing water such as tributaries & rivulets.
When discussing Si 3 ‘Hou Xi’ it is important to note that in the acupuncture text titled “Ode to the Obstructed River” there is a description of how to utilise the confluent points of the eight extraordinary meridians to treat various symptoms and regions of the body. This passage states that Hou Xi the third acupuncture point on the Small Intestine meridian is indicated for diseases of the Governing vessel & thus the spine. As such, Hou Xi SI 3 is known as the confluent acupuncture point for the Du Mai (governing vessel meridian).
SI 3 Hou Xi is also designated as the ‘wood’ acupuncture point on the ‘fire’ meridian. As such, from a five-element perspective it can provide the motive force to engage and drive the fire element. This concept coupled with the Chinese characters used to depict Hou Xi SI 3 relates very strongly to its ability as a principle ‘building and fortifying’ acupuncture point on the Small Intestine meridian.
In regards to my own acupuncture practice and the manner in which I utilise the acupuncture point Hou Xi SI 3, I mainly use it in presentations of stiff neck or stiff spine. Granted, palpation always dictates my approach and thus if upon palpation Hou Xi SI 3 relieves said stiffness, I will use it. However, if upon palpation SI 3 has no or little effect I will search for another concept or acupuncture point that may further benefit the condition. Thus ‘cross-checking’ the acupuncture point’s efficacy and treating through a fluid ‘working diagnosis’ is at the heart of my acupuncture practice.
I have also used Hou Xi SI 3 in cases of pain around the eye and the orbital ridge (i.e. migraine patients). On quite a few occasions I have used SI 3 once the ‘constitutional’ phase of the acupuncture treatment has been administered yet there still remains some discomfort at the orbital ridge. The utilisation of SI 3 Hou Xi has been indispensible in these cases.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini – Acupuncturist (Melbourne & Safety Beach)