an acupuncture discussion ...
If we observe the Chinese characters used to depict these vital acupuncture points we find that the Romanised ‘shu’ is present in both Huang Shu KID-16 & Tian Shu ST-25. However, they are different in the pictograph used. ‘Shu’ (Huangshu) is drawn as a small & basic boat or vessel that is moving its way upstream to unite itself with the vast ocean. In essence it depicts the concept of ‘transport’, ‘transfer’, ‘to bring forth’ & ‘to unite’. ‘Shu’ (Tianshu) is depicted with the character for ‘wood’ with the concept of putting things away in boxes or compartments of sorts. Thus the Romanised similarity in ‘shu’ does not reflect the Chinese character which although pronounced similarly, is actually drawn very differently & thus depicts I different meaning all together.
If we now look at the remaining halves of the above Chinese characters we find that ‘huang’ is drawn with the character for ‘flesh’ and thus denotes the body, with the addition of a small space or hole. Some translators describe this to relate to a vital space/hole between the heart and the diaphragm, as in Gao Huang Shu BL-43 “when the pathogen resides deep in the Gao Huang, moxa BL 43 Gao Huang Shu”. However others relate the concept of ‘huang’ to reflect something that was present but is no longer, i.e. something that was in the body, yet now is missing. Thus, the character for ‘huang’ may also be interpreted as ‘missing shu’ & due to its location (sides of umbilicus) may relate to the umbilical cord and the process of birth. It is apparent from the characters that both interpretations are valid and that in order to create a ‘space’ things must be taken out i.e. missing.
Either way, the region of Huangshu KID 16 is a vital palpatory region used in my clinical acupuncture practice & if pressure pain or tightness is present it is of paramount importance to release. Generally I find this region to reflect kidney or spleen disharmonies & this can be confirmed on the treatment table by which ‘concept’ treated yields the most said release. For example in cases of kidney/adrenal deficiency if Fuliu KID 7 releases the region of Huangshu KID 16 significantly, I can then confirm my theoretical/conceptual presumption. However, if I find that Yin Ling Quan SP 9 releases said area significantly or more so, then it may be reflective of a ‘spleen’ disharmony. Thus conceptual diagnosis is either confirmed or denied by actively testing and assessing via palpation, with the patient’s somatic response dictating the path of treatment.
Now for the Chinses character that is ‘Tian’, as in Tianshu ST 25. This depicts a man or person that is standing tall with the heavens directly above. Essentially, it is depicting the descending heavenly virtue which guides us all should we allow the space to receive. ‘Tian’ relates to the ‘heavens’, the ‘highest’, ‘supreme’, ‘nature’ & ‘celestial’.
In observing the characters that comprise ‘Da Heng’ SP -15 the first thing that intrigues me is that the character ‘Heng’ has the character of ‘wood’ within as does the previously mentioned ‘Shu’ as in Tianshu ST 25. Thus, both these characters that are level with each other, at the point of our bodies pivot, share the essence of ‘wood’. Thoughts of ‘structural’, ‘flexible’, ‘expanding & ‘outreaching’ come to mind. ‘Da’ shows a man with a top knot in his hair & thus depicts a grown man, evoking the concept of ‘big’ or expansive. As stated ‘heng’ has one half of the character drawn as wood yet the other half shows spot fires on a field & depicts the concept surprise and directional. Thus ‘Da Heng’ may be translated as ‘the great support that allows the flow of movement in all directions’.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini - Acupuncturist (Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula)