Jiexi roughly translates to ‘stream divide’ or to ‘untie a mountain stream’. If we look at the individual characters that the classical Chinese used to depict this point we can see that Jie can be interpreted as a horn and bodkin (used to untie knots), thus denoting to divide, loosen, untie, release. Whilst Xi is depicted as water or a person who works with thread. Thus you can see how the classical Chinese characters used to describe a point are deep with meaning that reflects the clinical use and application of the acu-point. I can honestly say that in my recent acupuncture practice utilising Jiexi ST 41 I have seen firsthand its potential to ‘untie the force of a mountain stream’.
Previously I had only used Jiexi ST 41 as described in the acupuncture textbook written by P. Deadman & M. Al-Khafaji in conditions where heat is in the stomach channel or fu organ, i.e. gastric reflux, extreme hunger, constipation, belching, and so on. Thus as it is the fire point I would use a reducing technique to cool the fire in the meridian or fu organ. However recently I have found the effects of this point to be even more far reaching and it has an ability to regulate the whole stomach channel trajectory and not just the upper reaches of the channel. Furthermore this point can be used to reduce heat, but it can also be used to tonify and fortify as it is the fire point which nourishes its respective meridian/fu being the earth element.
My recent clinical experience and results using this acu-point resonate uncannily to the classical Chinese depiction of ‘untying a mountain stream’. This morning I was treating an individual who was experiencing a range of signs and symptoms including right sided hip pain and nausea. Upon palpation amongst other diagnostic findings I found pressure pain on Ren 12 the mu point of the stomach (where the energetics of the stomach organ emanate) and he also felt nausea when I applied this pressure, as well as pressure pain on the stomach meridian from ST 25 to ST 23 & ST 31 all on the right side. I tried a range of ‘concepts’ and pressed many various acu-points that relate to these ‘concepts’ to assess whether my theory and his body coincide. After ten minutes of checking and crosschecking nothing I did was able to release the pressure pain and nausea induced when I palpated Ren 12 (stomach mu point). I then found my hand at the region of ST 41 Jiexi, which I had previously checked if pain was elicited on pressure as this relates to heat in the stomach meridian and calls for Master Nagano’s metal/water treatment. Pressure pain was not present however I applied pressure with my finger to the acu-point and cross checked by pushing on Ren 12 (stomach mu point), the pressure pain previously elicited had diminished as well as the feeling of nausea. Still holding ST 41 Jiexi I palpated the region of the right side ST 25 to ST 23 and he reported no pressure pain as well as nearly no pain at the anterior hip region of ST 31.
Experiences in my clinical practice such as this highlight to me the profound effect that Jiexi ST 41 has on releasing the whole stomach meridian as well as its effect on the stomach organ itself. I also feel that the above clinical example shows that yes it has a great ability in releasing heat, however it also has a profound ability to nourish and build as it is the fire point on the earth channel and as such can be used to tonify/regulate the function of the stomach (earth) even when ‘heat’ is not the dominant factor.
I would also like to express that I have used this point on quite a few occasions when dealing with a range of conditions such as knee pain in the region of the patellar ligament and it has been extremely effective. Furthermore, when treating ankle pain/sprain ST 41 coupled with SP 5 Shangqiu as a local treatment after addressing the constitution has proven integral to treatment success. Also ST 41 has a great ability to release the ipsilateral sternocleidomastoid muscle (ST 9 Renying region) and as such can be used in a range of conditions from neck pain to nervous system issues.
To me Jiexi ST 41 is really one of those amazing acu-points and truly deserves its place on the channel described as ‘The King of the Yang meridians’.
As always, any questions feel free to contact me.
Giancarlo Nerini - Licensed Acupuncturist