In Taikyoku therapy the acupuncture points chosen to administer direct (okyu) Moxabustion on include the following:
Baihui (DU 20) which is located at the vertex of the head & is referred to as the ‘hundred meeting’. Shen Zhu (DU 12) which is located on the back and interestingly enough Shen Zhu is considered to be related to the thymus gland. As such, it is customary in Japanese folk medicine to perform Moxabustion on each birthday a child has equivalent to the child’s age. For example, when the child turns eight years old he will receive eight Moxabustion cones at Shen Zhu (Du 12). It is thought that in performing Moxabustion in this manner the child’s immune system will be strong and disease will find no abode to reside.
Other acupuncture points on the back used in the Taikyoku therapy include Ge Shu (BL 17), Gan Shu (BL 18) which is the back ‘shu’ acupuncture point of the Liver. Pi Shu (BL 20) which relates directly to the ‘earth’ element & is thus responsible for the digestive process as well as the transformation of food stuffs into a useable form of energy. Shen Shu (BL 23) & the acupuncture point level yet lateral to it, BL 52 Zhi Shi which translates to the ‘residence of the willpower’ & which is directly related to the energetics of the ‘Kidneys’ & their functional qualities as seen from a Chinese Medical framework. Lastly but certainly not least on the back, we come to Ciliao (BL 32) which lies over the second sacral foramen and is in a region of the body that contains an abundance of parasympathetic neurons (Rest & Digest).
Moving on to the abdomen we find the middle guan or Zhong Wan (guan) Ren 12 as well as the ‘Sea of Qi’ Ren 6 (Qi Hai). The front ‘mu’ acupuncture point of the stomach and the ‘sea of qi’ respectively, are essential pivotal acupuncture & Moxabustion points used to ameliorate a myriad of disharmonies and conditions.
On the upper limbs we find direct Moxabustion administered on Quchi (Li 11), which according to Master Acupuncturist Kiyoshi Nagano is directly related to the immune function of the individual & thus direct Moxabustion performed on this region can regulate ‘immune’ related conditions. SJ 4 (Yangchi) or ‘Yang pool’ is also used and this acupuncture point has a direct link to ‘yuan Qi’ or original Qi.
On the lower limb we find that acupuncture points used include Zu San Li (ST 36) & Kid 6 (Zhaohai). Both these acupuncture points are fortifying to their respective organs and I can say that along with Quchi (LI 11) they are both a staple in my own personal self-Moxabustion practice.
Thus above we can see the acupuncture points chosen by Ken Sawada for the direct application of (okyu) direct Moxabustion in Taikyoku therapy. From an acupuncture point actions/indications framework we can see and hypothesise why these acupuncture points were chosen for a form of Moxabustion therapy named ‘whole body’ therapy. However, even from a structural perspective the regions choses relate to the spine, top of the head & the major joint of the limbs. Thus, engaging these vital regions with Moxabustion creates movement and flow in said regions were circulation can tend to stagnate (i.e. joints/articulation). The heat penetration & changes in blood chemistry induced by Moxabustion mixed with the strategic placement of said cones (okyu) on acupuncture points makes for a highly effective ‘full body’ therapy.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Giancarlo Nerini – Acupuncturist (Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula)