In this blog post my intention is to highlight the essence of the gallbladder meridians trajectory as well as discuss various acupuncture points on its trajectory. It is important to note that the actions of the acupuncture points discussed are based on the work of Kiiko Matsumoto & Chinese character translations based on the work of Debra Katz. Furthermore I will express my own clinical experience in implementing and utilising these acupuncture points and the beneficial health effects induced.
The Foot Shaoyang (gallbladder) meridian’s external trajectory begins at the outer canthus of the eye and runs to Ting Hui (GB 2). If we observe the Chinese characters the classical acupuncturists used to depict Ting Hui we find Ting is drawn as an ear with someone listening attentively, as well as having the heart in the character denoting truthfulness. Hui is drawn as people gathering under a covering and thus denotes ‘meet’ and ‘understanding’. Interestingly enough this acupuncture point is utilised in my clinic as a diagnostic acupuncture point for ear disorders and thus if pressure pain is present, this must be released. Ting Hui (GB 2) is also an essential point for spasm below the eyes and facial ticks.
The gallbladder meridian now travels up the temporal region of the head to the region of Hanyan (GB 4), Xuanlu (GB 5), Xuanli (GB 6). In my acupuncture practice I utilise this region for the treatment of underactive lacrimal glands and the treatment of dry eyes.
GB 10 Fu Bai is the meeting point of the Bladder Meridian with the Gall Bladder. In my acupuncture practice I have found this acupuncture point to be beneficial in releasing the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Furthermore, this acupuncture point is integral for the treatment of congested lymphatic glands and ducts of the head, neck, axillary & inguinal region.
Still on the lateral side of the head we find GB 17 Zheng Ying. It is very interesting to note that in the acupuncture clinic ‘zheng ying’ is used for the treatment of symptoms due to injury at the DU Mai region of the head. I believe the Chinese Character itself highlights this connection to the DU Mai, as ‘Zheng’ means ‘upright’ ‘correct’ ‘govern’. This is very similar to the Du Mai ‘governor vessel’ that’s character relates to ‘uprightness’ & ‘keeping watch/overseeing’.
Ben Shen GB 13 is an essential acupuncture point for the treatment of psycho-emotional disorders manifesting with pressure pain on the Ren Mai meridian (Ren 15 -22). This acupuncture point has a very calming effect and can extend to reach and ‘heal’ the individual on many levels. ‘Ben’ is drawn as a tree trunk with its roots beneath the earth. ‘Shen’ is drawn as the stars, moon & sun with two hands reaching to the heavens & extending a rope. Thus, Ben Sen is translated to ‘rooted in spirit’.
Travelling inferior to Benshen (GB 13) we come to the area of GB 20 Fengchi & GB 12 Wangu. In my acupuncture clinic I utilise this area as a diagnostic region. Any pressure pain at this region must be released and it is integral to do so for all individuals, yet especially for individuals with a family history or personal history of stroke.
Jian Jing GB 21 is a pivotal diagnostic point for Gall Bladder excess. Master acupuncturist Kiyoshi Nagano stated that an excessive gall bladder will impede the function of the spleen/pancreas & stomach, manifesting with pressure pain at Jian Jing GB 21. This is a diagnostic area that many individuals present with pressure pain on at my acupuncture practice, I find that digestion issues and stress seems to go hand in hand with this presentation. Thus it is of paramount importance that pressure pain/tightness at the region of Jian Jing is reduced (through distal acupuncture points) on the treatment table for the successful amelioration of the associated signs and symptoms. Note: in my acupuncture practice Jian Jing (GB 21) is not needled directly.
Now we find ourselves on the lateral side of the torso of the body at Zhe Jin (GB 23). Zhe Jin is a principle diagnostic point in the treatment of dizziness and problems with the inner ear. Once pressure pain is released at Zhe Jin the individual is encouraged to assess their dizziness feeling. If the dizziness feeling still remains somewhat and there is no more pain/discomfort on palpation, Zhe Jin can be needled directly.
On the flanks of the body just below the free end of the twelfth rib, we find Jing Men (GB 25). Jing Men is the ‘Mu’ point of the kidneys and is thus where the energetics of the organ manifest on the external. For this reason, it is an essential point for the treatment kidney stones, nephrosis & nephritis. Furthermore, in my acupuncture practice I utilise this acupuncture point in a multitude of acupuncture point combinations and treatment strategies for various conditions.
Dai Mai GB 26 region is a key diagnostic area to assess the ease of movement of the torso relative to the hip. Thus, assessing and treating this area has beneficial results in various structural disorders from shoulder issues, neck issues & lower back pain. Furthermore, Dai Mai GB 26 can be needled directly to further improve the presentation, once the local pressure pain has been released.
Travelling down to the lateral aspect of the thigh, we arrive at Feng Shi GB31. I utilise this point often in my acupuncture clinic in cases of sciatica due to a tight piriformis muscle. Utilising this acupuncture point releases the piriformis muscle nicely & furthermore, this acupuncture point can be used as a support point in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis & vaginal/cervical infections.
GB 40 Qiu Xu is the yuan – source point of the gallbladder meridian and I find that this acupuncture point regulates the shaoyang aspect of the body very nicely. Specifically, it can release the contralateral SCM and induce the associated beneficial effects on the autonomic nervous system. Furthermore, I have found this acupuncture point to be very useful in the treatment of acute sinusitis and rhinitis.
Lastly we arrive at Xia Xi (GB 43) & Zu Qiao Yin (GB 44) which constitute the ‘water’ and ‘metal’ acupuncture points of the gallbladder meridian. I utilise this point combination when there is pressure pain elicited on the ‘fire’ point (Yang Fu), as well as in cases of gall bladder inflammation (cholecystitis), gravel or stones.
The Gallbladder (Foot Shaoyang) Meridian…
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini - Acupuncturist (Melbourne CBD)