an acupuncture meridian discussion...
If we observe The Hand Taiyin (Lung) meridian we find that its internal trajectory begins in the region of the stomach, descends to the large intestine and ascends through the diaphragm to penetrate the lungs. Frome here the meridian ascends to the throat region & laterally descends to manifest at the beginning of its external meridian trajectory at Zhongfu Lu 1.
Zhongfu LU 1 & Yunmen LU 2 are found in the region of the delto-pectoral triangle and in my acupuncture practice I utilise this region as a palpatory diagnostic region that when active (pressure pain/tightness elicited) generally indicates the possibility of a Lung imbalance or structural imbalance. Differential ‘working’ diagnosis is made by the utilisation of specific acupuncture points that ameliorate the pressure pain or tightness at this reflective area. A simple example may be the use of Chize LU 5 which when needled ameliorates significantly the ‘active’ reflective area of Zhongfu LU-1 for a certain individual. This would then dictate that in this case said pressure pain was indicative of a Lung imbalance. However, if an acupuncture point combination relating to regulating the ‘structural alignment’ of the individual significantly diminished the pressure pain at Zhongfu LU 1, this would then be indicative of a structural issue and not necessarily a pathology of the Lung. Granted, medical history too plays a pivotal role in ‘working diagnosis’ however palpation/pulse will always be the medium for cross-checking ‘theory/concepts’ in relations to reality.
Continuing on, The Hand Taiyin Meridian then descends to the lateral aspect of the inner arm to the region of Xiabai LU 4. My use of Xiabai LU 4 in my clinical acupuncture practice is purely empirical & draws on the work of Master Hukaya. Thus, in the clinic I find that LU 4 works very well as an “oxygen supply” acupuncture point & as such is used in cases where the individual is short of breath whether due to asthma, congestive heart problems or any other manifestations resulting in respiratory difficulty. It is important to note that Master Hukaya used moxibustion (okyu), however I have needled this acupuncture point without Moxabustion & have found the results to be good.
From here we travel to the lateral aspect of the cubital crease to Chize LU 5 an indispensable acupuncture point in my clinical practice. I have devoted a full previous blog post to Chize LU 5 thus in this instance I will not delve deeply into this acupuncture point. However, I will say that along with Jingqu LU 8 it is truly an essential and far reaching acupuncture point that I utilise to treat a myriad of health issues from hormonal to bronchial.
Further down we find Kongzui LU 6 which is an essential point for the treatment of Haemorrhoids. The location that does the best job to resolve the itchiness or burning pain from the haemorrhoid is the region of three fingers below Chize Lu 5 & the exact point must be found that when pressed immediately releases some of the discomfort. Please note that LU 6 on the left arm seems to work better and that direct moxabuston (okyu) is used on this acupuncture point. (note: Source – Kiiko Matsumoto’s Clinical Strategies)
We now come to the region of the wrist & find Jingqu (to regulate the gutters) LU 8. The Chinese Character used to denote Jing is drawn as silk threads and underground passages/flow of water which is being observed by someone. Qu relates to the concept of a great structure that drains. For me this is quite fascinating as the character depiction highlights a network of vessels/gutters that is essentially under supervision or being ‘observed’ by ‘someone’ & the concept of draining is depicted. Interestingly in the acupuncture clinic I utilise Jingqu LU 8 in cases of Kidney deficiency with urinary bladder weakness, as well as for cases exhibiting a form of neuropathy (especially of the lower limbs). Could the classical characters used to depict Jingqu LU 8 relate to these above mentioned clinical uses? Well the concept of ‘draining’ certainly could relate to kidney deficiency with weak bladder. Furthermore, Jingqu is the metal point on the metal meridian and thus will tonify the child meridian being water (kidney/bladder). However, the concept I find much more fascinating is that of “silk threads/gutters’ being ‘observed’… as in the character ‘jing’. May this relate to the concept of the nervous system being the peripheral nervous system the ‘silk threads/gutters’, the spinal cord as the ‘great structure’ as in ‘Qu” & the mind/brain as in ‘observed/or observer. Thus a possible reason as to why empirically Jingqu LU 8 works very well in treating neuropathy conditions of the lower limb & oxygenating the associated tissues.
A bit of fun if nothing more… we could also say that the characters are relating to the meridians being under the ‘emperor’ (mind/shen) or the ‘Po’ (corporeal soul) as the Lung is said to control the meridians …
Regardless, the beauty of palpation and pulse diagnosis is that ‘concept/theory/thought’ can be actively tested on the body, with the body’s response and the individuals subsequent amelioration or lack of, the true deciding factor as to what is reality.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini - Acupuncturist (Melbourne)