Qing Ling (HT 2) is found on the medial aspect of the upper arm at the grove medial to the biceps brachii muscle (around four fingers above Shao Hai HT 3). In my acupuncture practice I utilise this acupuncture point for individuals who are experiencing emotional issues, stress & anxiety and present with pressure pain at the Heart Back Shu points/hua tuo jia ji points. Finding the correct acupuncture point location and angle that best reduces the pressure pain at the Heart Back Shu region (T5) is imperative for the treatments success.
Furthermore, it is quite well known in many styles of acupuncture that the region of T3 – T9 (Huato jiaji) express/manifests psychosomatic disorders. Thus pressure pain at this region can also be effectively released with Qing Ling (HT 2). The mentioned presentation generally manifests in individuals that tend to overly somatise their emotional problems.
On the treatment table the use of palpatory findings and the subsequent release of said findings can guide the progress of treatment (on the table). Furthermore, it is imperative to cross check against the individual’s feelings of anxiety/emotional upset if present at the time of treatment. If the individual receiving acupuncture treatment does not present with the symptom at the time of treatment, it is very important for them to take notes throughout the week on their subjective emotional experience. Thus, the combination of utilising palpatory findings and ameliorating said palpatory findings on the treatment table with keeping detailed notes of the individual’s weekly experience, provides great benchmarking to gauge the improvement and success related to the acupuncture treatment.
To highlight the deep connection the heart meridian has to our spirit & emotional state, I would like to share a translation of the Chinese characters the classical acupuncturists used to depict Qing Ling (HT 2). ‘Qing’ is drawn as sprouting buds and an alchemists stove that has a bar of the precious cinnabar within. Thus it denotes ‘transformation’ of life & spirit. ‘Ling’ is drawn as the heavens descending its rain with three shaman women receiving & dancing. This denotes the virtue of heaven descending & the mediator between heaven and earth receiving/communicating. Thus, Qing Ling (HT 3) and the heart meridian itself represents the spirit and our connection to the heavenly virtue.
So with this depiction we can get a sense that the acupuncture points on the heart meridian including Qing Ling (HT 2) are very much related to our psycho-emotional state & thus can be used in the treatment of emotional disorders, stress & anxiety.
Shao Hai (HT 3) translates to ‘small inner sea’ and this acupuncture point is found at the medial corner of the cubital crease of the arm. This is a very interesting acupuncture point that has a wide variety of clinical applications. I utilise this acupuncture point quite a bit in my acupuncture practice & in regards to structural palpatory findings it does a beautiful job in releasing the lower cervical vertebrae (i.e. whiplash, poor posture), L5 rotation, Ren 14-15 pressure pain (coupled with insomnia or anxiety) & shoulder pain running down the trajectory of the small intestine (hand taiyang) meridian.
Again, for these palpatory findings to be effectively reduced with the application of Shao Hai (HT 3) there must be an emotional link. In my experience this is the reason it is imperative to take a detailed medical history and have an understanding of what has been occurring in an individual’s life that has brought them to this point. This is regardless of whether the individual comes for shoulder pain or a more complicated autoimmune condition.
As an example, an individual presented to my acupuncture clinic with shoulder pain only affecting her left side. Looking at her presentation from purely a structural point of view did not yield any lasting results (more than 4 days). However, once I reviewed her medical history I realised that anxiety has been an issue for her. Thus my working diagnosis shifted from purely a ‘structural’ view to the possibility that her emotional issues were affecting the heart meridian which can contract and disrupt its paired meridian (small intestine) manifesting as shoulder pain. Once I added Shao Hai (HT 3) the shoulder pain dissipated and did not return.
Thus I cannot stress enough the importance of correlating the individual’s symptomatic presentation with their medical history & palpatory findings. In my clinical acupuncture experience doing so yields long lasting effective results.
As always please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini – Acupuncturist (Melbourne CBD)