The functions of yinlingquan SP 9 are many and far reaching and I find it is a principle acu-point for fortifying the Chinese concept of the spleen and its function in regulating the water passages. In Chinese medicine philosophy it is the role of the earth element which the spleen/stomach fall into that is responsible for transformation & transportation of food and drink. If this function is compromised a range of digestive issues can arise as well as issues associated with the trajectory of the meridian. An acu-point like yinlingquan SP 9 (he-sea) has a remarkable ability to regulate digestive function and in my personal practice I find this point to be integral in treating a myriad of health complaints from digestive, musculoskeletal, to endocrine (hormonal).
To highlight the many and varied uses of this point I will give some clinical examples from my acupuncture practice, and give some theoretical basis for the result gained. As the majority of us in this day and age tend to be quite sedentary and hunched over a computer either for work or for ‘fun’ at least a few hours in the day, we tend to have tight and possibly painful trapezius muscles (GB 21 region). These tight upper fibres of the trapezius muscle can cause limited range of motion in the shoulders and neck, as well as cause pain and discomfort by impeding the free flow of blood and lymph fluids. As this upper trapezius region falls into the domain of the gallbladder channel in Chinese medicine I find that yinlingquan SP 9 does a beautiful job in releasing this region.
Now, why does this work on so many people regardless of their presentation or main pattern of disharmony? Because in my opinion we as a society are sedentary, stressed, and over consumers of processed sugars. If we now relate this to Chinese medicine it is written in the Chinese medical texts that too much sitting injures the flesh, and the flesh falls into the domain of the spleen, so thus over sitting inhibits the physiological Chinese medical concept of the spleen. Stress or Worry is the emotion that the classical Chinese said injures the spleens function. Sweet is the flavour that the classical Chinese said ‘too much of, will injure the spleen’ and processed sugar unfortunately is in everything that comes packaged! So if you’re like me and you by food from a supermarket, or even if you are really careful with what you buy and eat, I assure you that you are still consuming more sugar than you think.
So above we can see that sitting, stress, and sugar all injure the Chinese concept of the spleen. Now from a Chinese philosophical perspective (wuxing 5 element) when the spleen (earth) is deficient the gallbladder (wood) becomes excessive. Thus this is one of the reasons why the region on the gallbladder channel Jianjing GB 21 (upper trapezius) becomes tight, contracted and painful. The spleen is deficient and the gallbladder channel becomes in state of excess, this is the basic theory as to why yinlinquan SP 9 through regulating the spleens function does such a good job in releasing the upper fibres of the trapezius muscle (GB 21 region) on many individuals.
Just quickly I would like to note that I have found yinlinguan SP 9 to also release pressure pain down the gallbladder channel in the leg region too. Again I believe that when the point is integral to the individual it can release any symptom or pain.
I would like to explain for those of you that are reading this and maybe thinking what am I talking about? and that the spleen is not a digestive organ! I’m well aware that the spleen is comprised of lymphatic tissue and does not play a role in digestion. Again I would like to stress that the ‘name’ is not important, although it can be confusing, what is important is the function. So as I mentioned above the Chinese medical classics state that the ‘spleens’ function is responsible for transportation and transformation of food and fluids. From a western medical perspective we could say that this digestive role the Chinese attribute to the earth element (spleen/stomach) encompasses the endocrine and exocrine role of the pancreas in secreting digestive enzymes, insulin, and glucagon. As well as the Liver and gallbladders role in the synthesis and secretion of bile for the digestion of fats. Furthermore the mechanical and chemical digestive role of the stomach in peristaltic contractions of its muscular wall and the secretion enzymes and hydrochloric acid (parietal cells).
Other conditions I have found yinlingquan SP 9 extremely beneficial in treating is ipsilateral knee pain, as well as Ren 12 pressure pain (digestive issues), and extremely beneficial in treating water stagnation in the stomach, as well as pressure pain around the umbilicus (Nanjing reflective area of spleen imbalance).
Also for anyone (acupuncturist/students) that are interested in which texts I use as a basis for my acupuncture practice and blogs, the Deadman & Al-Khafaji text (commentary only), Kiiko Matsumoto (Clinical strategies), Suwen/Lingshu & Nanjing, amongst others.
As always, any questions please feel free to contact me.
Giancarlo Nerini - Licensed Acupuncturist