Category Archives: Entry exit points

Seeing Clearly, Stepping Nimbly

Tongziliao – Gall Bladder 1 – Pupil Crevice

Today is another windy spring day in South Australia. This time it’s a warm wind, but the forecast for tomorrow is for cool winds. Such is the changeable nature of spring. Wind is the climate of the Wood Element and when it penetrates the body’s defences, can create headaches and affect the eyes.

In previous springs we have examined other Gall Bladder points which treat wind invasion. Last year we looked at Gall Bladder 15 while the previous spring it was Gall Bladder 41.

Tongziliao – Gall Bladder 1 – Pupil Crevice, is named for its location at the outer side of the eye, in a hollow on the orbital bone. It is useful for eliminating wind, a condition to which the Liver is prone and averse. The point treats redness and itching of the eyes, eye pain and tearing, visual obstruction or dimness. It also treats headaches and migraines, especially around the temples. When there is a deviation of the mouth or facial paralysis such as occurs in Bell’s palsy, the point is called for.

At this point there is a close connection between the two Officials of Wood.  The Liver Official’s job is to use far-sightedness and good judgement in making the  plans needed to navigate the world. The Gall Bladder Official is responsible for decision making and for strategising the best way implement those plans. Tongziliao is an appropriate point to use to support both of these functions.

Gall Bladder 1 is a meeting point with the Bladder and Triple Heater meridians. In other words it is like a railway hub through which three lines pass. Using this point will have wide ranging influences by having an effect on all three of these yang meridians of the head.

Another of its important functions is as an entry point. Qi moves through the cycle of all 12 primary meridians, moving out of one meridian at its exit point, and into the following meridian at its entry point. In this case, Qi moves from Triple Heater 22 to Gall Bladder 1. It is common for Qi to become blocked at these points of exit and entry which are referred to as Entry-Exit blocks. In fact, such blocks can be impediments to treatment progressing and so the Five Element practitioner must always be alert to their possibility.

Tongziliao can be used to promote clarity of vision at all levels of the body, mind and spirit. Gall Bladder timidity is a psycho-emotional condition which describes a lack of courage to make decisions and move to decisive action. This point supports such a person to see clearly what needs to be done and to act accordingly.

Gall Bladder 1 is the start of that meridian’s long zig-zag journey around the head and down the sides of the body. It’s pathway embodies the qualities of the yang Wood Official as he moves back and forth, stepping nimbly and flexibly around obstacles in the way of achieving his goals. To support your own clarity of vision and flexibility of purpose, try holding GB 1 this spring.

Location of Gall Bladder 1

 

In a slight hollow at the side of the orbital bone of the eye, approximately 0.5 cun posterior to the outer canthus (corner of the eye).

Mother’s Embrace

Leap Day in Australia finds us at the beginning of autumn and the Metal Element. Before we drop down into the yin half of the year, let’s look at one final acupoint of the Earth Element.

Dabao – Great Enveloping – Spleen 21

5.17Hugs come in many forms: a light greeting, a supportive holding, an affectionate embrace, a passionate clinch, a mother’s love-you-to-bits squeeze. A loving, caring, full-frontal hug sees the arms enfold the other person, wrapping around the back and sides, while the two chests meet. What is common to all these hugs is caring. You enfold the other person in your arms in a caring embrace. You care for their well being. Such caring is the essence of the Earth Element.

The Earth qualities of caring, support and nourishment are amply demonstrated and demonstrably amplified at the acu-point Dabao – Great Enveloping which lies on the side of the ribcage. Imagine a mother embracing her child, arms wrapped around the little body, holding and squeezing with maternal love. The child’s entire upper body is enveloped, wrapped in mother’s love.

The character of Dabao includes a pictogram of a foetus in the womb to suggest something contained within, wrapped up or enveloped. A foetus receives holding, support and nourishment, all essential qualities of Earth.

Dabao transmits these essences by virtue of its role as the point of the Great Spleen Connecting Channel. This channel arises at SP 21 and radiates throughout the chest, through what are known as the minute collaterals, enveloping the chest with Qi and Blood, and supporting the Heart. The point relieves fullness, oppression and depression in the Heart area, bringing a feeling of freedom, openness, harmony and togetherness. It effects an internal, enfolding, motherly embrace.

This function of moving Qi and Blood extends throughout the body because Dabao controls all the luo-connecting points. We have looked at a number of luo-connecting points so far and seen how these points balance the yin and yang of their Element. In SP 21 we have the Great-luo point, the mother of all connecting points. In this role it treats the whole network of connecting channels and their Blood, thereby nourishing the whole body. In this way, it treats muscular pain that moves throughout the body as well as looseness of the joints.

Another major function of Dabao is as the exit point of the Spleen meridian. From here, the Qi moves into the entry point of Heart meridian at Heart 1 – Utmost Source, which lies in the centre of the armpit. Here is another way that Spleen nourishes the Heart, through the wei-qi cycle. Spleen 21 needs to be open in order to serve the Heart and Heart 1 needs to be open to receive the nourishment.

When Qi becomes blocked at points of exit or entry, an entry-exit block occurs and poses a significant impediment to effective treatment. The Spleen/Heart block is one of the most common of these blocks. Symptoms of such a block can include fullness of the chest, palpitations, pain in the ribcage, pain in the armpit, skin eruptions at or between the points, appetite disorders, fatigue and depression.

Something I have discovered through bodywork is that by holding both SP 21 points simultaneously, a gentle myofascial compression is created. When this hold is maintained for about three minutes, the fascia of the whole ribcage begins to unwind, contributing greatly to the effect that SP 21 has on freeing the Qi of the chest.

This can be done by using gentle pressure with the palms over the points, a hold which often feels very comforting to the recipient, like a supportive, caring embrace.

 

Location of Spleen 21

5.18

 

On the very side of the ribcage, below the armpit, in the seventh intercostal space (some sources locate in the sixth intercostal space). It lies roughly at the level of the xiphoid process at the base of the sternum. The point can be held with moderate, direct pressure or with the palm as suggested above.

 

Cover

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Gateways to Greater Health

4.5In conjunction with the forthcoming publication of The Way of the Five Elements, I have written a posting for the Singing Dragon blog which I’d like to share with you.

Entitited Gateways to Greater Health, the article looks at the Entry and Exit points of the meridians where blocks in the Qi flow can not only produce difficult symptoms and conditions, but also create blocks to treatment. While such blocks continue, treatment cannot progress. Check out the article at

http://singingdragon.com/sdblog/

Meanwhile, here in South Australia summer seems to be making an early entrance. Trees and shrubs are flowering early, spiders are super-active, and my garlic matured a couple of weeks earlier than usual. This means that the Fire Element is moving into the spotlight as the Wood Element retires to the chorus line for another year.

In the next posting I will return to individual points with a look at an Earth point that can help to smooth the transition between the seasons.