Category Archives: Achilles tendon

In the Flow

Fuliu – Returning Current – Kidney 7

Today, some hot-off-the-press content, an acupoint not included in my books.

FloodI woke this morning to find that yesterday was Adelaide’s wettest July day in 75 years. Water, water everywhere: puddles in the street, bulging dams, squelching lawns, the earth bloated with wetness. Even the air is filled with moisture, mist hanging in the trees. A perfect day to talk about a Water acupoint that is the master of fluid management.

One of the responsibilities of the Kidney Official is to keep the body fluids in balance. Fuliu Returning Current is a point that supports the Kidney in this task. When fluids are flooding the tissues, pooling in the low places and unable to be expelled from the body, this powerful Kidney point can serve.

Let’s look at some of the conditions that this point addresses.

Oedema is the accumulation of fluid in the body which causes tissues to become swollen. It occurs most commonly in the feet, ankles and lower legs. But it can also affect the brain, the eyes and lungs. Oedema can even occur throughout the body. Fuliu promotes the expelling of excess fluid in all these cases.

Urinary problems such as difficult urination, dark urine and blood in the urine can be treated with this point. Moreover, it controls other kinds of bleeding, from blood in the stool, from haemorrhoids, and uterine bleeding.

What we see is that K 7 brings balance to fluid flow, increasing flow where it is stagnant, and constricting flow where it is in excess. This can be observed in its capacity to bring balance whether there is excessive perspiration or lack of perspiration. It treats night sweats, spontaneous sweating, ceaseless sweating and fever with absence of sweating. Some people have a hard time working up a sweat, even with vigorous activity. This means that toxins normally expelled by perspiration are retained in the body. Returning Current can help rectify this dysfunction.

Not least of Fuliu’s talents is that of tonifying the Kidneys. It is the Metal point on a Water meridian, meaning that it draws Qi from the mother (Lung) to the son (Kidney). This process of tonification strengthens the Kidney Qi, so long as the Lung contains sufficient Qi to pass it on. This can be best ascertained from the pulse. If you don’t have access to this information, then I suggest you hold the source point K 3 at the same time. (Click here for article on K 3.) By using this combination, you will avoid draining the Lung since the source point neutralises an incorrect treatment.

When there is depletion, exhaustion, weakness from overtaxing the body and draining of one’s resources, Fuliu can help restore vitality. But use this point sparingly. Don’t use it as you might reach for a cup of coffee to jolt you into action. Conserve your resources during the remainder of the winter. Rest, recuperate and strengthen your Water within.

Location of Kidney 7

K 7

 

On the inside of the lower leg, in the hollow between the bone of the  tibia and the Achilles tendon, and 2 cun (body inches) above the inner ankle and K 3. Use moderate, direct pressure.

Regeneration Mountain

In the nether regions of Australia winter is already spreading its cold blanket across the land. We therefore turn our attention once more to points of the Water Element.

Kunlun Mountain – Bladder 60

* Forbidden during pregnancy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChinese mythology relates that after the cataclysm of a great flood, the only human survivors were a brother and sister who landed on Kunlun Mountain, rising above the floodwaters. Here they began the repopulation of the world. The two siblings of the story symbolise the primordial yin and yang, while Kunlun represents the central axis of all creation, uniting heaven and earth.

In the human body, this axis of yin and yang is reflected in the fundamental balance between Fire, the great yang, and Water, the great yin. The acu-point Kunlun – Kunlun Mountain, the Fire point of the Bladder meridian, provides a means of harmonising the Fire and Water Elements and therefore the yin/yang balance of the body.

When a person feels the cold, there is a contraction of the muscles, but there can also be a tightening of the mind, emotional withdrawal and an evaporation of compassion for others. When the Water freezes in this way and the Fire is doused, Kunlun is a good point for warming both body and soul.

The distal points of meridians are known for their effects on the whole length of the channel, and this point is particularly strong in its influence upon the whole length of the Bladder meridian. For example, it is well known for relieving chronic back pain, especially in the lumbar region. It combines well with any of the back-shu points where pain is located. It is also effective in treating pain in the shoulders, neck and head, especially the occipital region at the back of the head.

Kunlun has a strong descending action, pulling down yang from the upper body, hence its effectiveness for head, neck and back pain. Similarly it treats conditions of the head such as heat in the head, swelling and pain in the eyes, nosebleed and toothache. By causing yang to descend it has a calming and settling influence on the mind. Because of its descending action it helps to promote labour and is therefore to be avoided during pregnancy.

Another of its functions as a Fire point is in clearing heat from the body. When there is heat in the bladder itself, for example burning urination or bladder infection, this point is helpful.

Kunlun combines well with K 3 which is its mirror point on the inside of the ankle. This pair brings to mind the flood story in which the brother and sister come together to regenerate the world. Treating the yang of BL 60 with the yin of K 3 is a powerful way to enhance the jing or essence.

When you feel inundated by the waters of life, too exhausted to move, Kunlun can raise you to the mountain where a fresh, wider perspective is available and the power of regeneration is possible.

 

2.4Location of Bladder 60

The anatomical mountain is the outer ankle bone. The point lies in the hollow midway between the tip of the lateral malleolus (outer ankle bone) and the back of the Achilles tendon.

My Achilles is killing me!

Thetis dipping AchillesTightness in the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon is a condition that affects many people. This includes joggers, cyclists and other athletes who use their legs strenuously. It can also affect people who wear high heels or ill fitting shoes, those who stand a lot, and those who suddenly take up an aggressive running program after being inactive for a long time. But the condition is not confined to those who are active. People who suffer from blood deficiency, for example the elderly and women during menstruation are prone to tightening of the tendon during the night and so may wake up feeling sore in the calves.

Symptoms of Achilles tendon tightness include cramps, pain and stiffness along the tendon in the morning, pain along the tendon or the back of the heel that worsens with activity, severe pain the day after exercising, thickening of the tendon, bone spur at the heel, and swelling that is present all the time and gets worse throughout the day.

There is a great acupressure point that helps alleviate these symptoms, Bladder 57, Support the Mountain which is located in the middle of back of the lower leg. Sustained pressure here relaxes the Achilles tendon and all the calf muscles that attach to it. This in turn takes pressure off the heel bone where the tendon attaches.

The influence of Support the Mountain extends beyond the leg, for it is an excellent point for pain and stiffness in the lumbar region and for sciatica. When it is held together with Bladder 23 which we learned in an earlier post, the combination provides  an excellent release of the low back. The point also treats haemorrhoids and rectal prolapse.

Did you know that the Achilles tendon is named after the Ancient Greek mythological hero whose mother dipped him in the River Styx to make him invulnerable? Unfortunately the heel by which she held him was not submerged and this remained a vulnerable place. During the Trojan War, Achilles suffered a small would to his heel and subsequently died. The term Achilles heel is now used to refer to a person’s weak spot.

So if calf pain is your Achilles heel, BL 57 Support the Mountain can come to your aid.

Location of Bladder 57

BL 57

 

The point is located in the middle of back of the lower leg, half way between the crease at the back of the knee and the ankle. It lies in a depression between the heads of the gastrocnemius muscle. If you press the ball of your foot against resistance, this depression becomes more evident. Use firm pressure for two to three minutes or until you feel the Qi moving smoothly.