Tag Archives: Kidney Qi

In the Flow

Pangguangshu – Bladder Shu – Bladder 28

River FlowWinter usually brings a wave of Water related conditions and issues into the  treatment room. As the high tide of the year moves through the Water Element, it puts pressure on any existing imbalances in Water. This can include lower back pain and stiffness, cold invading the body, urinary system dysfunction, problems with the bladder, kidneys, ears and bones, fears and phobias, and reduced perseverance.

As we age, the lifelong decline in our Kidney Qi begins to affect all of these resonances of the Water Element. And the cold of the winter creates added pressure on our declining resources. This inspires some to migrate to warmer climate zones such as Queensland.

An acupoint that offers support for conditions of the waterworks is Pangguangshu, Bladder 28. This is the shu point of Bladder and treats that organ directly. The shu points are particularly useful in treating chronic conditions, those that have become entrenched for some time.

Bladder shu is used to treat difficult, painful, hesitant and frequent urination. These symptoms are associated with an enlarged prostate, and so the point is very helpful for treating the prostate conditions which afflict many older men. It is also used to treat cystitis which is an inflammation of the urinary tract, usually caused by infection. The effect of Pangguangshu also extends to the genitals, treating such conditions as swelling, pain or itching of the external genitals.

Bladder 28 is also useful in treating lower back pain as well as pain or stiffness in the sacrum, coccyx and buttocks. It has an influence over the Kidneys and can be used in combination with the Kidney shu point, Bladder 23. (See article here.) Because of its influence over the lower burner, it can be used to treat lower abdominal pain and fullness, and constipation caused by Qi stagnation.

At the psycho-emotional level, stagnation in the Bladder expresses as difficulty managing one’s resources and reserves. This can produce a sense of urgency and anxiety about life, leading to a tendency to use effort and willpower to push through obstacles in the way. There is an apt expression for this, ‘pushing the river’, which suggests using draining effort rather than going with the flow.

Zhi is the spirit of Water. It is often translated as will. When our Water Element is in balance and harmony, the power that fuels action arises naturally and spontaneously from true will that is not dependent on a pushing, urgent, straining effort. Pangguangshu can help to keep us in the flow.


Location of Bladder 28

BL 28

 

The point is 1.5 cun lateral to the midline at the level of the second sacral foramen (hollow). Find the top of the sacrum and go two fingers width below this and two fingers width lateral to find the point.

Where there is Will

When intent becomes permanent, we speak of Will. (Neijing)

As we traverse the last weeks of winter, let’s examine again the spirit of Water, Zhi, which is often translated as Will.

Weight lifterSeveral years ago I became quite ill and began working with a naturopath. She prescribed an apothecary of supplements for physical purification and strongly recommended a Vipassana retreat for spiritual purification.

For those who don’t know about Vipassana retreats, they are the black belt, hard-core, take-no-prisoners style of meditation retreats. For 10 days you don’t speak, don’t look anyone in the eye, eat only two meals a day, get up at 4 am and go to bed after 9, meditate for 10 hours a day, often without moving a muscle for an hour at a time. What is more, I did my retreat at the winter solstice in Melbourne where the temperature fell below freezing at night.

I thought at the time that this was the hardest thing I’d ever done. It required tremendous willpower and effort to stay the course and not leave after even the first day. Every day, every hour, required me to continually rededicate myself to the practice.

When I was released from prison on the tenth day, I felt a tremendous sense of freedom and great satisfaction at having stayed the course. Unexpectedly, I found that I had much more will. I found I could sit at my desk and write for hours without the usual restlessness. I was able to complete tasks that I would normally put off or do in stages. Somatically, I felt a weighty presence in my belly centre, a bowling ball of will that kept me centred and stable.

These qualities of determination, steadfastness, resilience and power were developed by the initial application of effort, but after a time, the effort was transformed into will. Willpower became true will. Like bending your back to crank the engine until it sparks into life and runs on its own.

These are all resonances of the Water Element, the gifts of Zhi. Here are some suggestions for cultivating Zhi:

  • Do something you’ve never done before
  • Do something for five minutes longer when you’d rather stop
  • Do something very slowly
  • Do something no one would expect you to do
  • Postpone an action you want to do
  • Do something now that you’d prefer to postpone
  • Do a practice every day for a month

For some support in your cultivation of will, hold the acupoint Bladder 52- Zhishi– Residence of the Will which we’ve looked at previously. This point promotes endurance, helps to resolve fear (the emotion of Water), strengthens will, and restores essence (jing). For those who are driven, it softens hard willpower and supports true will.

Ultimately, true will is the will of true nature. As we align our personal will with the will of the universe, all efforting drops away and doing simply happens.

Location of Bladder 52

2.20

 

On the back at the level of the junction of the 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebrae and 3 cun (four fingers width) lateral to the spine. It is approximately at the same level as the navel.

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.