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One for all, All for one

Late Summer is upon us in the southern hemisphere, time to return once more to points of the Earth Element. We begin with Spleen 6, a really useful point as you will see.

Sanyinjiao ~ Three Yin Crossing ~ Spleen 6
* Forbidden during pregnancy

5.9The motto of the Three Musketeers could well be applied to Sanyinjiao – Three Yin Crossing where three meridians unite at a single point. While the point is given to the Spleen meridian because its primary influence is upon the Spleen, it is a meeting point with the Kidney and Liver meridians. Like a river that joins together with two other tributaries, producing a combined force, SP 6 is a powerful confluence of forces where the combined action is more than the sum of the parts.

The wide range of conditions addressed by this point makes it one of the most frequently selected points in treatment. As it influences the three yin meridians of the leg, it treats conditions of the digestive, urinary, lymphatic and reproductive systems, treats damp, tonifies Qi and Blood, and raises the Qi upwards.

As a Spleen point, it strengthens the Spleen, thereby treating all Spleen Qi deficiency symptoms: feelings of heaviness and fatigue, abdominal fullness, loss of appetite and loose bowels. It clears oedema by mobilising the Spleen’s capacity to move fluids. Similarly it has a strong influence on nourishing the Blood and clearing Blood stagnation.

Three Yin Crossing is a great point for resolving damp, a pathogenic factor to which the Spleen is particularly prone. Damp in the lower burner can manifest as infections of the bladder, vagina and prostate; damp in the middle burner can cause diarrhoea, poor digestion, abdominal pain and nausea.

In its role as a Kidney point it strengthens Kidney Qi which is the source of our vitality. It treats difficult and painful urination, tinnitus, night sweats, dry mouth and difficulty with hot weather.

As a Liver point, it promotes the smooth flow of Liver Qi, treats painful menstruation and abdominal pain generally. It also treats pain in the genitals, seminal emission and sexual hyperactivity in men, impotence and infertility, blurred vision and hypertension.

Sanyinjiao is one of the best points for regulating the uterus, and so is very useful for all menstrual irregularities. Its effect on the uterus makes it one of the best points for promoting labour, and is therefore forbidden during pregnancy except in the final stages.

Emotionally it soothes the spirit when a person is despairing, feeling weighed down by the burdens of life. It helps calm a worried mind and ease insomnia. Its influence over the Liver means it can calm irritability, especially when associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Spleen 6 combines well with Stomach 36 to strengthen the middle burner and balance the Earth Element. A nice little treatment is to combine SP 6 with the source points of the three associated meridians, namely Spleen 3, Kidney 3 and Liver 3. The quality of the Qi at these three points will tell you much about the health of these meridians and organs.

If you want to raise your game, raise your Qi with this triple crown winner of a point.

 

5.10Location of Spleen 6

 

Located 3 cun (four fingers width) above the crest of the inner ankle bone. Press towards the back of the tibia bone.

 

Cover

 

 

This is an extract from The Way of the Five Elements by John Kirkwood. Available now from your favourite bookseller.

Is Life Worth Living? It all depends on the liver

KaleThis witty word play by 19th century American philosopher William James serves as a reminder that the health of the liver organ is of utmost importance in living a healthy life. If you want to live, you have to have a liver.

Of the approximately 500 functions of the liver, the most important include synthesis of amino acids and cholesterol; metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats; and the production of bile which assists digestion in the small intestine. The liver plays several roles in the regulation of the blood, breaks down insulin, breaks down toxic substances and allows them to be excreted. In short, the liver supports almost every other organ in the body.

In Chinese medicine, the Liver is the yin organ of the Wood Element. Since spring is the season of the year in which Wood energy is at its peak, spring is the best time to support this organ. Eat plenty of fresh dark green vegetables. Kale (like that pictured in my garden this morning) is one of the best foods to cleanse the liver. Sour foods such as lemons and limes, and fermented foods such as sauerkraut are also terrific. If you’ve been thinking of doing a liver cleanse, then start right now. If you live in the southern hemisphere, the ambient Wood energy will support you greatly.

Perhaps the best acupoint to aid your dietary efforts is Liver 3, Supreme Rushing. This is one of the great tonic points of the body. As the source point of the Liver meridian, it directly treats the organ itself. It also influences many conditions associated with the Liver and the Wood Element. For example, it treats conditions of the eyes which are the sense organs of Wood. It helps with abdominal distension and pain, menstrual irregularities, urinary and genital conditions, all of which occur in areas of the body through which the Liver meridian passes.

Supreme Rushing helps ease insomnia and disrupted sleep as well as headaches that are the result of Liver Qi stagnation. If you’ve eaten too much fatty food, drunk too much alcohol or taken a lot of medications, this point will support their metabolism by the Liver.

At the psycho-emotional level, anger is the emotion of the Wood Element. Anger that does not flow freely tends to lodge in the Liver. Therefore the point can soothe agitation, irritation, frustration and anger. It calms the mind and imparts courage and clarity. Where there is depression caused by suppressed anger and frustration, it can liberate a person’s aliveness and fuel the upward rising energy necessary to allow active engagement with the world.

So if you want to give your Liver a jump start this spring, Supreme Rushing can rush to your aid.

LV 3Location of Liver 3

The Liver source point lies on the top of the foot in a large hollow between the first and second toes, halfway along metatarsal bones. There will probably be a sensitive spot. If the liver is very congested, the point itself may feel thick and swollen.