Tag Archives: urination

AutumnWinter

Last weekend we went for a drive in the Adelaide Hills, as did many others released from Covid lockdown in South Australia. The autumn colours on a bright, sunny day were absolutely stunning, providing backdrops for much photography, and sitting smiling in the sun.

We are witnessing the annual transition from autumn to winter, one which reminds us that descent and decay are inevitable precursors of change and renewal. This year we also have ringside seats to a global transformation that may be the defining event of our lifetimes.

Autumn is the season of Metal which inspires us to let go of those things that no longer serve us, indeed may be holding us back from our development. Letting go prepares us to move into winter, season of the Water Element which coaxes us deep inside. The cold weather persuades us indoors, to warm fires and hot drinks, but it is also an invitation to go more deeply within ourselves, to reflect upon the deep places, often dark, within mind, heart and soul.

I find it interesting that I return to writing this blog after an absence of seven months at the very time when nature is bidding reflection. The call has been irresistible.

A client recently told me that he watched again the Metal and Water videos that I filmed around this time last year, and that he found more within them than he had seen the first time, nuances of tone and inflection, movement and posture. The truth is that each time we come to a season, even though we may have been here 20, 40 or 80 times, we are changed since last we traversed the autumnwinter. Our minds, our hearts, our souls are different and we are truly traversing the season for the first time in our current state.

Watch the Metal Video — Watch the Water Video

In choosing an acupoint about which I haven’t yet written, one which deeply supports this passage into winter, I settled on a point that I use frequently in the treatment room at this time of year.

Kidney 10 – Yingu – Yin Valley

Yingu is the Water point on a Water meridian. Such points are referred to as horary points or Element of the Element points. They have a profound influence upon the Element, in this case, shaking up the Water and revitalising the Kidney Qi.  They have a cleansing, enlivening and balancing effect and can provide treatment of the Element at depth.

This effect is amplified by using the points in their corresponding season, in this case, the winter. If you wish to further multiply their power, hold the points at the time of day when the Qi is at its peak in the meridian. In the case of Kidney, this is 5pm-7pm. I liken this alignment to getting all the winning reels up on a slot machine. And for those people who are of a Water constitution, this point really hits the jackpot.

The name Yin Valley may refer to the location of the point, lying as it does between two tendons of the hamstring muscles. But another interpretation evokes the pathway of the Kidney channel. Having travelled from the foot up the inside of the leg to Kidney 10, from here, the pathway continues up the leg to connect with Governor Vessel 1 at the coccyx, then goes deep into the body, passing through the organs of the bladder and the kidneys before re-emerging, like an underground river, at the pubis and Kidney 11. This deep pathway echoes the invitation of the Water Element for us to travel deeply into ourselves at this time of year, dropping down into those dark recesses of the soul that are often hinted at in dreams.

At a physical level, Kidney 10 is a useful local point for pain and constriction at the inside of the knee. It clears damp heat in the lower burner, thereby treating such conditions as urinary dysfunction, painful or bleeding urination, genital pain or itching, uterine bleeding and impotence. Given the deep pathway described above, it also treats coccyx pain, low back pain and conditions of the bladder and kidneys.

Emotionally, the Water Element relates to fear. While Kidney 10 is not renowned for its effect on the emotions, it is interesting to observe that fear can make our knees shaky and weak, and this point helps treat knee imbalances.

So, for a good cleansing flush of the Water, clearing out debris and dirt in the river and making the water sparkle with freshness, try working with Yingu this winter.

Location of Kidney 10

 

At the medial (inside) end of the knee crease between the tendons of semitendinosus and semimembranosus. If you tighten your hamstring muscles, this accentuates the tendons. As you slide your finger along the knee crease, find  the more prominent semitendinosus tendon, then drop into the hollow between it and the less prominent and more medial semimembranosus tendon next to it. This is easier to find with the knee slightly bent.

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.

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.