Category Archives: Arm pain

Steady As She Goes

The recent heatwave in South Australia has left no doubt that summer is here. To kick off the season of Fire points, I’ve chosen one that, among its many functions, helps those who struggle with the heat.

Neiguan – Inner Frontier Gate – Heart Protector 6

Ship's captainNeiguan – Inner Frontier Gate is a significant point on the Heart Protector meridian and one of the most important of all the acu-points. Its hallmark is its capacity to bring steadiness to the bodymind. It steadies the heart, the circulation, the stomach, the mind and the emotions.

To begin with, Neiguan is one of the strongest points influencing the chest and the chest cavity. It is the luo-connecting point of the Heart Protector, connecting to its partner the Triple Heater. But this connection with the Triple Heater is not at the forearm where the point is located but in the chest. This point therefore exerts a profound influence over the Heart and Lungs and promotes the circulation of Qi and Blood in all three Burners.

Neiguan is also the master point of the Yin Wei Mai (Yin Linking Vessel) which connects all yin meridians and influences the chest and Heart. It treats chest pain, pain in the ribs, palpitations, arrhythmia and hypertension. It relaxes the coronary arteries and is known to have a general analgesic effect.

As an important Fire point, it regulates the Fire Element, balancing it whether it is raging out of control or burning too low. It is particularly known for heat conditions such as fevers, hot skin, cracked tongue and painful urination.

At the emotional level, the point has a steadying influence on the Heart, calming the spirit, clearing the brain, and brightening the mental outlook when joylessness has pervaded the Heart Protector. It treats a wide range of emotional disorders such as irritability, anxiety, depression, mania, fear, fright and sadness. By steadying the Heart and the shen, it treats insomnia.

As the name implies, Inner Frontier Gate integrates the inner and outer. It regulates the connection between the Heart and the outer world, facilitating communication between the two. The Heart Protector protects the Heart by closing when appropriate in hurtful situations and opening to connect emotionally in loving relationships. Nowhere is this function seen more clearly than at Inner Frontier Gate. When healthy, it is a gate that swings easily on its hinges.

Where there has been pain, shock, betrayal and trauma to the Heart, Neiguan has the capacity to heal old wounds. A person suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continually re-experiences the initial trauma, whether from physical accident, frightening situations, or physical or sexual abuse. All of these traumas are absorbed by the Heart Protector and can be treated at this point.

The other major area in which Neiguan’s steadying influence is felt, is the stomach. It is a significant point for the Stomach and the go-to point for nausea and vomiting due to its connection with the Triple Heater and the Lower Burner. The point steadies the Stomach by treating all kinds of nausea including seasickness or other motion sickness, morning sickness in pregnancy and nausea experienced during chemotherapy. Its effectiveness for nausea has been well documented as there have been more scientific studies of Neiguan than any other acu-point.

When you find that your heart, mind or stomach are all at sea, try holding Neiguan to steady your ship.



Location of Heart Protector 6


The point lies on the front of the forearm between the ulna and radius bones, 2 cun (approximately 3 fingers width) above the inner wrist crease. Use moderate, direct pressure.






This is an extract from John’s book ‘The Way of the Five Elements’ published by Singing Dragon Press and now available from discerning booksellers.

For a copy signed by the author, contact

A Fork in the Road

Lieque – Broken Sequence – Lung 7

6.11 It was Yogi Berra who advised: when you come to a fork in the road, take it! The Metal fork we are taking here lies on the pathway of the Lung meridian at the point Lieque – Broken Sequence. The break in the sequence refers to the fact that Qi exits the Lung meridian at this point, rather that the last point of the channel, and enters the Large Intestine meridian at LI 4 rather than the first point of that meridian.

The reference to forks doesn’t end here. The famous 12th century physician Ma Dan-yang, who included this point as one of his Eleven Heavenly Star points, described it as ‘a thunderhead splitting fire’. His description is derived from the fact that Leique was an ancient term for lightning which descends to earth in forked bolts. A look at the pathway of Lung channel at this point reveals a sudden deviation that resembles a lightning bolt.

As a significant point on the Lung channel, it treats respiratory conditions such as asthma, phlegmy cough, wheezing and difficult breathing. It is particularly useful for conditions of the nose, including loss of the sense of smell, nasal congestion, discharge and obstruction. Because of its capacity to expel wind, circulate the defensive Qi and stimulate sweating, it is often used in the early stages of colds and flu. For these its effectiveness is increased when used in combination with LI 4 and LI 20.

Not only is Lieque the exit point of Lung, but also the luo-connecting point which connects it to the Large Intestine meridian. This twin connection to its partner meridian makes the point doubly effective in treating conditions along the pathway of Large Intestine, including pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder, throat and face. It also treats constipation and headaches, including migraines.

The emotion of grief is said to reside in the Lung and Lieque is helpful in releasing the oppression of grief and sadness that have been held inside. It helps to open the chest, improve breathing and can facilitate the release of grief by crying.

The influence of this point on Metal is only half of its story, for Lieque is also the master point of the Ren Mai (Conception Vessel). This vessel is an energy field covering the area from the perineum to the chin which unites all of the yin meridians. Lieque can release blocks throughout the Conception Vessel but has a particular effect on the chest, uterus, genitals and upon a wide range of urinary disorders such as difficult, burning and painful urination.

As the luo-connecting point of a yin meridian it has particular powers to treat psycho-emotional disorders. It assists in letting go of those things that are no longer serving us, making space for the new. It is also known for uncontrolled laughter and frequent yawning. And one final thing before I forget, it is noted especially for poor memory.

So if you forgot where you put that fork, try Lieque.

6.12Location of Lung 7


Located on the side of the radius bone, 1.5 cun above the wrist crease in a cleft between the tendons of brachioradialis and abductor pollicus longus. Use moderate, direct pressure.



News about the forthcoming book

Thanks very much to all who suggested titles. Your input is appreciated. My publisher and I have decided upon The Way of the Five Elements as a title.

Publisher: Singing Dragon Press (Jessica Kingsley Publishers), London

Publication date: 21 November 2015

Price: £14.99

Colour Hardback 240 pp.

Stay tuned for more news.