Category Archives: Reproductive

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.

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.





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

Master of the Seas

You may be wondering why on earth I’m introducing an Earth point at the start of the southern summer. It is because the Earth Element makes an appearance at each change of  season, mediating the transition. In this case Earth eases us from spring to summer.

Gongsun – Grandfather Grandson  – Spleen 4

5.7In our demanding, fast-paced, modern world, stress can produce tension in the organs and tissues of the abdomen, affecting digestion and elimination as well as the reproductive organs.

In Gongsun – Grandfather Grandson we find a point that acts upon the abdomen in multiple ways. It is a powerful point of the Spleen channel and the luo-connecting point of that meridian. And it is the master point of the Chong Mai (Penetrating Vessel) which influences the whole of the abdomen and all its organs.

Its name alone alerts us to its prominence in the pantheon of points. Gongsun was the family name of the legendary Yellow Emperor Huang Di whose conversations with his physicians form the basis of the Neijing, that towering classic of Taoism and Chinese medicine. The translation of Grandfather Grandson suggests continuity through the generations, while at a mundane level using the analogy of the grandson for the connecting channel, offshoot of its grandfather, the main Spleen channel.

Yellow is the colour of Earth and the Yellow Emperor was said to have ruled during the Earth phase of China’s history. His reign laid the foundations for Chinese civilization in the same way that the Earth Element is the base and orientation of all the other Elements.

Whichever explanation of the name we wish to take, Gongsun is a potent point for influencing the Earth Element and its organs of Stomach and Spleen. It is particularly effective in combination with ST 40, the luo-connecting point of Stomach meridian. By activating the Spleen it treats lethargy, fatigue, chronic tiredness and weakness.

Like other connecting points of the yin meridians, SP 4 exerts a pronounced influence over the emotions. Because of Spleen’s connection to the Heart, SP 4 can settle the spirit when there is restlessness, agitation, insomnia, mania and depression. The point also addresses an imbalance of sympathy, where a person suffers self-pity and feels unsupported by others and by the world at large, or relies too heavily on others to meet their needs.

Already we can see that Gongsun is an influential point. But there is more. Another of its roles is as master point of the Chong Mai (Penetrating Vessel), one of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. The Vessels are fields of Qi as opposed to the rivers of Qi that are the meridians. Gongsun exerts an influence over the entire field of the Penetrating Vessel which extends throughout the torso from the pubis to the throat and includes the spinal column and the insides of the legs. The Penetrating Vessel is described as both the sea of blood and the sea of the meridians. It therefore exerts a strong regulating effect on Blood and Qi.

As the master point of the sea of blood, SP 4 regulates blood circulation, stops bleeding and addresses all menstrual irregularities. It has an influence on the uterus and treats gynaecological disorders such as endometriosis, fibroids and cysts.

As the master point of the sea of the meridians, it ensures good circulation of Qi throughout the 12 meridians. It addresses counter-flow Qi, for example where Stomach Qi is rising rather than descending and causing chest or gastric pain.

It is believed that the Extraordinary Vessels develop at conception and form the basis of the energy network of the body, well before the development of the 12 organ meridians. Treating the Vessels therefore treats the depth and foundation of who we are as humans

Spend some time with Gongsun and become master of your own inner seas.


5.8Location of Spleen 4

In the arch of the foot, in a depression at the base of the first metatarsal bone. Find Spleen 3 in a depression at the ball of the toe, then slide your finger up the shaft of the metatarsal until you are at the base of the bone. Apply firm pressure directed towards the ankle.





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.