To be able to see the best results with acupuncture points it is important to know the state of a person’s mind, body and spirit. Most people in the modern world are imbalanced at the level of the spirit, at the very core of our being. Who we are becomes imbalanced due to past traumas and pain. Feeling useless, unlovable, worthless, stuck in fear, grief, anger, worry or lack of joy can cause spiritual maladies that are rooted in a person’s behaviors and leads to disease. As acupuncturists, we reach a person’s spirit through our own spirit. By emptying our thoughts and simply being curious to hold space for a person’s feelings we are able to know who they are and this lets us know how to be with them and how to support their whole being.
Acupuncture points are usually talked about for treating physical symptoms and diseases but there is a deeper level that acupuncture points can address, the spirit level. Mentally and emotionally we can become imbalanced and disease usually does not lie only on the physical level. This article will teach the location of some powerful acupuncture/acupressure points to nourish your spirit during challenging times.
Location: On the lateral/radial side of the thumb, about 1 cm distance from the corner of the nail bed.
Spirit of the Point: This point is called the Little Merchant. It is the corner store that has a little bit of everything, to pick up what is needed from the outside to add to one’s quality. Supplies enough qi to get by with. Like a corner shop where we go when we run out of necessities, providing temporary support. Has a tremedous calming effect because this fulfills some of the fundamental needs of the body, mind and spirit. Can help people get over a crisis period or critical stage. Relieves tension, worries, asthma and chest complaints.
Location: On the radial/lateral side of the index finger, about 1 cm distance from the corner of the nail bed
Make and ‘okay’ sign with thumb and index finger. Slide down side of the nail of index finger to go along side of the side of the nail of the thumb. Press together to activate both points.
Spirit of the Point: Called the Merchant Yang. For revitalization and resurrection. The merchant is someone who knows the value of things. It is the first step in removing one’s mask, and can be used to get a clear idea of the state of one’s body. This release holding and congestion in the body, mind and spirit. It lets in light and clarity breaking through the rubbish.
Location: About 1 ½ inches lateral to the lower border of the 5th thoracic vertebrae. Between the shoulder blades.
Spirit of the Point: This point is directly associated with the heart, it’s name translates to the Heart Hollow. Strengthens and nourishes the Heart, calms the Shen, regulates Heart Qi, unbinds and opens the chest. This is one of the best points for insomnia and anxiety and can ease a panic attack and palpitations. It nourishes the heart when experiencing depression, an unhappy disposition, grumpiness and a lack of joy.
Location: When the knee is flexed, on the anterior aspect of the thigh, on the line connecting the anterior superior iliac spine and the lower lateral border of the patella, approximately 2 inches above the patella. Along the lateral border of the quadricep muscles.
Spirit of the Point: Translates to Beam Mound. Gives perspective and a height from which one can see. Mound implies there is energy beneath from which to draw upon. Seated on the mound we can draw up from the ground nourishment and a clearer understanding. Relieves stagnation due to emotional crises precipitated by changes in life circumstances, emotional turmoil, anxiety or confusion.
Location: On the medial aspect of the foot, in the depression posterior and inferior to the proximal metatarso-digital joint of the big toe, at the junction of the red and white skin.
Spirit of the Point: Named the Supreme White. Whiteness here refers to purity and essence. Brings a sense of quality. Earth within Earth gives centeredness, grounded-ness, roots, stability, quality and richness. When there is a sense of impoverishment, whining, if one feels nothing really satisfies them or fills them up. Removes debris and frees congestion in the spirit. Lends a great sense of solidity and grounded-ness.
Location: On the lateral aspect of the foot, anterior to the 5th metatarsophalangeal joint, at the junction of the red and white skin.
Spirt of the Point: UB 66 is called Penetrating Valley. Clears up obstructions, makes sure there is not too much or too little water. Clears the path for water, bringing a person beyond the fear and terror, when up against a barrier or valley. Use when one is stiff with fear, fear of the unknown, this gets them through to the next stage and brings clarity.
Location: On the medial aspect of the foot, below the tuberosity of the navicular bone, Anterior and Inferior to the medial malleolus in a depression on the lower border of the tuberosity of the navicular bone.
Spirit of the Point: Kidney 2 is called Blazing Valley. Here the energy from the spring is warmed up. Use when the spirit is cold, hostile, fearful, frozen, anxious or nervous. Brings in joy and washes away troubles. Brings on physical and spiritual transformation. Gives us the energy and determination necessary for becoming what we came here to be.
Location: On the face, lateral to the corner of the mouth, directly below the pupil of the eye.
Spirit of the Point: Stomach 4 name translates to Earth Granary. Where the harvest is stored. For someone malnourished in body, mind or spirit. For people who don’t nourish themselves properly, problems with one’s relationship to food, someone who chews on things, mulling them over and over again, unable to extract the goodness.
Point Location: Approximately 2 inches above the wrist crease between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis.
Spirit of the Point: Pericardium 6 is the Inner Gate. A gate to the Heart within. For someone who keeps the world out or for when there is a loss of contact with the inner self. When there is no trust, difficulty taking in or receiving, or when frightened of people. When no one can get in, there is isolation, like a queen locked in her chamber because the king is afraid she will be taken away. When fearful of people, it is like there is a keep away sign saying, “Leave me Alone.” Locked in one’s own prison, perpetuated by fear, the palace becomes a place of negativity and despair. Trauma can keep this gate closed too long. Balances between body, mind and spirit, allows us to sink into the inner depths and not feel captive. Works to balance the Heart and the mind, when there is order it reduces fear and chaos. Allows for heartfelt searching of one’s inner world.
Location: On the lateral side of the abdomen below the free end of the 11th rib.
Spirit of the Point: Liver 13 is called the Chapter Gate. Closes the old and opens the new to take a new step, a new chapter in life, a new transition. When still bothered by the past, no rebirth, regurgitation of the same old stuff, recycling the old. If the mind is stuck, it is a gate to initiate change, turn a chapter. Powerful spirit point giving hope and vision.
Location: Posterior to the lobule of the ear, in the depression between the angle of the mandible and the mastoid process.
Spirit of the Point: This point translates to Wind Screen. It gives privacy and protection. Allows the appropriate amount of air into the Fire. When fire is flaring up too much or is too protected. This is a harmonizing and regulating point, keeps heat from blowing out of control or keeps you separate but not isolated. Contains fire so the flames don’t leap out like a fireplace screen but also makes sure the fire, spark and joy within oneself does not burn out.
Location: On the chest, in the 5th intercostal space, about 2 inches lateral to the anterior midline.
Spirit of the Point: Kidney 22 is called Walking on the Veranda and is exactly that. The image is a palace with a veranda on the outside, overlooking a garden or a lovely view, where you can sit in the tranquility and breathe fresh air. There is security and safety on the veranda while being outside in the real world. Refreshes, gently supports and relaxes. After being sick in a dark place or confined for a long time, brings one out a bit, a nice place to sit, to get a breath of morning air and sunshine. Going where they are outside, but protected from the Elements. Helps a person begin to look forward and contemplate being in the outside world again.
These points addressed in the article, are only a small amount of the many points that can help people move through feelings, emotional blocks, spiritual distress and physical disturbances. Acupressure is a beautiful way to start exploring the power of the points. Acupuncture is another, even more powerful way, to access the healing properties of acupuncture points.
Spirit of the Point from Spirit of Points Book: a collection of Five Element Practioners: Neil Gumenick, Lonny Jarrett and Hong Jin
Locations from “Finding Effective Acupuncture Points” by Shudo Denmei translated by Stephen Brown.