Let me introduce you to one of my favorite points for Body and Soul alike
For anxiety, any type of belly ache, pelvic pain or gynecological dysfunction, I reach for this grounding, kindly acupressure / acupuncture point: Spleen 6 San Yin Jiao.
Spleen 6 is especially good this time of year as a way to protect the Yin, the vulnerable and Feminine within us.
Many people are feeling a very real type of CPTSD as the elections come closer and COVID runs wild.
Perhaps we have worked through things mentally or even emotionally or spiritually, but the body always knows and remembers. That is the nature or trauma: the wisdom of the body knows what we felt.
This lovely point, along with many other hands-on self-care practices, can provide comfort, care and space for what is tenderly working through us.
Yes, Spleen 6 is wonderful for physcial discomfort. But it is also is for spiritual, emotional, mental and energetic discomforts too. Acupressure/acupuncture points are just like herbs in that way. Sometimes they are substantive medicine and sometimes they work on a different level, like how we can use a tincture and a flower essence of the same plant.
All we need to do is show up, give gratitude, treat the medicine with respect (in this case, the people and place from where this medicine came, and how it is a privilege to access this information without being a Chinese speaker), and honor ourselves and each other’s innate healing process.
Spleen 6: San Yin Jiao
Spleen 6 acupressure point is a nourishing supporter for the womb, pelvis, digestion and abdomen.
Its name is “Three Yin Intersection” because all three of the leg Yin acupuncture channels, the Spleen, Liver and Kidney channels, meet here. This makes Spleen 6 a fabulous point for supporting the uterus and lower abdomen, because all of those channels run through that area and have a direct action on womb health.
This post is a part of a series about the Earth element in Chinese medicine.
Part 3: This post about Spleen 6 Acupressure point
Back to this amazing point.
Spleen 6: Many Supportive Uses
Spleen 6, San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection
- Ruler of the Lower Abdomen (the home of the womb)
- Meeting of Liver, Spleen and Kidney Channels
- Regular menstruation, encourages good flow and timing
- Circulation of the uterine area and lower abdomen
- Labor processes
- Postpartum healing
- Lower abdominal healing, such as after surgery or trauma
- Strength and quantity of nourishing Yin and Blood
- Regulation of all bleeding in the body, but especially uterine bleeding
- Calming of anxious states with insomnia or palpitations
- Downward and grounding energy
- Connecting into and healing of the lower abdomen, lower pelvic structure and womb
- General digestive functions
- Structural integrity of the lower pelvis, hips, sacrum, and thighs
- Healing of pelvic pain
Because it acts so strongly on the pelvic organs, Spleen 6 acupressure point is classified as the Ruler of the Lower Abdomen.
Think of any menstrual problem, from irregular bleeding or sluggish-to-start menstruation, cramps, heavy or scanty bleeding, and so on, difficult or stalled labor, postpartum bleeding, or bleeding during miscarriage or abortion.
Spleen 6 can also be used for pelvic pain. It is especially indicated for pelvic inflammatory disease, cysts, pelvic adhesions, healing distasis recti, hernias, or any lower abdominal surgeries.
Spleen 6 is useful for lower digestive pain and tension, too. This makes sense because the Spleen is an important digestive organ.
Spleen 6 is indicated for any and all gynecological issues because it strengthens and regulates Yin and Blood. Yin embodies the receptive, heavy, substantive, dark qualities of the body, earth, spirit and universe, and Blood is a nourishing aspect of Yin itself. Use Spleen 6 as part of a grounding meditation or reflection and intention setting for a full or new moon altar.
Because of its grounding, earthy nature, engaging with Spleen 6 helps to interface with Yin within the body. Yin embodies the receptive, heavy, substantive, dark qualities of the body, earth, spirit and universe.
Any Yin and Yin nourishing point is going to be grounding by nature, but Spleen 6 is even more so because of the Spleen’s association with the Earth element. Acupressure combined with deep breathing and/or a relaxing body meditation (especially a womb meditation) can induce a grounded feeling. Because of its downward physical and energetic flow, Spleen 6 can calm and release a tight chest, palpitations, anxious feelings, insomnia or simply being up in your head and scattered feeling.
Connecting to points as part of an ongoing relationship
As a practitioner, I use acupuncture and acupressure to treat diseases and help people feel more comfortable. Having acupuncture as a tool is invaluable. But it’s kind of like herbs: we can build a relationship with points and our body outside of wanting to fix a pathology.
Acupuncture supports the natural processes of the body. It helps to align the body with the energetic and physical ways it wants or needs to express.
Spleen 6 is a great point to experiment with tuning into the feel of the point without trying to ‘fix’ something.
Because of its broad action on anything menstrual or gynecological (or pelvic or digestive) and being so grounding, Spleen 6 can be used as preventative medicine. This is excellent during times when you seek flow, grounding and regulation of Blood.
CONTRAINDICATION: this point is not to be used during pregnancy until the ‘guess date aka due date’ is near or passed.
Areas of Action for Spleen 6 Acupressure Point
- Tonify Yin and Blood, all Spleen disorders.
- Digestive disorders, sinking/prolapse.
- Gynecological issues, male sexual issues, difficult labor (expel fetus).
- Menstrual issues (irregular, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea).
- Bleeding disorders, uterine bleeding, cool blood in hot skin diseases.
- Insomnia, palpitations, and other anxiety related emotions.
- Dizziness, hypertension.
Location of Spleen 6
Technically, Spleen 6 is located three cun up from the point of the inner ankle bone, in a fingertip-sized divot in the fleshy part under the tibia, the inner shin bone.
A cun (pronounced soon) is the measurement in acupuncture. It’s a measurement relative to everybody’s different sizes. One cun on me is going to be different from one cun on someone else.
A cun is roughly an inch, though, and often taught as the length of the middle part of the pointer finger, between the knuckles on the finger.
Measure the cun relative to the person receiving acupuncture or acupressure.
To find Spleen 6 on someone else, a good rule of thumb is that is around four fingers width above the inner ankle bone. With your fingers together, touch the side of the middle knuckle on the highest part inner ankle bone, then notice the area of your leg on the side of your pinky. Spleen 6 is under the edge of the tibia (towards the back of the leg).
Pressure and Sensation of Self -Acupressure
Feel around with gentle pressure of the pad of your finger tip. Glide downwards to find the central divot of the point.
This point may be tender to the touch, or not. When you find it, apply moderate to strong pressure with the tip of your finger.
Try to have at least the end of your finger perpendicular to the point to get the greatest pressure. I like to push about an inch into the point. Sometime I use my fingernail to really make a connection.
However you touch the point, breath and remember your intention. Are you wishing feel a nice and easy menstrual flow? Coordinate uterine contractions during labor? Ease lower belly cramping? Help indigestion?Feel calm and grounded, supported by the Earth?
Close your eyes and notice what this point feels like, where the energy is flowing locally in the point itself, up and down the leg, into the pelvis and lower abdomen, or anywhere else.
Once you are in tune with the sensation of the point and where that feeling travels (if anywhere) tune into the organs this point traverses. Notice, observe, listen. Tune into your blood, the blood in your body and in your womb or womb-space if you do not have a womb. Imagine free flow.
Spleen 6 Embodiment Meditation
Sit comfortably. Take three grounding breaths. Breath in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and exhale for 8 counts. Relax your body with each breath.
Set an intention. What would you like to feel, learn, or observe? Take another breath to integrate the intention into your being.
Locate Spleen 6. Take your time, but also don’t get hung up about the exact or perfect location. Feel for a spot that is inviting, active and connected.
Experiment with pressure and contact of the point. Press at different levels and angles until you find a level that produces a nice sensation you like.
While holding the point, think of the blood flowing in your body. Start with a feel or image of the heart pumping, then the blood flowing though arteries, veins and capillaries.
Bring your awareness to your lower abdomen or uterus. Feel the blood flow in and out of the area via the arteries, veins and capillaries. If you have a uterus, feel the blood circulate through it’s muscular wall. If you don’t have a uterus or want to focus elsewhere, feel the blood flow through your pelvic area and lower abdomen.
Settle your attention to a spot that would like to feel a healthy flow. The spot within your body could be one that is achy, dark, cold, cramped, weak or simply needing some invigoration. As you breath and focus on this spot, feel your visualize your heartbeat move blood into and out of this area.
Sit with your feelings as long as you’d like. Give thanks for your body, and the connection to the point and the wisdom held there.
I hope you enjoyed tuning into this earthy point.
Thank you for being here.
Take good care,