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How did the ancient Chinese discover what Gallbladder 37, Guangming, does?
On the lateral surface of the leg, 5 cun proximal to the prominence of the lateral malleolus, anterior to the edge of the fibula.
Needle Gallbladder 37 vertically, up to 1.5 cun.
Pressure here sometimes elicits nerve feelings around Gallbladder 40. Needling doesn't necessarily do this, just produces local deqi sensation.
Being the Gallbladder luo point, Gallbladder 37 has a very close relationship with the Liver's actions.
When there is pain or tension, the Liver is nearly always involved and this point can be seen as kind of lesser Taichong - Liver 3. Hence it helps Qi move more freely, helping in the removal of obstructions to the free movement of Qi: this alleviates pain.
The Liver has a major influence on vision, not least via Liver Blood. This point is said to 'clean' the Liver and 'brighten' the eyes. It is useful in all eye diseases and problems, including night blindness and atrophy of the optic nerve.
Gallbladder 37 is listed as acting on Wind-Damp.
I think it also helps Damp-Heat along the channel or in the eye, with problems like phlegm in the eye, redness, irritation, blepharitis, itching and pain.
This point can also be used for other problems along the Gallbladder channel, not forgetting the pathway of the Gallbladder Luo channel, which not only travels to the foot but also up the main Liver channel.
Traditionally, and in my experience, this point helps conditions caused by Qi Stagnation in the Liver or Gallbladder channels with symptoms such as, but not only, the following:
Mental attributes of the point
All Luo points can affect the mind, having a calming effect. For some of them it is easy to discern the syndrome and mental condition for which they are helpful (eg manic depression, in the case of Small Intestine 7) but for others, it's not.
I'm not sure what mental conditions this point helps, but at one lecture I remember learning that it helped psychiatric conditions of nervous origin.
Myopia - a case study from 1982
My first job when working in a general hospital in Nanjing in 1982, or at least the first job I remember, was to treat a 11-year old girl who had developed myopia. The diagnosis was something like deficiency of Qi and Blood reaching the eye, the underlying reason being that she was growing very fast and her Kidney Qi couldn't keep up.
We used Three-Heater 3 and this point, Gallbladder 37.
However, the reason I remember it so clearly is because I then had to spend 20 minutes on each eyelid (her eyes closed) with the 7 Star hammer.
She was remarkably docile during this, but of course she didn't know that I'd hardly ever used the 7 Star hammer before!
After 20 minutes her eyelids were very red from the blood rush to the skin. After 40 minutes (2 x 20) I had a very sore wrist.
Surprisingly, at least to me, we did nothing about the Kidney Qi.
I did this every day for 3 weeks, excluding weekends. At the end I was pretty good with the 7 Star Hammer, and her eyesight was back to normal.
I was astonished by this result.
If you live in the Edinburgh area of Scotland, where the author of this site (and of the books described below) works, click on Edinburgh Acupuncturist.
If you live elsewhere, click on BAcC.
Please note! The Kindle editions are less easy to read! Although the paper editions cost more, they are much easier to read and to refer back and forth to the contents and index.
Here are some of the books Jonathan has written:
Still only one comment, though personally I think this is my best book so far.
Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine!
No comments yet: just published. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)
3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!
By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.
NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.
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