Kidney 4
Dazhong    Great Bell

Kidney 4, Dazhong, Great Bell, is the fourth point on the Kidney acupuncture channel. In Chinese medicine it is the Kidney's luo-connecting (or 'junction') point. It supports the Kidney function in a number of ways.

  • Luo-connecting point of the Kidney channel

Location

To locate this point you need to know where Kidney 3, Taixi and Kidney 5, Shiquan are located. Kidney 4 lies midway between them but about 0.5 cun posterior ie towards the achilles tendon.

There is an alternative location, 0.5 cun distal to the point described above, which puts the point 0.5 cun posterior to Kidney 5.

As with locating any point, the description of where it is here or in books is a starting point. Palpation alone will locate the point exactly. Sometimes even palpation doesn't solve the problem: only by needling will you discover the exact location.

Needling Kidney 4

Direct the needle anteriorly, almost as if towards the tip of the lateral malleolus bone. Up to 0.25 cun.

Sensation

Local or downwards along the inside of the heel.

Moxa

Moxibustion: up to 3x.

Action

Strengthens the functions of the Kidney Zang

  • Urine retention or difficulty
  • Dribbling of urine
  • Loss of urine - incontinence
  • Malaria with more coldness than heat
  • Irregular menses
  • Constipation

Steadies the Shen by nourishing the Yin of the Spirit

  • Helps people control their anxieties and fears
  • Fear, foolishness, embarrassment, agitation, hysteria
  • Anger and fright
  • Anxiety from weak Kidney qi
  • Strengthens will-power
  • Preference to avoid people, to 'close the door and stay at home'
  • Dementia, retardation

Nourishes the Heart

  • Palpitations
  • Dry tongue, difficulty swallowing

By strengthening the Kidney function it assists the Lungs

  • Assists Lungs to strengthen Qi eg in the following:
  • Asthma
  • Throat sounds when breathing, wheezing, chest 'rattling'
  • Cough
  • Difficulty or pain breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore pharynx

Local point

  • Pain, swelling and other heel problems
  • Spine pain, especially Lumbar pain to which area the luo-connecting channel from Kidney 4 goes.

Specific indications for Kidney 4 as Luo-Connecting point

  • Fullness of the luo-connecting channel of the Kidney: urinary retention
  • Rebellious Qi in the Kidney Luo channel: depression, irritability, heaviness or oppression of the chest
  • Emptiness of the luo-connecting channel of the Kidney: lower backache
  • Qi stagnation in the Kidney Luo channel: lower backache 
  • Blood stasis in the Kidney Luo channel: low back (ie lumbar area) stabbing pain, worse at night

Comment

Because this is the Luo-connecting point of the Kidneys it has an effect not so much on Kidney Yin or Kidney Yang as on the direct relationship between the actions of the Kidneys and of both the Lungs and the Heart.

Lungs and Heart are in the upper 'burning' space, ie the chest.

The Kidneys are in the lower 'burning space', ie below the umbilicus. (In actual fact, their physical location is a bit higher than this, but in Chinese medicine they are perceived as acting in and on the lower abdomen.)

Chinese medicine sees the Kidneys as providing a stable anchor for the Heart and Lungs. (In turn, the Lungs and Heart can lift the Kidneys and provide inspiration and direction in life.)

Kidney and Lungs

Taking the Lungs and the Kidney first, when you breathe, the Qi you inhale is directed downwards.

  • For example, if you want to calm down, take a breath and let it out slowly. Repeat.

As the 'Qi' is directed downwards, in a healthy person the Kidneys are said to 'grab' or anchor it. When the Kidneys fail to do this, you can't catch your breath, or you find yourself trying to take ever deeper breaths.

This can be quite alarming! This is the situation with asthma sufferers with Kidney deficiency. At one time, this was thought to have contributed to what became known as a 'barrel chest'.

This can also be the situation with coughs and wheezing, shortness of breath from Kidney deficiency.

You may also get this in a lesser form when, perhaps tired, you find yourself sighing or yawning repeatedly. However, sighing from emotional strain is something else, usually described by Qi Stagnation - see my book, below.

Dryness from Kidney deficiency

A more extreme form of this imbalance between Kidney and Lungs occurs when the Kidney Yin cannot nourish the Lungs properly because the Kidneys cannot send up a fine moisturising spray.

Then you get dryness in the throat and mouth, a dry cough, and sensitivity to dry or hot air. This may eventually lead to Heat in the Lungs, causing coughing up of blood.

NB There are other kinds of asthma, when the Kidneys are not deficient but, for example, the Lungs are said to be 'full or in excess'. Kidney 4 also helps this.

Kidneys and the Heart : Emotions especially Fear

All the luo-connecting points do more than just reach to the related organ, in this case the kidneys. They also affect the emotions.

The emotion associated with the Kidneys is fear.

We are not talking about worry and anxiety here, unless extreme and prolonged. Worry and anxiety tend to affect the Spleen and Stomach first, although as they continue they affect also the Heart and eventually the Kidneys.

Without healthy Kidneys, there is a lack of confidence at the core of the individual. (But read Gallbladder for another aspect of this subject.) The individual quakes at his centre: he is a fearful person. Such a person fears to face the world, hence the desire to 'close the door and stay at home'.

Nervous system and brain function: eg in aging

The Kidneys are also strongly associated with the spinal chord and the brain. Indeed, the chord and brain are seen as being an extension of the Kidneys. So when the Kidneys are deficient, there may be mental weakness or nervous system problems.

As age or continued infirmity dissipate the body's resources, its Mingmen depletes, and problems may appear such as

  • dementia, 
  • lack of confidence, 
  • nervousness, 
  • tremor and 
  • sensory and motor nerve weakness/disturbances
  • Mingmen and/or Kidney deficiency (mainly of Yang) also contribute to somnolence, common in old age

Kidney 4 is often chosen as a main or strongly supporting point for syndromes causing these conditions.


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Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott Books

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Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress

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Yang Deficiency - Get Your Fire Burning Again!

Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine



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