Meeting point of the Gallbladder and Spleen Channels
Location of Gallbladder 24
In the 7th inter-costal space, usually on the para-medial nipple line, directly inferior to Qimen, Liver 14 and level with Conception Vessel 13. The paramedial line through the nipple is not always reliable where the patient is female or a man with large breasts, in which case use the mid-clavicular line.
On men without heavy breast tissue, the nipple lies in the 4th intercostal space, so Gall Bladder 24 lies in the third space below that. Sometimes the point is slightly medial to the mid-clavicular or para-medial nipple line.
!! If that explanation is a bit technical, roughly speaking the point is directly below the nipple. In most men the nipple is just below the fourth rib. Gallbladder 24 lies below the seventh rib.
Needling Gallbladder 24
Obliquely, up to 1 cun, to avoid puncturing the pleura in the chest wall. If acting as an Alarm point, it will be tender.
If inserting perpendicularly, needle depth should be less than 0.5 cun.
The point usually responds quickly if you are in the right place.
I use this point mainly for cholecystitis and other physical problems associated with the liver or gall bladder, when it is usually very tender, and for other conditions of damp-heat in the middle jiao.
Cramps and stagnant Qi signs in abdomen, such as masses that appear to move on palpation (often caused by wind, in fact)
Weak Gallbladder function
Sighing, indifference, unwillingness or inability to assert oneself
Inability to make decisions, or always needing more
information before deciding; confused thinking
Lack of ‘Gall’. Ie Lack of courage. For more on this aspect see below under ‘Meeting Point with the Spleen Channel’ and ‘Comment’
Descends rebellious Qi and regulates the middle jiao
Swelling, fullness and distension in abdomen
Epigastric pain and discomfort
Pain in lateral rib
Acid or bitter regurgitations
Alarm or Front-Mu point of the Gallbladder
If tender, the point suggests some disharmony in the Gallbladder function or the gallbladder organ.
Meeting Point with the Spleen Channel
For a healthy disposition, this is the interesting bit. The Spleen represents our ability, having read, marked and learned from life, to put into practice what needs to be done, like a good administrator.
The Gallbladder function gives us the purpose arising from clear decisiveness.
Together they lead to a healthy, productive and, at least potentially, a happy life.
This point helps us integrate these different parts of our personality.
COMMENT on Gallbladder 24
Gallbladder 24 is also used for disorders of the shoulder along the Gall Bladder channel, and I’ve used it for sciatica when there was an underlying damp-heat condition of the Gall Bladder, though I can’t be sure how effective it was as other points were also used. The combination worked well.
The name Riyue, joins the ‘Sun and Moon’ principles to create balance between Yang and Yin, between Shen and Blood, leading to harmony in thought and life.
What does this mean?
Because a healthy Gall Bladder gives courage, its name ‘Sun and Moon’ suggests swift and successful actions following careful thought.
In other words, the Sun principle of taking the whole situation into consideration then enacts the decision confident of (the Moon principle of) dependable habitual responses. This promotes a successful outcome.
For this some texts suggest using it together with Bladder 19, Danshu, the Gall Bladder Back-shu point though I tend to use it with Gall Bladder 40, the source point.
Penny Brohn, whom I knew well, worked in Hong Kong for a while. The Chinese told her that in the 18th and 19th Centuries the British were feared and loathed because they enforced what they considered to be their opium and other trade rights. Indeed, this culminated in the Opium War 1839 – 1842, although there were many other contributing factors.
However, the Chinese did recognise that the British entrepreneurs (mostly buccaneers and pirates out there to start with!) had ‘Gall’.
‘Gall’ is a word not much used nowadays in the sense they Chinese meant, but describes something more than mere courage: decisiveness and the confident assertion of rights, and resourceful risk-taking.
Modern partial equivalents might be ‘feisty’, ‘go-getting’ or ‘aggressive’, all of which can provoke admiration, irritation and fury but don’t necessarily arise from inner capability.
‘Gall’ in the Chinese sense is worth having, betokening an assertive but well-balanced disposition – Sun and Moon working in harmony.
Courses in assertiveness-training can show you how to assert yourself but don’t necessarily help you develop the inner resources on which you can instinctively depend. Without these, you have to ‘talk’ yourself into being assertive which can be a strain on your system.
Gallbladder 24, Sun and Moon, means we need both Yang and Yin, Shen and Blood, Mind and Body, Thoughts and Habits, working in harmony for resource-ful assertiveness – Gall!