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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. Wind-Damp occurs early on when an external pathogenic factor invades the body. The body’s reaction to this includes swollen neck glands, sweating, stiffness and aching of muscles and the neck, a general sense of heaviness, swollen aching joints and feverishness, usually with preference for warmth. Wind-Damp blocks the luo-connecting channels and this causes swelling and aches.
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:
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.
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.
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