Spleen 10 – Xuehai: Sea of Blood

Spleen-10-xuehai

Spleen 10 – Xuehai

  • An important Blood point, though not actually a Sea of Blood point
  • Harmonises nourishing Qi to benefit Blood
  • Often used to Cool Blood Heat
  • Also used to dispel Wind from Blood when caused by Heat

Location of Spleen 10

Spleen 10 location

  • 2 cun above the superior border of the patella, in the middle of the bulge of the muscle vastus medialis
  • The point is often tender when needed
  • It lies vertically proximal to Spleen 9
  • You may find it easier to locate the point if the patient bends the knee by 90 degrees

 

Needling Spleen 10

Where the point is sorest is where to needle. However, see my comments, below.

As a general rule, needle vertically, between 1 cun and 2 cun.

For local pain

If using the point for local pain, say in the knee, direct the needle towards the pain. If you’re good with needles and the patient has plenty of Qi, you may be able to direct the Qi towards the area in question.

 

Needle Sensation

green leaf in close up photography

Local, down to the knee and up the channel a short way, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Moxa

Moxibustion here increases the point’s ability to ‘tonify’ Blood, that is to say, to nourish Blood’s stabilising, yin qualities. However, personally, I probably wouldn’t apply moxa here to clear Heat.

3 – 5 cones., though if using thread moxa may be as much as 15.

Actions of Xuehai, Spleen 10

Spleen 10 has two main actions, the second of which is really a consequence of the first:

 

From these flow pretty well all its properties:

Nourishing Blood

 

Consequently, Spleen 10 is useful for many conditions where Blood is deficient or does not flow steadily:

  • Irregular menses (too early, too profuse, too late, too little)
  • Amenorrhoea = menses absent
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Infertility due to Blood deficiency
  • If there is Cold because of deficient Blood, clears this by tonifying Blood
  • One of several points for inguinal hernia (other points might be Stomach 36, Liver 9 and Liver 10, all of which regulate the lower jiao in one way or another)
  • May help control blood pressure in hypertension if from Blood deficiency
  • A possible point for Western-defined anaemia

 

Clears Blood Heat

Spleen 10 clears Blood Heat
Photo by Macau Photo Agency
  • Skin diseases and itching from Heat, eg urticaria, pruritis, neuro-dermatitis, eczema (Itching often denotes Wind, here from Heat)
  • Herpes, shingles
  • Shen Mind hyper states when due to Blood deficiency
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding from Heat (ie profuse, heavy, possibly weakening, possibly with disturbed Shen-Mind)
  • Vaginal discharges from Damp-Heat (for Damp-Heat might also use Spleen 6, Spleen 9 and Gallbladder 26)
  • Consider also, with other points, if you have stool with blood
  • Also for coughing up blood if due to Blood Heat, likewise phlegm with blood
  • Helps to clear Wind, especially arising from Blood deficiency

 

Comment on Spleen 10

Like other points nearby eg Liver 9, Xuehai relates to both Spleen and Liver, not least via Chong Mai. Spleen 10 is not listed as lying on the Chong Mai channel but I would definitely still use it if using Chong Mai to nourish Blood.

So acupuncturists often use it for menstrual irregularity and Blood Heat, and tend to use it only with dispersing action.

Many digestive problems occur because Wood overacts on Earth. This obviously happens if Wood is excess, but can also occur because Earth is deficient.

If Earth is deficient, Blood will tend towards emptiness. Using Xuehai may help to rebalance this, putting Wood back in its ‘corner’.

So Spleen 10 may be useful for IBS and other forms of abdominal rebellious or stagnant qi, even perhaps for eg Crohns disease, when from Blood deficiency.

Although named ‘Sea of Blood’, confusingly Xuehai is not actually one of the so-called ‘Sea of Blood’ points (Bladder 11, Stomach 37 and Stomach 39) but adding it would, I expect, enhance the action of that Sea of Blood points combination.

What if Spleen 10 is very sore to press? A personal reflection …

I prefer (following the example of Japanese acupuncture) to needle it when I’ve removed the soreness from it by using another point.

what do you mean? text on gray surface

What other point, you ask!?

Good question and that depends on lots of other factors, but I would probably start by remembering Dr Richard Tan‘s suggestions, and look for a point on the Lung channel (Hand Tai Yin channel, as opposed to the Spleen channel, which is Foot Tai Yin), on the opposite side, just proximal to the elbow. It pressure on that point alleviated pressure-point pain at Spleen 10, I would needle the Lung point in the direction and to the depth that worked, and then happily proceed to needle Spleen 10, now no longer sore. Of course, if unable to find such a point on the Hand Tai Yin channel, there are many other possible channels to explore.

Why bother? you may say. Well, for one thing, the patient isn’t going to tense up when I needle it. Secondly, I suspect it may work more freely when it’s not painful. In other words, if I’m using it to nourish Blood, I would expect a better result than had I not done this.

But, you persist, how do I know what would have happened if I hadn’t done what I did?

Time, Space and Who Knows?

Answer, nobody ever knows that! It is one of the great profundities of the universe. Maybe in another split-off universe, I didn’t do this and lived to regret it. Get up to speed on all these mind-bending possibilities by reading The Janus Point by Julian Barbour.

You just do what you think is right and get results with the minimum of fuss.

Why, you still persist, don’t I do this with every point I use, and mention it on all the other point pages I write?

Answer – because life is too short … and please don’t ask any more questions. However, partly relevant to this is some of what we’ve put on our page on acupuncture point location.

Jonathan Brand colours

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