Spleen 9 lies on the medial surface of the leg, 13 cun proximal to the medial malleolus, on the posterior edge of the tibia, just under the medial condyle of the tibia.
Depth: usually half a cun up to 1 cun. Sometimes more.
Small cone moxibustion up to 5: thread needle moxa up to 10.
This is a point which one needs to ‘feel’ for (see acupuncture point location). It isn’t always where it’s supposed to be. Experience in Japan puts the point medial to the classical Chinese position, with the needle going almost vertically up the leg and under the condyle. The point often feels slightly like firm jelly. It may be sore on pressure.
Direct the needle upwards along the channel.
If used to clear abdominal pain, you have to use the exact location, depth and direction that cleared it with finger pressure. Used this way, although it could help abdominal pain anywhere in the abdomen it would tend to be more often level with or just above or below the umbilicus and even more specifically, round the umbilicus itself.
Deqi sensation is usually localised, down the leg a few inches or into the knee.
Actions of Yinlingquan
Spleen 9 is a main point for dispersing or expelling Damp
Helps to regulate both the middle and lower burners
Also a ‘special’ point for breast lumps
Also helps to clear Damp-Heat, when one might use it with Gallbladder 26, Ren 3, Spleen 6 and Spleen 10, for example
Spleen 9 is a strong diuretic point, ‘resolving’ Damp anywhere in the body, but more especially in the lower burner. As such, it helps to adjust or benefit the lower burner.
Very useful where Damp is diagnosed as the cause of, for example:
Urinary problems associated with Damp in the lower burner
Swollen abdomen or stomach – oedema, swelling, ascites
often gets puffy in chronic gyneocological conditions
Fullness and diarrhoea due to retention of damp and fluids – use with Stomach 36, Spleen 4, Ren 6 and Ren 12.
Comment on Spleen 9
Spleen 9 is a very yin point – disperse it to clear damp – another reason for combining it with a more yang point like Stomach 36, or influencing it in a more yang direction with moxa. Otherwise you may find yourself with a rather low-spirited patient at the next treatment!
However, as a yin point, it should benefit the periosteum and bone marrow.
Used with Ren 9 or 10 it causes the Spleen to ‘gather’ excess fluid and direct it towards the bladder.
Situations where one might consider Spleen 9 as an ancillary point, depending on the syndrome diagnosed, might include:
low back pain and difficulty flexing the spine back and forward. This makes the point useful for swelling of the lumbar discs – ‘herniated’.
panting from excess body fluid
inflammation in the vagina
excess fluid causing anorexia
as a local point for pain in the knee from inflammation
where Ren 12 is sore on pressing: although there are many other points for this, if due to Damp or fluid-build-up – ‘water retention’ – I would use this point.
Although mentioned mainly in relation to Damp, Spleen 9 also treats aspects of Blood stagnation in the pelvis, such as from cysts and fibroids.