Spleen 9 – Yinlingquan – Yin Mound Spring

Spleen 9, yinlingquan, is a major point for conditions caused by Damp, so helps urinary problems, ascites, oedema and general swelling.

Location of Spleen 9

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. 

Moxa

Small cone moxibustion up to 5: thread needle moxa up to 10.

Needling 

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 helps gather and drain damp.
Photo by Eric Muhr
  • 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
  • Benefits urination
  • 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.

Umbrella in the rain
Damp weather enervates your Spleen Yang energy

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
  • bed-wetting
  • 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.

Spleen 9 – Yinlingquan – Yin Mound Spring Video
Jonathan Brand colours

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