LI-4 Hegu, Joining Valley
LI-4 Hégǔ 合谷 (Joining Valley) is the fourth point along the Large Intestine acupuncture channel, and an extremely commonly used acupuncture point. Ma Dan-Yang, a great physician of the Jin dynasty, included it in his "eleven heavenly star points" which is his collection of the most important acupuncture points. Many acupuncture points belong to certain categories which describe the general effect of the point. LI-4 Hégǔ is a Gao Wu Command point for any ailments affecting the face and mouth. The Classic of the Jade Dragon states that it "treats all diseases of the head, face, ears, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth and teeth." It is also a Yuan-Source point of a Yang channel, and therefore used to expel pathogenic factors from the exterior and treat disorders along the Large Intestine channel. It is also the entry point of the Large Intestine channel, where the Qì flows from the Lung channel into the Large Intestine channel. The Lung has to do with receiving (e.g. inhalation) and the Large Intestine has to do with letting go (e.g. defecation). The mental aspect of LI-4 Hégǔ is often seen as the ability to let go of that which no longer serves us. It is located on the dorsal aspect of the hand between the first and second metacarpal bones, and the hands are what we use to grasp and let go. When needling this point we push the index and thumb together to find a bulge in the muscle, then literally encourage the patient's hand to let go before needling. Your acupuncturist may incorporate this acupuncture point into your treatment for a wide variety of reasons, such as a common cold, headache, disorders of the sensory organs, sweating, promoting labour, and pain.
In health and happiness,
Disclaimer: Any information on this website or blog post should not be used for self-diagnosis or substitute for medical advice. Please always seek advice from a qualitied health practitioner for any health concerns.