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‘Why Are You Doing That Point?’ Spleen 6

By Sara Calabro

Ever wonder why acupuncturists choose certain points? The AcuTake “Why Are You Doing That Point?” series has the answer.

So far we’ve looked at Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4, two popular acupuncture points that are frequently used together; Stomach 36, known for its energizing qualities; and Governing Vessel 20, a conversation-starter located on the top of the head.

This time we’re looking at a very widely used point called Spleen 6.

Spleen 6—also known as Sanyinjiao (Chinese name), Three Yin Intersection (English translation) and SP6 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the inside of the lower leg.

To find it yourself, place the pinkie-side edge of your hand against the high point of your medial malleolous (the big bone on the inside of your ankle). Spleen 6 is directly above the malleolous, at the other, index-finger edge of your hand (see picture below).

Spleen 6 Is a Three-for-One Deal

The location of Spleen 6 is what makes it so widely used. Spleen 6 is the point at which the Spleen, Liver and Kidney meridians intersect—hence the name, Three Yin Intersection.

This means it can be used to address issues having to do with any of the three channels. And that means Spleen 6 is used an awful lot.

John Pirog, in his great book The Practical Application of Meridian Style Acupuncture, says that naming all of Spleen 6′s indications would “require an entire text.”

In A Manual of Acupuncture, author Peter Deadman calls Spleen 6 “one of the most important and widely used of the acupuncture points.”

It’s not just that Spleen 6 is a three-fer. Moreover, Spleen, Liver and Kidney—arguably more than other channels—are principally important in a significant number of functions throughout the body.

Westerners in particular, plagued by our overworked and stressed-out lifestyles, are disproportionately afflicted with patterns that affect the Liver and Spleen meridians. For this reason, Spleen 6 is included in almost all acupuncture treatments for general-wellness, balancing, and stress-reduction.

We could all use a little more Spleen 6 in our lives.

Ladies, Remember This Acupuncture Point

Although Spleen 6 is used for many, many conditions, there are a few for which it is known to be especially effective. Gynecological conditions are at the top of the list.

Anything gynecological—PMS, irregular or painful menstruation, infertility, delayed or difficult labor, genital pain or itching—is from an acupuncture perspective directly related to Spleen, Liver and Kidney. Gynecological issues can stem from any (or all three) of these systems, so a point that influences them all is efficient and effective.

In fact, Spleen 6′s effect on a woman’s reproductive health is so powerful that the point is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Spleen 6 also addresses reproductive health in men. It is frequently used on men who complain of impotence, seminal emission and genital pain.

Spleen 6 Is A Lot to Digest

After gynecology, digestion is the next best-known area that warrants love from Spleen 6.

Often used in combination with acupuncture point Stomach 36, Spleen 6 is particularly focused on resolving digestive and abdominal problems due to what is known as Dampness.

As it pertains to digestive disorders, Dampness can cause diarrhea, undigested food in the stool, abdominal distention or fullness, and weak appetite. Many of these symptoms are seen in that overworked and stressed-out Westerner mentioned above, because Dampness often is a sign of deficiency in the Spleen caused by an overactive Liver.

Spleen 6, in addition to being chosen when digestive or abdominal symptoms suggest Dampness, also is a go-to point for women whose digestive disturbances are accompanied by gynecological problems.

Other uses for Spleen 6 include difficult or painful urination, insomnia, dizziness, low back and knee pain, as well as ankle and foot pain because of its location.

As the connection point for the body’s Spleen, Liver and Kidney energies, Spleen 6 is multifaceted and powerful in its effects. Don’t be surprised if you see it pop up in your next acupuncture treatment.

Next up on “Why Are You Doing That Point?” is Yintang. Read it now.

Photos by Sara Calabro
SP6 infographic from A Manual of Acupuncture

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Comments

Edward Young
Reply

Great piece of writing there buddy… Really enjoying all of these articles and look forward to the next piece of magic – YinTang a goodie indeed. SP6 is such a favourite… Love ya babe. XX

Tony calabro
Reply

NICE!!!! I liked this article, will be trying it on myself.

barb
Reply

Can acupressure be used on these points as self treatment in between acupuncture treatments? If so, do you know the technique i.e. how long, which direction to apply pressure?

Sara
Reply

Hi Barb,

Absolutely the point can be used for self-care in between treatments! Press the point in a slight circular motion, using firm pressure, several times a day for at least one minute each time.

Sara

Tony calabro
Reply

Love all your articles Sara….Great web site and very informative
Thanks for putting it out there!

Sarah

rajiv
Reply

Love all your articles

Narendra
Reply

Your artcle on SP6 is very informative and same is the case with most other points. I have a question as to when do you tonify SP6 and when do you sedate. Same is the question in mind for other points as well!

Balázs
Reply

There’s no link from here to the next one (and even from the last one to here). The articles are really good anyway.

Amy
Reply

May I share this on my biz facebook page?

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