By Sara Calabro
This edition of Why Are You Doing That Point?, an ongoing series that explains popular acupuncture points, is about Gall Bladder 30, a key point used in treatments for hip and leg pain.
Gall Bladder 30—also known as Huantiao (Chinese name), Jumping Circle (English translation) and GB30 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located between your sacrum and greater trochanter.
In normal-speak, Gall Bladder 30 is usually found smack in the middle of your jeans back pocket (see picture below).
The hip whisperer
The inspiration for writing about Gall Bladder 30 came from an AcuTake reader, who recently had a hip replacement. Three months after his procedure, he is still having a lot of pain. He wrote asking for recommendations for acupressure points for hip pain.
Without knowing anything else about this reader’s situation, Gall Bladder 30 would be my first recommendation.
Peter Deadman, in his definitive A Manual of Acupuncture, says Gall Bladder 30 is “unrivaled in importance for the treatment of disorders of the hip joint and buttock, whether due to traumatic injury, painful obstruction, stagnation of qi or deficiency.”
Got hip pain? Reach for Gall Bladder 30.
How to use Gall bladder 30
Depending on how your jeans fall, you may need to adjust. Technically, the point is found by dividing the distance between the sacrum and greater trochanter into thirds. Gall Bladder 30 is located one-third from the trochanter, so closer to the side of your leg than to your sacrum.
This picture from the handy Points app on my phone offers another angle. The green dot is Gall Bladder 30.
Sometimes the easiest way to locate the point is to feel around for some slight tenderness. Once you find that, press. Most people say they know it when they feel it.
You can press this point yourself, or, if you feel comfortable, have someone else do it for you. Because the gluteal muscles are relatively large, you may need to use firm pressure and press fairly deep.
Since Gall Bladder 30 can be somewhat difficult to reach on your own, a tennis or lacrosse ball can help. Place the ball on the ground and then lower your body onto it, trying to align Gall Bladder 30 with the ball. Try out various levels of pressure until you find what feels right for you.
If going straight to the source on Gall Bladder 30 is too tender, you can try loosening up the area with Gall Bladder 34, another point on the Gall Bladder channel that’s located farther down the leg. Gall Bladder 34 is a go-to for alleviating stiff muscles and tightness along the side of the body. It’s easier to access and tends to be less sensitive than Gall Bladder 30.
Let us know if you have luck using this acupuncture point! And learn about other points in the Why Are You Doing That Point? series.
Photo by Sara Calabro
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