Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Yinlingquan : Yin Mound Spring

Sp-9 : Foot Taiyin Spleen 9

He-Sea and Water point

Homeostatic point 4 (Ma, Ma & Cho, 2005, Biomedical Acupuncture for Pain Management)

On the medial side of the lower leg, in a depression in the angle formed by the medial condyle of the tibia and the posterior boder of the tibia.

Perpendicular insertion 1 - 1.5 cun

TCM Actions:
Regulates the spleen and resolves dampness
Opens and moves the water passages
Benefits the lower jiao

TCM Indications:
  • Abdominal distension, cold and pain of the abdomen, pain of the lower abdomen, cutting pain in the middle of the intestines, no desire to eat, jaundice, sudden turmoil disorder, diarrhoea, sudden diarrhoea with undigested food in the stools, dysenteric disorder.
  • Oedema, swelling of the lower limbs, retention of urine, difficult urination, enuresis, qi painful urinary dysfuction.
  • Seminal emission, leucorrhoea, pain of the genitals, shan disorder.
  • Fullness below the Heart, fullness of the lateral and costal region, dyspnoea with inability to lie down, heat in the chest, unremitting chills and fever.
  • Lumbar pain, pain and swelling of the knee, painful obstruction of the leg.

    Superficial Innervation: Saphenous nerve, from femoral nerve (L2 - L4), emerging from deep fascia
    Dermatome Segment: L4

    This is the main distal point for resolving dampness.


    Ling Shu Ch. 19, on the Four Seasonal Qi, advises supplementing this point, described as above the three yin, for undigested food in the stool, with the needle retained until the heat moves (Unschuld, 2016). Conversely Wu & Wu (2010) interpret this line as pricking Sanyinjiao Sp-6 and this point with invigorating technique, stopping when heat appears under the needle.

    Ling Shu Ch. 23, On Heat Diseases, recommends this point with Yongquan Kid-1 and Lianquan Ren-23 to remove a Heat disease with tension and pain on both sides of the navel, and a feeling of fullness in the chest and flanks.

    Ling Shu Ch. 44, On the Qi Moving in Accordance with the Norms, indicates that the He-Sea points should be pierced in autumn or when the disease is a result of immoderate diet. The seasonal aspect should not be interpreted literally as it describes the flavours as "controlled by autumn", probably referring to the mouth, nose and throat where the metal channels run. It also describes the morning, afternoon, evening and night cycle of the day to be like the four seasons of the year with evening corresponding to autumn. Perhaps the most likely interpretation is during middle age, the autumn period of life, when the effects immoderate diet are likely to start to show.


    Wang Yu-Ji often starts with this point and Chize Lu-5 as a means of harmonising the Taiyin Qi dynamic and function of fluid transformation. This is due to the Spleen governing the rising of clear Yang and the Lung governing the descent of True Qi creating a cyclical motion (Wang & Robertson, 2008, Applied Channel Theory).


    In Tung acupuncture this point is known as Tian Huang, Heavenly Emperor (77.17) and is often combined with Ren Huang, Earthly Emperor (77.21), 3 cun above the medial malleolus at Sanyinjiao Sp-6, and Di Huang, Earth Emperor, 7 cun above the medial malleolus, 1 cun superior to Lougu Sp-7 to make Xia San Huang, the Lower Three Emperors. They all treat many disorders of the Spleen, Liver and Kidney, this one especially focuses on the Spleen (Chu, 2015).

    Another point Shen Guan, Kidney Gate, or Tian Huang Fu, Heavenly Emperor Appendage (77.18) is located 1.5 cun below this point, midway between here and Diji Sp-8. It can be used singly for shoulder pain or in combination with Di Huang (1 cun above Lougu Sp-7) and Ren Huang (at Sanyinjiao Sp-6) for a variety of symptoms relating to Kidney Qi deficiency (ibid.)


    According to Ma, Ma & Cho (2005) this point is similar to H1 (Quchi L.I.-11) in diagnosing a patients homeostatic imbalance and ability to self-heal. The more imbalanced they become the more tender points appear distal to this point along the course of the saphenous nerve (spleen channel) meaning a lower likelihood of responding to treatment.


    In Tibetan medicine:
    Moxa point (AMNH, Tibetan Medical Paintings).


    In Thai massage:
    Point along the Kalatharee sen line and the Sahatsarangsi (left) and Tawaree (right) sen lines (Salguero & Roylance, 2011, Encyclopedia of Thai Massage).

    Reference Notes: (click to display)