Acupuncturists are often asked "Why are you using that point?" or "What does that point do?" So I thought it might be useful for the curious among you to start a series of blog posts talking about specific points, their uses and how you can use them yourself at home.
The first point in the series is a point on the Lung channel, Lung 7 (LU 7).
Where is it?
The Lung channel is one of the 6 channels that are located primarily on the arms. Lung 7 actually has two locations depending on what style of acupuncture is being practiced. They are very close to each other, so choose whichever one seems to be sore, or you just seem to like better. Once you have found the point you can massage it gently in a clockwise direction for a few minutes. If the point is sore, you are most likely in the right place. Think of those sore spots as the bodies way of telling us where it needs a little help or attention.
Lung 7 Chinese location: This location for Lung 7 is found just proximal (closer to the torso) to the styloid process of the radius bone (the bone in your forearm which ends closest to your thumb). A simple way to find it is by joining your hands between the thumb and forefinger as in the picture to the right. Your index finger should be resting along the radius bone. The tip of your index finger will come to rest in a small notch between two tendons which lie on top of the styloid process. This is the chinese location for Lung 7.
Lung 7 Japanese location: Once you are able to find the Chinese location for Lung 7, the Japanese location is very easy. Simply roll off of the styloid bone towards the palm side of your forearm. It will fell like you are coming over the "corner" of the bone. This is the second location for Lung 7.
What is Lung 7 used for?
This time of year there are always all sorts of colds and viruses floating around now that we are cooped up indoors with the colder weather. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, before our more modern understanding, colds were thought to be the result of an "invasion of an external pathogen." This pathogen then became trapped in our bodies and the ensuing battle between our bodies and the pathogen resulted in what we experienced as colds.
One of the functions of Lung 7 is to "release the exterior", which essentially means to open the door and help to show the invading pathogen the way out of the body. We can interpret this as activating the immune system so that it can better fight off the cold. Lung 7 also "benefits the head and nape of the neck" as well as the lungs themselves. Since this is often where we experience many cold symptoms, Lung 7 is a useful point to help clear up that nasty head cold.
So next time you are feeling a cold coming on, feel free to show Lung 7 a little love.
For those interested in more detailed reading, you can check out "A Manual of Acupuncture" by Peter Deadman.