What does that point do? Large Intestine 11

With Summer seeming to be finally hitting its stride, thoughts of finding ways to beat the heat are starting to replace those of wondering where the gloves and sweaters were left last.  For some, temperatures in the 90s is their happy place, for many of us, however the 90s are a bit on the toasty side.  While this next point in the series can't cool off Mother Nature, Large Intestine 11 is a point well suited to dealing with issues of heat in the body.

Where is it?

The Large Intestine channel travels from the index finger, up the arm, shoulder and neck and onto the face to the nose.  Large Intestine 11 is a point located at the elbow.  The easiest way to locate it is to bend your arm and look for the end of the crease on the outer side of your bent elbow. 

What does it do?

Like other points in this series so far, Large Intestine 11 is a powerhouse point with two primary "super powers." 

First, Large Intestine 11 (LI 11) is one of the strongest points in the body for clearing heat.  Whether that heat is related to a sunburn, a fever from a cold or hot flashes just to name a few.  Think of LI 11 as a great vent for the body to release a little steam whenever it's needed.  

Another thing that LI 11 does is to "release the exterior."  In TCM, what we view as a cold or disease caused by a pathogen is seen as an invader which snuck in past our defenses (Wei qi).  Much as you might open your doors and windows to provide a route of escape for a bird which mistakenly got in to your house, points such as LI 11 provide an "open door" through which a pathogen is encouraged to exit the body.  Combining this with its ability to vent excess heat from the body makes LI 11 very useful in any case where an illness is accompanied by a fever or elevated temperature. 

So the next time you're feeling a bit too warm or are battling a cold, let Large Intestine 11 be one of the points to help you out.