Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TRIPLE BURNER AND YUAN QI: BL-22 and Ren-5


The location of the points BL-22 Sanjiaoshu above BL-23 Shenshu and of Ren-5 Shimen above Ren-4 Guanyuan is interesting and it presents interesting parallels. This location can be understood only by reference to Chapter 66 of the Classic of Difficulties (Nan Jing). Chapter 66 of this text states: “The Original Qi is the Motive Force [Dong Qi] situated between the two kidneys, it is life-giving and it is the root of the 12 channels. The Triple Burner causes the Original Qi to differentiate [for its different uses around the body]; the Original Qi passes through the Three Burners and then spreads to the 5 Yin and 6 Yang organs and their channels.”1
According to this view, therefore, the Triple Burner is the “agent” of the Yuan Qi arising from between the kidneys. This aspect of the Triple Burner is related to its transformation and excretion of fluids: in order to transform fluids, the body needs the heat of Kidney-Yang and of the Yuan Qi and this, in turn, needs the agency of the Triple Burner to be activated in all parts of the body to transform fluids.
I shall review below the actions and indications of BL-22 Sanjiaoshu and of Ren-5 Shimen, but only those relevant to fluid transformation.

BL-22 SANJIAOSHU Triple Burner Back-Shu Point
a) Nature
Back-Shu point for the Triple Burner.

b) Actions
1. Resolves Dampness
2. Opens the Water passages in the Lower Burner
3. Regulates the Lesser Yang.

c) Indications
1. Oedema, difficult urination, turbid urine, blood in the urine
2. Alternation of feeling of heat and feeling of cold, headaches, dizziness, bitter taste.

d) Comments
BL-22 is a major point to stimulate the transformation, transportation and excretion of fluids in the Lower Burner. The Lower Burner keeps the Water passages open so that “dirty” fluids may be excreted. This point regulates this particular function of the Lower Burner and thus ensures that the Water passages are open, fluids are properly transformed and dirty fluids excreted.
By stimulating the transformation and excretion of fluids, it resolves Dampness in the Lower Burner and treats such symptoms as urinary retention, painful urination, oedema of the legs, and any other manifestation of Dampness in the Lower Burner.
The effect of this point on the Lesser Yang channels and Lesser Yang Pattern requires an explanation. The Triple Burner is like the “envoy” of the Original Qi (Yuan Qi) emerging from the space between the kidneys; put it differently, the Triple Burner helps the Original Qi to “differentiate” into its different aspects in different parts of the body. Chapter 66 of the “Classic of Difficulties” mentioned above discusses the connection between the Original Qi (in this chapter called Dong Qi, “Motive Force”) and the Triple Burner.
BL-22 is just above BL-23, Back-Transporting point of the Kidneys, so this is the area from where the Triple Burner helps the Original Qi to emerge from the Kidneys and spread to the Internal Organs. Because of its connection with the Triple Burner, this point can be used for the Lesser Yang Pattern.

REN-5 SHIMEN Stone Door
a) Nature
Front-Mu point of the Triple Burner.

b) Actions
1. Opens the Water passages and promotes the transformation and excretion of fluids in the Lower Burner.
2. Strengthens Original Qi.

c) Indications
1. Difficult urination, retention of urine, painful urination, dark urine, oedema, diarrhoea, genital itching, swelling of scrotum, swelling of vulva, swelling of penis

d) Comments
In order to understand the function of this point, one must recall the role of the Triple Burner in relation to Original Qi (Yuan Qi). The Original Qi arises from between the Kidneys and spreads to the 5 Yin and 6 Yang organs via the intermediary of the Triple Burner. Ren-5 is the Front Collecting (Mu) point of the Triple Burner and rouses the Original Qi to circulate to all the organs and channels. It can therefore be used to tonify Original Qi in persons with Kidney deficiency and a poor constitution.
Another important function of the Triple Burner (and specifically the Lower Burner) is to transform and excrete fluids, and to ensure that the Water passages of the Lower Burner are open. Ren-5 stimulates this function of the Triple Burner, and specifically the Lower Burner: its use is therefore indicated for oedema of the abdomen, urinary retention, difficult urination, diarrhoea or vaginal discharge.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the location of BL-22 just above BL-23 and of Ren-5 just above Ren-4 (a point that tonifies the Kidneys and is related to Jing confirms the above view of the Triple Burner as the agent allowing the Original Qi to emerge from between the Kidneys and be activated all over the body to perform its various functions.

1. Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1979 A Revised Explanation of the Classic of Difficulties (Nan Jing Jiao Shi), p. 164. People’s Health Publishing House, Beijing, first published c. AD 100.


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