the points of winter: Yin Gu (KD10)

Winter is known as water time in Chinese medicine. It is a time of reflection, of stillness, and of restoring the kidney essence. It's a time when Nature stores it's energy into the roots and lies in waiting for the warmer days to bud and grow again. So too do we turn inward and study our own nature, ideally sleeping and resting more to follow the natural cycles of light and dark here in the Northern Hemisphere.

There are two points I use frequently during this time. They correspond to the two water organs of the body, the Bladder and the Kidney.


The first is on the kidney channel. Known as Yin Gu (Yin Valley) or Kidney 10 (KD10), this point lives on inner side of the back of the knee, just at the crease or bend point between two tendons (the semimembranosus and the semitendinosus).


Because this point is a water point on the water channel, I think of it as empowering flow in all aspects of being. Mental, emotional and physical. So here we see that it can be used directly for knee problems (creating flow in movement), for fear and anxiety (supporting the capacity to go with the flow), and mental restlessness, insomnia and hyperactivity (empowering the capacity to surrender and let go).


I use this point when I'm with someone who's stuck in habitual reactions or patterns of fear. It's also a great point to use for chronic or acute urinary tract infections - when urination becomes difficult and flow is impaired. It can also be used for genital pain or itching and vaginal or penile discharge. Also for excessive uterine bleeding.....or too many periods.


All issues to do with the theme of flow, whether too little, too much or out of balance.


And also because KD10 is the water point on the water channel, it's can be used for it's moistening qualities. To moisten a dry mouth or throat, for chronic thirst, and even for dry skin at times.


Sometimes too I'll add this point when treating infertility.


KD 10 Indications:

  • Winter solstice point (with Bladder 66, water on water point)

  • To strengthen knees

  • Excessive or impaired flow of water (urination, periods)

  • Moisten dryness of mouth, throat, and lungs

  • Habituated fear and anxiety, overwhelm




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