the points of winter: Tong Gu (BL66)

Winter is known as water time in Chinese medicine. It is a time of reflection, of stillness, and of restoring the kidney or potential energy of the body. It's a time when Nature stores its 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.


Here I focus on Bladder 66 (BL66), Tong Gu or Penetrating Valley. This point lies at the little junction point of the foot and the pinkie toe where there is usually a skin color distinction between the sole and the upper foot. It's a point I use to open and clear the entire bladder channel, the longest channel of the body which can be liked to a great river.


This point also deals with the theme of flow, much like KD 10, Yin Gu. Here there is an emphasis on reversing the flow. If there is coughing or bleeding from the nose, or indigestion and acid reflux, this is a powerful point to use in combination with others. If there is a fever, headache, stiff neck or runny nose (essentially the onset of a wind-heat invasion) use BL 66.


You can also use this point to quiet the mind and calm the nervous system, or to cool "hot urine" (urinary tract infections) and for dizziness and vertigo caused by an "overfull" mind.


BL 66 Indications:

Winter solstice point used in combination with KD10

  • Quiet the Spirit and calm the mind

  • Indigestion, acid reflux or bleeding from the nose

  • Wind heat invasions

  • Urinary tract infections




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