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Meridians and Points II

July 1st, 2015

Another of the most commonly used points in acupuncture is the 11th point on the Large Intestine Channel, LI 11, also known as Quchi (pronounced “Chi Cher”). If you bend your elbow to a 90 degree position, and look for the end of the skin fold at the outside of the elbow.

This point has many uses in acupuncture. It can be used to “clear heat”, for symptoms like fever, red face, sore throat, and toothache – symptoms that sometimes feel “hot”. Because this point is located on the Large Intestine channel, it can also be used to normalize bowel movements, in cases of diarrhea or constipation, and also for indigestion. A third traditional function is to relieve itching and skin rashes.

According to a pediatric acupuncture master in China, LI 11 is one of the first points that become active in an infant after birth. The meridian system and the activity at each acupuncture points take some time to develop as the baby gains his/her strength and coordination. It is quite useful as a point for infants, as treatment on this point can help with some of the most common pediatric complaints (for instance, colic, fever, and eczema/itching).

Some sources say that it is helpful to regulate the immune system, but I prefer to use a point from the Japanese acupuncture tradition, which is a couple of inches down towards the wrist from this point. This point, the green point near LI 10, can be very sore and a bit bumpy, in people with weaker immune systems (allergies, asthma, catching colds often) and also in people with autoimmune disease. Check the green point on yourself to see if you have a spot which is tender or bumpy. If it is, you can improve your immune system by massaging this point.

LI 11 connects with the shoulder through the Large Intestine meridian, and is very commonly used to relieve shoulder pain. This was the very first point I ever put a needle into. When I was in high school, my father taught me how to insert a needle, and shortly thereafter my younger brother was having some shoulder pain and stiffness after a tennis game. My brother was a bit apprehensive, but finally agreed to let me put a needle in his elbow at this point, and then at one point in his shoulder. When we took the needles out 30 minutes later, he felt much better and played a great game the next day!