Large Intestine Channel

LI4 – Hé Gǔ

One of the most commonly used acupuncture points in clinic, one of the pairs in the popular “4 Gates” combination. Most people feel a strong sensation on needling, which quickly calms down. There’s a version of this point that is needled closer to the proximal junction of the index finger and the thumb. If you press hard there, you’ll notice the strong sensation.

This point is contraindicated during pregnancy – it can cause uterine contractions. So, on the flip side, when inducing birth in a pregnant person who is ready for delivery, this is a great point to needle!

  • English translations : Union valley, joining valley. Name relates mostly to its location at the “union” or “joining” of the index finger and the thumb.
  • Point Properties :
    • Yuan-source : Yuan points are very nourishing & bear deeply impacting energy within them. Tapping into this energy is one of the easiest ways to have a big effect on the body during acupuncture treatment.
  • Official location (Deadman) : On the dorsum of the hand, between the first and second metacarpal bones, at the midpoint of the second metacarpal bone and close to its radial border. See photo!
  • Chinese medicine functions : Moves qi, expels wind, activates the channel, induces labor, restores yang.
  • Common conditions treated:
    • Headaches, including migraines
    • Fevers from exogenous sources (colds, flus, infections)
    • Delayed labor, retained placenta
    • Pain anywhere in the body but especially arm, shoulder, face, teeth
    • Deficient gynecological conditions such as amenorrhea
    • Some types of depression or “stuckness” can respond to needling this point
    • Low energy

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