5: What are the functions of the Xi-cleft points?

Xi-cleft points are good at treating acute/urgent diseases as well as pain syndromes. “Xi” means “cleft”, where the channel qi gathers deeply. When channels travel and meet with circuitous or crooked parts of body, qi and blood will gather and irrigate at those cleft sites. Other than the stomach xi-cleft point which is located slightly superior to the knee, the rest of xi-cleft points are distributed inferior to the elbow or knee. Xi-cleft points are where channel qi and blood gather around and hence they are with abundant qi and blood and with strong function of regulating qi and blood. The major indication of xi-cleft point is to treat acute zang fu disorders and pains of its respective channel.

Some believe the xi-cleft points of yin channels is more for blood related disorders while the xi-cleft points of the yang channels more for pain syndromes. However, according to the experience, to treat acute pains or blood disorders of channels, xi-cleft points of either yin or yang channels work well. For example, the xi-cleft point of lung channel, Kuongzhui (LU6) is quite effective for asthma (even more effective if combined with Chize (LU5) or Yuji (LU10)); hemoptysis; bronchiectasis; lung tuberculosis (paired with Yinxi (HT6). Ximen (PC4) is effective for fright palpitation, unpeaceful spirit (paired with Shenmen (HT7)), angina, premature beat (combined with Xinshu (UB15), Tanzhong (Ren15)). In a word, xi-cleft points are mostly used to treat acute syndromes and pains caused by sudden stagnation or imbalance of the channel qi. The disorders are usually excessive syndromes.

Dishi point (33.14) in Tung’s extraordinary point is located very close to the xi-cleft point of lung channel, Kuongzhui (LU6) and is very effective for acute disorders of lung such as common cold and asthma. Jiexue point (88.28) is located very close to Liangqiu (ST34), the xi-cleft point of stomach channel which is with abundant qi and blood, and hence is particularly good at regulating qi and blood to treat disturbance of qi and blood and fainting caused by acupuncture.

Besides, many researches and experiences conclude that xi-cleft points are diagnostic. Xi-cleft points distinctly manifest acute disorders and hence are valuable in diagnosis. They also help diagnose disorders caused by irregularities of qi and blood of certain zang or fu. For example, in stomach spasm and acute mastitis, Liangqiu (ST34) will be tender when pressed. Hence, tender on Liangqiu (ST34) assist in the diagnosis of stomach disorders. Also, tender sensation at Kuongzhui (LU6) when it is pressed assist in the diagnosis of pneumonia and hemorrhoid. Tender Waiqiu (GB36), the xi-cleft point of gall bladder channel, assists the diagnosis of gall bladder duct infection. Wenliu (LI6), xi-cleft point of the large intestine, if tender when pressed, often reflects digestive tract perforation.