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(231) Preventing Stroke Points

Started by HB KIM, Feb 16, 2008, 06:37 AM

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There are various methods for stroke prevention.  Of course, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress reduction can not be emphasized enough.  As an acupuncturist, you can offer important acupuncture and moxa treatments.


Moxa can be used to prevent stroke by applying moxa to ST36 + GB39 and ST36 + LI11 alternatively.  When you apply moxa to ST36, apply a little more moxa to one side for each treatment, and alternate between the left side and right side receiving more.  The rhythm and movement of life is balanced overall, but the balance is dynamic.  When we dance or walk, we shift from left leg to right leg, back and forth.  To direct the same amount of energy into both sides at the same time wouldn't be natural.

Acupuncture can be used to prevent stroke by needling DU9, SI12, UB12, GB20, and DU16.  Note that most of these points have the word "wind" in the name.  If atrophy has occurred in the trapezius muscle on one side, then also needle UB10 on the “sunken" side.


1. ST36 (Leg Three Mile)
In modern acupuncture, ST36 may be broadly applied to treat almost any condition, including the prevention of disease.  ST36 in combination with GB39 or LI11 can prevent stroke.  For stroke prevention, I recommend alternating treatments of ST36 + GB39 and ST36 + LI11.

2. GB39 (Suspended Bell)
GB39 is the “boss point" of its area.  It is the Influential Point of Marrow, and as such can benefit the brain and head.  It can be used for headache, especially headache related to hunger or food retention.  Moxa at GB39 can help to prevent stroke, and additionally has the effect of boosting T-cell counts and strengthening the immune system.  It is a good point to help people cope with the side effects of chemotherapy. 

The location of GB39 is different according to the text; it is 3 cun above the external malleolus, but some say posterior to the fibula while others say anterior to the fibula.  Actually, they are both correct.  The posterior location should be used for needles, while the anterior location should be used with moxa.   

3. LI11 (Crooked Pond)
Academically, LI11 is indicated for clearing heat.  Clinically, LI11 is one of the 8 best points for stroke, and one of the 10 best points for hemiplegia.  Moxa can be used to prevent stroke by applying moxa to ST36 + GB39 and ST36 + LI11 alternatively.

4. DU9 (Reaching Yang)
DU9 is used to help prevent stroke.  Heat which rises up becomes wind.  DU9 is the so-called "first gate" or "windscreen" for blocking the Lower Dantian from rising up.  To prevent stroke, one method is to reinforce the "windscreen gates."  Needle these points from lowest to highest: DU9, SI11, GB20, DU16, and DU17.

5. SI12 (Grasping Wind)
SI12 is called "Prevent Wind," and it is indeed used for stroke prevention.  As with all points with "wind" in the name, it is located in the upper back/neck region (except GB31).  Heat is the pathological derivative of qi, and when heat intensifies enough to rise to the head, it is called wind.  We can consider the imaginary line created by the scapular spines across the upper back as the borderline between heat and wind.  SI12, then, stands at a critical point in the body's defense against wind, and can be thought of as "border patrol."  Since SI12 is the crossing point of four channels (LI, SI, SJ, GB), this reinforces its ability to relax the upper back and neck area.  People who hold a lot of tension in that area are at a higher risk for stroke.  SI12 is also effective in treating "stomach wind," the occurrence of heat and fever after eating.

6. UB12 (Wind Gate)
UB12, "Wind Gate," is where exterior wind enters the body.  It is better for exterior wind than GB20 "Wind Pool" or DU16 "Wind Mansion."  They all can treat interior or exterior wind, but UB12 is mainly for exterior wind, as the name tells us.

7. GB20 (Wind Pool)
GB20, "Wind Pool," is the most significant point in the back of the head and neck area.  We can call this point the "boss point" or "king point" of that area.  Whenever there is a king, there are always some supporting ministers.  If GB20 is the king, then UB10 is the minister; if DU20 is the king, UB7 is the minister.  Because of its ability to treat wind, GB20 is a great point for Bell's palsy, stroke, hemiplegia, chronic headache, stiff neck, cervical disc problems, and even high blood pressure.

8. DU16 (Wind Mansion)
Named "Wind Mansion," DU16 can treat either exterior or interior wind.  Actually, DU16, GB20, and LI4 can all treat either internal or external wind.  There are four points in the head and neck area with "wind" in the name: DU16, GB20, SI12, and UB12.  UB12, "Wind Gate," is geared more to treating exterior wind.

9. UB10 (Celestial Pillar)
In cases of stroke, innervation to the left and right sides may become unbalanced.  If the trapezius muscle appears atrophic on only one side, needle UB10 on the sunken side, plus DU14 to balance both sides of the trapezius.