Acupuncture Points Notebook

: Zhishi : Residence of the Will

Bl-52 : Foot Taiyang Bladder 52

Alternative Name(s): Jinggong
Translation: Palace of Essence

Spirit point
One of the "59 piercings" for clearing Heat in Su Wen Ch. 61
Master Tung's Three Rivers
Master Tung's Double Rivers

Trigger point (Travell & Simons, 1998, Trigger Point Manual)

3 cun lateral to the midline, level with the lower border of the spinous process of the second lumbar vertebra (L2) and level with Shenshu Bl-23.

Oblique insertion 0.5 - 1 cun

Deep perpendicular insertion carries a risk of injuring the kidney.

TCM Actions:
Tonifies the kidneys and benefits the essence
Regulates urination
Strengthens the lumbar region

TCM Indications:
  • Lumbar pain and stiffness, back pain, dribbling urination, difficult urination, oedema, impotence, premature ejaculation, seminal emission with dreams, swelling and pain of the genitals.
  • Fullness and pain of the lateral costal region, sudden turmoil disorder, vomiting, difficult defecation, hardness of the abdomen and hypogastrium.

    Superficial Innervation: Dorsal rami of L1 - L3
    Dermatome Segment: L2

    Trigger Point Associations:
    Muscle: Superficial quadratus lumborum
    Myotome Innervation: Dorsal rami of spinal nerves from T12 - L4
    Location Notes: Travell & Simons (1998) diagram looks closer to L3 at the crest of the iliac spine
    Pain Referral Pattern: To lateral hip and below and anterior to iliac spine
    Indications: Low back pain

    Like the other outer Bladder points of the five Zang, despite being named after their spiritual aspect they have little indication for treatment of psychological disorders in the classical literature but are mainly used for draining heat from their corresponding Zang (Deadman et al, 2001). One possible answer to this is that the Shen is often agitated by excessive Heat making clearing Heat from the Zang a possible protocol for calming the mind.


    Its alternative name Jinggong (Palace of Essence) reflects this points strengthening influence over sexual function (ibid).


    In five element acupuncture indicated for a water cf, lack of willpower, sense of hopelessness, weakness from overwork.


    Classical texts such as the Nei Jing and Ling Shu which considered the Dai mai as simple a circle around the waist would include this a point on the Dai mai along with others level to Shenque Ren-8 and Mingmen Du-4 instead of the traditional points (Yuen, 2005, The Eight Extraordinary Vessels).


    The "59 piercings" are named in the Su Wen Ch. 61 and mentioned in Su Wen Ch. 32 and Ling Shu Ch. 23 for treating Heat diseases. This point along with Pohu Bl-42, Shentang Bl-44, Hunmen Bl-47 and Yishe Bl-49 clear Heat from the five Zang.

    Ling Shu Ch. 22, On Mania and Madness, advises that if the disease is in the vessels causing sudden falling to the ground and the four extremities being swollen and relaxed then if full the Luo are pierced and if empty then this point is cauterised along with Tianzhu Bl-11 on both sides and at all Shu points located on partings in the flesh.


    Jeffrey Yuen (2005, 3 Spirits & 7 Souls) suggests for inability to express fear we can direct the Yuan qi to here for expression by needling Shenshu Bl-23 outwards and then this point relatively perpendicularly.
    For excessive fear we can direct it back to the Zang by needling this point obliquely towards the inner Bladder line and then needling Shenshu Bl-23 downards.


    Master Tung's Three Rivers (San Jiang) are three lines of points, one along the midline below each spinous process from L1 to S2 with the another two either side 3 cun lateral to the midline from L2 to S2. They are pricked to bleed a spot of blood.
    They relate to the water phase and Kidneys and are indicated for lumbar pain and conditions of the abdomen, bowels and uterus. Those 3 cun from the midline can also be used for sciatica and as distal points pain of arm, elbows or shoulders (McCann, 2014, Pricking the Vessels).

    The Double Seas (Shuang He) are a set of 12 points bilaterally 3 cun lateral to the spine at the levels of L2 to S2. They are pricked in cases of pain in the upper extremities or pain and lack of strength in the upper back and shoulders (ibid.)

    Tung's prick to bleed technique may make greater sense than regular needles here as shallow depth without retention may be safer over the kidneys and the larger gauge used may provide better stimulation to this relatively insensitive area.


    One of the 18 tender spots used in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia (Wang, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medical Approaches for Fibromyalgia, Acupuncture Today, vol.6 no.3, 2005).


    In ayurvedic medicine:
    Parshva sandhi marma point
    Size: 1/2 angula (cun)
    Structure: Blood vessels
    Effect of Injury: Premature death (kalantarpranahar marma)
    (Harish Johari, 1996, Ayurvedic Massage, Sanatan Society; Anupama Bhattacharya, n.d. Marma Shastra)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)