Acupuncture Points Notebook

: Xuehai : Sea of Blood

Sp-10 : Foot Taiyin Spleen 10

Trigger point (Travell & Simons, 1998, Trigger Point Manual; Melzack, Stillwell & Fox, 1977, Trigger Points and Acupuncture Points for Pain: Correlations and Implications, Pain 3, p3-23)
Luo Harmonizing point

2 cun proximal to the superior border of the patella, in the tender depression on the bulge of the vastus medialis muscle, directly above Yinlingquan Sp-9.

Perpendicular or oblique insertion 1 - 1.5 cun

TCM Actions:
Invigorates blood and dispels stasis
Cools blood
Harmonises menstruation
Benefits the skin

TCM Indications:
  • Irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, uterine bleeding, uterine bleeding containing clots, sudden uterine bleeding, post-partum qi and blood deficiency.
  • Urticaria, eczema, erysipelas (cinnabar toxin), herpes zoster, painful hot sores, ulceration and itching of the scrotum, pain and itching of the genitals.
  • Leucorrhoea, the five types of painful urinary dysfunction, qi painful urinary dysfunction, blood painful urinary dysfunction, pain of the inner aspect of the thigh.

    Superficial Innervation: Medial femoral cutaneous at skin with muscular innervation from femoral nerve (L2 - L4)
    Dermatome Segment: L3

    Trigger Point Associations:
    Muscle: Vastus medialis
    Myotome Innervation: Femoral nerve (L2 - L3)
    Pain Referral Pattern: To the patella and especially the area just below, on the medial side
    Indications: Diseases of the knee joint ; Injury to the quadriceps

    This is the main point for the treatment of blood stasis and heat in the blood, especially for gynaecological and skin conditions.


    At the end of a Spleen, Ren or Du Luo treatment or a Great Luo of the Spleen treatment this point is needled, deqi grasped and removed immediately to normalize the circulation of blood (Cecil-Sterman, 2012, Advanced Acupuncture).


    According to Jeffrey Yuen (2005, 3 Spirits & 7 Souls) this point along with Yuji Lu-10, the fire (Heart) point of the Lung channel, were be bled by daoist adepts to explore the "Ring of Death" between the Third and Fourth Levels of Manifestation of the Soul where near death experiences happen. The most common reaction would be to induce hyperventilation and a sense of dying.
    If used in comatose patients it is believed to give them a choice to wake up or move on.
    A more applicable use in general practice may be to gently stimulate these points with essential oils to assist someone explore their relationship with life after death.

    Yuen says little more on the subject but my own consideration on these points reveals several ways they may be used in meditation or therapy on issues relating to death:
    - Both Lung and Spleen are the Yin meridians relating to our survival needs: air and food. Bleeding is considered a strong reduction technique implying they are aiming to quieten their survival instincts.
    As the main point for moving Blood Stagnation this point suggests emotions that have become stuck while the Lung meridian relates to our connection with life, affected by grief, the loss of things we are connected to. The use of this point with the Fire point of the Lung meridian Yuji Lu-10, being its reducing point on the control cycle of the five elements, may suggest a reduction of our attachments to life and moving forwards emotionally.
    - There is also considerable imagery in the names: 魚際 Yuji (Fish Border) and 血海 Xuehai (Sea of Blood). The sea is the deep unknown and blood the stuff of life while the fish can swim below the sea, so by taking on this image we can cross the border and travel into the depths.
    - In another implied image the character 際 Ji for "Border" contains the character 祭, making offering at a ceremonial altar, while 血 Xue for "Blood" is derived from a container so a suggestion of blood sacrifice might also be implied.
    Thus this two point combination is relevant on several levels for meditating on ones relationship to death and the impermanence of life.


    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 Tung acupuncture this is the location of the Tong Wei, Connect Stomach, point. Another two points are located relative to it, Tong Shen, Through Kidney, 2 cun below at the upper medial edge of the patella, and Tong Bei, Through Back, 2 cun above. Tong Shen is indicated for impotence and spermatorrhea, Tong Wei for Stomach pain and Tong Bei for lower back pain (Chu, 2015).


    In Tibetan medicine:
    Moxa point (AMNH, Tibetan Medical Paintings)


    In Thai massage:
    Acupressure point along the Kalatharee sen line and the Sahatsarangsi (left) and Tawaree (right) sen lines.
    Indicated for knee pain/injury/arthritis
    (Salguero & Roylance, 2011, Encyclopedia of Thai Massage)

    Reference Notes: (click to display)