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  • Writer's pictureRichard Lai

#68 Acupuncture Points for Prolapse: Du20 and Ren-6

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Transcript of Episode

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:00:04]:

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to study acupuncture with me. My name is Richard, and I make acupuncture study content for busy acupuncturists and acupuncture students just like yourself. Now, this episode is on 2 points. This episode is on Du 20 Bai hui and Ren6, and how they can benefit prolapses. Now before we get into those points, let's hear a quick word from our sponsor.

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Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:00:46]:

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And we're back.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:01:23]:

So how can we use do 20 and REN 6 to benefit prolapse? First, what we should do, we should define what prolapse is. So prolapse is defined as the slipping down of an organ or organs from their normal position. Usually, whenever you mention a prolapse, you're usually describing a pelvic organ prolapse. That could be a uterine prolapse where the uterus slips downward. It could be a vaginal prolapse, a bladder prolapse, even a bowel prolapse. Now how do you know that you have it? Well, let's talk about what a prolapse even feels like. A prolapse, your patient is gonna describe like there's something heavy that's dragging downward in their lower abdominal area or in the area where their genitals are. Some patients, they say it feels like they're sitting on a ball, and sometimes they actually find out when they feel a little lump or a bulge that's coming out of their perennial area.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:02:20]:

Now what can cause a prolapse? Well, let's talk about this first from an anatomical perspective. Basically, in this pelvic area, we have a group of muscles that support our pelvic muscles. Now you may have heard of this group as the pelvic floor. Now this whole area, this pelvic area, it basically looks like a funnel. The pelvic floor is at the bottom of the funnel, and the hole of the funnel is basically these gaps. There's gaps at the pelvic floor. 1 is more anterior, 1 is more posterior. The more anterior one, that's basically where our urethra goes through, so that way we can pee.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:02:54]:

There's another hole behind that, that's where our anal canal goes through, so that way we can poop. So based on just that anatomy alone, you can see how the pelvic floor has some important functions. So for example, number 1, the pelvic floor, it supports all the organs in this area. It's the bottom of the funnel. So if there's weakness of the pelvic floor, that can lead to prolapse. Now another function of the pelvic floor is that it helps you not to accidentally poop or pee when you cough or when you jump. Because you increase abdominal pressure, that pressure goes downward, so the pelvic floor resists that pressure. So that way when you cough, when you jump, you don't accidentally poop and pee.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:03:33]:

And then the last function of the pelvic floor, it basically lets you poop and pee at your leisure because, basically, the pelvic floor, it relaxes to let urine go through it or allow poop to go through it. So from an anatomical point of view, if there's this dysfunction of the pelvic floor, this means that your patient could present with urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence. They could present with prolapse. They could present with pain. They could even present with sexual dysfunction. Alright. So that was from an anatomical perspective. Now let's talk about prolapse from a TCM perspective.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:04:07]:

So first, from an eagle eye view, we should know that Qi can be pathological in 4 different ways. So number 1, we know that Qi, it could be deficient. Right? Like, when you're literally overworking yourself or you're eating poorly, so there's Qi deficiency. So for example, lung Qi deficiency or spleen Qi deficiency. Another Qi pathology is Qi stagnation. That's literally involving the movement of Qi. So Qi stagnates and causes issues like liver Qi stagnation or stomach Qi stagnation. Another Qi pathology is rebellious Qi.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:04:41]:

This is where Qi goes in the wrong direction, Basically, the opposite of the organ's natural Qi direction. Like, for example, the stomach's natural Qi direction is to go down, which that makes sense with the direction that food has to go in. We eat, we sit down, food goes in our mouth, goes down our esophagus into our stomach. So the natural Qi direction to help that process is downward. And rebellious Qi is the Qi reversing going upward. And then the last Qi pathology that we have is Qi syncing. Now that's what we're talking about today. And Qi syncing is actually related to Qi deficiency.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:05:14]:

And there's 2 main organs where Qi syncing can happen. The first is the spleen. The spleen, we know, has a function to hold the organs in place. The spleen has also a function to raise Qi, or it says the ascending of Qi. Now if there's spleen Qi deficiency, then these two functions can actually become impaired. So if the spleen isn't ascending Qi, if the spleen isn't keeping organs in place, then what's gonna happen? What's gonna happen is that there's gonna be prolapse. Now another organ that could be involved with Qi syncing is the kidney. Now the kidney, it has a function where it says it controls the 2 lower orifices.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:05:53]:

These 2 lower orifices are our urethra and our anus. Just like how when we talk about the pelvic floor, there's these two holes there. There's one anterior, one posterior. And the kidney has a function to control the 2 lower orifices. And if there's a deficiency in kidney Qi, that can actually lead to a deficiency in controlling these 2 orifices. So then what's going to happen to your patient? Well, one thing that can happen is that urine is going to leak out or feces is gonna leak out. We call that incontinence. And now another thing that could happen is prolapse.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:06:26]:

Like, for example, there could be a prolapse of the sexual organs. There could be a prolapse of the anus. There could be vaginal prolapse. There could be bladder prolapse or even uterine prolapse. Now here's where DU 20 comes into play, and here's where ren 6 comes into play. 1st, let's talk about DU 20. So DU 20 is called (Bai Hui) which Bai means 100. Like when you say 100, you say (i bai) When you say 200, you say (liang bai) And "Hui" means meetings.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:06:55]:

So for example, when you say you go to church, you say that you go "jùhuì" , Du-20, where is it located? It's located on the vertex of the head. It's actually located exactly 5 cun posterior to the anterior hairline, and it's 7 cun superior to the posterior hairline. Now a lot of students ask, what if they don't have a hairline? So another way that you can find Du 20 is basically by palming your patient's head. Basically what you do is you put the heel of one hand on their glabella. The glabella is the space between their eyebrows. So you put the heel of your hand there. Then you put the heel of your other hand on their EOP or their external occipital protuberance, that's this bony prominence on the back of their head, And basically what you do is you reach your fingers towards each other and they won't be able to touch each other, but you'll find that this point is one soon posterior to where your middle fingers will meet. Now another way that you can find this point is by drawing an imaginary line from the long axis of your ear up towards the top of their head, and Du 20 is on this line at the top of their head.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:08:03]:

Now how do you needle this point? Well, you can needle this point transversely. Transversely means that you go along the axis of the skin, which brings us to what can this point do. Now this point, it can treat prolapse. It can treat prolapse of the rectum. It could treat prolapse of the uterus. Because in terms of prolapse, from a TCM perspective, it counters the prolapse because it raises yang. There's other point functions for this Du 20. It can benefit the brain.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:08:32]:

It can calm the spirit. It can actually even pacify wind. So for this episode though, we're just talking about the benefits in terms of countering prolapse. Now the other point that we're talking about in this episode that can treat prolapse is ren6. Now ren6 is called qihai. Means Qi. Means sea. So when you translate it, this point means sea of Now ren 6, where is it located? It's located in your hypogastric area, which is one of your abdominal regions.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:09:02]:

It's the one below the umbilicus. Now the ren channel, it specifically starts in this lower abdominal area, and when you palpate points in this lower abdominal area, you basically start at the pubic symphysis. The pubic symphysis is this pelvic bone that's right in front, So on your patient, that's the first landmark that you should find. The second landmark that you should find is their umbilicus or their belly button. And what you do is you take your ring finger from one hand and ring finger from the other hand, and you place it on these 2 anatomical landmarks. Now, from the pubic symphysis to the belly button, that's exactly 5 cun. And to find each of the points in this area, all you have to do is put the ring finger on the pubic symphysis, which is where ren 2 is, and then you put your other ring finger on the belly button. That's where ren 8 is.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:09:53]:

And then you just let all your fingers fall into place, equally spacing them out. So ren 2 is on the pubic symphysis, ren 8 is on the belly button. And then the rest, you just count up from ren 2 to ren 8. So that means ren 2 is your ring finger, ren 3 is your middle finger, ren 4 is your left index finger, ren 5 is your right index finger. Now ren 6, which is the point that we're talking about in this episode, ren 6 is a really special point in this series of palpations in this area because when we just talked about ren 2, 3, 4, 5, each of these points were basically one soon from each other, except though ren6. Ren6 is actually located 1.5 cun inferior from the umbilicus, meaning ren8. It's 3.5 superior from your pubic symphysis, meaning ren2. So when you use this piano key method, you count ren2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:10:50]:

6 is between your right hand index finger and middle finger because it's 1.5 soon inferior from ren 8, which ren8 is your umbilicus, and ren6 is 3.5 soon superior from ren2, which ren2 is your pubic synthesis. Now what can ren6 do? Ren6 can tonify Qi, it can tonify yang, and that's how it can raise Qi. With ren 6, you have to use ren 6 for all prolapses because it can treat that deficiency of Qi and that deficiency of yang. That's how it can raise yang. You can even use a moxa stick over this point. You can put moxa in piles on top of ginger in this area to help you rescue Yang, because again, with prolapses from a TCM perspective, Qi deficiency leads to Qi syncing. Qi syncing is what causes prolapses, so REN6 has to be used with all prolapse treatments, because again, it can tonify Qi, it can tonify Yang.

And that brings us to the end of this episode on Du 20 and Ren 6.

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:11:59]:

I hope that you learned something from this episode. If you did, do me a favor and share this episode with a friend. And if you loved studying with me and you wanna practice getting into the habit of scheduling study times, please download my free weekly planner. When I was in school, I used this planner because it helped me make a plan and stick to it. So when I sat down and I studied, I knew exactly what I was doing rather than sitting down figuring out what I'm supposed to do, what am I supposed to read. I would make a plan every Sunday night. I would schedule the time and then when the day comes I would show up to that time and date just like I'm showing up for work or I'm showing up for a doctor's appointment. So you can download this free weekly planner from my website which is

Dr. Richard Lai DPT LAc [00:12:45]:

Alright everyone, until next time, God bless, and happy studying.

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