Seattle Acupuncture- The Small Intestine Meridian

The small intestine in Chinese medicine has a very similar function to that of western medicine. The small intestine’s job is to receive food from the stomach and “separate the clear from turbid.” What this means is that the small intestine separates our food into usable energy (clear) and waste products (turbid). The clear energy goes back up to the spleen to be distributed throughout our entire body and the turbid energy goes down into the large intestine/urinary bladder (which in turn removes it). The small intestine in both Chinese and western medicine is the main digestive organ in our body.

The small intestine meridian is also called the Hand Tai Yang Meridian and it’s paired foot meridian is the Foot Tai Yang Meridian, or the urinary bladder. This shows a relationship between the small intestine and the output of waste of the urinary bladder. The small intestine has another deep relationship with the heart. The small intestines is a yang organ and its paired yin organ is the heart. This shows an inner relationship between our emotions/mindset (the heart) and the food we eat. If the small intestine is out of balance our bodies can have fatigue, poor bowel movements, poor sleep, or negative emotions. The time of the small intestines is from 1-3pm. The small intestine meridian starts on the outside of our pinky finger, goes down the inside of our forearm, up around our scapula, up the neck and ends on the tragus of the ear. Below are some common points used on the small intestine meridian.

SI-3- this point is the commander of the spine and the back and can be used to reduce back pain.

SI-4- this point is used to tell the small intestine how to function properly. It can be used for all kinds of digestive complaints.

SI-5- used to clear heat from the digestive tract.

SI-8- used for golfer’s elbow or elbow pain.

SI-9 – SI-15-all these points are used for localized pain in the back.

SI-18- can be used for stroke patients where the muscles on the face are impacted.

SI-19- used for jaw pain and ear problems.

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Ben Dorfman, E.A.M.P.

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