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Home > Education > Theory > Xi Cleft Points

The Sixteen Xi (Cleft) Points

By Li Ding

From the book: "Acupuncture, Meridian Theory and Acupuncture Points"

The Xi (cleft) Points are the places where the qi of the meridian is deeply converged. Each of the 12 regular meridians has a Xi (cleft) Point on the extremity, as do the Yinwei, Yangwei, Yinqiao and Yangqiao Meridians, 16 in all. Xi (cleft) Points are located below the elbows and knees except for Liangqiu (St.34) which is superior to the knee. They constitute another group of important points apart from the Five-shu Points.

Early records of Xi (cleft) Points date back to Zhenjiu Jiayi Jing (A Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion). Xi (cleft) Points are used for treating acute disorders of their related internal organs as well as of the areas supplied by the meridians. Needling these points can regulate the circulation of qi and blood in the diseased areas.

The Sixteen Xi (Cleft) Points Indications
Kongzui (Lu.6) hemorrhoid bleeding, hemoptysis, shortness of breath
Wenliu (L.I.7) toothache, common cold, hemorrhoids
Liangqiu (St.34) epigastric pain
Diji (Sp.8) acute diarrhea
Yinxi (H.6) cardiac pain, insomnia and mental mania
Yanglao (S.I.6) blurring of vision and tinnitus
Jinmen (U.B.63) infantile convulsions and systrema
Shuiquan (K.5) dysmenorrhea, prolapse of uterus
Ximen (P.4) cardiac pain, palpitation, hypochondriac pain
Huizong (S.J.7) pain in the heart area, enteritis
Waiqiu (G.B.36) mania with emotional excitement and insanity with emotional depression
Foot-Zhongdu ( Liv.6) hernia, uterine bleeding
Fuyang (U.B.59) acute diarrhea. sciatica, numbness, lumbar pain
Jiaoxin (K.8) orchialgia. amenorrhea, night sweating
Yangiiao (G.B.35) chest pain, numbness of the lower extremities
Zhubin (K.9) relieving pathogenic qi, hernia and beriberi

They also have the function to alleviate acute pain of the internal organs. For example, puncturing Liangqiu (St.34) for acute gastric pain; Kongzui (Lu.6) for acute bronchial hemoptysis; Shuiquan (K.5) for dysmenorrhea; Ximen (P.4) for cardiac pain and furuncle; Foot-Linqi (Liv.6) for swelling and pain of the testis, etc. The Xi (cleft) Points can also be used to treat acute sprain, points being selected from meridians passing through the injured area.

Clinically, combination of the Xi (cleft) Points and the Eight Influential Points can often enhance the therapeutic effect of the acupuncture treatment, e.g. Liangqiu (St.34) and Zhongwan (Ren 12) for severe epigastric pain; Kongzui (Lu.6) and Shanzhong (Ren 17) for cough and hiccup with difficult breathing.

Observation of Xi (cleft) Points can sometimes be of help in diagnosing acute disorders. Often there is a reactive spot at a Xi (cleft) Point when a particular organ or meridian is affected, e.g. tenderness can be felt at Ximen (P.4) in case of acute pleurisy; or at Liangqiu (St.34) in case of acute mastitis.  

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