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The Occasional Point: Small Intestine 7: “Upright Branch”

by in Acupuncture, Digestive Health November 4, 2018

A major role of the Small Intestine is to sort through thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are pure enough for the health of the heart. This is a very important function, and when the Small Intestine is not functioning well, symptoms may include mental confusion, an inability to prioritize one’s life properly, and repeatedly making choices that negatively affect one’s health and well-being.

Small Intestine 7 Zhi Zheng “A Correct, Impartial, Upright Branch; Branch to Heart Channel”

Element: Fire

Meridian Pair: Heart

Special Functions: Junction/Luo connecting point to the Heart

Fire Element notes: The fire element corresponds to the high summer season, and relates to joy, partnership & healthy relationships. The Fire element can be recognized in a person’s voice when their speaking sounds like laughter. In a complexion, it is seen with a red flush.

The Small Intestine’s role is to sort the pure from the impure. According to Chinese Medicine, the Small Intestine sorts more than nutrients. It also sorts impurities of the mind and spirit. As a junction point (a point which connects yin and yang pairs) Small Intestine 7 communicates directly with the heart, which is its paired Fire organ.

A major role of the Small Intestine is to sort through thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are pure enough for the health of the heart. This is a very important function, and when the Small Intestine is not functioning well, symptoms may include mental confusion, an inability to prioritize one’s life properly, and repeatedly making choices that negatively affect one’s health and well-being.

The point name, “Upright Branch,” speaks to this points function as a conveyor of clear and uplifting information. Because of its connection to the Heart and relationship to the Fire element, this point treats manic depression, fright, sadness, anxiety, and mental restlessness.

On a physical level, this point treats[1]:

  • Aversion to cold, fever, fever with neck pain
  • Headache, dizziness, blurred vision
  • Stiff neck, pain in the fingers

The Chinese character Zhi Zheng is drawn as “a branch that carries and supports all that is exact, regular, and correct.[2]” The use of this point in treatment “regulates our ability to sort, either giving more structure, or relaxing too much rigidity.” A branch intuitively knows how to grow, and which direction to grow in to receive the most nutrients, and yet stays rooted to the tree and its source of life.

[1] Macioca, Giovanni. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine

[2] Kaatz, Debra. Characters of Wisdom: Taoist Tales of the Acupuncture Points

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MaryFatimah Weening, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

MaryFatimah has practiced acupuncture for eight years, and is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine, and nationally board-certified by the NCCAOM. She holds a B.A. from Smith College, and a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health.
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About MaryFatimah Weening, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
MaryFatimah has practiced acupuncture for eight years, and is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine, and nationally board-certified by the NCCAOM. She holds a B.A. from Smith College, and a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health.

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