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The Cleft Points

TCM believes that these sixteen points are where the meridians' qi deeply gathered, and they are mostly located distal to the elbow and knee joints. Under normal circumstances they cannot be attacked easily by the pathogens. In cases if there are reactions in these points, it means pathogens have deeply entered the body and conditions can develop rapidly and seriously. The cleft points are often selected when acute severe pain and inflammation occurred along the meridians or in the corresponding organs. The cleft points in the yin meridians tend to arrest bleeding, while those in the yang meridians tend to stop pain. For example, kong zui (Lu 6) is used for vomiting up of blood due to lung diseases, zhong du (Lr 6) for excessive menstruation, and wen liu (Li 7) for toothache.

The cleft points can be used alone, but often be combined with the eight influential points in acute conditions. For example, in treating acute gastritis, physicians will select liang qiu (St 34) and combine it with zhong wan (Cv 12, influential point of the qi).

Table of the 16 Cleft Points on the Yin and Yang Meridians

Yin Meridians Cleft points Yang Meridians
Lung Meridian kong zui (Lu 6) wen liu (Li 7) Large Intestine Meridian
Pericardium Meridian xi men (Pc 4) hui zong (Sj 7) Triple Burner Meridian
Heart Meridian yin xi (Ht 6) yang lao (Si 6) Small Intestine Meridian
Spleen Meridian di ji (Sp 8) liang qiu (St 34) Stomach Meridian
Liver Meridian zhong du (Lr 6) wai qiu (Gb 36) Gallbladder Meridian
Kidney Meridian shui quan (Ki 5) jin men (Bl 63) Bladder Meridian
Yin Link Vessel zhu bin (Ki 9) yang jiao (Gb 35) Yang Link Vessel
Yin Heel Vessel jiao xin (Ki 8) fu yang (Bl 59) Yang Heel Vessel

The Cleft Points