The Treatment of Prostatitis and Endometriosis
Approaches to Developing our Understanding and Treatment of the Lower Jiao
When looking at pathologies of the Lower Jiao, we might want to look at the interaction of the
lower and upper sections (Jiaos or Dan Tians) and investigate the structures created by them and
their inter-relationship. There are certainly empirical points to treat defined syndromes like
endometrioisis or prostatitis, but as we look to treat the underlying causes of how did the
inflammation, swelling, congestion, come to settle in the first place, we will often need to look at
more than just the Lower Jiao.
By investigating the inter-relationships of the 3 Burners amongst themselves and with the 3
Fields, and looking at the human body as a whole, we can start to see more connections and
devise ways to diagnose and produce treatment ideas. We can further look at point names as
possible hints left to us by the ancestral teachers to develop our understanding of the human
body, and of course, we can use our present day views of medicine and correlate those back to
the meridian/Chinese models and arrive at even more ideas.
Looking at the Triple Warmer Correlations:
焦 – Jiao is to burn, but it also means anxious or worried (as a bird would be when it is
charred). There is some fire, agitation, some movement that is required in being alive. What
does not move at all, is frozen and is not alive. The concepts of Three Jiaos reflects this
aspect of movement, of flow.
Implied in the concept of heat is that it rises, that there is a lift involved, so from a treatment
principle, to support the Lower Jiao, the base, would be to support this lift while inducing
丹田 – Dan Tian, Cinnabar Field, connotes something slightly different. The cinnabar (丹) is
the mineral (the dot) found in a mine/well (井). Thus it connotes something more quiet and
of a mineral, not a movement nature.
These two ideas, Jiao and Dan Tian, are not synonymous, and although one can speak of 3
Dan Tians, generally only the lower Dan Tian is referenced. The Dan Tians are considered
to be more in the centre line (like a well, a shaft), while the Jiaos spread through the width of
the body. The Upper Jiao is in the chest, and that is the seat of the Middle Dan Tian, while
the Upper Dan Tian would be considered in the head (Yin Tang - which is not part of the San
Jiao classification). Yet in the lower Jiao, there is a stronger correspondence between the
Dan Tian and the Lower Jiao. This is the place of both movement (bowels, bladder) and
Restlessness/excitement (auddhatya) is also expressed as 掉舉, Diao Ju. Diao is to loose, to
drop, and Ju is to lift, to raise, to uphold or be whole. It is the opposite of 輕安, Qing An
(prasrabhi), ease (literally ease/light calm). Qing (輕) is an expression of positive health –
the body (and mind) feel light and at ease: it is a cart navigating the currents of the river
without obstacles. Note that restlessness here is expressed as dropping the lift, meaning that
the lift is necessary for calmness. The lift part (Ju 舉) shows two hands, one on each side,
coming together squeezing the central hand to lift it. This gives us a clue as to how to treat
the centre, the 3 Jiaos – it can be done from the sides, allowing the participation of the sides
(hands especially – this is the San Jiao channel).
The Anatomy of the 3 Jiaos – 3 diaphragms:
In looking at the relationships of the 3 Jiaos, or the 3 Dan Tian, we see that there are 3 areas
that divide the spaces. There is the middle which is the thoracic diaphragm, which
movement causes the exchange of air, supporting life. At the bottom is the pelvic floor
which is like a sponge and at the throat we have the throat cavity with the glottis. All of
these can be contracted and affect each other. These are what the Yogic tradition calls
Bandhas (bridges/locks) – Mula Bandha (the root bridge/lock), the light lifting of the perineal
floor, Uddyana Bandha (uplifting bridge), the pulling of the abdomen towards the spine and
up, expanding the diaphragm, and Jalandhara Bandha (net holding, or chin lock), the locking
of the energy at the throat. We can also feel the connection between lightly lifting the
perineum and the creation of space in the throat, and when we do that with awareness, we
can (hopefully) feel the entire front of the spine.
To support this awareness, we start at Kid6 (照海 Zhao Hai – to Reflect/illuminate/make
evident the Ocean, meaning the Ocean of Life). When we push the heels down into the floor
while pulling the ankles up, we create space for Kid6, the inner thighs are activated all the
way into the perineum, and a straw-like feeling can be felt up the front of the spine, all the
way up to the throat, creating a sense of space/hollowness in the lower abdomen and in the
The creation of this chain of “Bandhas” demonstrates the uplift in the body and the
connection between the space in the throat and the space of the pelvic floor – ST9 and Kid11,
the vagus nerve and the sacral plexus.
Correlations with Western Medical Understanding:
From a circulatory/innervation perspective, two areas become important to check, the sacrum
for innervation and the inner thighs for circulation. The lower abdomen is innervated by the
sympathetic and parasympathetic ganglions of the sacrum, below the aorta bifurcating. The
blood supply to the abdominal organs comes from the legs, so any blockages in the inguinal
area or the upper thigh (Liv12 area) will affect the circulation in the lower abdomen, and
need to be cleared as a first step in treatment (and in some cases that may well be enough).
From an endocrine perspective, the reproductive functions as hormones of the lower Jiao are
correlated and subject to the pituitary (and to some extent the thyroid), again showing the
tight correlation between U.B.2/Yin Tang, representing the pituitary and the lower Jiao, as
well as S.I.13/S.J.15 are which affects hormones.
In men, ureo-genital issues are often correlated with the nervous system. This applies not
only in erectile/sexual issues (where the nervous system must harmonize the sympathetic and
parasympathetic impulses) but also in urinary and prostate issues.
In practice, it means releasing the SCM to allow the vagus nerve to produce a
parasympathetic response. Thus a point we call S.J.8 (it is one third down from the elbow,
much higher than the text book location of either S.J.8 or 9) becomes a major point in
treating male ureo-genital problems. If there is pressure pain on the SCM, it can be released
with the opposite side S.J.8. In cases where the pulse is rapid, S.J.5 (taken as in the texts)
will be the effective point (contralateral to the SCM being released). In some cases, needling
ST9 can alleviated ureo-genital symptoms (reflecting on Kid11).
One treatment strategy that captures the relationship between the 3 Dan Tians and the
creating of Qing (Ease 輕) via Ju (lift 舉) – is coming from the sides, that is to use a point
below G.B.26 at the level of Ren4 combined with U.B.2.
The point level with Ren4 but on the side of the body (below G.B.26 – lateral to the iliac
crest) might be called MuShu (between the Mu and the Shu), and at some periods G.B.27 (五
樞, Wu Shu – Five Hinges) and G.B.28 (維道, Wei Dao –Linking/maintaining the Path)
were placed here (rather than medial to the crest – one can see the correlation of these point
names with stabilizing/supporting the lower Jiao). This represents the calming, solidifying
and hollowing (creating space) of the lower Jiao. U.B.2 (攢竹 Zan Zhu Collecting Bamboo)
represents the Upper Dan Tian (usually described by Yin Tang), as well as the control of the
pituitary over the hormonal functions of the Lower Dan Tian.
Reflexes where Lower Jiao issues will reflect as pressure pain:
Kid13 – reflects the uterus
(Kid13 is named 氣穴, Qi Xue – Cave of Qi, or 胞門 Bao Men – Uterus Gate)
ST28 – reflects the ovaries
both may reflect prostate, which more commonly reflects on Kid11, Ren2
Check the piriformis muscle and the sacro-iliac ligaments for tightness that disrupts flow into
the lower abdomen
Check the inguinal (ST30, G.B.27/28) and the top of the inner thigh (Liv12 area) for
blockages that disrupt flow into the lower abdomen
Empirical Treatment Points:
Anti-inflammatory points for the lower Jiao – Liv5, SP5
Ovarian points – Kid7, Kid10 (use both if Kid2 shows pain)
Prostate points – Kid7, SP7, G.B.31, U.B.35
Endometrioisis – Liv5
Liv5 (蠡溝 Li Gou) – This is the best point for endometriosis and also use for any
inflammation in the lower Jiao. For this purpose it is found not necessarily 5 cun above the
ankle, but probably closer to half way between the ankle and SP9 (higher than the text
location), and very clearly on the bone (rather than behind the bone which I consider to be
the Spleen domain). When this point is active, it will have a dent when you press on the
bone, like pitting edema that leaves a mark. It is a direct moxa point, as derived from its
name – this is insect (䖵) that eats up (彖 - there is a snout on top) the wood (the channel it is
on) and has created a groove/ditch (Gou - 溝) in it. One gets rid of wood boring/eating
insects by smoking them out (e.g. termites), hence the moxa…
SP5 (商丘Shang Qiu) – is another anti-inflammatory point for the lower Jiao. Its name
implies that it treats accumulations (丘, Qiu - mounds/hills) by facilitating an
exchange/discussion (商 - Shang). SP5 can be needled, but direct moxa is very important.
SP7 – (漏谷 Lou Gu) - used for any leaking, especially of blood. Lou (漏) is rain that comes
into the house, a leakage. Gu (谷 - valley) is water that passes through the mouth (of a river
in this case). Because of the metaphors associated with leaks and openings/controls, it is a
preferred point (rather than SP5) for prostate issues.
The issues of flow are also demonstrated in the names of Kid7 (復 Fu Liu – Recover/Repeat
Flow) and Kid10 (陰谷 Yin Gu – Yin Valley)
G.B.31 –風風 Feng Shi,
when used to release the piriformis so as to release the lower Jiao for
gynecological issues, use a point that is 2 fingers behind (towards the U.B
channel) and 2 fingers above the traditional point
use the traditional location if no piriformis tightness is involved and for prostatitis
this is in line with using the sides to treat the centre
Liv9/Inner Yin –
Liv9 – Yin Bao - 陰包 (or 陰胞) is clearly associated with the uterus and/or bladder,
the two “bao” (containers, wrappers) in the lower Jiao
Inner Yin is at the level of Liv9 but on the Kidney channel.
it is named Xin Yin Men (新殷門 New Abundance Gate) or Inner Yin.
Originally this point was used on the left for constipation
– it has a clear effect on the pelvic floor
as well as on the neck (releasing the trapezius and scalenes)
the character Yin (殷) contains the character for torso (身) in reverse (㐆)
implying to trust, to follow (this is also the name of U.B.37)
Sacro-iliac ligaments – these are the ligaments that connect the sacrum and iliac bone.
tightness here will create tightness up the rest of the spine (especially lumbar)
and disrupts the flow into the perineal cavity and lower abdomen.
You can needle these ligaments between the sacrum and iliac, which is
often difficult due to narrow space, or more laterally, from the iliac side.
In both cases you find the most “gummy” areas and needle towards the centre
(or you might think of it as towards opposite G.B.26).
This area includes U.B.53 (胞肓 Bao Huang) and U.B.54 (柣邊 Zhi Bian)
which are commonly used for gynecology and lower leakages as their
names imply. It also affects the sacral nerve plexuses which innervate the
pelvic organs and vessels.
U.B.31-34 – these affect the autonomic nervous plexus of the sacrum innervating the pelvic
organs and vessels.
L5 (十七椎 Shi Qi Zhui) – affects the sacral plexus
U.B.35 – 會陽 Hui Yang(assembly/Capacit of Yang/expansion)
is used for hemorrhoids
for prostate problems – go more laterally and look for the gummy tight spot