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  • Thanh Nguyen

Spirit of the Point - 委 中 – Wěi Zhōng - Urinary Bladder 40



· – Wěi – servant, downstream part of river, let go, release

· – Zhōng – center, middle, within

· This is the He-Sea and Earth point of the UB channel

· Command point of the low back

· Heavenly Star point


1. Location

o Wěi Zhōng = Centered Downstream

  • This point is located on the back of the knee, on the popliteal crease, in the depression midway between the tendons of biceps femoris and semitendinosus. (Deadman, A Manual of Acupuncture)

  • It’s essentially in the center of the popliteal fossa, and since it’s a “fossa”, it’s where things gather, just like the downstream of the river.

2. Physiology

o Wěi Zhōng = Letting go within/Surrender to the Dao

  • Physically, the urinary bladder is responsible for “letting go” (of urine) and drains downwards. However, it’s also the organ of Jing-Qi-Shen transformation. Energetically, it’s the organ that allows humans to be upright since it’s the organ that runs up and down the back, essentially covering the entire back side of the body

  • When the UB functions properly, we are able to let go of unnecessary and/or toxic materials that we no longer need, in order for the transformation process to occur appropriately. If the UB function is impeded, the Jing-Qi-Shen transformation is also interrupted, which may lead to many issues. Whether the UB is too “loose” (not strong enough to hold and drain properly) or too “rigid” (holds and would not drain), both could lead to health issues.

  • With this point, it takes away the “rigidity”, physically and emotionally, allows the back to move more smoothly, thus allowing qi to flow softly. On the mental-emotional level, this point smooths out the asserting ego, allowing the heart to be more aligned with the Dao, so another name for this point is also “Wěi Xīn”, meaning carefree, no worries, heart in line with the Dao.

  • Moreover, being the He-Sea and Earth point of the UB channel, this point is incredibly nourishing and heat-clearing, therefore it also supports the function of the physical urinary bladder so that the letting go process could continue properly.

3. Pathology

o Wěi Zhōng = Struck by Bending Disease

  • Physically, since the UB covers the entire back, it’s directly related to the flexibility of the back, so anytime there’s rigidity or over-flexibility of the back, it’s very likely that the UB is involved on some level. UB-40 specifically, is the Command Point of the lower back, which means that it’s useful for all lumbar-related issues, making it the #1 point to use for low back pain.

  • In the Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing, it was said that this point was used in epilepsy for the person bending

  • Dr. Fruehauf did a demonstration by tapping/beating on UB-40 of a student with back pain, and his UB-40 would turn dark purple as if it was being guasha. He explained that it was from Dr. Liu Li Hong, who went and studied with a Daoist physician and learned it from him. By beating/tapping UB-40 in a more “qigong” manner, he brought out the sha, and on patient with long standing stagnation, it will definitely showing up here as purple. It’s a very good method to know in cases where no other tool is available.

  • In the Jade Dragon Classic, it said that any spinal pain and low back pain, or any pain that hurts all the way to the head, this point is #1.

  • Being a He-Sea point, UB-40 is also very cooling and great at clearing heat, so it could be used treat ceaseless nosebleed (could be due to heat), cools blood, and clears summerheat.

  • § Aside from its effect on the low back, this point could also be used locally to treat knee issues such as swelling, pain, stiffness of the knees.

  • § Not only does this point release the low back, it could also release the upper back and shoulder (Great Compendium), and I think part of the reason why it works is because of the location and the low back releasing action – once the low back is released, the upper back and neck would also be released.

  • Wěi Zhōng is also often mentioned in the Ling Shu for variety of issues, ranging from disease of the physical urinary bladder to costal pain to nosebleed. There is a KD branch that unites with the UB here and runs up to the KD, so it could also treat lumbar pain due to KD deficiency.

4. Overall Recap

o The character 委 (Wěi) in ancient form is a woman yielding to the plant on top of her, and together the character means to serve, to bring all into balance, to abandon, easy, etc. (Spirit of the Points) with 中 (Zhōng) meaning center, middle.

o Together this point allows us to follow the Middle Path of moderation and harmony, through humble yielding we will gain great knowledge and perspective.



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