Geshu BL-17 Acupuncture Point

Geshu BL-17

Chinese: 膈俞

Pinyin: Gé Shū

Location

1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 7th thoracic vertebra (T7). 

 

How to locate

First locate the spinous process of the 7th cervical vertebra (C7), which is still palpable when the neck is being flexed and extended, while the 6th cervical vertebra (C6) starts to slide anteriorly and gradually disappears. 

The spinous process of the 7th thoracic vertebra (T7) is seven spinous process below C7.

Or directly locate the spinous process of T7, which is level with the inferior angle of the scapula, when the patient is seated with their arms hanging down. 

Geshu BL-17 is 1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of T7. Geguan BL-46 is at the same level but 3 cun lateral to T7.  

Points located between BL-41 and BL-54 are the outer branch of the Bladder Channel, while these between BL-12 and BL-30 are the inner branch. 

Main actions

  1. Invigorates Blood
  2. Cools Blood Heat and stops bleeding
  3. Harmonizes Qi in diaphragm and descends Rebellious Stomach Qi
  4. Nourishes Blood and tonifies Qi

Needling

0.5–1 cun obliquely towards the spine.

Or 1 to 1.5 cun transversely towards the spine. This method applied more often as it allows the patients to lie in a supine position easily during needling retention. 

Commentary for Geshu BL-17

Geshu BL-17 is a major point with various functions, especially on Blood. 

First of all, it invigorates Blood and removes Blood Stagnation of the whole body or of any specific Organs, In fact, it can be combined with other Back Transporting-Shu points to invigorate Blood of their relevant Organs. For example, when combined with Ganshu BL-18 or Xinshu BL-15, BL-17 is able to removes Blood Stagnation of the Liver or the Heart representatively.

Be aware that Geshu BL-17 is mostly effective on the upper part of the body, while Xuehai SP-10 is mainly on the lower part. These two points are often used together to invigorate Blood generally. 

Secondly, it invigorates and regulates Qi as well, but mainly in the chest and diaphragm. Thus it eases pain, oppression and fullness in the area. 

Thirdly, it subdues Stomach Rebellious Qi and treat symptoms such as hiccup, belching, nausea and vomiting.

Fourthly, related to its ability to subdues Rebellious Qi, BL-17 can also stop bleeding by cooling Blood as well. However, it is mostly effect on the bleeding upwards, such as nose blood, coughing or vomiting of blood.

All above functions needs to be performed with Reducing Needling method. No moxa is allowed for these types of Excess patterns

On the other hand, Geshu BL-17 is also used for Empty patterns with direct moxibustion. 

For example, it tonifies general Qi and Blood of the whole body when combined with Danshu BL-19 with direct moxibustion. The combination of these points is called the 'Four Flowers' as there are two points of each side. 

Furthermore, BL-19 also nourishes Blood of some specific Organs when applying moxibustion with Back Transporting-Shu points. For example, when combined with Ganshu BL-18, Xinshu BL-15 or Pishu BL-20, BL-17 is able to nourish Blood of the Liver, Heart and Spleen representatively.