This point reminds me of broth. While I make a few different kinds of broth for various culinary purposes, there is a broth I make from the leftover bones of a chicken carcass after it has been roasted and all the meat has been eaten or made into soup. I boil and simmer the bones and gristle for an epic amount of time which brings out a little bit of bitterness in the flavor, but it’s worth it to pull out every bit of nutrition from the poor chicken who sacrificed its life so my family could have a nice dinner.
GB39 is the influential point of marrow, and marrow is most closely identified, in my mind, with the various tissues of the nervous system. Therefore, I use this point mostly with issues that involve the functions of the nerves, nervous tissues, the spinal column, and of course, the brain. Brain issues are not uncommon in the clinic. The most common brain issues I see are dementia and post-concussion syndrome, the latter being bad enough that I bought a helmet for skateboarding which I now use with enthusiasm and a touch of dogma.
When I have my homemade chicken broth around, I put it in everything. I cook it with rice, quinoa, polenta, couscous, all kinds of beans, and, of course, every type of soup. It doesn’t last long. I save it in quart sized buckets, and even though I make a huge batch, it moves quickly and effortlessly into a variety of subsequent dinners. It blends in, enhancing the flavor, the quality and nutrition of the food, but not making a big ‘to do’ about itself.
The same is true of GB 39. It somehow ends up in almost every treatment, with variety and subtlety. If you’ve gotten some acupuncture (which I assume, if you’re reading this, you’ve had) you are aware that some points are typically more intense than others. This one tends not to be very intense. It is often slipped right in without notice. And, like my chicken broth, it ends up as a core ingredient in so many treatments. For sure, the aforementioned brain and nervous system issues, including idiopathic neuropathy, but also issues along the channel.
The Gall Bladder channel is a part of the Shaoyang channel which also includes the San Jiao channel which runs from the hand, up the arm, and into the ear. Together the two parts of the channel, the Gall Bladder and the San Jiao (AKA Triple Burner, not to be confused with someone going to the Burning Man Festival 3 years in a row), cover a lot of the body. Over the years, I’ve noticed that most of their channel dysfunctions are rooted in stress and spots on this channel, hold pain, or get clogged up, when your stress level goes up and when mental stress is held somewhere in our physical bodies. Most often I see this in neck and shoulder tension due to stress, but also issues like migraines and sciatica, which we have a very good track record of being treated with acupuncture.
Sure enough, GB 39, with its mighty nourishment, ends up in all of those Shaoyang channel treatments. In fact, I probably use it in more treatments than the recipes which call for my chicken broth. I’m just glad that I don’t have to kill a chicken every time I use it.