Jeff from Oakland on UB 66

Because it is on the base of the pinky toe, which is a sensitive toe, I save this point for special occasions. It’s not an everyday point. The pinky toe has the 2nd most nerve endings of all the toes, next to the big toe. They are all pressure sensors that help with balance, which is why your balance improves with better pinky toe control. 

As the water point on the water meridian, UB 66 has a powerful cooling effect. Sometimes this means an anti-inflammatory effect for the organ system which is designated to that meridian, in this case, the urinary bladder. I end up using this point a fair bit when I see inflammation in Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) or issues with the Prostate, like Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (PBH); both of these can wreak all kinds of havoc on one’s urination. But, like I said, it’s not an everyday point. I usually try other points which relate to urination first and then try this point if the issues are stubborn and unresponsive to the initial point selection. 

Occasionally, in acupuncture, we use a point that is directly opposite of the place we want to attend. For example you might do points on the right wrist to treat the left ankle. For UB 66, the direct opposite spot on the Urinary Bladder Meridian is the head and the brain inside. The meridian begins on the inner part of the eye and goes over the head and down the back. I think of the treatment of the head, and the vision, in a more metaphysical sense. (Acupuncturists can get a little metaphysical sometimes). In my view, it treats our broader vision of life, it brings about the focus of the bigger picture of our grand adventure from birth to death, and, more specifically, treats our worry and anxiety about that vision. When we fret and worry, we get all fired up. As the water point on the water meridian, it helps to “cool our jets”, and bring that fiery worry and fear back in check.

I recently used this point on my son, who had asked me to do the most mind calming treatment I could come up with in ten points (he likes ten points because he’s 10 years old). Like most parents, I think my son is amazing, but I can see that he has struggled with his emotions since the pandemic. He loves acupuncture, feels that it makes him calmer and less prone to being overwhelmed by his strong emotions. He asks me for an acupuncture treatment nearly every night. Most nights I say yes, but with the caveat that he is ready for bed before acupuncture, and that should all happen by 7:45 pm.

Acupuncture seems to turn his engine off (sometimes at night, the train is going but the conductor has left the engine room). He has a hard time calming down in the evening and a simple acupuncture treatment usually does the job of helping him mellow out. At 8:15/30 we pull the needles, find a very sleepy child, and have to drag him to bed. He usually likes me to do the same set of points. He calls it “the usual” like he’s ordering lunch at a diner he goes to every day. When he changed his order and asked for “super duper calmness” UB 66 was the first point I came up with. He didn’t mind the sensitivity of the point and, in the end, he liked it so much, he asked for it again the very next night. 

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