By Susan Johnson, L.Ac.
“Shen Guan” means Kidney Gate. This is Dr. Tung’s master Kidney point (#77.18), and there is no more powerful point for the Kidney. It tonifies not only the Kidney, but also the Spleen and the Yin, and benefits Qi. It connects UB 23 and Ren 4, and this internal pathway between the Kidney back Shu and front Mu points is what makes it such a powerful point for the Kidneys. It addresses Kidney deficiency and all accompanying signs and symptoms.
Because it is located on the Spleen meridian, Shen Guan utilizes the I Ching connection between Foot Tai Yin (Spleen) and Hand Tai Yang (Small Intestine). This is the influence behind its use for Small Intestine channel patterns, including trigeminal neuralgia and shoulder/arm pain. Shen Guan is also very effective for frozen shoulder and shoulder pain with inability to raise the arms upward, because of the Hand and Foot Tai Yin pathway shared between the Lung and Spleen and effecting the front of the shoulder (Lung). In cases of frozen shoulder, we use Shen Guan on the opposite side.
77.18 Shen Guan, 77.19 Dihuang, and 77.21 Renhuang (SP 6) are often used in combination, and collectively are known as the Three Emperors. The Emperor points are located on the Spleen channel, and are all very powerful Kidney points. Because of their access to these two organs, they work well for four major body systems: urinary, reproductive, gynecological, and digestive. Three Emperors have a gynecological, sexual and neurological function since these are related to the Kidney. They also treat deficiency of both postnatal Qi (Spleen) and prenatal Qi (Kidney). They are particularly effective for Urinary Bladder disease, digestive disorders, kidney failure, diabetes, gynecological disorders and male disorders such as impotence and prostate enlargement.
When compared with the Kidney Passing points (88.09, 88.10, and 88.11), Three Emperors function more for gynecological, sexual, and neurological disorders, and are more effective for impotence, premature ejaculation, diabetes, and proteinuria. Premature ejaculation indicates that the Kidney gate is not consolidated. Shen Guan treats this imbalance by astringing Kidney Jing.
For impotence, you can use Three Emperors with LV 1. The Liver meridian goes around the genitals. The Liver stores blood and governs tendons, which determine softness and hardness. LV 1 is the wood point on a wood meridian, and is the jing-well point of the Liver channel; it opens the orifices, and the penis is an orifice.
For kidney failure, use Three Emperors with 66.15 Shui Xiang (Dr. Tung’s KD 3, closer to the tendon than KD 3) and 88.13 Tian Huang (Heavenly Yellow), which is a water point on an earth channel. Alternate these two points, never using more than eight needles at once. Also for kidney failure, fill the navel with salt, and add a thin piece of ginger (cut on a diagonal and poked many times with a fork), and burn moxa on top until the salt melts. When people’s kidneys are failing, they are not able to urinate. This treatment is very good for producing urination.
For diabetes, tonify the Spleen and Kidney by using SP 9 Yinlingquan, the water point on an earth channel, along with Shen Guan; or, use Three Emperors with LI 5 Yang Xi, a fire point that disperses heat. To regulate Qi, use 66.14 Shui Xiang (KD 3), the earth point on a water channel, along with TW 4. Use LV 3 to soothe the Liver. Because there is too much earth in the water, it’s necessary to plant a tree to hold the earth.
Since most mental disorders have a Kidney component, Shen Guan can also be used to treat problems such as epilepsy, hysteria, mental disorders, and psychosis.
Susan Johnson, L.Ac. was first exposed to Tung’s acupuncture in 1983, in the clinic of Dr Lee Chuan-Djin (Miriam Lee, OMD.), in Palo Alto, California, where she also studied with Dr Young Wei Chieh. She has maintained a clinical practice in Santa Cruz, since 1984 and teaches courses in Master Tung’s Magic Points throughout the United States and Canada, Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
Susan graduated from the ACTCM in San Francisco, in 1984, and was licensed to practice TCM, in 1985. She has studied extensively with Drs. Miriam Lee and Young Wei Chieh, both students of Master Tung Ching Chang. Susan Johnson, L.Ac., is in private practice in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches Tung’s Points internationally and throughout the United States. Her style is clear and detail-oriented. Though she may utilize other acupuncture systems and techniques occasionally (like KHT and scalp acupuncture), Susan has been practicing Tung’s Points for thirty years and predominantly uses them in treating her patients. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and also enjoys studying Classical Chinese Medicine, Taoist Qi Gong, Japanese brush painting, gardening and playing music.