The Four Gates: Points in Acupuncture

by on January 25th, 2011
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My final project is on a set of points known as the four gates, or siguan. These points are located bilaterally at Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4. Liver 3 (Taichong) is located on the dorsum of the foot, in the hollow distal to the junction of the first and second metatarsal bones. Large Intestine 4 (Hegu) is located on the dorsum of the hand, between the first and second metacarpal bones, at the midpoint of the second metacarpal bone and close to its radial border. These points, Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4, combined, help to reduce injury and stress. Liver qi stagnation can also be resolved by utilizing the four gates (siguan). Together these four acupuncture points are thought to enhance the circulation of Qi and blood throughout the body and have a calming and analgesic effect. They are also used to alleviate pain.

In my research, I discovered that siguan, or the four gates, has been used to act with better than or similar results to Prozac to the liver in depressive neurosis. The points used in this study included Siguan Points (bilateral Hegu LI4 and Taichong LR 3), Baihui (GV 20), and Yintang (EX-HN3), plus ear acupuncture. This was in comaparison to Prozac and non-acupoint needling as acupuncture placebo.

Siguan, or the four gates, has also been proven to be very effective against primary dysmenorrhea. Acupuncture at Siguan points with Qinglong Baiwei method has a significant therapeutic effect on primary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is defined as cramping pain in the lower abdomen occurring just before or during menstruation, in the absence of other diseases such as endometriosis.

There has also been news where forty-six cases of hysteria were treated mainly by acupuncture at Siguan points. This was reported by Henan Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Through these examples we can see that utilizing the siguan, or four gates, is very useful to TCM practitioners everywhere.

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