Winter Acupuncture: Governing Vessel 14

Governing Vessel 14 (abbreviated GV-14) is called The Great Hammer. This point is located below C-7 on the spine. C-7, the seventh cervical vertebrae is the one which is the most prominent. Traditionally the vertebrae were referred to as hammers because of their resemblance to the tool. This point is great because it is the intersecting point for all of the Yang meridians in the body. In winter time, this point is often used to treat colds and other illnesses that are common this time of year.

In Chinese Medicine there are six types of evils that can afflict the body. Wind, cold, heat, dryness, dampness, summer heat are the six evils, or excesses. GV-14 is good at expelling pathogens in the body, including invasions of wind and cold, as well as summer heat. Wind cold can enter the body through the area between GV-14 and Bladder 12. This is why it is important to wear a scarf or neck gaiter in the winter. You want to protect your body from an invasion of wind cold. If you do become afflicted you may get a cold, fever, flu and experience coughing. In the summer, excess heat can cause high fevers and GV-14 is effective in reducing them. GV-14 can also be needled to keep the “Wei Qi” (the protective Qi, akin to the immune system) strong, thus protecting the body from external pathogens.

Due to its location on the neck, GV-14 can be used for neck pain or stiff neck, pain along the spine, headaches, toothache and sore throats. As you can see, Governing Vessel 14 is not only a great point in general, but a critical point during the winter months when cold and flu season are upon us and the threat of evil wind and cold is all around us.

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