Overall trajectory of the Bladder channel:
The Bladder channel is the longest channel in the whole body with 67 acupuncture points. It covers the entire back of the body from head to toe. The Bladder channel starts at the inner canthus of the eye. It traverses up the vertex of the head to enter the brain. It descends from the top of the head down the neck and back along the paraspinal muscles. It continues to travel down the back of the body through the gluteal, hamstrings, back of the knee down to the lateral ankle. Then it travels along the outside edge of the foot and exits through the lateral aspect of the little toe.
Bladder 40, 57 and 60 are the most common areas of stagnation in the Bladder channel.
Working on the Bladder channel can potentially help with:
Low back pain
Weakness and spasm of the legs
Initial stage of catching a cold
Bladder 40 委中 Middle of the Crook
This point is located at the back of the knee, in the deepest point midway between the two tendons of the biceps femoris and the semitendinosus.
Sitting with bent knee, we can use our hands to hug the knee from the sides with our middle and index fingers pressing on the back of the knee to find this point.
Bladder 57 承山 Support the Mountain
This point is located about midway on the lower leg, in the depression formed between the two muscle bellies of the gastrocnemius muscle. Bladder 57 is especially effective in treating spasm of the lower legs.
Using the same method as finding Bladder 40, we can use our hands to hug the calf from the sides with the middle fingers pressing on the back of the calf and tracing along the midline of the lower leg. We can look for a depression between the two bellies of the gastrocnemius muscle.
Bladder 60 昆仑 Kunlun Mountain
This point is located on the lateral ankle, in the depression between the lateral malleolus and the Achilles tendon. This point is contraindicated in pregnancy.
To access this point, we can use our thumb and index finger to trace the Achilles tendon downward until your fingers hit ankle bones. Bladder 60 is on the outside of the Achilles tendon and Kidney 3 is on the inside. We can massage both points at the same time.
Stagnation can feel like tenderness, soreness or pain. Or it might just feel slightly different from areas around it. You can work on the congested areas for 5 to 10 minutes daily. It's common to experience redness, swelling, soreness and pain in the area as you massage it with your hands. In fact, the stronger and healthier you are, the more intensity of soreness you might feel. Keep working through the discomfort. This is the key! The blockage usually goes away in 3-5 days, as well as a reduction in related symptoms.
The animal associated with the Bladder channel is the Monkey! Not only because monkeys urinate on everything everywhere (Bladder), but also because they need strong back and legs to climb those trees.
The best time to work on the Bladder channel is 3-5 PM. However, the actual best time to work on any channel is whenever you have time. What matters most is to do it consistently and daily.