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  • Writer's pictureCat Calhoun

Groin Pain and Hernia

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

Groin Pain

Pain in the Chinese medicine definition is caused by insufficient flow of Qi and Blood to the painful areas. To alleviate this problem first identify the channel involved. Likely candidates for groin area pain include the Liver, Spleen and Stomach. Ask the patient to point to the location of the pain. Once you have identified the channel, needle the following.

  • Xin Men (Heart Gate - 33.12) on the unaffected side.

  • Points on the affected side and on the affected channels that are appropriate for the situation - like the xi-cleft, shu-stream, etc. Both of those help alleviate pain and dysfunction along the channel. You could also choose the he-sea point, as that would be around the knee and would also mirror the groin area of the body if you use the leg as an image for the body with the head imaged at the heel.

Possible sciatic involvement

Pain in the groin region could be due to compression of the sciatic nerve. If you palpate and find reactivity at Gb 30 or Huan Zhong, explore points along the Bladder, Gallbladder, and Stomach channels to see if you find more reactivity with palpation. If so, use the points described in Lumbar and Sciatic Pain.

Inguinal, Femoral, and Groin Hernias

These are common causes for inguinal or groin pain, especially in men. Identify the channel as noted above, then find out how severe it is and how long ago the problem began. A loop of intestine sneaking through that opening in the abdominal wall is a real danger and that can eventually be life threatening. If there is a bulge here, send the patient for imaging and testing. If it's small and fairly new, you might have some success treating it with acupuncture points.

Important note: sometimes men find a lump here and assume it is a hernia. It can be one or more enlarged lymph nodes which could indicate infection or even a blood cancer. Send them in for testing!

Points with hernia applications:

  • Da Jian (Great Distance 11.01) and Xiao Jian (Small Distance 11.02) Both of these have hernia applications and used together they make a dao ma combination. Needle these one one side and then needle Ling Gu (which also has hernia treatment as one of it's functions) and Da Bai on the opposite side.

  • San Qi (33.01, .02, and .03) They are also known as This Door, This Corner, and This Upright. These are on the Large Intestine channel between LI 5 and LI 11. The Large Intestine Channel has a connection with the Liver Channel and hernias are often about Liver channel dysfunction.

  • Mu (Wood or Wood Anger 11.17) Another great point for hernias and Liver aggravation in general. This one is very close the Da Jian and Xiao Jian.

Have you noticed that all of these points are on the Large Intestine Channel? When the Liver/Wood element is in excess what do you do? Sharpen the axe - use points on the Metal/Large Intestine channel which controls the excesses of the Liver channel. This is the Yangming channel - lots of Qi and Blood here to help you do that job.

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