A hot summer day, a lot of mosquitos, and the point that saved me!

Large Intestine 11, QuChi
Pool at the Crook

By Julie

A Powerful Acupuncture Point for Clearing Heat and Soothing Pain

I recently went to the Boundary Waters on a weekend trip with my husband. We are great campers, but it had been a long time since I had done that kind of camping.  He goes to the Boundary Waters at least once a year, usually in the fall.  This time, while the trip was amazing, I understood why he doesn’t go in June.  Hello mosquitos.

It wasn’t that bad really, or at least, not all the time.  But there were times when the breeze would slow down, or we would be portaging through the woods and I experienced what is affectionately called ‘bug stress’.  The result being, a lot of mosquito bites.

My skin can be sensitive, and in the past I have had episodes of urticaria, or hives, which made me want to crawl out of my skin.  Feeling any itching was triggering a deep fear that the bites would send me into a hivey episode of misery!  That is where this point, Large Intestine 11, comes in.
diagram of large intestine 11

Large Intestine 11 is mainly known for its ability to clear heat and relieve pain. It is often used to treat a variety of conditions, and in my case, helping to relieve my itching, and my anxiety around the itching!

Quchi, aka Large Intestine 11 (or as we refer to it, LI11), is a point that has a much greater effect than just working with the digestion.  Quchi means ‘Pool at the Crook’.  The names give us clues as to the location of this point, and how it may be used. LI11 is located on the lateral side of the elbow, in the depression just before the crease where the forearm meets the upper arm.

We use this point all the time in clinic.  While mosquito bites and the subsequent emotional turmoil that I experienced are not the most common reasons to use this point, but because of it’s broad effect on the body, it did the trick.  LI11 clears heat in the whole body, helps cool the Blood, alleviates itching, and regulates Qi and Blood.  In addition to its physical benefits, LI 11 is also said to have a calming and relaxing effect on the mind. It is often used to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia.  Now you can see why I chose this point!

Because it can clear hot conditions in the body, and it is located on the Large Intestine meridian, and it works with the skin, you can figure out many of the other ways we use this point in clinic.  In my case, it cleared the heat (the hot welts were the heat in my skin, and the anxiety was the heat in my Heart).  We also use this point frequently for conditions like:

  • Fevers
  • Throat pain (especially pain when it feels ‘hot’)
  • Skin disorders (those that are red, itchy and painful)
  • Digestive disorders like distension of the abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Locally it is used often for issues with pain in the elbow (tennis elbow anyone?)

When you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you can treat yourself at home by pressing the point, acupressure.  Apply firm pressure for a few minutes mulitiple times a day and see what kind of response you notice.

If you are looking for a natural way to relieve pain, clear heat, or improve your overall health, the ‘Pool at the Creek’ point is a great option. And, in the middle of summer, who doesn’t want to plunge into a cool pool!

Here are some fun facts about the Qu Chi point:

  • The name “Qu Chi” means “Pool at the Bend.”
  • The Qu Chi point is located on the Large Intestine meridian, which is one of the 12 main meridians in Chinese medicine.
  • The Qu Chi point is considered to be a “he sea” point, which means that it is a point that helps to regulate the flow of qi (vital energy) in the body.
  • The Qu Chi point is often used in conjunction with other acupuncture points to treat a variety of conditions.

I am happy to report that the trip was a success, and I did not end up in misery.  I love having these tools available to use, and hopefully now, you can know when to use this point for yourself!