The Power of the Jing-Well Points

The Power of the Jing-Well Points

By Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute

Jing Not Ting Points
As Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was edging into the western world, the soft, fricative sound of the “J” was translated as a hard “T” sound. That’s why you will often see the Jing-Well Points translated as Ting Points in older texts. Most schools have shifted to calling the acupoints located around the coronary band on horses and at the nail beds on dogs and cats (except for Kidney 1) Jing-Well points.

Jing-Well Points
All of the Jing-Well points on each of the 12 channels are powerful Shu Points or Transporting Points. The Jing-Well points are the most superficial

Jing-Well Points,Tallgrass Animal Acupressure

Canine Jing-Well point

of the Five Transporting Points*.  These points are where the yin and yang chi bubble up and transform to the opposite polarity. The chi of these points is highly accessible and easily influenced because the energy is so dynamic.

Energy of the Jing-Well Points
In the Classic of Difficulties, Chapter 68, the energy of the Jing-Well Points is characterized as being centrifugal, or outward, in nature. Hence, these points are known to:

•     Quickly expel pathogenic factors such as Wind and Heat
•     Resolve yin organ diseases especially those related to Heat, and
•     Benefit shen disturbances (mental issues) related to Heat – irritability, restlessness, anxiety, or confusion.

Specific Functions of the Jing-Well Points
Because the Jing-Well points readily eliminate pathogenic factors they can be used for acute and even traumatic conditions. For instance, all 12 Jing-Well points can be used for heat stroke. Other examples of when best to work with the Jing-Well points are:
•     Heart 9 and Kidney 1 for anxiety and shen disturbances
•     Pericardium 9 for calming irritability and restlessness
•     Stomach 45 for confusion
•     Triple Heater 1 helps with laminitis for horses
•     Lung 11 to expel Heat in the chest
•     Gall Bladder 44 and Bladder 67 for hip and hock pain
•     Large Intestine 1 for respiratory problems and thoracic limb issues

Five-Element Theory and the Jing-Well Points
The power of the Jing-Well points is reflected in the Five-Element Theory also. The yin Jing-Well points are Wood Command points while the yang points are Metal Command points.

Yin Jing-Well Wood Command Points: Lung 11, Heart 9, Pericardium 9, Spleen 1, Liver 1, Kidney 1
Yang Jing-Well Metal Command Points: Large Intestine 1, Triple Heater 1, Small Intestine 1, Stomach 45, Gall Bladder 44, Bladder 67

The Jing-Well Points can be used to supports the harmonious flow of chi throughout the animal’s body because they have the attribute of balancing the entire meridian thus balancing the entire body.

Equine: To stimulate the Jing-Well points gently press and lightly massage the point with the soft tip of your thumb. Count slowly to 15before moving on around the coronary band to the next point. Kidney 1 is located on the back of the heel bulb.

Canine & Feline:  Gently massage around the dog or cat’s nail beds to stimulate the Jing-Well Points. When you have complete the points located on the digits, press the soft tip of your thumb on the back of the back pad. As you massage each point slowly count to 15 before moving to the next point.

*NOTE: The five Shu, or Transporting, Points are located between the coronary band and elbow on a horse, and the nail beds and the elbow on dogs and cats. The five categories of Shu Points in ascending order from the coronary band on the horse or nail beds of the dog or cat are: Jing-Well, Ying-Spring, Shu-Stream, Jing-River, and He-Sea.

Meridian Charts showing major acupoints and Jing-Well points are available by clicking on Animal Meridian Charts.

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By:  Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute

When your dog has a seizure it’s scary. You desperately want to help him while he looks so helpless and at the mercy of his nervous system going haywire. There are things you can do, including canine acupressure.

First thing you need to do is make sure the dog is in a safe location. Clear any obstacles on which he can be hurt. If there are stairs or any other dangers, block them off or try to slide him away from the danger.

Remember to stay calm and away from your dog’s mouth. He could unintentionally bite you. You need to be safe, too. His tongue will not obstruct his airway nor can he swallow his tongue.canine acupressure,tallgrass animal acupressure institute

When a dog is experiencing a seizure, his body temperature rises. The longer the seizure the higher his temperature can go raising the risk of brain damage. What you can do to help cool his body down is place an ice pack on the nape of his neck.

Placing an ice pack on the nape of your dog’s neck during a seizure has been shown to lessen the severity and duration of the seizure. There’s a specific canine acupressure point at the dorsal base of the dog’s neck called Governing Vessel 14 (GV 14), or Du 14, which is known to clear heat.

Note: Always consult your holistic veterinarian immediately. If you have not consulted your veterinarian concerning your dog’s seizures, it would be wise to schedule a visit as soon as possible.

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The Difficult Conversation – Animal Acupressure

The Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Practitioner Google Group participants share issues they are experiencing with clients. Recently, the discussion turned to how to deal dying animals. The discussion has been thoughtful, respectful, and sensitive. We thought we would share some of the Tallgrass Practitioners’ comments from the extensive participation in the discussion entitled, “The Difficult Conversation.”
This is how the discussion began: I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on issues of death, dying and euthanasia. Specifically, I have a 14 year old GSD mix who hasn’t walked for the past 8 months. He has bed sores on both hips and while they are healing, he is clearly diminishing before my eyes.

Tallgrass Animal Acupressure

Spencer-Tallgrass Acupressure Greyhound 2002-2009

Comment: I always want to give my dogs the best possible remaining days, whether that is for a month, a year, or several years, but I also want to allow them to pass peacefully, without unnecessary or excessive pain, and with their remaining dignity.  It is never easy to make the decision, but I feel euthanasia is a kind way for each of us to pass.  I would want that for myself, and I am glad to be able to do it for my dogs.  Choosing the “right time” is the difficult part.  I have always been guided by the thought that when a dog can no longer stand up and walk under its own volition, it is time.  At risk of sounding unsympathetic, if you consider how a dog in the wild would pass, it would likely go off on its own, lie down, and eventually pass.  The dog you have described is still alive because the owner is likely serving its food and water to it in bed, and carrying outside to do its business, so she is essentially prolonging its life in this state.  While I have done similar life-prolonging measures for few days for my dogs, hoping that they would improve, I could never do this a long-term way of living.
Comment: Could we suggest some points for the human to do on themselves to help with letting go/transition….
Comment: It is so very difficult to let our loved ones go; pets or people.  Death is messy business and often our emotions and our issues get in the way of making sound decisions. Our pets are here much longer because of the care we give them. I believe we should give them an easy peaceful departure when the time comes and in their familiar surroundings if at all possible. I think we sometimes hide behind excuses and reasons for not opting for euthanasia as an out for not having to be the one that makes the decision to let go. I also acknowledge that each animal and each person have different situations to deal with whether physical issues or financial that impact the decisions that are made.

Comment: I highly recommend Ignatia – (homeopathic) which I took to help deal with my mom’s death (as well as doing points).  I have also used it on my own animals after a pet has died, and once when we separated a mare from her foal from for weaning. It took the sharp edge of the sword off my heart, but didn’t take the grief away.  I also took it after one my client horses chose to die after I did Ki27 and pain points.  He died that night and the same evening I had the most wonderful comforting dream about him – and felt so connected.
Comment: I have found that in-home euthanasia is critical for the other members of the pack to understand that their friend has passed, and wasn’t just taken away.  It is amazing to see the others circle around and watch their friend go.  When there is so much good energy, I always feel like we have made the best choice for everyone.
Comment: I have a friend who owns a small dog store nearby and her way of deciding when it is time is to think of the top five things that your dog loved to do, when he or she can no long do any of those things on the list, it may be time.  The five things could be as simple as loved chewy bones, or liked to sniff mailbox posts on a walk.
Comment: It may be worthwhile to pay attention to this human reasoning before drawing conclusions and applying the results to our beloved animals who may or may not have a different set of parameters within their reasoning.
  I cannot avoid the awkward experience of learning and uncertainty – even with the Book of the Dead on the bookshelf.  The only thing in my power is to grant each dog a full review of all the questions at hand – no matter how many sleepless nights – before making any decisions or before any decisions are made: sometimes the dog decides, but there are times it doesn’t because it doesn’t want to let go for his/her own reasons. But even with  the best of intentions I make mistakes and may make better decisions 5 years from now on but + and: ……….. so will the dog.

Posted in Acupressure for Senior Animals, acupuncture, Canine Acupressure, Equine Acupressure, Holistic Horse Health, TCM & General | Comments Off

The Bladder Meridian Outer Line

Gretchen Deitz, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute

Dezi came to us after the sudden and tragic loss of his human guardian. A 13-year-old terrier mix who looks one-part Tramp (from “Lady and the Tramp”) and one-part David Niven (the debonair actor), Dezi seemed, at first, like a well-balanced dog. But after those first few weeks, we came to realize that Dezi had been  traumatized not only by the loss of his human companion, but also by his human’s declining mental health in the final years of his life.tallgrass dog acupressure

Dezi’s trauma showed itself in many ways. He slept in a tiny little ball on the smallest corner of the couch, trying as hard has he could not to take up space. Particular noises — beeps on the microwave or thuds from doors closing — rattled him so, he’d scurry away to find the darkest corner in which to hide. He ate very little and any change in his routine would trigger colitis — bright red bloody stools with occasional diarrhea. During acupressure and massage sessions he’d either go completely limp — as if he’d left his body — or move away completely. When he stayed and was fully present, sessions lasted only 10 minutes before he decided he’d had enough.

As the weeks progressed, the more clear it became that Dezi was both in emotional shock and deeply grieving. After a consultation with his Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) vet, we worked in collaboration on Dezi’s “outer channel.”

The Bladder meridian begins at the corner of the eye and runs over the head, down along the spine, and down each hind limb. The meridian runs 1.5 cun off the dorsal midline, but when it reaches the scapula, it separates into an “Inner Channel” and an “Outer Channel.” While the Inner Channel is used more frequently for organ system sessions and assessment, the Outer Channel addresses emotional well-being.

In TCM, each paired organ system is associated with an emotion. For instance, Liver and Gallbladder are associated with anger while Heart and Small Intestine are associated with Joy. Grief is associated with the Lung and Large and Intestine meridians and while Dezi wasn’t experiencing any “lung” issues per se, he was clearly experiencing Large Intestine problems.

To start, the vet recommended monthly acupuncture sessions where she’d focus on balancing his emotional stability and his intestinal concerns. She’d needle BL 13 and Bl 42 as well as Bl 21, Bl22, Bl 25, Bl 40, and St 36. In between sessions, I worked two points at the most every three days, initially focusing my canine acupressure work on Bl 42 and then assessing his progress and adjusting my point selection as he moved through his grief.

After acupuncture sessions, Dezi would come home and sleep for a good two hours. When he woke, though, he was alert, engaged, and ready for action. His energy increased and his mood was clearly happier and more at peace for about three days. This is when I’d step in and work BL 42 bilaterally. I thought I’d see Dezi bounce back regaining the benefits of his initial acupuncture treatment, but this was not the case. In fact, for about 24-36 hours, Dezi seemed even more grief-stricken, which included an unwillingness to eat and, once again, a tendency toward loose stools.

I consulted the vet again and she said to keep focused on Bl 42, that Dezi’s response was, she believed, a sign that he was pushing through the grief. “It has to go somewhere,” she said, “and we’re more likely to see increased manifestations of grief while his body works through the loss and the unsettling time with his previous family.”

canine acupressure

And so I kept working Bl 42 and slowly, as the weeks progressed, Dezi’s moods leveled and his bowel movements became more regular and firm. Soon, I moved away from Bl 42 and focused on what was needed based on the assessment of the Association Points.

Dezi still gets monthly acupuncture from the vet and weekly acupressure from me. While he knows when he’s had enough, our sessions have doubled in length and he’s more willing to let me work temperamental points like those on the paws or his belly. He’s clearly happier too. He walks with his head up and wiggles hello when we come home from work. Meal times are no longer a struggle and though he still has an occasional bout of stress colitis (brought on by dramatic changes to his routine), they are more easily managed. While I know there are moments when he still grieves the loss of his previous guardian, I also know he now feels like a loved member of our family.

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Equine Acupressure – Retained Placenta

By:  Tallgrass Animal Acupressure

The birth of a foal is an amazing event. If all goes well, the mare proceeds through three stages of labor relatively quickly. Stage one generally involves overall restlessness as the mare paces the stall, paws, lies down, gets back up, and often begins to sweat. In stage two there are strong contractions, “breaking of the water” occurs, and the mare may lie down to deliver the foal, often in a just a few minutes.

Once the foal is safely delivered there is still more to be done. In Stage three of labor the placental membranes are expelled and it is highly important that placental membranes are expelled completely.

Placental expulsion occurs as the mare continues with strong, labor-like uterine contractions. Generally, placental expulsion takes place within one to three hours after birth, but on occasion some or all of the placenta is retained. The only way to know for sure if the entire placenta has been expelled is to examine it closely after expulsion. If tears have occurred and pieces seem to be missing, there is a likelihood that some of it remains within the uterus.

Clearly, this medical situation is part of your holistic veterinarian’s mare and foal care protocol. The determination of retained placenta should be made by your veterinarian.

When a foal of mine was born several years ago our veterinarian determined that our mare, Mariah, likely had some level of retained placenta. About 3 hours after birth, I worked the equine acupressure points shown in the following chart with success!

Retained Pl

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Canine Acupressure: How to Work with a Difficult Dog

Canine Acupressure: How to Work with a Difficult Dog

By Gretchen Dietz

The first words out of Bob’s mouth aren’t nice ones. If he had thought bubbles, they’d be censored. An 8-year-old Chihuahua, scurries across the living room paddling his crippled and unusable left front leg while tossing his small head back in a fit of angry commentary. It’s been this way since I met Bob… almost two years ago!

Bob was rescued as a puppy and while his legs weren’t nearly as deformed as they are now (particularly the left front), his body has always been slightly contorted and in much need of body work. The only problem has been that no one could get near Bob. He’d snap. He’d charge. He’d bite. And yes, he barked –  incessantly and loudly.

Working with difficult dogs is a bit like solving a puzzle. Every dog is different and every difficult dog is particularly different when it comes to touch. Understanding body language helps a great deal as does a heavy dose of patience.  With Bob, I didn’t attempt to touch him at first. Instead, his owner placed him in his bed and placed the bed on my lap. I sat with him, my hands by my side, and never gave direct eye contact. I yawned occasionally, asked permission to touch him, and just waited for a sign that he was ready.

The first touch was to his lower back, partly because that was the area doing all the work given his crippled front body, but also to protect myself from being bitten. I didn’t really know what to expect, but to my surprise, Bob pushed into my hand and remained there.

ImageOf course, the next session he growled and snapped at me when I reached for his back so again I waited, I yawned, I asked permission, and soon he shimmied up sideways and leaned his belly into mine. To my surprise, I spent the session working his Conception Vessel and once again, he fell asleep.

Session after session the same routine played out. He’d bark, I’d wait, and then he’d choose the area of concern and I’d figure out what points were close by that might need attention.

Once, for instance, his guardian reported Bob had bouts sneezing and gooey nasal discharge. During the session, Bob pressed his lower neck and upper thoracic spine allowing me to work Bl 13, the Association point for Lung. The moment I touched those bilateral points, he laid his head down on the edge of the bed and fell into a deep sleep allowing me to reach my forefingers around his shoulders to reach Lu 1 – the Alarm point for Lung, which benefits the regulation of the Lungs and Upper Heater and promotes of the descending of Lung chi.

I have learned a great deal working with Bob, but chief among my lessons is that animals get to decide the direction of the image001session. I am not in charge. I have also learned that many animals have a “relaxation point” or a point, when worked, sends them into a calmer state. As much as I’d love for it to always be the same point for every animal I work with, it’s not. For Bob, the combination of Bl 13 and Bl 18 stops the barking and agitation, but he’ll have nothing to do with GV 20, a traditional calming point and forget about even considering Yin Tang on the bridge of his nose.

When I’ve finished my session with Bob, I place my hands on the area he allows and thank him. He seems appreciative though the second I set him down on the floor his commentary begins again loudly and persistently. I’ve come to realize this is just Bob’s way of thanking me with a few choice words of canine profanity. Or maybe he knows how much he’s helped me build my skills when working with difficult dogs.


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Horses, Equine Acupressure, & Seasonal Change

By Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute

Seasonal changes can bring up health issues because the horse’s body might not be ready to shift from summer to late summer or late summer to autumn. The nights are progressively getting cold by late summer, yet the days are still quite warm. Just weeks later the days begin to be chilly and the nights even colder.
Horses need to be resilient to adapt to these temperature changes. Their immune systems need to be strong. To have a strong immune system, their internal organs must function properly so there’s a harmonious and balanced flow of vital substances such as chi (life-promoting energy), blood, and body fluids nourishing all the body tissues.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when the immune system is not strong the body can be invaded by pathogens such as wind, cold, heat, and dryness. A weak immune system can lead to illness. This is why both horses and humans often fall prey to illness more readily when seasons are shifting.
It’s healthy for horses to be exposed to the elements. Horses with strong immune systems have no trouble adapting to cold and wet – think of all the wild horses that survive and thrive under any conditions! Allowing your horse to experience the elements actually increases his ability to adapt to seasonal changes, it makes him stronger.
You can support your horse’s ability to cope with the environmental elements by offering him the Seasonal Change Equine Acupressure Session given below. Older horse might need this session every third or fourth day during the change of season. Younger horses would benefit by a weekly acupressure session as the nights and days chill down.


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Caring for Tendons & Ligaments with Animal Acupressure

By:  Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute

Horses, dogs, and cats need exercise as much and maybe even more than we do. The living body is designed to move so that bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments stay strong and healthy. Internal organs need movement to function properly. To keep your animals happily on the move it’s wise to pay attention to their tendons and ligaments.

Tendons and ligaments need to be flexible because they are the “rubber bands” which hold the body together. Without these rubber bands the body would be immobile. Each of these soft body tissues performs an absolutely essential and distinct role:

Ligaments are the strong bands, cords or sheets that connect to bones or other anatomical
structures. Ligaments:
• Support joints and hold bones in place
• Support and strengthen other ligaments, and,
• Bind tendons close to joints.

Tendons are cord-like bands that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are involved in
movement: when a muscle contracts, or shortens, the tendon pulls on the bone causing the structure to move.

Your job is to help your animals to keep moving and enjoying their lives. When your horse or dog is fit, he’s less likely to experience injury or illness. And, to keep him fit, his tendons and ligaments need to be both supple and strong. There are a number of ways you can support his general fitness.

Go slowly and    warm- up his muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments before heavy exercise. Training on uneven terrain and going up and down hills to develop well rounded and balanced muscling. A weekly acupressure session focusing on flexibility and building strength of tendons and ligaments can greatly enhance your animal’s fitness.

Below are two Acu-Care for Tendons & Ligaments charts identifying acupressure points you can stimulate to consistently support your animal. The canine chart can be used for both dogs and cats. Give you horses, dogs, and cats the benefit of this acupressure session every 5 to 7 days and you will be to enjoy your exercise together.

Sr Canine Comfart Care

Tendons & Ligs (2)

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How To Write an Animal Acupressure Case Study

Kim Bauer, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure

Whether your acupressure sessions are on your own animals or on other people’s animals, it is important to keep session notes (case studies) on each session. Session notes are where you summarize your findings during the Four Examinations, describe which acupoints you selected for the Point Work, explain any responses or reactions from the animal and then make recommendations for future sessions.

The format may vary depending on your audience. If it is a case study to submit to Tallgrass as part of your coursework then all the information you are taught in the hands on classes should be summarized on a form or in a word document so it is clear to see what you did and why. If your audience is the client or the referring veterinarian you may choose to write things using different terminology, but you still want to convey your findings in a concise manner, making sure to not write anything that could be construed as diagnosing. Ultimately the case study needs to be useful for you and should become a part of the client file for each animal you work on.

Pictures can also speak volumes about progress made with an animal so you may want to consider taking a picture the first time you work on an animal and then again on subsequent visits. Here is an example of a client of mine.

This picture was taken on August 19, 2013. Note the large protrusion between this horse's eyes.

This picture was taken on August 19, 2012. Note the large protrusion between this horse’s eyes.


Tallgrass Animal acupressure

This photograph was taken October 23, 2012. The protrusion has almost fully resolved.

















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Moxibustion & Acupressure Strengthen Immune System & Relieve Allergies

By: Nancy Zidonis & Amy Snow, Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective allergies occur when our immune system is not functioning at its optimal level. If Wei (protective) chi is strong we will not be affected by allergies, the flu, common cold, or other similar issues. In essence, Wei chi battles against the external pathogenic factors of Wind, Cold, Summer Heat, Damp, Dryness and Heat to keep us healthy and strong.

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. The aromatic mugwort leaves are dried and repeatedly sifted until they are fluffy. Often the moxa is then rolled into a cigar-shaped cylinder, or stick, and wrapped in paper.moxa and animal acupressure

There are two heating techniques used to apply moxibustion: indirect moxa and direct moxa. We’ll be working with indirect moxa which makes use of the “moxa wool”. The cigar-shaped moxa stick is lit and held about 2 – 5 inches away from the chosen acupoint by the practitioner. Indirect moxa can be used on acupoints to achieve a systemic effect or it can be used directly at the site of an issue.

Moxibustion has been used for centuries to improve the flow of chi throughout the body, promote Yang energy, and benefit Damp and Cold conditions. An ancient acupressure point combination has us using St 36 (Leg 3 Miles), and GV 14 (Big Vertebra) to do just that. Applying indirect moxibustion at these two acupressure points once per day for ten – fifteen minutes at each acupoint is an excellent way to strengthen the immune system and help prevent allergies.

tallgrass animal acupressure and moxibustion

St 36 has the energetics of strengthening the entire body, toning the muscles, aiding in digestion and relieving fatigue. Stimulating this powerful acupoint with the yang energy of Moxa maximizes the energetics of this point. Moxa St 36 bilaterally.

GV 14 is known as the Sea of Yang and applying moxa at this acupoint is a great way to support the body’s Yang energy and again, build the immune system and prevent allergies. It can also dramatically increase white blood cell production.

The charts below show the location of these acupoints on the horse and dog.

canine acupressure tallgrass & moxaequine acupressure, tallgrass & moxa

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