Spleen plays a critical role in our ability to digest food, which ultimately affects many other processes throughout the body—without nourishment, all systems suffer. In this way, the Spleen has a hand in everything, and Spleen 4 is one of the most commonly used points along the channel. Another lovely summary from Sara Calabro tells us the how, when and why of Spleen 4.
Spleen 4—also known as Grandfather Grandson (English name), Gongsun (Chinese translation), and SP4 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the inside of the foot.
Find it by running your thumb along the edge of the first metatarsal bone. Spleen 4 is about one inch above where the foot juts out, the place where most people get bunions (see photo below and click to enlarge). If you’re in the right spot, you should feel a slight depression at the base of the bone, and the point may be quite sensitive.
Digest This Point for Bloating
If you remember one thing about Spleen 4, remember digestion.
Spleen 4 is said to harmonize the middle jiao, referring to the abdominal region. Therefore, it is a frequent go-to point for abdominal bloating and pain, diarrhea, undigested food in the stool, and vomiting.
People who complain of getting no enjoyment out of eating may also receive Spleen 4.
Spleen 4 Helps Lower Stress
So, Spleen 4’s great for digestion in the traditional sense. Because of the Spleen’s relationship to the Heart, it’s also great for the digestion of thoughts and experiences, and calming the spirit.
People who tend to stew on or over think things—a sign of Spleen deficiency—may benefit from Spleen 4. It can help with processing and moving through emotional stressors.
Portland, Oregon-based acupuncturist Cayly Christensen says Spleen 4 is her favorite point for reducing stress.
“Treating the Spleen to reduce excessive rumination and quiet an overly analytical mind can be very useful in easing stress,” says Christensen. “The location of the point, on the inside of the foot, contributes to its stress-lowering quality. It tends to be a sensitive point, which helps bring people out of their heads and into their bodies.”