Where Does the Gate of Destiny Lead?

What’s in a name

Every acupuncture point has a name that tells you where it is and what it does.


Abundant Splendor, for example, refers to one point’s profusion of blood and to its location on a prominent muscle of the lower leg. Gate of Destiny indicates the significance of a point’s access to the profound qi of the kidneys, which reflects both our inherited potential and our cultivated capacity to fulfill our potential in this lifetime.


Emotional connection

Names of acupuncture points also reflect their mental and emotional dimensions, reminding us that physical symptoms are attached to emotional experiences.


I was reminded of this connection recently when a friend entered my treatment room. The friend, who had been coming to treatment for relief of pain in her arm, said she had a painful bump on her lower eyelid. It had been coming and going in the weeks since she had come to town to take care of her ill mother.


The bump was located near an acupuncture point called Receive Tears. The point marks the beginning of the descent of qi from the eyes on the channel that is named for stomach. This channel helps us in the physical digestive process and assists us in taking in energy through the eyes (as well as the nose and mouth) and integrating — or digesting — that energy into our minds and emotions.


Gaining clarity

I told my friend about Receive Tears and how the location of the bump below her eye could be seen as a reflection of taking in qi through the eye for the body to digest.


As she learned about the significance of Receive Tears, the painful bump below her eye took on a new meaning — a sign of her grieving — and became less frightening. She sighed with relief and digested this new interpretation of the bump as an external manifestation of her internal process. The bump continued to come and go as her mother completed the dying process and then, finally, resolved.