Huatuojiaji (M-BW-35) is a group of 34 points, which locate 0.5 cun lateral to the depressions below the spinous processes of the twelve thoracic and five lumbar vertebrae.
The intention of needling these points is to stimulate the appropriate spinal nerve. Huatuojiaji has a very special location, just next to Du Mai (Governing Vessel), and not far away from the Bladder Channel of Foot Taiyang either. Therefore, it has intimate relationships with zang-fu organs. In practice, huatuojiaji is often used to regulate and harmonise the five zang and six fu.
Personally, I prefer using Huatuojiaji not only because appropriate spinal nerves can be located and treated, but also because of another function – warming and activating Yang Qi. Du Mai is the sea of Yang; plus it is on the back, back belongs to Yang as well, so Huatuojiaji is good at assisting body’s Yang Qi.
In practice, I like using Huatuojiaji when I treat conditions that affect nerve system and manifest as Yang deficiency, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), and ME/CFS/PVFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome). Different techniques can be used on Huatuojiaji, needling, massage, moxibustion, etc. Personally I prefer moxibustion, a technique of applying burning moxa to certain acu-points or certain area. Normally if patients feel comfortable, I will give them spare moxa sticks and teach them how to apply it at home with someone’s help.