The Four Flowers 77.08, 77.09, 77.11
The Four Flowers are closesly related to points like ST 36, ST 37, and ST 39. When working with these points it is always good to reference them with the TCM points, and alternate using the two groups as needed by the client.
Location: 77.08 is located 3 cun below ST 35 but is located on the edge of the tibia and in the space between the bone and tibialis anterior muscle. It is medial to ST 36.
Indications: Pain in the ribs, pleurisy, sternum, clavicle, scapula (tai yang connection), lateral neck muscles, and pain in the trapezius and at GB 21.
The Stomach Meridian and Superficial Front Line
The Four Flowers are very similar to traditional stomach meridian points on the lower leg, but given their location, some clients will respond better with these points.
By moving the location of the points to the edge of the tibia and in the space between the edge of the bone and muscle, you will often find little senstive nodules. There is also dense connective tissue and fascia in this region as the muscle attaches to the bone.
By needling the nodules which are frequently found on the Four Flower line it can give better results than needling the traditional points. Patients will often develop tolerances to needles after the same points are needled on two or three occassions. By rotating between the Four Flowers and the traditional stomach meridian points it maximizes patient respones and minimizes patients from reaching plateaus.
The Four Flowers as a Dao Ma
Fundamental to Tung style needle techniques are using two or three needles in close proximity, and often on the same meridian, as a set which are needled together. We see this with the Four Flowers, the Lower Three Emperors, and many other point groups.
This is also a common practice in China, and in Chinese hospitals they will often needle three or more points on the same meridian. In Western style TCM it is common to only use a single point on a meridian, or at most two points on the same channel. For instance, for point prescriptions including ST 36 many Western acupuncturists many only use that single point on the stomach meridian. While some prescriptions may use a combo like ST 36 and ST 40, it is rare to see protocols that needle ST 36, ST 37, and ST 40 together.
A primary secret to getting better results when using stomach points on the legs is to use three points together. This could be the Four Flowers, the Four Horses, or a combo like ST 36, ST 37, and ST 39. Doing this provides stronger stimulation and synergy between the points. Note when needling stomach meridian points on the feet you only need to use two needles as the feet are more sensitive.