Support the Heart with Shu Points

Picture of a heart“Use Yang meridians to support Yin Organs.”

We can apply this axiom from Chinese medicine by using points on the Bladder meridian (Yang meridian) to support the Heart (Yin meridian). Specifically, use Bladder 14 and Bladder 15 to nourish the Heart.
Bladder 14 is the Back Shu point for the Pericardium (Heart Protector), and Bladder 15 is the Back Shu point for the Heart. (For more details about Back Shu points, click here for a previous post all about the Back Shu Points.)

Keep the essential balance!

The other point that I like to add in when nourishing the Heart is Bladder 23, which is the Back Shu point for the Kidneys. The Heart and the Kidneys reflect Yang (Fire) and Yin (Water) within the human body. Both organs are always happier when they are in balance with each other. Stimulating the associated Back Shu points of these two organs is an easy way to support this relationship.
I recommend holding both of the Heart Shu points (left and right side of the spine), while holding both of the Kidney Shu points. Explore holding the Pericardium Shu points with the Kidney Shu points. Allow your intuition to guide the length of your contact with the points.
Cartoon of Sun-with-glassesThe Heart is associated with the Fire Element and the summer season.
The Kidneys are associated with the Water element, and the season of winter. Use this point combination during these seasons to encourage harmony, balance, and flow between these two primary forces in the body.

How to locate BL 14, BL 15, BL 23:

All three points are 1.5 cun (“tsoon”) lateral to both sides of the spine. A cun is a form of measurement in Chinese medicine related to each individual’s body size. The measurement of 1.5 cun is equivalent to the width of the first two fingers as shown below:

fingers cun 1.5

Please note that this is based on the client’s finger size.

BL 14 is level with the fourth thoracic vertebrae and 1.5 cun lateral to both sides of the spine.
BL 15 is level with the fifth thoracic vertebrae and 1.5 cun lateral to both sides of the spine.
BL 23 is level with the second lumbar vertebrae and 1.5 cun lateral to both sides of the spine.
Heart, Pericardium, Kidney Back Shu Points

Note that each point is located on both sides of the spine, even though only shown on one side.

Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Kidney meridian on August 24, 2017 at 11:00 am

    […] To continue learning, check out the “All About the Kidney Meridian” video on demand. […]

  2. Maria Neal on June 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Dear Cindy
    I am really grateful to receive this information and I am not sure whether I have downloaded your copy of Understanding Yin and Yang since I can’t print anything yet! but I am keeping everything in the cloud and will print it once I manage to set every thing up (I am so slow!).
    Many, many thanks for all this valuable information.
    Kindest regards.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on June 11, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      You are very welcome. Best of luck organizing in the cloud 🙂

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