From your pelvis to the top of your head is the same expression of life as this picture. Your ischial bones as the Brick, your digestion the soil/Ground, your rib cage full of all the Green Vegetation, your encasing skull the Blue Sky with hints of White. This is a diagnostic procedure to view Health of your internal environment. Is it in harmony with your external environment? Acupuncture reestablishes Nature. The acupuncture needles are metal. The metal element is of the Lungs, which are spiritual. When the Lungs breath we meditate, and when we meditate, we merge with Nature. Sat Nam and Much Love, Chris -
Every acupuncture experience is unique. Even within the same person, day to day, or week to week. Just like results coming from a meditation practice, in one sitting there may be drastic healing of pain, emotion, energy, etc., or it may be subtle. The work is being done in the foundation and the roots, yet the stem and the flower may or may not be ready to bloom. Specifically regarding the experience of you laying on the table and how you feel during the Acupuncture process, we have two major explanations for why some points are felt and others not.
There are an infinite number of acupuncture points and infinite patterns of circulation within your body. A primary concern of Chinese medicine is improving the circulation of your life force Chi and Blood and Fluids. By improving this circulation your body can better heal itself. If one point is particularly painful, or sensational in someway, there is a specific purpose. Possible and very common sensations are feelings of pressure, pinching, hot or cold, a radiating sensation to an organ or up or down your arm or leg, muscle twitching and many more. All of these are strong responses, and very good signs that the body will respond with healing itself.
The first reason acupuncture points can be particularly sensational at times, is due to what we call “Excess” or “Shi.” This is when there is something of “Excess” in your system. For example emotion, thought, physical injury, stress, dryness, phlegm, even cold can be built up in one of your Meridians circulation. That excess buildup creates a blockage of your circulating Chi and Blood. These blockages are always occurring every day on either subtle levels, or more major levels. Preventative medicine is when we fix these blockages when they are still more subtle and non-problematic. This is easier and quicker. When symptoms are strong, blockages are obviously bigger and more long-standing. This takes more time to work out for a practitioner AND this is why it is better to work on yourself when problems are still in the early beginnings. So, the first reason for the acupuncture being more sensational, is that we are removing that blockage which is in direct analogy of removing a dam from a rivers circulation. It is good for the health of the river to have open flow, but the moment of removing the dam, the acupuncture point being “needled,” the back up of the pressure that the dam was creating needs to adjust. This is the cause of the sensation.
The second cause of acupuncture points being sensational, is due to a situation of “Deficiency” or “Xu” in Chinese medicine. It is essentially a vulnerability. Our body is full of certain resources. We are a container. We are a container of energy, blood, fluid, fire, water, essence. We have varying amounts of all of these. Some people can be deficient in energy, others can be deficient in blood. Hence, another reason we needle an Acupuncture Meridian is to bring more energy and blood to the Meridian that is deficient. That Meridian lacks the given substance. Because of its lack of fullness, it is energetically weak and so less tolerant of any change or stimulus. This lack of tolerance or vulnerability creates the point to be more sensational. Given time, calling more energy and blood to that area, the sensation goes away and it becomes almost sensation-less, or at least more quiet. In both “Excess” or “Deficiency” cases, with repeated treatment, and the persons symptoms being worked out, this will normalize the point to a more healthy response. This healthy response typically means a very mild cramping sensation or a very mild pressure that is healing but not dramatic as when there are definite issues.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture is a small example of more universal energetic principles. The things we talked about regarding medicine and the human body, also can translate into life of all forms in this world. Here, we’re talking about excess and deficiency in our body and how it makes a more dramatic experience for ourselves. To the same liking, in external life, similar assessments can be made and we can deduce as to why karma comes about. It is a highly developed a system of Energy observation. The energy within ourselves, our environments, and our relationships. Anything can be medicine and anybody can be a medicine man, given the right environment and right timing, because of all things being relative. Be kind to yourself, learn, grow and may every day you get closer to your true self and life. Your friend Chris
Relationship of Your Heart and Lungs
Many of you know or have heard that autumn is the season of the element metal, which has its internal association with your lungs and large intestine. This is the internal body manifestation of the energy that is heightened in autumn and thus heightened within your self. Very basically, it’s the most opportune and auspicious time to work on issues we may have associated with the Longs and large intestine such as constipation, colitis, Crohn’s, asthma, allergies, recurrent colds, internal emotions mostly dealing with grief, loss, and life changes. However, in addition to this being the most important time of year to focus on these lung-large intestine physical and spiritual issues, this season also has a very intimate partnership with the health of your heart as your spiritual center.
The ancient texts of Chinese medicine speak of the heart organ when in disharmony as having many types of heart pains. In the physical sense, such as chronic heart disease, their can be many factors here which are obstructing the organ, such as excess of phlegm, food, heat and inflammation, cold and congestion, energy and blood stagnation, etc. Yet, also there are metaphorical pains of the heart which have to do with some internet meridians that are often worked on being on the inside of the forearm and inside of the leg. These types of pains of the heart have to do with emotional grievances and trials in life that challenge us to the core of our spiritual center.
The Qi or Pranic energy of the chest is a combined energy. The Qi of the chest is a combination of the lungs, pericardium, and heart systems that come together to form what’s known as Zhong Qi or ancestral Qi. Furthermore, in ancient terms, the acupuncture point directly in the center of the chest and breastbone is given the name “Sea of Qi”. Whatever name you give it Qi, Prana, Energy, the center of the chest is the house of your life force.
In order to live at the maximum potential of this human experience we have to infuse, encourage, and exalt this life force Qi in the chest. If we live mundanely, numbly, and to rationally, the spontaneity and miraculous flowering of life will not be what it could because, opposed to the rational mind, natural life will bring things beyond your imagination and expectation when expressed to the fullest. At best when lived according to the rational mind, life will be predictable. So, whether a person needs growth in the spiritual, mental emotional, or physical paradigm of their heart center this can be worked upon by directly focusing on the heart, but also as equally important, by working on the lungs.
In Autumn, by working on the physical and energetic aspect of the lungs and their spirits which are named the seven Po, we create space in the chest cavity, “Sea of Qi,” to make room for the hearts healing. The hearts healing means to be energetically completely empty and full at the same time. In this life the lungs are the first connection with the external world. As we breath we touch our environment. And it is mostly from looking from the wrong perspective in relationship with this environment that most of our wounds are accumulated and the bags are added on to the shoulders. So, by working on the lungs of the chest making them clear and strong, giving us a strong immunity, we begin to surround the heart with a more pure vibrant energy that is spacious and full. Here the lungs become a magnetic force to encourage the heart to also be spacious, empty, and full. So, through the work on the lungs element of metal we can help keep the heart center more balanced, which will simply open you up more and more to your own life. I cannot tell you what this means, however it can only be experienced. We all have our very unique journey, so we should keep opening and opening to it over and over and just let true nature of our self unfold to us that becomes more profound than our imagination. There’s a famous quote from the movie Jurassic Park where the theorist says, “life will always, ah, ah, ah, find a way.”
This is a brief daily reflection of the relationships between the organs, and most appropriately in the autumn season of reflection, harvesting, and going within, that of the lungs and heart.
I look forward to seeing and hearing from you all soon! I encourage you to ask me questions and inquire what you or I can do to help you along your journey of life and health.
Be happy, be healthy, and live your extraordinary life!
Your Acupuncturist, Herbalist and Yogi Chris L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Greetings All! Enjoy my new article where I observe our global shift as we begin to heal each of the cyclical elements within ourselves!
In ancient Chinese medicine there are certain basic elements of which we are completely composed. Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire are these elements and they each have universal associations from everything like our internal organs, our emotions, the seasons and even cycles of life. It currently seems the primary element we are Globally working on as a race is our Earth Element.
Our earth element largely is composed of the energy of our digestion, but is also beyond that. The earth element is our most centered element. It processes as well as provides our material nutrition to all the other systems, cardiovascular, nervous, lymph, hormonal, etc. It provides us with a sharp and balanced intellect. One can see worldwide that people have absolutely swayed away from a healthy earth energy and just now are trying to reestablish themselves in healthy nutrition. We can see this with all of the global awareness changes considering gluten, juicing vegetables, organic eating, smoothies, reintroducing spices into diet, awareness of childhood obesity and diabetes as well as asthma, allergies and the list goes on and on. But let’s just say we finally get a hold of this worldwide crisis stemming from our over eating, our poor nutritious eating, and our unconscious eating in which there is lack of any prayerfulness and attention, staying in the present moment when we sit to have a meal causing our bodies to be confused. But enough said about the digestion transformation. Once we are more rooted in this earth element the next Phase of Worldwide growth will naturally be our Fire and Water element both together.
In Chinese medicine the organs associated with fire are the heart and small intestine and with water, kidney and urinary bladder. Once our core and center is established with that earth element business, we will naturally start to dwell more consciously in our fire and water element, appropriately associated with our upper and lower body. This is one of the most primary divisions we have of up down, hot cold, out in, active passive dualities in the body. And the healing that will take place here will become that of love and self-preservation, first superficially for ourselves and later progress more deeply for others.
We will begin to connect more deeply to our heart center. That in which our great Spirit resides and to our water element of our lower chakras or energy centers which is our base of energy, our base of survival, and our root of needed healing from fears which are most commonly the origin of all the other emotions. This inter exchange of the elements of fire heart, water kidney will tap us more deeply into our blissful state of being. And our joy and peacefulness that naturally comes from not striving, but from the simpleness of celebrating our being. In the perfect combination of water and fire there is the Yin/Yang symbol of perfect balance and harmony, inter exchange and flow. Externally this will have a lot to do with working on our vanity, our unnecessary actions and wastefulness, and our hidden hatred, disrespect and ill will of others including our self. In some Buddhist traditions the highest form of being is to personally take on the responsibility to end suffering of all beings. Wow, what an incredible task. But when the spirit decides that it is appropriate to take on this task, all the gods bow!
So first let’s encourage each other to work on our gut, through diet, which also plays a huge role in our subconscious being rooted in the digestive tract. And keep in mind once we are stably in our center earth mother energy, our fire and water dwelling will begin to flourish.
In acupuncture, we look at many things, one of which being these elements. So we see by what the person reports as well as looking at their tongue and diagnosing their pulses which elements are excessive or lacking leading to an imbalance of health of mind body and spirit. And no matter what a person comes in for, pain, fertility, digestive problems, sleep problems, stress etc. this is always considered and incorporated into the principles of treatment.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the exposure to the core principles of ancient Chinese wisdom. Please email or text me any questions that have sprouted from this reading, I’d love to hear from you. Many blessings to you and will see you soon!
Acupuncture Sensation and Preventative Medicine Awareness
In today’s society, more and more people are becoming exposed to the idea of Acupuncture as a health system that actually provides many benefits for most people. It is being used for weight loss, smoking cessation, pain elimination, fertility, IBS and much, much more. It is for its diversity of uses, as well as the natural nature of the medicine that many are seeking its benefits.
Now some of you that are considering acupuncture might still be resistant because of the idea of needles. However, the entire resistance is only the “Idea” of the needles. During first treatment most people are at least slightly hesitant, yet after that first needle is inserted, I hear over and over, “OH?… that was it??” This is because people have been taught a knee-jerk reaction to the word needle. They think that needle equals hospital/hypodermic needle, which are a completely different. Most acupuncture needles are only the size of few hairs width. They are so small that as some might have a sensation, also many are not even felt when inserted. Now, once inserted the practitioner might want to create a slight sensation. This is call grasping the Qi/energy. When this happens, the person feels a slight dull, achy sensation, but not sharp. Also, quite commonly, the patient will report the sensation of the needle to be transmitted to another place in the body. For example when I needle a point in their foot, they feel it in their hip or when I needle a point on their leg, then feel it in their abdomen. This is very good, as it is the actual sensational experience of meridian activation. Also, this result is often independent of nerve pathway, as the transmitted area of sensation does not follow the nerve course but rather the Chinese meridian course. This yields great results. So these are the right qualities of a needle sensation. Once all the needling is complete, the person feels much relief and relaxation. As the body becomes balanced it can now relax, and this is felt.
Now lastly, acupuncture can certainly treat active problems or health difficulties, but this medicine also excels as preventative medicine. The Chinese medical practitioner is actually extremely sensitized to the diagnostic skills so that he or she can perceive an imbalance in the body just by feeling the pulse or looking at the tongue, even before any symptoms are present. This is why traditionally people were treated during the change of seasons, just to remain balanced and maintain proper health. The subtle diagnostics of the Chinese medical practitioner through the wrist pulse and tongue diagnostics are the essence of preventative medicine and excel in this field. Getting regular Acupuncture treatments throughout the year helps to keep the immune system strong, energy vital, removes stressors on the body, optimize health and minimize sickness, as well as keep the spirit lifted.
Our bodies are so amazingly created and maintained that we cannot even comprehend its countless intricacies that are continuously in motion. This being said, it only makes sense that we have a health system in place that is truly an actively supportive medicine that allows our bodies to heal and balance naturally.