The Old Sage, Chapter 15joannawatermexico5

Can you wait until the mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you wait to move until the right action arises?

Yesterday, I saw a client who complained of acid reflux, and being in pretty good shape, not much else.  I did the assessment; the pulses that got my attention were the Earth element pair,  the Stomach (St)and Spleen (Sp) meridians, along with the Bladder (Bl) meridian.  All were very strong.  The Stomach/Spleen Shu (Associated) points in the back were quite tight as well.

My treatment plan seemed straightforward. I envisioned a good, thorough neck release using distal points with any tight local points, ending with Stomach (St) and segueing* from there to further locals and distals on the St. This would include Stomach 19 (Food Not Descend), which is a great self-help point for acid reflux. Then I would hold St 19 with the St Shu on the back, transitioning to hold the St Shu with Bladder (Bl) distals. (The Shu points are on the Bladder meridian.) Then I would hold more Bl local/distal combinations.  Great. I could give this protocol to someone else to do and the client would get a good session.

However, when I got to the Large Intestine (LI) points in the neck, one distal point was not enough to release the tension – reminding me that St and LI are often in cahoots, winding around each other like vines in a grape arbor. For instance:

  • The Qi leaves the LI and moves into the St in the 24 hour cycle of Qi
  • The LI TendinoMuscular meridian travels alongside the St through the jaw – often involved in the “holding on” feeling that creates tooth grinding and can be addressed with St 6 – the jaw point. Holding, grasping, are associations of the LI.
  • The Mu (alarm) point for the LI is St 25.
  • The Lower Combining (He-Sea) Point of the LI is St 37

So I needed to add some work on the LI to my perfect plan. But that’s what I love about doing bodywork. If I am thinking that I have all the answers, the responses of the body and mind of the client will often disabuse me of that illusion. When I am alert – and invite the client to be alert as well – they will reveal the intricate and wondrous layers of the issue at hand  in an order that  is appropriate for this client at this time.

This is why I am so grateful for the training in simple bodymind counseling processes that is part of Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure®. When the practitioner listens, the metaphors the client uses can be astoundingly accurate clues to the issues to be addressed. A few examples:

  • the client who initially neglects to mention that she is dealing with multiple deaths in the family, describes a “metal breastplate” that keeps her from joy. In Five Element theory, the “Metal Element”  includes the Lung meridian, and the emotion associated with it is grief; Metal is the grandchild of the Fire element, associated with joy; when Metal is too strong (grief), it “insults” its grandparent – Fire (joy).
  • the client with jaw problems who describes herself as “hanging on my the skin of my teeth,” and envisions the circus performer spinning from a leather strap clenched in her jaw. Many meridians converge around the temperomandibular joint (the jaw), but the “holding on” points to issues with the LI.
  • the client with fertility issues who describes a “wooden child’s choo choo train” traveling across her body in the exact trajectory of the Belt Channel (Dai Mai) – one of the extraordinary vessels.  The Belt is associated with these issues, as well as with  the Wood element.

Of course, the body isn’t really speaking just to me. It continues speaking to the client when I am not there.  My main job is to remind the client to listen. She really does have all the answers.

*(“seg- way”: In music and film: move without interruption from one song, melody or scene to another)

©2015 Deborah Valentine Smith