Swimming in Streams
Last weekend the lovely Alysia, Liam and David Anderson went camping in Oregon to see if the young Liam could handle a four day Five Element wilderness acupuncture class the following weekend. Alysia’s curious question was, “What point symbolizes a small stream softly bubbling toward the ocean amidst the most beautiful tall tree forest?”
There are four stream names on the meridians. My first impulse was to reply with one of my favorites, Kidney 3, Greater Mountain Stream (The Wade-Giles translation is Tai Hsi), Earth and Source Point of the Kidney.
However, there are three other important points:
1) Spleen 18, Heavenly Stream (Tien Hsi),
2) Stomach 41, Released Stream (Chieh Hsi), Fire and Tonification point of the Stomach,
3) Gall Bladder 43, Valiant Stream (Hsia Hsi), Water Point of the Gall Bladder.
A very important point to remember is that these original names arose out of the wilderness. If we look at the original etymology of any name, the original invention and intention of the word is where its power and efficacy really lies. It is also important when one goes to treat that we hold the image and intention that we wish to transmit to the point masters. This makes the treatments more powerful.
It is also important to remember that we can increase or decrease energy to a point through tonification or sedation. For example, with Greater Mountain Stream we can reduce or increase the amount of water coming down the stream through our needling methods. You can also do this through imagery. Therefore, it is important to create an internal repertoire of many different images for the various point names to draw upon during treatment. You can use the same imagery for different points. For example, you can use the same stream image for Greater Mountain Stream as for Release Stream. In the case of Release Stream we can add sunlight to the image of the stream in the forest since it is the Fire Point of the Stomach.
Here are some ideas to ponder for these four points. Please remember that these ideas are not cast in stone or intended to formularize. They are merely to awaken curiosity so we can start exploring the luminous world of the spirits of the points.
Kidney 3, Greater Mountain Stream, Earth and Source Point: For those of us who spend time in the wilderness we all already have many internal images of beautiful mountain streams we have crossed or bathed in! Use these images when the qi instructs you to! The Kidneys represent the activating side of the Water Element; they get the Bladder off the couch and bring its will into the world of doing and being. This point is particularly effective for people who are frozen in any way in their lives. All mountain streams are contained by the earth and rocks around them. Therefore, they are held in their courses, thus the point helps to focalize people’s wills. Of course, this is just the beginning of a vast discussion about this point.
Spleen 18, Heavenly Stream: The key to understanding this name lies in its close proximity to the breast. What can be more heavenly than a child or a lover suckling on the sweet nectar of its mother or lover’s breast. In contrast to Kidney 3 this Stream point is about nourishing and feeding the body and soul. Have you ever walked the Nepali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii on a blazing hot summer day? Exhausted, you come around the corner and are greeted by a beautiful warm tumbling mountain stream; you strip off, dive in, cool and invigorate your body. So, refreshed, you can carry on. This point is great for people who suffer from Mother wounds of any kind and any level involving lack of nourishment. This is a great Oxytocin release point. Yum!
Stomach 41, Released Stream, Fire and Tonification Point of the Stomach: By its elemental nature, the Fire Point, this point warms and creates growth, just as the sun returning to the earth after a cold winter creates warmth which leads to the blooming and flowering of life. At the same time, if a person’s Earth is a desert due to too much sun, this point can be accessed to reduce fire so that life can start to take seed. If the Stomach is too damp, causing digestive disturbances, moxa can be used to balance the right amount of moisture. Since Stomach is associated with the Earth element and women, this is a good harmonizing point for digestive issues or when our female aspect goes out of grace and falls into complaining, whining and gossiping, a sure sign of undernourishment.
Gall Bladder 43, Valiant Stream, Water and Tonification Point of the Gall Bladder: The Gall Bladder and Liver are the dominion of Flora. The Liver is the trunk of the plant, the Gall Bladder represents the branches and leaves that give purpose and life to the trunk in the plant’s reach toward heaven. When we access Gall Bladder 43, the Water Ambassador to Flora, we allow the inner Flora landscapes to flourish. This point is powerful for relaxing the fascia, ligaments and tendons. The word fascism comes from the same root as fascia. When we become too tight, we can, for example, become vegetarian or meatarian fascists, political fascists, etc. When we have too much water in our Flora, we, like the weeping willow, can become boundary-less and be walked on. In this case, we would reduce the Water in Valiant Stream,
As you can see from the four examples above, we can approach points with the name Stream in them from many different landscape images. This is true of all points. So it is worth taking a moment, every time we do a point, to contemplate the person’s energy, our intention, and the imagery that would most assist the recovery of their well-being in grace.
It is also of paramount importance that practitioners and patients get out of the cities and into the wild places from which we came, in order to reacquaint ourselves with the roots of our medicine and the landscape within us.
Thank you, Alysia!
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