Find Direction, Clear the Eyes: Course the Qi with Acupuncture
There are many instances where the body tells us what it is going through: physically, spiritually and emotionally. As an acupuncturist, I look at the body as a collection of energetic channels and points. So when a particular area is drawing the attention of a patient there is much we can identify.
Recently I saw a man who had particular regions (acupuncture points) that were giving him pain, both of which were located on the Gallbladder’s acupuncture channel.
I can learn a lot about a person’s current experience in life from the acupuncture points that are “lighting up” on their bodies. The acupuncture points show current states of energetic blockage that cause pain and physiological dysfunction. But they also describe spiritual lessons, challenges and difficulties the person may be going through. The art of acupuncture is being able to decode the messages of the body, especially through the mysterious acupuncture points.
Two particular Gallbladder points were communicating strongly with my patient. His right eye was swollen and painful, especially around the boney area along the outer eye socket, along with the area on the eyelid just below the pupil. The other area communicating strongly was located on the left outer ankle, which would give him pain and weakness, especially when he woke from sleep in the morning.
Of the two points along the eye, one was located on the Gallbladder channel, while the other is on the Stomach’s channel.The points were “Virgin Child” (GB-1) and “Container of Tears” (ST-1). The combination of these two points reflect a type of detoxification occurring within a person. One of the great masters of classical Chinese medicine famously said in order to reach full catharsis necessary for healing and transformation, a fluid release is necessary, usually in the form of tears. Swelling and pain in this patient’s case, diagnosed by his Western physician a double sty due to a bacterial infection, could also be seen as the body mounting an inflammatory response to un-cried tears, which his spirit is insisting upon so he can regain a state of innocence and “virginity” through the release of toxic material.
Both of these eye points clear inflammation around the eye and improve vision. However, it’s their spiritual connotations that are more interesting, especially since his eye swelling didn’t seem to respond to the Western antibiotic medication he’d been using. Stimulating GB-1 and ST-1 provided my patient with some interesting awareness and insight.
During the session after needling GB-1 and ST-1, my patient told me he’d been thinking a lot about his life: how “debauched” it had become. He recalled more innocent times, when he was gentler, more introverted, health and love conscious. He said he’d been “weepy” all week, as he started seeing the superficiality of many of his relationships and the “emptiness” of several of his favorite activities.
It is not surprising that the acupuncture points located around the eyes promote “vision,” insight and “clear seeing.” But it was another point combined to his treatment, located on his ankle that supported his ability to look at his life and choices, and begin to feel and process. The point “Wilderness Mound” (GB-40) is the “source” point of the Gallbladder channel, giving it a special “harmonizing” effect.
The name “Wilderness Mound” gives the image of taking a person to the top of a hill in the middle of a forest. The forest obviously represents feeling lost and unable to see the horizon of their life. It is a point I’d have given to this patient anyway, but it seemed even more vital due to his body generating pain and weakness at this very spot daily. His body seemed to be explicitly asking for this point.
Naturally this patient required several more treatments, an entire process to fully recognize, process and change his life. But honoring the points that his body was asking for, as an initial treatment gave him insight into where he needed to focus his energy.
This man didn’t come to me for acupuncture just to deal with his painful ankle and swollen eye, even though we were able tor resolve these symptoms. He felt his life was no longer bringing him joy. His libido had diminished and he was experiencing constant low-grade depression. He thought his life was very fun and dynamic. He knew several people, felt very popular and successful. Yet it just wasn’t enough. Yet he didn’t know what to do, or where to go. He told me he felt stuck, and a bit lost.
One of the major functions of acupuncture, according to the Chinese medical classics is the ability to “Course the Qi,” a fancy term for helping provide direction to someone who feels lost in their life. Physically, “coursing the qi” can help resolve pain in the body, as well as other symptoms caused by stagnation.
A major focus of acupuncture is regulating the flow of “Qi” in the body: vital energy. When Qi gets bound up, stuck, depleted or knotted, the body’s functional energy no longer works optimally. Qi-flow affects blood, fluids, hormones, organ function, as well as the mind and spirit.
Treatment focused chiefly on “coursing the Qi” can have many powerful effects on the body and mind.
Combining the strategy of “Coursing the Qi” with that of “opening the portals” directs an acupuncture treatment to focus on the sensory orifices: the eyes, ears. But also on the ability to see and hear clearly. We can miss so much about our own lives and behavior being fully engrossed in it. It is like being in the middle of a wilderness, lost, unable to see which direction to go.
During acupuncture treatment patients often report that they go into a state of lucid dreaming, visualizing or sleep. They gain insight into their lives and their subconscious minds. At times, memories can surface. This is especially true when working on the blood chemistry. Even more mysteriously, experiences can surface in a person’s life to give them insight, and/or allow them to work out the past and figure out the future.
Acupuncture works with magnetic energy fields of the body. By adjusting the Qi mechanism, we can either attract or repel certain energies and experiences. It’s hard to explain in modern Western scientific terms, but myself and many of my patients have experienced too many coincidences and synchronicity after treatment to ignore.
The patient being discussed reported after a particular treatment that several people in his life, whom he described as being part of his debauched and somewhat addictive lifestyle disappeared. He also observed a reduction in attracting certain types of people who engaged his more addictive side. When persons, places and things start to leave our lives, this is often due to the acupuncture strategy of “coursing the wind” to promote change that is in line with one’s current spiritual state. This helps to sweep away aspects of our lives that may be worn out, out-dated or counterproductive to our healthy and well-being.