Acupuncture grids vs points

Acupuncture is an interesting modality because the knowledge of the practitioner and the client, as well as the intention of giving and receiving, alters the effect. This is quantum physics. What is observed is altered by what is observing it. 

{Side story…I had the interesting experience of meeting Dr. Richard Tan once.  He was very well known for the way he used acupuncture for pain. He could put a few needles in someone and immediately their pain would disappear.  If clients came to him as often as prescribed he claimed it would never return.  In class, when we tried to follow his instruction our results were inconsistent at best.  Why? Not because it was a class full of beginners. Most were well seasoned acupuncturists. I think it was because we didn’t have the same knowledge as he did as to why the system he created worked.}

I think the real magic of acupuncture lies in its ability to raise our vibration by aligning all aspects of our being- body, mind, emotions, soul, and spiritual centers.  This allows us to expand our consciousness.  In short expanding consciousness means embarking on a soul journey. It is said that the soul journey then leads to a higher spiritual journey.

Each acupuncture point on the body is a field of information. They are more than just a command code to our physical vessel.  They are morphogenic links that send a code to all aspects of our being.  Morphogenic means not linear. It’s more like each point has a certain frequency and that vibration sets off different cues in the body, mind, spiritual centers, etc. 

In Esoteric acupuncture, these morphogenic fields (acupuncture points) are needled together to form a grid.  The grid is a geometrical shape.  The needles are inserted into specific points, for specific reasons, in a specific order.  They are then removed in a specific order when the session is complete.

The geometric shapes have an interesting effect.  It creates what’s called a Spin Field. In quantum mechanics Spin refers to the rotation of a particle around some axis.  This rotation is intrinsic. Spinors are characterized by the specific way in which they behave under rotations. They change in different ways depending not just on the overall final rotation, but the details of how that rotation was achieved. * {This is why the particulars of which acupuncture points and the order they are needled will have different effects.}

A spin field contains information, magnitude and direction of a particle.  When we activate a spin field through our energetic system we experience this information and magnitude changing as the momentum of our energy is accelerated. This means, in addition to the acupuncture points themselves having a resonant effect, the overlaying geometrical shape, when needled in a certain way, with certain points, also releases information that is helpful as we journey along our inner soul and spiritual heart purpose.

Healing Obstacles

Healing starts with removing obstacles. The greatest obstacles being inside our body and mind.

Healing is creating change needed to remove blocks. Anything that is blocked is not whole. Healing is the natural desire to move towards wholeness. 

When we align ourselves with our Heart we intuitively know what our purpose is and our healing path is illuminated. When we know where we are going, then it is just a matter of discovering how to get there.  That process begins with removing obstacles. 

In Chinese medicine there is a saying that the Hun must follow the Shen.  The Hun is the spirit of the liver. In 5 element system the liver is like the General. It’s the visionary, the function in us that makes plans, judgements, assessments and determines the course of action to move forward and accomplish our goals.  It is structure and facilitator.  It is that energy in us that has a sense of the right way to live for ourselves (and often others).  The energetic is the expression of frustration and anger. 

The Shen is the spirit of the Heart.  In 5 element theory, the Shen is the emperor, the center, the Sun.  It is the energy of higher and lower frequencies of love and joy.  When the Shen is awakened we have access to our Higher Heart, a very fine energy/information field.  When a sense of order comes through us, we find the elements begin to relate to one another in a more coherent and integrated way.  As the Heart frequencies strengthen, the lower frequencies of Earth, Water, Metal and Wood bow down and begin to entrain to higher aspects/vibrations. 

Obstacles are simply energies that are denser than our desired state of being. We remove them by raising our vibration, and there are many ways to do that. Here are a few ideas:

  • There is no exercise that will make up for poor eating. You cannot simply burn it off.  A diet of poor foods creates mucus in the body which creates blocks.  Keeping your diet simple, eating organic fruits and raw or lightly steamed veggies in combinations that are few, help empower the body to resolve mucus and eliminate toxins. 
  • Everything is in resonance.  When we are lonely, depressed, in grief, in anger.  When we feel isolated, in pain, or misunderstood. We are experiencing a vibration. Be curious about it. Spend a few minutes tuning into it, listening, perhaps having an inner dialogue with this part of you. Hold yourself gently with your mind as you do this.  Then move your body. Change your scene.  Listen to upbeat music.  Change your vibration. The combination of tuning in with loving kindness and curiosity, and then intentionally uplifting your vibration is much like a mother consoling a child after the fall off their bike.  If there is too much dwelling on the pain from the fall it can smash out the courage to try again.  If there is too little attending to the pain it can smash out our natural humanness.  If we tend to ourselves with just the right amount of both- love/tenderness and strength/discipline to make a change – then we find one level of the meaning Hun Follow the Shen.

This process of refining ones energy to a higher vibration is spontaneous yet effortful. It takes focus, yet arises from nothing.  We can sabotage it with our actions, yet the reason for doing has a lot of wisdom in it. We can only be where we are, we can only take action from what is experienced in this moment.  As the Zen saying goes, chop wood, carry water.

Nourishing Depression

Needless to say depression is one of those experiences that we’d all rather not have to deal with.  But the fact is that most people will experience periods of depression at some point in their life, and are likely to be affected by a loved one dealing with it as well.

In Chinese medicine depression stems from an imbalance of the liver.  In 5 element theory the energy of the liver transforms into the energy of the heart.  When the liver is burdened the heart fire decreases and there is depression.  Liver is responsible for inner vision, planning, sense of direction in life and taking action.  If there is stagnation in the liver energy system we are not moving forward in life and the negative and stagnant energies of the liver will be transferred into the heart field.  The Chinese understood there are different types of souls that reside within the human experience.  The Hun is associated with the liver, and translates as cloud-soul.  This aspect of our soul is understood to reincarnate with us through all our lifetimes and is the record of our purpose in each manifestation.

In my clinical experience of working with clients experiencing depression the manifestation of it is unique and factors such as family of origin, personal experiences, and karma, as well as the health and vitality of the physical body are usually intertwined.  From a wellness perspective depression is not something I approach as an ailment that needs to be healed.  Rather, it offers information that when we examine and understand the cause of, can begin to transform.   This process increases self-awareness and teaches one the magic of self-transformation. These are soul lessons.

Given that it is unique for everyone, I find myself engaging with clients differently as well.  But one thing that is common is creating a context of emotional and mental support, and optimizing the physical body.   With depression there is always some level of physical purification that needs to occur.  When we eat good foods, drink pure water and exercise, the vibration of the body starts to lift, dramatically influencing the emotional body.

Physical Body Care:

Increase organic calcium
Eliminate sugar, chemicals, drugs or alcohol
A liver flush is helpful to strengthen the liver system so the physical organ is not so stressed.  This simple cleanse is a good start.

Include these foods regularly:
Sour foods:  lemons, pippin and granny smith apples, unflited/unheated apple cider vinegar
B complex
Vitamin C

Liver is responsible for governing the flow of energy through the body.  When the body does not move, the liver energy stagnates.  Moving the physical body helps support and stimulate the liver in moving qi smoothly. 

Emotional Body Care:
Learning how to stay in your body while experience depression is, in my estimate, the first step.  Most often I see people disassociate, or are only partially in their body.  This makes it impossible to transform.  Mindful practices will inevitably draw someone even closer to the experience of depression, which is typically feared and therefore avoided. But in my experience, with proper, consistent, loving, support from another person can be the key for drawing one into their body and once that is established a deeper, objective examination of one’s experience can begin.  Examining our experience is like shining the light of our attention on ourselves.  By nature we are set up to pursue wholeness.  When we become aware of a wound inhibiting this wholeness the act of our attention is what ignites healing.

Different Vibrations: Family of Origin, Soul & Ghosts


There are many, if not countless, ways the human experience can be described. From an energetic viewpoint we could describe ourselves as oscillating fields within oscillating fields.  These fields are the energetic landscape that is the information giving expression of our body, mind, emotions, soul and spiritual essence. 

Each energy field has a specific vibration.  Vibration is the movement created by information as it is expressed in the material universe.  When these oscillating fields are embedded and entangled with one another we get complex dynamics such as the human experience.  Each field has its own set of governing rules that if we are to live in harmony we must discover and abide by them, or know how to work around them.


Family of Origin
If we are on a path of wellness our gaze becomes increasingly inward as we begin to take notice how different foods and movements effect our mind and body.  We notice what our tendencies of thoughts are, and gain understanding of the experiences that shape our emotional life.  In my practice it’s always fascinating to see how profoundly our thoughts and beliefs effect the body, mind and energy system. It often looks like a fog or even a thick cloud covering the sun as the soul moves to the background and a new matrix of mental matter casts forward. 

If we are paying close attention we may also discover the frequency of the information passed on by family. This family of origin frequency is a permeating field, that often has a strong influence over the body, mind and emotions.  If it has a strong hold on the person, it can often be mistaken as the vibration of the soul.  The healing work then becomes to support, disentangle and properly re-embed the information from the family so that it is not overshadowing or blocking the soul. 

Soul & Higher Heart
In Chinese medicine it is believed that when a person dies the soul ascends through the energetic system of the liver (wood element) into a plane of un-manifest.  When it is time for the soul to re-enter into the manifest realm, it descends via the monadic ray and reincarnates.  The soul holds the record of all past life experiences and the purpose for the current life. 

Healthy development usually starts with getting to know ourselves as our personality. If we’re lucky this process is supported and encouraged by those closest to us at a young age.  As we grow and our capacity increases and our mind mature it is natural to begin have discover ones soul.  If we have a strong experience our soul, situations in our life and our own characteristics can change, often rapidly.  What was once maybe an option or an idea to pursue, now feels like a choiceless sense of “I must.” As the brilliance of the soul shines through it transforms the personality, illuminates the purpose of one’s life and offers a bridge to the higher spiritual centers of our Heart. 

If we tune into ourselves with very quiet minds we can begin to discern between the pulse of our soul and the pulse of our Higher Spiritual Heart.  Just as awakening to our soul journey can transform our life, so does awakening to the Heart’s spiritual journey.

Ghosts, Entities & Such
As our sensitivity increases we may become aware of other subtle souls and energies that may or may not be visible us, but can perhaps be felt or sensed in some way.  If we can perceive them, we can work with these energies by asking questions, or by simply attuning our mind to them.  If we have a quiet heart we will know if the energy has good intentions for us or not. If not, there are ways to clear them from ones space and self.  My favorite way to clear space is to smudge with salt and alcohol and to use copper rings.  If any entities have attached or are hooked into your energy field whatever has been inserted into the energy field must be fully removed (cutting cords is not sufficient) and the field must be mended.

The more we turn our gaze inward the more we increase our sensitivity and expand our self awareness.  This increasing of consciousness is a higher path of wellness.

The Path of Wellness

In the western paradigm, we are prone to a rather narrow view of health and healing.  In this disease-centric model we perceive healthcare as managing/responding to a disease or attempting to prevent it. This is like going from negative to zero and only focusing on half of the health picture.  Wellness, is the best term I have come across to describe what happens beyond zero and into the positive.  Wellness is not about prevention, it is about expansion.  There is always a place for the healthcare of disease management.  Illnesses are to be respected and cared for tenderly. We have ample, highly qualified, incredibly knowledgeable practitioners that offer services to effectively give this kind of care.  But those who are awake to the new paradigm of wellness may be looking for alternative tools to assist them on their journeys of expanding.  This is a response to such seekers.

If maintenance, such as in the western disease-centric model, takes us from negative to zero, wellness takes us from zero to positive.  As mentioned, wellness is about expanding consciousness.  Expanding consciousness entails a shift in one’s vibrational field.  Energy is information and is expressed at various density levels.  The densest being our physical body, then our etheric body, emotional, mental and various refined spiritual bodies.  For those on a spiritual path, it may be of interest how these bodies align and inform one another.  As we begin to look at wellness and expansion we discover we can use our own effort and will to refine even our densest of energy bodies.  As we do, we change the information (energy) available to us.  As this information changes, our physical body, mind, and emotions change as well.  Many will even report a shift in the day to day challenges they have and find things that use to be struggles before aren't anymore.

At this stage our consciousness begins to shift as a direct result of our own volition. We find tools to help us unfold and while we deal with any physical or social ailments, we become more interested in our inner journey.  Tools on our wellness journey are practices like eating the highest quality and vibrationally clean foods we can, meditation, mindful movement practices, and receiving energy work.  

Even though acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, what continues to be taught in schools today remains rooted in the western paradigm, be it responding to illness or focusing on preventing imbalances.  The focus of preventing imbalances is not a wrong way to practice.  I often use acupuncture as a tool to meet clients where they're at in dealing with physical issues.  But think about it, what is the motive for preventing energetic imbalances?  Most people I have asked say in order to avoid dealing with the physical/mental/emotional expressions of those imbalances.  Energy workers who are aware of the wellness paradigm are more interested in helping clients open up, and access the higher vibrations of their Heart center.  As this is done, prevention is  swept up and moved beyond as the expansion of consciousness is chosen over the contraction of focusing on the physical.

As we climb the ladder of wellness we find our sensitivity increases and we become more particular with what we ingest – including food, music/sound, information from TV and news, social activities, etc.  For those who are rooted in the comforts of the day to day living, it may not be the right time to embark on such a journey, but for those who are ready to release what is no longer needed and let the fires of the Heart burn through the gateways of higher consciousness, these shifts will be welcomed.  

Fire & Metal: Yuji (Fish Pond) to Fish Pose.

Yuji, is the name of the 10th acupuncture point on the lung meridian. It is located on the fleshy part of the palm at the base of the thumb.  It translates as Fish Pond and energetically draws fire energy into the lung meridian, which moves metal energy.  The relationship between fire and metal is part of what is called the Ko cycle, or control cycle.  The control cycle reflects how specific energies temper other frequencies, in this case how fire energy can control metal energy by warming or melting it.

As we look to the organs that resonate fire and metal frequencies we find the yin aspects of each in the chest:  Lungs (yin metal) and Heart/pericardium (yin fire).  Balance is often thought of as equal parts, but if we look at the yin/yang symbol we may come to understand balance, at least in the living, requires more yang than yin energy.  Life is expansion/yang.

When people are expanding their consciousness I see their lung field unifies with the heart field to allow for openness as the energy is flowing in and out of the center of the chest easily.  In a moment of contraction the heart field closes and other frequencies come forward, sometimes the kidneys (water/fear) or the lungs (metal/grief) or the liver (wood/frustration).  When we do our inner work, the lung energy remains integrated with heart even when there is contraction.

If we are mindful we may notice in our bodies when these subtle shifts occur.  One pose to help temper the metal energy of the lungs and ultimately unify them with the fire of the heart is called Matsyasana, or Fish Pose. 

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Matsyasana
1-2 minutes
Props:  2 blocks, 3-5 blankets or 1 bolster.

 

· Come to lie on your back, relax the spine into the floor. Take a deep breath in through the nose, close your eyes and exhale. Repeat 3 times or as many as desired. Breathing deep into the backside of the ribcage.

· Place one block horizontally, on the lowest height, under your shoulder blades, behind the heart.

· Place the second block behind the head, vertically on medium height.

· If using blankets, fold into a thick (5- 10 inches in height) rectangle and place vertically on the ground near your tailbone. Relax back over the blankets, relaxing your shoulders and soften your neck.

Pay attention to your neck. The intention is create length and openness, so notice any compression, tension, or crunching. Keeping a soft and strain free posture that opens through the neck and chest.

The Art of Grief

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In Chinese 5 element theory fall is the expression of Metal energy.  Similar to how the chakras are complex, dynamic fields of information, the elements are also fields imbedded within fields that govern our body, mind, and emotions.  When the physical body is ill, it will siphon off energy from the subtle body, pulling it in through the chakra system into the tissues as a way to counter dis-ease.  The elements are qualities of energy that also contract or expand through our bodymind.  While we see the elements express through the physical body, it is more often talked about how these energies influence the mind and emotions.  Metal energy is the energy of grief.  If we aredoing our inner work, grief becomes an energy that we engage with.  Through our own intention and attention we can begin to refine this energy into the effort of purification, release and reverence.  This process is core to the experience of being human. When approached mindfully many discover a divine beauty to the whole experience, in turn transmuting any excessive contraction Metal energy is naturally susceptible to.

Of course grief is experienced daily by most people, but perhaps given its common resonance with autumn, it can feel more overwhelming this time of year.  Depression, sadness, feelings of heaviness or disconnection, emotional waves, cloudiness feeling, colds, flues, lung congestion, changes in digestion, can be expressions of one’s metal energy expressing itself. 

There is no magic prescription for processing grief.  Everyone responds to it in their own way.  I’ve found in working with my own grief and with others, touch and staying present seem key for healing. 

Be in Touch.

I remember a few years ago sitting next to a woman in the airport.  She got off the phone and burst into tears. I turned my attention to her and she said her son had just died. Without thought I hugged her.  I could feel her energy sink into mine and she began to center herself.  Later as I passed by her sitting on the plane she thanked me.  It's a story that has reminded me we shouldn't underestimate how deeply healing touch can be.  

Being touched with good intentions gives us the sense of being seen, cared for, and acknowledged. There is about 5 million sensory receptors on our skin. When we are touched, electrical pulses are sent to our neurons (nerve cells) and then to the spinal cord. Your spinal cord takes the incoming signal and sends it to your brain. Once the brain receives the signal from the spinal cord, it translates the electrical signal. [Source].  As these signals are decoded, our body reduces our cortisone levels, stimulates our immune system by increasing lymphocytes and decreasing cytokines and vasopression. [Source].

Energetically, touch occurs when fields connect, either through proximity or through morphic resonance.  In one study conducted by the HeartMath Institute,  the data showed “when people touch or are in proximity, a transference of the electromagnetic energy produced by the heart occurs.”

Morphic fields are self organizing energetic fields that, according to the work of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, govern biological and social development, habits, and thoughts.  When morphic fields are in resonance, such as between individuals, the fields act as a channel for communication.  In this way bodies don’t have to be touching, but there is still a sense of it.   Remote healing, telepathy and are good examples of this. 

Be Present.

The basics of wellness care never change, but in times of grief it can be incredibly difficult to do even these.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of what the basics are and find support in friends and family to make them happen. 

Basics: Support your body. Sleep, but not too much.  Eat (good food), but not too much.  Drink water, fresh juices and teas. Support your liver and colon to make sure your body is flushing out toxins.  Meditate, and move your body throughout the day.  Be in nature.  Be in your body.  Breath mindfully for a few minutes each day.  Balance stillness and movement. 

Deeper:  Turn your attention internally to the experience of grief. Feel it objectively and subjectively.  What happens when you give just a little bit of yourself to it?  What happens when you give all of yourself to it?  Grief is one of our great teachers.  Like all great teachers, it can deliver hard lessons, but once you turn towards it, you might find the wisdom gained positively changes your inner landscape.

How we take in our outer experience and let it shapeshift our inner world of thoughts and emotions, and then take those internal experiences and process them further to illuminate who we are, is an art in and of itself.

From the Cadaver Lab to Holographic Medicine

Just about every January I find myself plotting out what continuing ed courses I’ll be taking in the coming months.  It’s a task I thoroughly enjoy and will spend hours weaving through the web, opening internet tab after tab of links to schools, online courses, programs and speakers from all fields of medicine, art, music and movement.  In these hours I fully immerse myself in dream world as I imagine how I want to unfold as a person in my own joy and wellness and how each opportunity could better hone my skills in the healing arts. 

As I follow this experience through I find myself ecstatically looking at a self- created continuing ed curriculum, composed of books to read, podcasts to listen to, classes to attend, and teachers and peers to reach out to.  This January I found myself brimming with joy as an email from Bastyr University popped up in my inbox announcing offerings this summer.  Top of the list was a cadaver lab.  I didn’t even think twice about it, that one was a must.  As excited as I was about signing up for this class I completely forgot about it in the hustle of all the changes this spring brought for me.  It wasn’t until the weekend before the class when I got the reminder that I lit up again thinking of the experience that await me.  Now I know what you’re thinking… “Cadavers Amber, really?”  But I just had a feeling it was something that would take me much deeper into my practice.

Morning of the lab I weaved my way across the lake to Kenmore.  Sun dancing through the gentle swaying trees, cotton weightlessly floating through the air- it was truly a beautiful June day.  Going to Bastyr is something I rarely have reason to do but always cherish when the occasion arises.  My path in medicine started with the health psyc program at Bastyr, which I changed out of to pursue what, I didn’t know at the time, would turn into an ever-deepening excitement for energy medicine.

The cadaver lab at Bastry is truly a sacred place.  Filled with light, plants and gratitude, the mindful approach of the students and staff is palpable.  We started and ended our days with blessings of gratitude and let our hands and eyes be guided by this profound respect shared by the group.   

We had a small class of 11, and while we were all sharing the same experience we each walked away with a different sense of aliveness and insight.  My insight occurred while looking at a nerve bundle tracking down the inner thigh.  At this point the teacher was pointing out the sensor neurons vs the motor neurons. She was showing how the signals from the tissues move from point A, you can say, to point B and how on a gross level this is the inner workings of body communication. I humored myself when the thought arose in me that linear mapping of the body didn’t make sense to me, but that holographic medicine was key.  This was not a new insight to me per se, as I practice holographic medicine, but it delighted me to be overlaying my broader knowledge of energy to the material workings of the physical body.

The world hologram comes from the Greek words “holos” meaning complete, or whole, and “gram” meaning message.  A hologram is the whole message.  Holography is the study of the three dimensional images created using light waves that interfere with each other, creating an image termed 'hologram'.  This image can be broken down into a number of pieces and each piece with still retain the complete image of the entire hologram. Holographic medicine in western medicine refers to the use of this special imaging for medical diagnosing, practice for students, etc. 

In Chinese Medicine, the principle of holograms is the foundation for energy medicine and is part and parcel of diagnosis and treatment.  Taking the pulses, examining chakras, tongue, face, feet, hands, abdomen, head, and ears are all ways to focus on one part of the whole, but through the lens of seeing that part as the whole.  Not only are parts of the body holograms (whole messages) but each acupuncture point (small chakra) is also a hologram.  What we consider to be parts, are really wholes.  This is why you can put a needle in one persons hand to help relieve their low back pain, but for another person with the same symptom needles are applied to their belly, head, or ankles.  The art of the medicine then becomes observing the hologram (whole message) and responding to that.

 Understanding this intricate and seamless relationship of parts and wholes we can understand why Spiritual Masters have all concluded to change the world you must change yourself. When we start experiencing ourselves as whole messages we find we each have a tremendous capacity to heal ourselves and experience life untethered.

Five Fabrics of Consciousness and Original Frequencies

 

The Chinese 5 element theory describes 5 phases of energy:  Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.  Each of these energies can be thought of as a distinct vibration.  Vibrations reflect fabrics of consciousness.  This means the qualities of each element manifest in a specific way as determined by the information (frequency) of the field in which it arises.  When we look at the elements as five fabrics, we see they exist in the realm of duality and their natural rhythm is to interpenetrate one another, creating a complicated and dynamic expression of life.  When one of the vibrations (fabrics) is out of balance, it will influence the others, and if the imbalance is great enough, it will change the overall frequency of the life force and we will feel the repercussions in our body, mind and/or emotions.    5 Element acupuncture is a specific form of acupuncture that specializes in perceiving the relationship between the elements and making adjustments to the energy field to optimize harmony.

As mentioned, the 5 elements reside in the realm of duality.  In meditation, we can have an experience beyond duality.  One way to describe this experience is the self tuning into the vibration that penetrates beyond the personality and into the realm of the Soul Plane.  In samadhi, or total absorption, we attune to the frequency that extends beyond the Soul Plane and into the Monadic Plane, the field of Original Consciousness.

Inner plane work is practices that consciously cultivate as a way of seeking what exists beyond our ego.  Our Monadic ray vibrates through all three planes – Monadic, Soul and Personality.  As we refine ourselves the timing becomes ripe for our Soul Rays to penetrate into our denser aspect of our personality.  Then our path shifts from a personal experience to our souls journey.

Esoteric Acupuncture is one tool of many that helps balance the 5 fabrics of consciousness, improving the overall quality health and life experience, and invite the awakening of the Souls Journey. 

 antahkarana, Celestial fullness. by Dr. Mikio Sankey

antahkarana, Celestial fullness. by Dr. Mikio Sankey

Numbers in Love.

Chinese and esoteric teachings discuss the process as numbers.  How originally there was One, then One, split into two, yin and yang (fear/love or contraction/expansion).  Two becomes three (signature for consciousness/Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.) Three reveals four, which gives us "withinness and withoutness"* and then five, which represents magic as seen in nature through the five elements and then six.  Six, which shows the interconnections of all things.  It goes on until we reach 10, and at 10 the ancient Chinese say from 10, comes 10,000 things, or all things.  

Each number reveals a field of consciousness.  This knowledge is important to me as an energy worker because it helps me understand how to move energy through various fields for healing.  But outside of that what value does it have?

It shows there is only one choice ever to be made.  We live in a dual reality.  While we can experience states of Oneness, by nature it is not our primary experience.  So this means all things can come down to yin and yang, Love and Fear.  To see from a numeric standpoint how numbers are esoterically related I think offers a anchor for our worldly perspective and how things exoterically are related.  If we can know from our own experience the state of Oneness, and from our own experience the state of twoness, then we can find compassion, strength, and feel the pulse of souls urgency to choose Love.  

When we can ground into our soul, our capacity to hold the broken heart of the world expands immensely and we become bigger, stronger vessels of Love.

*Buckminster Fuller

Healing at Home: How to make use of Entrainment

In vibrational medicine there are three basic ways to work with energy:  1.  You can nourish it from one phase to another.  2.  You can control it 3.  You can entrain it.

We see this beautifully laid out in the Chinese elemental theory as what is called the Shen cycle, one element moving into the next (just like one season moving into the next).  The Ko cycle, where one element controls the other (such as water puts out fire). And entrainment, where the weaker vibration attunes to the stronger vibration (Shaoyin or Heart/Kidney axis). 

While all of these have a place and use, I have found entrainment to be the most helpful for making lasting changes and the easiest tool to use at home.

Entrainment is the process where two interacting oscillating systems assume a common period (Wikipedia). During the period of commonality there is coherence.  Where there is coherence there is greater degrees of wellness, health and awareness.  The Heart Math Institute is one organization that has done quite a bit of research on coherence and what happens to individuals and communities when people start to experience extended periods of synchronicity.

When we’re not in coherent states we can feel anxious, depressed, quick tempered, fuzzy, short attention span, ungrounded and self-conscious.  We can have symptoms like panic attacks, insomnia, digestion disturbance, fatigue, mood swings, emotional instability, and illness.  When we’re in a coherent state we tend to feel more at ease, relaxed, clear headed and grounded.  In this state our body is freed from the tension of being scattered and can heal.

Meditation or focused awareness is the best way that I have found to quickly gain a coherent energetic state.  The question is then, what is it we’re entraining to?  We entrain to the strongest vibration, which most people when they experience it describe it as Love.  In the cycle of the elements the Chinese show how each vibration moves into one another.  This is a natural flow that is constantly happening on micro and macro levels.  They also show the Heart is the first energetic.  It’s described poetically and scientifically how the heart needs to be the most empowered energetic for there to be order, health and wellness within a person’s body, mind and soul.  The energy of Love has the ability unlike any other to create a deep state of coherence.  The Heart field is dynamic, opening and closing depending on our experiences.  The purpose of the meditation is to intentionally move into a state of centeredness, allowing all the fields of your mind and body to be nourished by the powerful energy of Heart Love. 

The Practice.

You can apply the basics of this to do a meditation on each chakra, any organ, feeling or trouble you may be experiencing. 

1.        Sit or lay in a comfortable position.

2.       In your mind’s eye see the area you want to work with.  Sense it.  Stay focused on it.  Don’t analyze it, just stay present with it. 

3.       Draw your mind’s eye to the edge of it.

4.       Become aware of the space around it.  Feel the quiet, pure, strong vibration of that silent space.  If you don’t recognize this space as the quality of Love, intend it to become Love. 

5.       Focusing on the sensation of Love, feel it embrace what you’re working with.  Hold your attention on it.  If whatever you are working on starts to heighten, simply intend increase the envelop of Love around it.  Hold this until the sensation dissipates.

Example:

If you experience anxiety, you can close your eyes and locate where you feel the anxiety.  Once you have a sense of where the anxiety is, hold the sensation of it in your mind.  Start to draw in the sense of Love around it.  If the anxiety feels like it’s growing, hold the Love stronger until it calms down.

 

Acu FAQs

Does Acupuncture hurt?

The needles used in acupuncture are different than needles used in Western medical settings or for piercings.  They are super thin and they are flexible and solid.  When they go into an acupuncture point often it’s not felt at all, or sometimes a slight prick.  Acupuncture needles are only entered into the body where there are no blood vessels, nerves or organs.  Once the needle is in you will likely feel the qi responding to the needle.  People tend to describe it as a tug, warmth, or a buzzy sensation. It is a relaxing yet energizing experience.

 

How many sessions do I need?

Whether we’re addressing an acute injury, life transition, or chronic illness, acupuncture works with the qi to create a new habit, or a new way of processing/moving through the body.  Like creating any new habit, it takes a little more effort up front.  In my experience, the best results are experienced with 1-2 sessions a week for 2—3 weeks.  This time allows us to create a foundation and reinforce the support and nourishment for the changes we want to make.  As the effect of treatments accumulate we can space scheduling out as appropriate for each patient and still maintain progress.

What is Tui Na?

Within the practice of East Asian Medicine is a form of is a form of energetic massage called Tui Na (pronounced “Twee Naw”).  This approach to bodywork focuses on moving energy through the channels, releasing tension in the muscles and fascia, helping blood and qi (energy) flow with more ease.  This form of massage is effective at helping patients process emotions held in the body and mind, release stress, recover from acute injuries and address chronic conditions. 

Acupuncture & Energy Medicine

There are 5 elements that make up the human experience: The physical body, the body’s vital energy, the mind, the intuition and our life force. Healing is an integrative process that involves all of these levels.  Each level is immense, intricate and remains relatively mysterious to us.  In our culture we see 3 of these 5 elements addressed through medical modalities:  The physical body, the body’s vital energy, and the mental body.  The physical and mental are primarily addressed through western approaches.  The vital body is where we find energetic practices such as Acupuncture. 

The ancient form of Chinese medicine emerged within their spiritual worldview and the observation of the laws of nature.  As communism expanded across China the paradigm changed and became more materialized, in turn changing the way of eastern medicine.  If Chinese medicine has not adapted with the pressures of the western culture acupuncture would have been buried in the past like many other ancient healing practices.  Today, in our post-modern culture we are experiencing a re-emergence of spiritual curiosity and once more, we are seeing the field of energy medicine changing.  Acupuncture is embracing more of its spiritual roots.  This important shift flips energy medicine from being shaped as a reflection of our culture’s worldview to being a potential catalyst for opening a paradigm of wellness that unites the truths of both science and spiritually, and embraces the 5 elements of our human experience.

The practice of acupuncture focuses on balancing the vital energy body through stimulating (usually with needles) energetic points that correlate with the physical and mental bodies.  Our vital energy body is a trans-receiver- it is constantly transmitting and receiving information in the form of energy.  Energy is subtle and operates non-linearly.  This means our vital body is constantly sending out and simultaneously decoding subtle information.  This information has effects beyond what is measurable by science at this time. 

Acupuncture and energy healing are resonant modalities.  Resonant means to re-sound, have a strong tone, to echo.  When something puts off a strong resonance weaker frequencies will entrain to it.  A classic example of this is in a clock shop; the clock with the strongest “tick” will over time coax all the other clocks to tick in sync with it.  Energetic practices such as acupuncture tune our energy fields allowing us to emit stronger and more coherent frequencies.  When we experience coherent energy fields we feel more balanced, at ease, vital, empowered, integrated, healthy and overall a deeper sense of wellbeing.

In addition to acupuncture I often blend in my sessions other resonate tools such as tuning forks, light therapy and essential oils.  Each tool helps strengthen my client’s energy field and in turn has positive effects such as unblocking stagnation, reduce pain and inflammation, calming the nervous system and resetting patterns.  Many of my clients have had much success in dealing with conditions like insomnia, anxiety, depression, chronic and acute pains, chronic fatigue, arthritis, MS, digestion disorders, fertility, migraines and seeking self-cultivation.

Natural and Effective Support for Fertility

When you want to have a baby few other things in life seem to matter and complications with conceiving and holding to full term can be devastating.  Fertility challenges are faced by many and while there is much help available the journey can still be full of stressful challenges, heartache and loneliness.  This is where 5 Element acupuncture can help.

Acupuncture as Natural Support

Acupuncture is a simple and elegant medicine because of the way it works with the body’s own resources to heal and thrive.  We don’t know exactly how acupuncture works, but we do know that when you adjust the energetic system in the way that it does, it has a direct effect on the body, mind and emotions.  When the energy is out of balance you can have all sorts of symptoms and ailments making it difficult to conceive or carry to full term.

As an acupuncturist I’ve found that working with the energy to ensure it is flowing freely and evenly, building and easing it, and tailoring the treatments to the person’s energetic constitution can have remarkable effects in overcoming fertility challenges.   5 Element acupuncture is a specific kind of acupuncture that works with the energy in these ways.  It is different from other forms of acupuncture in the way it focuses on a person’s constitution.  Many people have fertility challenges and yet no one has them for the exact same reason.  While some common threads may run through,  when it comes down to it, each of us is unique in our makeup and experiences.

This uniqueness is important when it comes to energy medicine.  Take for example two bodies of water, similar in size and location.  On the surface they appear the same and yet where you to take a look in them they would be composed very differently; filled with different fish, rocks, growth.  Perhaps one gets slightly more wind exposure or the rivers that feed into it come from different sources.  This is just like how different experiences have an impact on each one of us.  Because 5 Element acupuncture can take these subtle differences into account the treatments can target to the root of imbalances and bring things into harmony in a more sustainable way for that individual than just targeting the symptoms.

5 Element Acupuncture- What it Means to Treat the Whole Person

Why Acupuncture?

People commonly seek acupuncture for help with physical symptoms, whether it be to help decrease pain, insomnia, fertility, headaches, allergies, surgery recovery, or to boost the immune system, acupuncture has been found to be helpful with these and many more conditions.  Some also seek treatment to help balance their mind and emotions.  Ailments such as anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, to foggy brain, rumination, excessive worry or fearful thoughts, unstable emotions, or habitually stuck in one feeling.  Acupuncture can give someone an experience of not being plagued by these conditions while at the same time start bringing their internal systems (energetic, hormonal, physical etc.) back into a more natural balance.

The benefits of acupuncture don’t stop there.

I fell in love with this medicine when I realized how it also helped bring out the best qualities of each patient. Patients often tell me they feel in their own skin more, or they respond to situations with less anxiety and overall experience more easiness.   Natural talents or skills become more stable, helping one have a clearer understanding of things that may be challenging in life and how best to respond to them.  It can bring what one might be grappling with on a deep internal level to the surface for better processing, allowing forward movement to happen in a harmonious way.

“Each acupuncture point contains a rich source of vital energy as well as an opportunity to open a person’s life, allowing it to blossom forth with richness… five element acupuncture is not about matching a point to a symptom.  It is about helping someone to become full of balance and harmony in their energy so they can then stride forward and realize their dreams.” – D. Katz

This medicine can help someone who is feeling at their wits end and gently bring them back to their core where they can feel on a visceral level a re-connection to the aspect of them that is steady and vibrant.  Equally it can take someone who is well on their path, attracting and offering good things in the through their life and help them do so even more.

5 Element Acupuncture – How it works

The goal of 5 element acupuncture is to help a person be in harmony with their life unfolding on all levels- body, mind, spirit, emotion.  This doesn’t mean that this style of acupuncture can’t help relieve ailments in a tangible way.  On the contrary, helping a person move forward in their life can very well mean helping their body feel and function better.  It’s the way this is done that makes the difference between the whole person being able to move forward through their challenges or just part of them.

For example, say there is a patient with hip pain.  No two people suffer from the same hip pain.  Even if the cause was the same, say a skiing accident, the way it would manifest and hold in their body would be different, and if unresolved quickly the contributing or complicating factors would differentiate them even more.  Here is where 5 Element shines.  Based on the holistic perspective that a human being is a complex integration of physical systems, mind, emotions and spirit, it focuses on understanding how this integration is unique for each patient, and how past experiences as well as passions, desires, fears, etc are being processed.  Treatments can then be offered to help support the entire person in their healing.  Whether it be an acute or chronic condition, 5 element acupuncture works by using points and needling techniques specific to each person, offering them support that best suits their whole being.

Dancing with Spring | Wood Element

I spend a lot of time talking about the seasons with my patients.  Our conversations go beyond the weather as we chat about what the seasons means and how they relates to health, well-being and, of course, acupuncture.  Nature reflects the energy that runs through it.  This means as the energy changes so do the seasons.  As we move into spring, the energy warms from the winter and what was consolidated and quiet becomes active and dynamic.  A movement of direction emerges.  We see this in plants as the warmth starts to open up their pores and their fresh scents fill the air.  There is a movement leading out of hibernation and into upward growth.  With this movement we can also intuit a vision, a striving to accomplish a mission or goal.  We also see creativity emerge as the potential of winter gives birth to new beginnings.  We see this in the beautiful expression of plants, and in animals we see more mating, creating, and manifesting.

The Chinese called this energy Qi. Qi being the concept of life force, the energy that organizes and animates living matter.  Qi runs through our body, minds and emotions and if we spend a moment contemplating our own life force, we can feel our deep connection to everything.  When we see how things are connected to the movement of Qi we can begin to understand what is in balance and what is imbalance.  As we consciously reflect on this relationship we can begin to understand what is needed to restore balance, harmony, and ease when it is lost.    We can understand how to self-preserve, self-cultivate, and self-transform.  This becomes knowledge of oneself and as we become more knowledgeable of the depth of our own selves the doors for amazing and wondrous possibilities fly open.  We discover how to direct our own nature through the alignment of this greater life force, guided by our observations of how nature responds to its movement.  All of this can stem from a single insight, a curiosity, an awareness of the relationship between man and nature, man and energy, man and Qi.

As we move into spring this year I invite you to contemplate on this movement, notice it in nature and in yourself.  Let your inquiry take you beyond the overarching aspects of spring that I’ve mentioned above and into the subtleties and nuances of this energetic quality and discover how it relates to and affects you.  Come to know yourself in relation to this Spring.

The Poetry of Medicine

In 5 element acupuncture the practitioner listens to the patient, and feels their twelves energetic pulses, to understand what is not in balance.  It is not about matching a point to relieve a symptom.  It is much more like poetry.  Each point is like a palace of qi* that when accessed releases a particular quality that helps the person integrate their life experience, and move forward on their journey more fully and in harmony.

Each energetic point on the body was explored by the ancient Chinese.  They realized that each point had a far more reaching effectthan just easing the physical body.  They found that using the spirit of acupuncture points altered their minds, and feelings, and opened their hearts to understand nature.

Poetry
A poem is like a finger pointing to the moon. We focus our attention on what is being pointed to, the marvel of the moon, in awe that it exists.  Yet, simultaneously our marveling is a marvel itself.   That we can see the moon, know both of its facts we have learned and with our feelings, we create the sense of awe.  A good poem points to the greatness of what is being written about, but does not box it in with its words.  A good poet writes in the language of Nature, and trusts in the infinite ways it will be received.  He knows the purpose of the poem is not to create the perfect poem itself, but rather to create a finger pointing to the moon.

Poetry in Medicine
In India an Ayurvedic physician is called kaviraj, meaning “king of the poets,” as could be called a 5 element acupuncturist.   The art of this medicine comes in understanding and intuiting the spirit of each point, and choosing the best point(s) to help restore harmony in the patient and help them move forward on their path.  When the spirit of the point is accessed it helps people integrate their experiences more, it supports and illuminates their thinking and minds, and helps them have deeper insight into their own potential, desires, purpose and nature.

As time has passed the relationship between spirituality and medicine has shifted, but not separated.  Where there is one, we will always find the other, because man can never be separated from his own depth; his own spirit.  The field of medicine is slowly acknowledging the role of spirit in health and wellbeing and our community is gradually accepting that there is a time and place for the miracles of western medicine, just as there is a need for healing arts like 5 element acupuncture.

To conclude, I will share with you an example of a spirit of a point, as described by practitioner and author, Debra Katz:

Ling Xu is the 24th accessible palace of qi on the Kidney** meridian.  The character for this point translates as Wild Lands of Spirit. When accessed this point can revive the spirit.  When we are low, resigned, or have suffered, this point re-establishes the connection to our own strength. 

The character for Ling is drawn as rain falling from the heavens into the mouths of three shaman women who are dancing between heaven and earth.  It means mysterious, supernatural, power, marvelous, divine, intelligent, soul.  Xu is drawn as earth and an emptiness, void or place that is barren or empty, wild land, burial ground.  Together these characters express the source of spiritual depth that is able to return our spirit to life, wonder and its own inner wisdom.  This point is used to restore our spirits with hope and wonder, and allow life to be lived out in its fullest.

In many cases I will use this point to help unleash one’s spirit from the burdens of their past, or worries, inviting them to be full and present in the moment.

*Qi is often translated as life energy

**In acupuncture the various meridians are understood to have different qualities and effects on the functions of the body/mind/spirit.  In the west, they translate as being categorized as elements and associated with different organs, though it’s more accurate to think of the function the organ offers rather than just the organ itself, in this case, the kidneys/water element.

Finding Balance

When we lose our balance, our ears can no longer make sense of our heart’s whispers.  Whether we are overwhelmed or uninspired, or feeling disconnected from our sense of purpose, we find ourselves at a cross road:  We choose to maintain our deaf ear or we choose to re-center, re-connect with our self and re-gain balance.

Balance is not a static.  It’s not a state to be obtained, and it is not the absence of anything.  Balance is dynamic.  It has a pulse, a breath, a quality, it is a sensation, an intuition, an inner disposition – we feel whet her we’re in balance or not.

When I’m helping a patient who has lost their sense of balance two things I consider are the balance between yin and yang, and which points will help them the most.

Part of this feeling of balance comes from the flow of yin and yang energies in our bodies and activities.  The character for yin is drawn as the shady side of a mountain.  Yang is the sunny side.  One defines the other, which is why they are always drawn together.  They express relativity:  Yin:  more quiet, subdued, receptive, cool, moderation.  Yang:  louder, active, giving, hot, passion.  Life has relatively more yang energy moving through it, so if for some reason our energetic system gets shifted and there becomes more yin, we can feel off balance until it is corrected.

In Chinese medicine, acupuncture points are named by Chinese characters that describe the quality and effect of the points.  The characters are specifically chosen, yet have many meanings.  For example, the character for the first point on the Heart meridian is Ji Quan.  Ji is drawn as a combination as a man extending himself between heaven and earth, both with his words and efforts of his hands, and the character for vision and hope.  Under Ji is drawn Quan, the character that means pure, clear, source or spring.  Together they mean from our inner source we can move forward by using the wisdom from deep within to reach the heavens while extending our roots on earth.  Here we reconnect with a wholeness of who we are in the well springs of the heart and find balance, harmony and joy in all we do.*

With harmony between yin and yang and the right energetic points realigning the head and the heart, balance can once again be experienced, even in the midst of chaos.

*Point description from D. Katz, Characters of Wisdom.

Hidden in Them Bones

It was once believed that our bones carried within them the whispers of our greatest potential.  It was also thought that all of one’s life experiences left energetic memories in the bones.  These beliefs created the perspective that our past was always with us, yet always balanced by the momentum of our future.  This belief was expressed in the Chinese character for bone, Liao, which is drawn as a bone with wings.  Many acupuncture points contain this character in their name and when stimulated can help re-center one’s awareness on their own beautiful depth, and capacity, and help them extend their greatness into the world.

From the biggest perspective everything that exists is a form of Qi, or energy.  As we “break” this whole perspective into parts we find energy can exist in both particle or wave forms.  Just as we can see the currents of wind expressed in the shaping of the famous Monterey cypress trees along the coast of California, we can see in each of our unique bodies the expression of Qi running through and around us.  Physically we know that within and around the human body is a complex matrix of energetic currents and vibrations with many layers and qualities.  The denser tissues have stronger energy currents; the densest, being the skeletal system, creates force fields that all the other layers of energy organize around and give shape to our bodies.  The strongest of these currents run through our skull, backbone, pelvis and legs, literally keeping us grounded to the earth and reaching toward the heavens.  Perhaps now we can begin to further understand why the ancient Chinese concluded that the bones were responsible for much more than giving the body structure.

Our quest to understand the nature of the universe has literally taken us to the moon, through the depths of the ocean, and into the core of the earth.  And yet it seems we are still drawn back to our own being.  The potential depth of understanding our body, what it offers home to, and how it connects us to our past, present and future, is infinite.  We each get to choose how far down the rabbit hole we go in our quest…