Thursday, February 5, 2015

Your health is more than your symptom(s)

Everything that is impacting on us physically is going to also have an emotional impact.  When a patient comes in to see me and they have for example neck pain and they have had this neck pain for maybe over a year or more and their doctor has told them, 'Well I think you might also be depressed.’  Am I surprised they are feeling depressed?  Pain doesn't exist in isolation and will create other issues for the patient!

The holistic viewpoint of a patient is why I allow up to 2 hours for your initial consultation at my practice (www.5elementacupuncturedublin.ie) because as part of this process will include a long list of questions — some of which seemingly having nothing to do with your ,main complaint.

By getting a full picture of your health requires more information than a list of your symptoms.  How would you think that I could help you to to heal — whether it’s a pain disorder or any kind of disorder — if you don’t know who you are?

This is how many family doctors practised in the past.  The doctor knew the family. He knew the children, the parents, the grandparents.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Living in harmony with Winter - Tips

Below are some suggestions for living in harmony with the Winter season:

  1. Give yourself more rest.  Allow you body, mind and spirit to repair and recuperate to be ready for the season of Spring.
  2. Put aside more time for your inner life.  Take time to reflect and nurture your spirit.
  3. As the weather cools support, your body’s need for warmth by inclusion of appropriate cooked foods, such as whole grains, potatoes, carrots and garlic in your diet.
  4. Use the time to rekindle and deepen relationships with your nearest and dearest round a nice warm fire.

Winter Season and the Water Element

Introduction

The season associated with the element Water is Winter.  It is the time of maximum Yin.  The essence of life is emphasised as the external display of life is absent and life is laid bare.  For example skeletons of trees are clearly visible, stripped to the bone.   In Neolithic times living inside the earth was common practice in Winter and something of this remains today.


One goes to bed early; one gets up late

                                                                                Sun Wen 2


Winter is a time for looking inwards and storing of energy.  It is a time to be less active.  We gather strength for the year ahead.  Having abundant reserves within give us courage and strength of will.  Su wen chapter 2 says that in Winter heaven and earth are like strangers, Yin and Yang have nothing more to do with each other.  According to the Book of Rites it is the period of the mysterious gathering of water inside the earth ready to receive the impulse of heaven, the Yang inside.


Contrary to what one does in summer, when the qi likes to escape outside and can do so safely, in winter it is contained under the skin, allowing it to be as concentrated as possible.  Once spring returns, the qi that is kept tightly within the body will be able to surge out strongly again.

Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (1994), p118

 

Winter is a season of “rest”.  We need to preserve our energy and draw upon our reserves to survive the lean months of Winter.  Though less obvious in the developed and richer countries such as we live in where supplies are generally available all year round in super markets, this absence of bounty is reflected in nature where for example animals hibernate and on the surface there is no sign of activity.  We as humans also need to follow a similar pattern of resting to remain healthy and in balance.  This is explored further later in this paper in relation to the Kidneys which facilitates our storing not only on a physical but also on a mind and spirit level.


Every living thing has a potential to grow and multiply.  What carries each through the dark age of winter is the ambition and drive to see its dark and impenetrable surface is a vast and unyielding force which powers the flow of season into season.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p12


During Winter life seems to have stopped.  Life is however present but hidden underground.  This reflects the elusive nature of the Water Element which is associated with the season Winter.



Water is the alpha and the omega of all the elements, their beginning and their end.  It brings the cycle of the elements full circle.

Franglen, Nora (2001), p110


The human body is composed of more than 75% water.  We are in many ways like a large skin covered water repository.  Water has a function in our bodies right down to the cell level.  Our blood system is primarily water.  Water supports our life in transporting nutrients, oxygen and hormones.  It also carries away waste products, and through the work of it’s two Officials, the Bladder and the Kidney, filters out and removes impurities for us.  It is the basis of the secretions and fluids that allow us to move our joints. 


When the Element is out of balance, therefore, it affects every single cell in the body.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p59


Indeed ageing is partly a drying up process a sign that the Water Element is weakening and that we are losing our water reserves.  The ageing process, it’s manifestations and seven year cycles for females and eight year cycles for males is to be found in Su Wen 1.

Water has many manifestations in nature which reflects something of it’s elusive nature.  It is the most Yin of all the Elements.  It is everywhere, but has no shape, taking only the form given by containers.  It is the only element, which can take on different states: liquid, solid and gas.  It knows where it wants to go and behaves in a determined manner to get there.

The primary correspondences for Water are listed in Table 1.


Season
Water
Colour
Blue/Black
Sound
Groaning
Odour
Putrid
Emotion
Fear
Yin Official / Zang Organ
Kidney
Yang Official / Fu Organ
Bladder
Yin Official Peak Time
5pm – 7pm
Yang Official Peak Time
3pm – 5pm
Climate
Cold
Sense Organ/Orifice
Ears
Tissue/Body Part
Bones
Residue
Teeth
Taste
Salty
Direction
North
Fluid Secretion
Saliva/Spittle
Power
Emphasis/Storage
Table 1 – Water’s primary correspondences


The Water Element within us provides us with the gifts and capacities to support our body, mind and spirit to survive the Winter and from year to year.  There will also be challenges to face.  Some of these gifts, capacities and challenges are discussed in the next sections of this paper.  

Gifts & Capacities

The Water Element provides us with reserves, flow, and cleansing power.  The reserves provide us with the strength to survive through each year and from year to year.  The significant volume of water in our bodies was discussed in the introduction to this paper.  The flow is important for the removal of impurities from the body, not only on a physical level but also at the mind level when we can clean out and dispose of old ideas and dreams and at the spirit level to maintain a purity of spirit.


To exist through the cold, dark months on the reserves gathered in the autumn takes will and determination, a powerful resolve to carry on through hardship.  The essence of Water is embodied in this indomitable strength.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p61,62



The Water Element within us gives us the capacity to assess risks e.g. the security of our homes.  The normal process we go through is that we perceive a threat.  This is usually accompanied by a feeling of fear.  We assess the risk level and then finally we take action to ensure our safety.  We can carry out this process when our Water Element is in balance.

Another gift or capacity of the Water Element is the ability to protect ourselves.  Our fear alerts us to danger.  We feel a threat and to survive we respond appropriately.  This is our zhi (spirit of our Kidneys), in function.


The five will-powers, wu zhi, are the special natural living tensions which arise from each of the five zang.  For the kidneys it is fear , kong.

                                                                    Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (2001), p85

At the most fundamental level the zhi gives us the drive to survive.

When we move through life, enacting our destiny through the support of balanced Kidney Qi we accumulate the virtue of wisdom. 

Challenges

One of the key challenges that Water presents to us is to be aware of not overtaxing our reserves.  To be aware of the literal truth of the idea of ‘living fast and dying young’.


Like every other blessing which we are given we have to use the power of will and endurance to its appropriate extent, and will pay the penalty if we do not allow ourselves an inner winter to rest and to re-build our reserves.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p63


We will deplete the Kidney Offical naturally from cradle to grave.  Therefore we need to be aware of and avoid overtaxing our reserves for example by ‘burning the candle at both ends’ or through overuse of drugs.  The role of the Kidney Official on our “reserves” is discussed in more detail in the Kidney section of this paper.

When the Water Element is out of balance any aspect of fluidity within our body, mind and spirit may be affected, brittleness of joints, dryness and thirst, frequency or infrequency of urination, excess or deficiency of perspiration, the lack of flow of thought processes and emotions, feelings and fears of inundation, being overwhelmed by things.  People can experience the mind going blank, their mouth drying up or simply being paralysed by fear.

In our day-to-day parlance we can find references to imbalances of the Water Element within us.  Those who are fearless we describe as having a strong ‘backbone’ and those who are fearful as ‘spineless’.  This links into one of the functions of the Kidney to produce marrow, which is discussed in the Kidney section of this paper.

Associated with the Water Element we have the Kidneys (Shen) and Bladder  (Pang Guang) Officials.  The Kidneys plays an important role in storing Qi and
the Bladder in providing a reservoir for our body, mind and spirit. 

The Kidney (Shen) Official

 The Kidney Official is the Official who Controls the Waterways.  It is the Yin/Zang organ of the Water Element.  The Kidneys are the only Zang organ which are double, all the others are single.  The Kidneys are located low down in the body, which reflects their relationship to Yin, which reigns in winter.

The Kidneys are the foundation for all the Yin and Yang energies of the body.
Kidney-Yin also called ‘Primary Yin’ is the foundation for all of the Yin energies of the body, in particular that of the Liver, Heart and Lungs.  Kidney-Yang also called ‘Primary Yang’ is the foundation of all the Yang energies of the body, in particular that of the Spleen, Lungs and Heart.  Kidney-Yin is the fundamental substance for birth, growth and reproduction whereas Kidney-Yang is the motive force of all physiological processes.  Kidney-Yin is the material foundation for Kidney-Yang, and Kidney-Yang represents the physiological activity that transforms Kidney-Yin.

The functions of the Kidneys are listed in Table 2.

1 They store Essence and govern birth,
   growth, reproduction and development
2 They produce Marrow, fill up the brain
    and control bones
3 They govern water
4 They control the reception of Qi
5 They open into the ears
6 They manifest in the hair
7 They control spittle
8 They control the two lower orifices
9 They house the Will-power (Zhi)
10 They control the Gate of Life (Minister
      Fire)
Table 2 – The Functions of the Kidneys -  Maciocia, Giovanni (2005), p 155


Some of these functions are discussed in below.

1 They store Essence and govern birth, growth, reproduction and development
The Essence (Jing) of the Kidneys is a precious substance that is inherited from the parents but also partly replenished by the Qi extracted from food (Gu Qi).  It derives from both the Pre-Heaven and Post-Heaven Essence.  It determines a person’s constitution.  It circulates all over the body, particularly in the Eight Extraordinary Vessels.

2 They produce Marrow, fill up the brain and control bones
The ‘Marrow’ (sui) does not correspond to the bone marrow of Western medicine but in Chinese medicine it is a substance that is the common matrix of bones, bone marrow, brain and spinal cord.  The ‘Spiritual Axis’ in chapter 33 says: ‘The Brain is the Sea of Marrow’.  Kidney-Essence when strong will nourish the brain and memory, concentration and thinking.  This reflects the thinking of Chinese Medicine that the Kidneys are the origin of skill and intelligence.



The kidneys are double: they are not both kidneys.  The on one the left is the kidney; the one on the right is ming men, the door of individual destiny.  Ming men is the residence of shenjing, spirits/essences; it is where the original qi, yuan qi is attached.  There man stores the essences (sperm, jing) and woman attaches the reproductive organs (uterus, bao).  Thus the kidneys are unique.

                                                                    Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (2001), p9

The Ming Men also referred to as ‘Minister Fire’, ‘Gate of Life/Vitality’.  The Ming Men is an essential aspect of Kidney function.  It is an important link between Fire and Water in the body.  It warms the Jing and facilitates the conjoining of Kidney-Yin and Kidney-Yang to form Kidney Qi.

The main functions of the Ming Men are listed in Table 3.

1 The root of Yuan (“Source” or “Original”) Qi
2 A source of Fire for the Internal Organs
3 Warms the Lower Jiao and Bladder
4 Warms Stomach and Spleen and aids digestion
5 Harmonises sexual function, warms Jing and
   Uterus
6 Assists the Kidneys in the reception of Qi
7 Assists the Heart function of housing the Shen
Table 3 – The Main Functions of the Ming Men

In Ling shu 47 the Triple Heater is connected with the Ming Men.  The Triple Heater can be considered like a messenger or servant of Ming Men for the distribution of Yuan Qi through the body.

Some examples of points on the Kidney meridian which, describe their possible application in supporting the body, mind and spirit and also reflect their relationship to the Water Element are listed in Table 4 below:

Point
Title
Example point application

KI 1

Bubbling Spring
When patient lacks strength and stamina they need to take action.

KI 3

Greater Mountain Stream
To bring strength and certainty to one who is too scared to begin anything.

KI 5

Water Spring
Give patient a fresh perspective.

KI 6

Illuminated Sea
Bring ability to look at things more clearly.

KI 7

Returning Current
Strengthen zhi and support patient in overcoming fear and obstacles in their path.
Table 4 – Example of points and their application on Kidney meridian

It is also worth noting that Kidney chest points (KI 22 – KI 27) are useful for treatment of patients of any Causative Factor particularly in supporting Essence and Spirit.

The other half of the Water Element Officials team is the Bladder Official.  Whilst the Kidneys are more concerned with the quality of the fluids the Bladder is concerned with the fluid distribution. 

The Bladder (Pang Guang ) Official


The Bladder Official is the Official responsible for Storage of Water.  It is the Yang/Fu organ of the Water Element.  The Bladder is responsible for keeping dry areas separate from wet areas.

The functions of the Bladder are listed below in Table 5.


1 It removes water by Qi transformation
Table 5 – The Functions of the Bladder -  Maciocia, Giovanni (2005), p 205


This function uses the energy of the Yang aspect of the Kidney which provides Qi and heat.  The Bladder is also assisted in its function of fluid transformation by the Lower Heater function of the Triple Heater.

This Official is charged with disposing of the urine, which contains a large number of waste products, which have been filtered by the Kidney.  There is an active process of choice and decision with regard to setting aside the impurities for discharge and retaining water that is needed to maintain the reservoir of excess water, which the Bladder holds.  On a physical level if failure happens then water may be poured away too quickly and dehydration takes place, e.g. dry skin and dry hair.  If on the other hand not enough water is passed away then the reservoir overflows into the surrounding lands and a feeling of bloatedness occurs from being waterlogged.

On the mind level if properly irrigated then one can let ideas and thoughts flow.  On a spiritual level if there is a reserve we can feel safe and secure and have the fuel in place for the growth of spring and protection from the heat of the summer.

  

Many of the words we associate with the Water Element, such as endurance, ambition and determination, are founded on the ability to have and to maintain an inner reservoir upon which everything else we do depends.  By providing this on all levels the Bladder is the source of our deepest reserves and strength.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p168



The Bladder Officials important function of storing water for the whole body is reflected by it’s having sixty seven points on it’s meridian, the largest number on any meridian on the body.  This is also reflected in the extent of the meridians superficial pathway which begins at the medial canthus of the eye, passing over the skull, down the neck and back, continuing down the posterior aspect of the leg ending on the lateral nail point of the little toe. 

Some examples of points on the Bladder meridian which describe their possible application in supporting the body, mind and spirit and also reflect their relationship to the Water Element are listed in Table 6.

Point
Title
Example point application

BL 1

Eyes Bright
To help patient have an uncontaminated higher vision and clear sighted mental level.

BL 10

Heavenly Pillar
When the patient is frightened of their future, provides strength to endure.

BL 52

Ambition Room
To re-awaken the urge to continue and and see through the authentic destiny of their life.
Table 6 – Example of points and their application on Bladder meridian


Conclusion
In conclusion in this paper we have looked at the importance of the energetic of the Water Element which provides us with the reserves to survive Winter and from year to year.  We need to be mindful of not over taxing these reserves by for example “burning the candle at both ends”.  When in balance it also provides us with the ability to assess risks and protect ourselves.  Out of balance we become overwhelmed by excessive fear or are unable to appreciate real danger.  These abilities we examined are provided by the two related Water Officials of Kidneys (Shen) and Bladder (Pang Guang).  





References:

Franglen, Nora (2001) Simple Guide to Using Acupuncture.
Kent, England: Global Books Ltd.

Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (1994) TheWay of Heaven
Monkey Press

Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (2001) Chinese Medicine from The Classics - The Kidneys
Monkey Press

Maciocia, Giovanni (2005) The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, 2nd Ed.
Churchill Livingstone

Worsley, J.R. (1998) Classical Five-Element Acupuncture™ Volume III The Five Elements and The Officials.
J.R. & J.B. Worsley



Bibliogrpahy

College of Traditional Acupuncture (2004) Acupuncture Point Compendium

College of Traditional Acupuncture (2005) Blue Group S2005 Session Five Notes.

Connelly, Dianne M. (1994) Traditional Acupuncture The Law of the Five Elements.  2nd Edition.
Maryland, U.S.A.: Tai Sophia Institute

Hicks, Angela & Hicks, John (1999) Healing your Emotions
London, England: Thorsons

Hicks, Angela; Hicks, John; Mole Peter (2004) Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture
Churchill Livingstone











Friday, October 21, 2011

Metal Element and Autumn

Introduction

The season associated with Metal Is Autumn.  The overflowing effects of Summer are realised and it’s time for harvesting.  The harvesting must not only be of the food stuffs which are put in storehouses but also of Spirits and Breaths in our own storehouses.  We need to protect our own vitality to survive the Winter.  Our breaths are taken in by the Lung which receives the pure heavenly Qi.  Located between Summer and Winter the energetic tendency towards of Autumn is Yin ascending.  It’s a season of balancing. 



In the Book of Rites, another of the Five Classics, it says that Autumn puts everything back in the balancing scales.

                                                                                Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (1992), p6



Autumn is also a season of “letting go”.  We need to clear out the old to make room for the new.  This is reflected in nature where for example the trees let go of their leaves and seeds.  The leaves serve to compost the earth to support the germination of the seeds when Spring arrives.  We as humans also need to follow a similar pattern of letting go to remain healthy and in balance.  This is explored further later in this paper in relation to the Large Intestine which facilitates our letting go not only on a physical but also on a mind and spirit level.


Metal’s manifestation in nature is probably one of the more difficult to notice. 
Indeed this is reflected in the ideogram for Metal (Jin), (see illustration 1), which includes the character for Earth.  Whilst the Earth ideogram only has two horizontal lines the Metal ideogram includes a third line indicating that Metal is deep within the earth.  The two shorter lines at the bottom represent
nuggets of gold which can be likened to unseen growth.

Illustration 1 – Jin, Ideogram for Metal


The primary correspondences for Metal are listed in Table 1.

Season
Autumn
Colour
White
Sound
Weeping
Odour
Rotten
Emotion
Grief/Sadness
Yin Official / Zang Organ
Lung
Yang Official / Fu Organ
Large Intestine
Yin Official Peak Time
3am – 5am
Yang Official Peak Time
5am – 7am
Climate
Dryness
Sense Organ/Orifice
Nose
Tissue/Body Part
Skin
Residue
Body Hair
Taste
Pungent/Spicy
Direction
West
Fluid Secretion
Mucus
Table 1 – Metal’s primary correspondences

Autumn is the time of year when less is required.   One becomes a sage and reflects inwardly.  The Metal Element within us provides us with the gifts and capacities to support our body, mind and spirit in preparation for Winter.  There will also be challenges to face.  Some of these gifts, capacities and challenges are discussed in the next sections of this paper. 


Gifts & Capacities

In our environment minerals provide nutrients to the earth from which food is grown.  Ores provide fuel for heat, others material for structural strength, others gems for beauty.  Metal is a key component in most systems of communication.  Metal conducts electricity. 

In the human body the Metal Element provides us with the capacity to receive pure Qi from the heavens via the Lung and also to eliminate toxins and waste substances via the Large Intestine.  Receipt of pure Qi from the heavens is linked to our ability to be inspired.  The Chinese saw the Earth Element as the Mother, both for us and within us, and the saw the role of the Metal Element as a natural association with the Father from the heavens above.  This reminds us of our connection between heaven and earth.  Many forms of meditation use the principles of breathing exercises to enhance the mind and spirit directly.




Of all the Officials the Lung is perhaps the most vital in establishing and sustaining the spirit.  By taking in the pure Qi energy from the heavens it brings the guidance and authority which our lives need.

 Worsley, J.R. (1998), p162



Expanding on the connection to the Heavens is the notion of respect which is attached to the idea of the father in almost every culture.  When Metal is balanced within us when can also be aware of self respect which provides us with a sense of self-esteem.  This in turn gives our lives a sense of quality.

This in turn supports our ability to make judgements and decisions.



Every Element is qualitatively enriched in it’s own Nature by the Metal Element.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p48



Just as the Lung receives the Large Intestines eliminates all the waste and rubbish within us.  This is not just our physical body waste but also our mental and spiritual waste.  The importance of “letting go” is discussed in the next section of this paper.




Challenges

One of the key challenges that Metal presents to us is to be aware of the importance of letting go. 


Our ideas, our emotions, our food, even the stages in the growth of our spirit, all have their hour and then have no more to offer.  Once they are finished we have to be able to let go and move on.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p50



Without clarity provided by ‘letting go’ our judgement can be impaired and we can fail to recognise the quality of our decisions.  Our self-esteem can suffer and we can forget to nourish our bodies properly.  We could potentially swing towards the side of excessive sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

Patients with a Metal (Causative Factor) CF may portray an external stillness about them.  An outward sense of everything being in it’s proper place.  A shiny exterior which often belies the tumultuous interior.  This reflects the other direction in which Metal can take us where we present a peacock style appearance to the world.  This can include being festooned with “shiny” jewellery.  They may look for respect.

Associated with the Metal Element we have the Lung (Fei) and Large Intestine (Da Shang) Officials.  The Lung plays an important role in receiving Qi and the Large Intestine in “letting go” for our body, mind and spirit.  


The Lung (Fei) Official

The Lung Official is the Official who receives the pure qi energy from the heavens.  It is the Yin/Zang organ of the Metal Element.


In ancient texts, the Chinese, probably because the writers were more function oriented, usually spoke of the Lung as a single organ.  From the Nei Jing onwards, however, they often say that the Lung is divided into two parts.

Hicks, Angela; Hicks, John; Mole Peter (2004), p138



The Lungs are considered to be ‘tender’, ‘delicate’ or ‘fragile’ organ.  This is because, of all the internal organs, it is the first one to be attacked by external pathogenic factors. 

The functions of the Lungs are listed in Table 2.


1 They govern Qi and respiration
2 They control channels and blood vessels
3 They control diffusing and descending of
     Qi and Body Fluids
4 They regulate all physiological activities
5 They regulate Water passages
6 They control the skin and the space
     between skin and muscles
7 They manifest in the body hair
8 They open into the nose
9 They control nasal mucus
10 They house the Corporeal Soul
11 They are affected by worry, grief and
      sadness
Table 2 – The Functions of the Lungs -  Maciocia, Giovanni (2005), p 139


Some of these functions are discussed in below.

1 They govern Qi and respiration
In terms of governing Qi and respiration this refers to the inhalation of  ‘pure Qi’ (air) and exhalation of ‘dirty Qi’.  The Lungs also govern Qi by the process of forming Qi.  Food-Qi (Gu Qi) extracted by the spleen is directed to the lungs where it combines with the inhaled air to form what is referred to as Gathering Qi (Zong Qi).

6 They control the skin and the space between skin and muscles
The space between the skin and muscles is called the “Cou Li” space.  This is the space where Defensive Qi (Wei Qi) flows.  Strong Lung Qi provides a body with a good resistance to attack by external pathogenic factors.

10 They house the Corporeal Soul
The Corporeal Soul (Po) is called the ‘entering and exiting of Essence (Jing)’.
The Po allows the Jing to play a role in all physiological processes.

11 They are affected by worry, grief and sadness
Worry is said to ‘knot’ Qi.  This manifests in shoulder and chest tension.  Grief and sadness are said to deplete the Qi.  This manifests in the Lung pulse becoming weak and fine (thin), the complexion becoming white and the tone of voice being feeble and weepy




The Lungs hold the office of minister and chancellor.  The regulation of life-giving networks stem from it.

                                                                                Su Wen 8


This quotation refers to the role (Minister) which the Lung plays in conversing with the sovereign (Heart).  The Lung takes instructions and carries  them out.  There is an interdependence here which is key as the Heart controls blood and the Lung Qi, two of the key ‘substances’ that constitute a person.



The Lung is a canopy for the zang.

                                                                                Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (1992), p44


This is a reference to Su Wen chapter 46.  This exemplifies the importance of the Lung’s role in attracting influence of Heaven and transmitting it to the other organs.

Some examples of points on the Lung meridian which describe their possible application in supporting the body, mind and spirit and also reflect their relationship to the Metal Element are listed in Table 3 below:

Point
Title
Example point application

LU 1

Middle Palace
Helps connect patient with Heavenly Qi and inspiration.

LU 2

Cloud Door
If patient is feeling lost.

LU 5

Outside Marsh
Helps patient to know themselves better.

LU 6

Greatest Hole
If patient feels they have no point or purpose and are unable to cope with outside world.

LU 8

Meridian Gutter
Helps bring patient into the present and relate to the future.
Table 3 – Example of points and their application on Lung meridian

Hopefully the reader thus far has gained a sense of the importance of the role of the Lung Official in establishing and sustaining the spirit and the guidance and authority it brings to our lives. 

The other half of the Metal Element Officials team is the Large Intestine Official.  Whilst the Lung supports the intake of new and pure Qi to maintain balance it is important that we have a way to eliminate, or “let go” at the appropriate time.  This “letting go” is the function of the Large Intestine Official.





The Large Intestine/Colon (Da Chang) Official


The Large Intestine Official is the Official of drainage and dregs.  It is the Yang/Fu organ of the Metal Element.

The functions of the Large Intestine are listed below in Table 4.


1 Controls passage and conduction
2 Transforms stools and reabsorbs fluids
Table 4 – The Functions of the Large Intestine -  Maciocia, Giovanni (2005), p 195


This Official takes away the waste not only from that which is left over from the digestive process but also from all the Officials.  If this Official is not functioning properly then all the Officials are at risk of becoming sick as rubbish in any of the Officials will limit their physical function.  This will also manifest in the mind and spirit just as much.  Room needs to be made for anything new and vital.



When we come across someone whose words and whose mind are poisoned and filthy we may be in the presence of a person whose garbage is not being taken away.

Worsley, J.R. (1998), p155



Some examples of points on the Large Intestine meridian which describe their possible application in supporting the body, mind and spirit and also reflect their relationship to the Metal Element are listed in Table 5.



Point
Title
Example point application

LI 1

Merchant Yang
Helps patient if they can’t see through their rubbish..

LI 2

Second Interval
Helps patient who is rigid and needs to let go by assisting lubrication and thus helping patient to move more freely and live in accordance with Dao.

LI 4

Joining of the Valleys
(Great Eliminator)
Unblocks the constipation at body, mind and spirit level of patient and remove toxins.

LI 11

Crooked Pond
Helps ground patient with a Metal CF who may be too “up in the clouds” .
Table 5 – Example of points and their application on Large Intestine meridian






Conclusion
In conclusion in this paper we have looked at the importance of the energetic of the Metal Element which when in balance provides us with the ability to be inspired with fresh ideas but to be able to do this we also need to let go of the dregs!.  These abilities we examined are provided by the two related Metal Officials of Lung (Fei) and Large Intestine (Da Chang).  The Lung contacts Heaven, the Large Intestine in the final stage in the digestive process, contacts the Earth.



References:

Hicks, Angela; Hicks, John; Mole Peter (2004) Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture
Churchill Livingstone

Larre, Claude & De La Valle, Elizabeth Rochat (1992) Chinese Medicine from The Classics - The Lung
Monkey Press

Maciocia, Giovanni (2005) The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, 2nd Ed.
Churchill Livingstone

Worsley, J.R. (1998) Classical Five-Element Acupuncture™ Volume III The Five Elements and The Officials.
J.R. & J.B. Worsley



Bibliogrpahy

College of Traditional Acupuncture (2005) Blue Group S2005 Session Five Notes.

Connelly, Dianne M. (1994) Traditional Acupuncture The Law of the Five Elements.  2nd Edition.
Maryland, U.S.A.: Tai Sophia Institute