Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The symbolism of symptoms

It is always important to consider where and when physical symptoms appear on the body, and the nature of these symptoms.  If we think of the body as housing our soul, as we should as acupuncturists for whom body and soul are one, then a symptom of the body must bear a close relationship to the soul encased within this body.  I was reminded of this recently when helping a fellow practitioner with one of her patients who had been suffering for six years from a debilitating condition which affected her throat.  Not only did this make speech difficult, but it gave her the constant feeling of being throttled.  She had had all kinds of treatment, but nothing had so far helped.

When questioned about whether anything had happened at the time this started six years ago, it turned out that this was when a very much loved father-in-law had suddenly died.  This man had been very loving and caring, all that her own father, dead many years ago, had not been.  The mention of her father-in-law made me wonder what her relationship to her own father was which had caused her husband’s father to play such a prominent role in her life.  I could see that any mention of her own father caused her a great deal of stress, so probing gently a little more I discovered that he had abused her sexually when she was a teenager, something she had told nobody until now.  Without distorting the facts and the timescale in any way, it was not too fanciful to interpret the loss of her beloved father-in-law as an event which re-awakened the trauma of her abuse by her father and therefore proved the catalyst for the appearance of her throat problems.  It is likely that her father threatened her if she told anybody about the abuse, consigning her to enforced silence, in effect a form of suffocation.  This could be regarded as a possible cause for the appearance of the physical symptom of a throttled voice.

Apart from work on her element (Earth), I suggested that we add a point which I like very much, CV (Ren Mai) 22, the Window of Conception Vessel.  I feel it allows light to shine upon this most important central pathway, and, in her case, was exactly located where she experienced the feelings of suffocation.  I will find out in the coming weeks whether this first admission of the abuse she suffered and the treatment we gave her have helped her fully regain her voice.  As she left, her practitioner told me that her voice already sounded stronger and more normal.


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