Friday, February 5, 2016

A plea for caution in using the point Heart 7: Spirit Gate

It is always a joy for me when I have confirmation that what I have taught somebody has really taken root, and is now flourishing.  One of the difficult things I have had to learn as a teacher is to accept that much of what I try to pass on to others may fall on fallow ground and never produce the fruit I so much hope for it.  Last weekend, though, thankfully the opposite happened.  A practitioner asked me to come to her practice to help her with some of her patients.  This proved to be a very satisfying day for me, and, I could feel, for her, too.  She was eager to learn from my experience, and this encouraged me to pass on what I could.

There was just one thing that pulled me up short, and which she asked me to write about.  For some reason which I still cannot quite fathom, she had been told during her training as a student at the old College of Traditional Acupuncture in Leamington that the first treatment should consist of the Aggressive Energy drain (good), but followed, not by the source points of the element she had chosen to start with, but by Heart 7, and this for every patient.  For the life of me I can’t think why this rather bizarre first treatment had become embedded in what was essentially a five element practice.  Why would the first official to be treated always be the Heart?

In the good old days, when JR Worsley controlled the curriculum, we were always being told to be extremely cautious about needling the Heart.  It is in many ways a sacred meridian, touching our very core, and therefore to be approached only with great care.  It is for good reason that one of the few times we use it for any guardian element is as the last point in treating a Husband/Wife imbalance, the point which we call upon to restore balance at the deepest level.  Apart from that, it can be used as a First Aid point for emergencies affecting the Heart, and, of course, as a command point, the source point, for patients with Inner Fire (the Heart and Small Intestine officials) as their aspect of the Fire element.  Here again, though, we should be wary of over-use, and concentrate treatment more upon Small Intestine points.

So please, please, all five element practitioners reading this, direct your choice of points firmly to the element you have decided upon from the very first treatment, and leave the Heart well alone.  And do at least 4-5 treatments on that element before deciding that a move to another element is called for.  To help those who are rather unclear how to start their five element treatments, you can look in my Handbook of Five Element Practice for a detailed discussion of point selection in general and for point selection for the first few treatments in particular. 

And give Heart 7 the respect it reserves.

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