Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Plans for the autumn

It was dark and murky outside, a damp, almost autumnal feel to the day, when I first wrote this blog.  We have hardly had any summer at all in this country.  To relieve the gloom of the day I am looking ahead, and drawing up a summary of my plans and projects for the autumn, a form of taking stock which we should all do before the year closes down fully.

So here goes:

1.  A series of SOFEA seminars, two in September and two in October (see SOFEA website for details);

2.  Two trips to Europe in September (to Holland and Switzerland) for clinical work with practitioners, then a gap in October, before my third trip to China in November;

3.  Preparing my books for publication in e-format (the Keepers of the Soul is already available in e-format);

4.  Completing my translation for Elisabeth Rochat de la VallĂ©e of her 101 Key Concepts of Chinese Medicine, which Monkey Press will be publishing  (nearly done!);

5.  Reviewing my translations of some of Elisabeth Rochat’s very detailed work on point names.  I’m at the moment looking at Heart Protector (Heart Master) Points 1 - 9, and Lung Points 1 - 9;   

6.  Trying yet again to find a publisher for my translation of one of Jacques Lavier’s books, this time in America. Has anybody reading this got any contacts with publishers who might be interested in publishing this very important book which provides one of the key links in the route of transmission from East to West?

7.  A French translation of my Keepers of the Soul has been commissioned, and a Mandarin translation of The Simple Guide is at this moment winging its way to China. It will be interesting to see if they want to publish this in addition to the Mandarin version of my Handbook of Five Element Practice which is now well into its second edition of 5000 copies over there.

So that makes for a very five-element orientated autumn!  And today the sun is shining again, so thoughts of autumn have receded. 




Saturday, August 11, 2012

Usain Bolt Part 2: A further lesson on the Fire element from the Olympics

I have been watching Usain Bolt very carefully, trying to work out whether he is Outer or Inner Fire.  And I think now that he is Inner Fire, or, as we five element acupuncturists say, a II CF, with the Small Intestine as his dominant official.

Watching him has made me look again at the differences between these two sides of Fire.  And there are great differences.  I remember saying to JR Worsley that I thought there were really 6 CFs, not just 5, because Fire could be considered to consist of two, and he nodded.

So here is what my observation of Usain Bolt tells me about what I see as being typical of the Small Intestine:

1  He is able to multi-task in a way very familiar to me from my own Inner Fire abilities, and in a way no Outer Fire person would do.  I realised this when I saw him chatting happily to one of the stadium volunteers standing behind him just before the 200 metre final only a minute before settling down in his blocks.  He is obviously able to switch quickly from one task to the next without apparently any loss of focus.  This may even be his way of concentrating more on the next thing, even if that is an Olympics Final.

2  He likes to include everybody in his joy, chatting to all his fellow competitors after the race, addressing the camera, running up to the crowd and talking to everybody there.  Remember that the Small Intestine is the closest official to the Heart, and it wants to help the Heart express joy, particularly at these very intense moments.  Contrast this with Jessica Innes drawing her joy back into herself when she won, and her quiet self-absorption throughout the heptathlon.  (I think she is probably Metal, so quiet and self-contained.)

3  He has great awareness of what is going on all around him, seeing exactly which camera is on him, responding quickly with a joke and a smile when he knows the world is looking at him.  He watches everybody and everything all the time, as though using his Small Intestine’s ability to sort so that it can send the right information on to the Heart.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Usain Bolt - Fire!

You can’t have a better example of Fire than Usain Bolt.  Anybody who can make a whole stadium of people smile, let alone the billions watching on TV, must be Fire.  And he loves acting the clown.

Apart from enjoying the Olympics, which have lit up this country with a very English kind of enjoyment, I love watching how the different athletes respond to the stresses and joys of competition from a five element point of view.  It’s fascinating seeing all the different expressions of the elements so clearly visible, and there’s no better way of adding to our knowledge of the elements than watching people under stress.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Treating children with five element acupuncture

I love passing on heartening news about the results of simple five element treatments.  And this latest anecdote, from the practice of a friend of mine, encouraged me to think a little more about our approach to treating children.

An 11-year old girl suffering from severe migraine came for treatment.  The practitioner felt that her element was Fire, and this is the first treatment she was given:

AE drain (great deal of AE on Lung, Heart Protector and Heart)
Source points of Outer Fire, VI (TH) 4 and V (HP) 7

The migraines stopped completely the day after treatment, and have not recurred since.  She will be given one more treatment in a few weeks’ time (summer seasonal:  VI 6 (TH 6) and V 8 (HP 8)), and will come back for occasional top-up treatment if necessary.

The migraines started after she moved school, leaving many of her close friends behind.  She was also now being bullied by another child.  All this meant that her Fire element was suddenly placed under a great deal of stress with which it could not cope.  Hence the migraines and hence, too, the Aggressive Energy.

This made me think about the treatment I have given children, and why I have always, without exception, found Aggressive Energy to be there, and often a surprising amount of it for such young children.  This then set me thinking about AE in general, and what its presence signifies.  So why so much AE in children, when very sick adults may not have any?

I like to think that this may be because in children the imbalances are usually still at a fairly superficial stage, and have not had time to infiltrate deep within the elements.  We were always told that AE was the result of one element under stress flinging the negative energy which is weakening it across the K’o (Ke) cycle to its grandchild element in an attempt to avoid harming its own child element.  If the element under stress (which does not need to be the guardian element) has sufficient energy to get rid of negative energy in this way, it is still strong enough to maintain a good level of energy.  An AE drain may therefore help to deal with the first attack on the elements, and it may be that it is only when elements are deeply weakened that more sustained treatment at a deeper level is required.

When we treat children, we use exactly the same five element protocols as for adults, but we use less of them and treat far less often.  We don’t need to treat children more frequently than once in two weeks, even at the start of treatment, and then only for a few treatments, spreading treatments out more quickly than for adults.  We also use less moxa on the points (though children will be fascinated by moxa if you show a cone being heated on yourself first to calm them).  We also needle on one side of the body only, to reduce the stress for a child, except in the case of the AE drain and Entry/Exit blocks.

We also have to get used to needling a struggling child!  I use short needles, and always hold the needles carefully covered by my hand so that the child doesn’t see them.  It is important to needle quickly, and not delay things by trying to talk a child through its fear, as you would with an adult.  With the AE drain, if the child is young enough I ask the parent to take the child on their lap, and hold the child very firmly as I insert the needles.  The needles often fall out when the child struggles, so have a good supply to hand. 

And pulse-taking in these circumstances is also quite difficult!  So we do our best with whatever information we have.  Obviously, too, we have to learn about the child not only by observing it ourselves for as long as we can, but by talking to the parent(s)/guardian.  Again, obviously, this should if possible be done when the child is not present.  A phone call or meeting before the first treatment, in which we ask the parent/guardian the kind of questions we would ask an adult at the TD (Traditional Diagnosis) is essential to give us a picture of what is going on with the child and the family’s approach to this.

What is interesting, though, is that children themselves respond very quickly to the effects of treatment.  Though they may shriek or struggle a bit, the little child who makes a terrible fuss about the actual needling will often be the one who rushes into the practice room and greets me with a kiss, as though it knows I have helped them. 

The important thing is always to bear in mind that the reason why a child needs treatment is, as we know, not simply because of something physical, but, as with any patient we treat, inevitably has a deeper emotional cause.  All those terrible cortisone inhalers now lined up on primary school shelves which the young children are told to take for their asthmas could be thrown away if only people realized the stress their children’s Metal elements are placed under in this modern world.  When we are asked to treat children, therefore, we must always look beyond the child first to the parent(s), and then beyond the parent to the world in which the child lives. 

Usually, unfortunately, we are not asked to treat the parent, although we can clearly see that this is where the trouble lies.  In the case of this young girl, it seems that her parents may not appreciate how much the change of school and the bullying is affecting their child, and are not acting to support the child’s Heart Protector in a way that will help it protect itself from the bullying.  As we know, bullies always pick on a child which shows weakness, so the stronger her Heart Protector becomes, the more it will be able to stand up for itself.

Social networking among cows

It isn’t even April 1st, but a few days ago I heard on the BBC that a university somewhere is doing research into this very subject.  Apparently cows are being fitted with some kind of device which will help researchers find out how much cows like to chew the cud together.  They will monitor how far the milk yield goes up if cows are allowed to stay with their group, or down if they are separated from them. 

I imagine the answer will be the obvious one, particularly to a five element acupuncturist.  Presumably a happy cow will produce more milk than an unhappy cow, just as a happy person will lead a more productive life than an unhappy person.