Sunday, April 10, 2011

Alchemical Acupuncture, from Jeffrey C. Yuen

I was reading through my notes from a class in Chinese Philosophical Thought that I took with Jeffrey C. Yuen in the Fall of 2009. It was a wonderful class (well, I'm a philosophy nerd), and found this wonderful section on alchemical acupuncture:

One of the most important doctors of the Tang Dynasty, Sun Si-Miao, started using salt moxa on the navel. Sea salt represents the taste of Water, place it into the navel, then put moxa cones on top of that. As the salt absorbs the heat, it drives it into that area that is mysterious, the connection back into the source, Source Qi. That Fire will transmute that Source Qi, that Jing in your navel, and will allow you to do visualizing. If I am to go back to the formless, what form do I want to be in? The person is visualizing what they want out of their life. From the formless created the formless spark to generate form. You have to do this with “clarity, simplicity and purity, which brings completion.”

Begin with the "passage to the spirit" (Ren 8). Once this is activated, you have the "great meeting," the idea of Jiao, Exchange, between Yin and Yang (Fire meets Water). Then needle where Yin and Yang exchange, which is Ren 7,bringing Yang to Yin. Yin Jiao is right underneath the navel, and distally GB-35, left and right, emanating from that single point, nothingness giving birth to somethingness, Yin, and that somethingness gives birth to everything else. In Daoist cosmology, The One divides in two, the two give birth to a third, and the three give birth to the Ten Thousand Things (all the forms that exist in life).

Alchemical acupuncture is for patients who are stuck in their point of view. You’ve tried everything with them, but things just aren’t changing. They feel frustrated and don’t know where to turn next.

- Salt moxa on Ren-8
- Silver needles on Ren -7, and then GB-35 bilaterally. The needles will become tarnished by the impurities of patient’s life. (Silver is a much more powerful conductor of Qi, of electricity, than the stainless steel or copper needles we usually use.)
- During the needling, the patient is visualizing what they want in their life, who they want to be.

Best candidate for alchemy is a patient who thinks nothing is happening in their life. Patient cannot perceive any change, cannot feel anything happening. They may not be allowing changes to occur. They don't see any options for themselves, a very common state of mind. We have to open up their portals to help them get outside of their usual point of view, to open them to the possibility of change.

Practitioners, please let me know what results you get if you decide to try this with some of your more difficult to treat patients. Thank you. And thanks, Jeffrey. What a privilege to learn from you!

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