Category Archives: Wind invasion

Seeing Clearly, Stepping Nimbly

Tongziliao – Gall Bladder 1 – Pupil Crevice

Today is another windy spring day in South Australia. This time it’s a warm wind, but the forecast for tomorrow is for cool winds. Such is the changeable nature of spring. Wind is the climate of the Wood Element and when it penetrates the body’s defences, can create headaches and affect the eyes.

In previous springs we have examined other Gall Bladder points which treat wind invasion. Last year we looked at Gall Bladder 15 while the previous spring it was Gall Bladder 41.

Tongziliao – Gall Bladder 1 – Pupil Crevice, is named for its location at the outer side of the eye, in a hollow on the orbital bone. It is useful for eliminating wind, a condition to which the Liver is prone and averse. The point treats redness and itching of the eyes, eye pain and tearing, visual obstruction or dimness. It also treats headaches and migraines, especially around the temples. When there is a deviation of the mouth or facial paralysis such as occurs in Bell’s palsy, the point is called for.

At this point there is a close connection between the two Officials of Wood.  The Liver Official’s job is to use far-sightedness and good judgement in making the  plans needed to navigate the world. The Gall Bladder Official is responsible for decision making and for strategising the best way implement those plans. Tongziliao is an appropriate point to use to support both of these functions.

Gall Bladder 1 is a meeting point with the Bladder and Triple Heater meridians. In other words it is like a railway hub through which three lines pass. Using this point will have wide ranging influences by having an effect on all three of these yang meridians of the head.

Another of its important functions is as an entry point. Qi moves through the cycle of all 12 primary meridians, moving out of one meridian at its exit point, and into the following meridian at its entry point. In this case, Qi moves from Triple Heater 22 to Gall Bladder 1. It is common for Qi to become blocked at these points of exit and entry which are referred to as Entry-Exit blocks. In fact, such blocks can be impediments to treatment progressing and so the Five Element practitioner must always be alert to their possibility.

Tongziliao can be used to promote clarity of vision at all levels of the body, mind and spirit. Gall Bladder timidity is a psycho-emotional condition which describes a lack of courage to make decisions and move to decisive action. This point supports such a person to see clearly what needs to be done and to act accordingly.

Gall Bladder 1 is the start of that meridian’s long zig-zag journey around the head and down the sides of the body. It’s pathway embodies the qualities of the yang Wood Official as he moves back and forth, stepping nimbly and flexibly around obstacles in the way of achieving his goals. To support your own clarity of vision and flexibility of purpose, try holding GB 1 this spring.

Location of Gall Bladder 1

 

In a slight hollow at the side of the orbital bone of the eye, approximately 0.5 cun posterior to the outer canthus (corner of the eye).

Rising Above Life’s Tears

Toulinqi – Head Above Tears – Gall Bladder 15

above-tearsSoon this long, cold, wet spring will transition to summer. Time for one last Wood point before we move on to the Fire Element.

Toulinqi is a point that is regarded quite differently in the Five Element tradition when compared to the TCM tradition. TCM practitioners regard this as a minor point and little used. When it is utilised, it is for headache, nasal congestion, eye pain, tearing or lack of tearing. It helps to dispel wind that has invaded the body.

In the Five Element tradition it is more often used to address mental and emotional conditions. Recently I used this point on a client who was feeling confused and lacked mental clarity. As I held the two points, which lie just inside the hairline above the eyes, I had the sense that the client’s eyes were rising up her forehead to meet my fingers. This strange notion was validated when I read that Toulinqi  helps a person to get a better sense of perspective, to see further and more widely in the context of her life. If your eyes were to rise up into your hairline, you’d certainly be able to see further!

Head Above Tears is one translation of Toulinqi. Others include Head Overlooking Tears, Head Governor of Tears, Head Before Crying, and Treating Tears. While eyes watering from the wind is certainly one use of the point, it can also be used where a person has difficulty crying, or where frustration has become so extreme as to burst into tears. Readers may remember that last spring we looked at a point in the foot named Foot Above Tears. This can be used to drain excess Qi from the Gall Bladder meridian and to relieve frustration and headache. Head Above Tears is its natural partner and the two can be treated at the same time.

The Gall Bladder Official’s job is to make decisions and to take action in the world. Where there is strong moving back and forth between highs and lows, action and inaction, elation and despair, this point is called for. It helps a person who is tense and uptight, inflexible and only able to see a single course of action.

Dizziness and visual disturbance can sometimes be the result of a difference between our inner and outer reality. When there is a disconnect between inner vision and outer vision. Toulinqi helps to reconcile these differences.

Gall Bladder 15 can give us a wider perspective on life, allowing us to make better sense of its patterns, to rise above the tangled thickets of our inner confusion and to see the bigger picture of our place in the cosmos.

Location of Gall Bladder 15

gb-15

 

Directly above the pupil when the eye is looking forward, and 0.5 cun inside the hairline.

Neck Release

Fengchi – Wind Pond – Gall Bladder 20

3.7I spend more time holding this point on my clients than any other and I use it in most sessions. This is partly because in my early training I learned a neck release that concluded with this point. In doing thousands of neck releases over the years, I have come to see how helpful it is for most people to have the upper cervical region released. Most people relax, some even fall asleep with this point. It is a great boon in our modern, stress-filled world.

What makes this such a significant point is that it is not only a Gall Bladder point, but also a meeting point with the Triple Heater meridian, Yang Motility Vessel and Yang Linking Vessel. By affecting two meridians and two vessels at the same time, this point has wide-ranging effects.

Its name Fengchi – Wind Pond tells us two things. Firstly it is like a pond or pool, lying as it does in the little hollow between the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid attachments at the occipital bone. Treating this point releases tension in these two important muscles of the neck, taking pressure off the cervical spine

Secondly, we learn that it is a pond that accumulates wind, the climatic condition of the Wood Element. Wind can penetrate the body from the outside as a pathogenic factor, collecting here before invading the body more deeply. This includes strong winds in nature but also draughts, especially from air conditioning. The most common symptoms of wind invasion are stiff neck and headache, but it can also cause sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat, fever, aching joints and facial paralysis. Fengchi treats these symptoms by driving out the wind from the place where it entered.

Wind can also develop internally as a result of disharmony in the Liver, producing symptoms such as tremors, tics, convulsions, severe dizziness and numbness. Fengchi also treats these conditions

More generally, it is perhaps the best point for clearing the head because of its effect on the sensory orifices, especially the eyes. It treats vision and eye disorders, dizziness, vertigo, deafness, tinnitus and sinusitis. It relieves pain in the head, neck and shoulders, particularly occipital headache.

The head is said to be the residence of the yang. Because GB 20 is a point of the Yang Linking Vessel which unites all six yang meridians and the Governing Vessel, it has a profound influence on rising yang. It causes any pathological Qi to descend and is therefore the preeminent point for headaches of all kinds and dizziness of any origin.

It has a powerful effect on the brain, bringing clarity to the eye and mind and enabling a clearer view of the world. It clears confusion, strengthens concentration, aids memory and supports the making of good judgements and decisions. If you can’t see the wood for the trees, Wind Pond will help to broaden your perspective.

Location of Gall Bladder 20

3.8Below the occiput (the ridge at the back of the skull) and midway between the midline and the mastoid process. The point lies in the hollow formed by the origins of the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles, approximately 1.5 cun lateral the occipital hollow (GV 16). Apply direct pressure or angle towards the opposite eye. An effective method is to cradle the person’s head in your hands and apply pressure with the middle fingers to both points simultaneously. This has the effect of applying a gentle stretch to the neck and has a relaxing effect upon the whole spine.

 

Cover

 

This is an extract from the forthcoming book ‘The Way of the Five Elements’ by John Kirkwood, Singing Dragon Press. Publication date November 21st, 2015. You can now pre-order this book at Fishpond, Book Depository and other online booksellers. (48  days to go!)