With the arrival of autumn, season of the Metal Element, we return to our exploration of the acu-points of that Element. Here we take a look at a point that embodies the sense of Metal, namely that of smell.
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Of all the senses, the sense of smell is the most instinctual, the closest to our animal nature. It is closely connected to survival. It tells us when we are in the presence of something dangerous or toxic like gas, harmful chemicals or smoke. Smell also helps us to ascertain whether food is good or bad for us, whether it is fresh or has gone off. And it informs us when something or someone is familiar and trusted. Notice how animals use their noses to gather information about all these things.
When the nose is blocked, not only do we lose the sense of smell, but we can feel somewhat cut off from the world. Breathing becomes more difficult and we are less able to draw in the Heavenly Qi with our breath, less able to breathe in all that life has to offer.
Smell is the sense of the Metal Element. One of the teachings of Metal is to treasure the moment, to be present with all that is here now and to value who you are and what you have. This means breathing in and appreciating the beauty and sweetness of life.
Yingxiang – Welcome Fragrance, the exit point of the Large Intestine meridian, supports us in this endeavour. Fragrance is not simply an odour, but an essence. A healthy Metal distinguishes that which is essential and lets it in.
Qi moves from Welcome Fragrance to the entry point of Stomach meridian, Receiving Tears. Welcome Fragrance reminds us that Stomach is an Earth meridian and fragrant is the odour of the Earth Element. At the same time, Receiving Tears echoes the grief that is the emotion of the Metal. The connection between Large Intestine and Stomach meridians is a significant one. According to the six channel theory, the two are seen as a single channel called yangming. The free flow of Qi between LI 20 and ST 1 is important. A block here, known as an entry-exit block can produce a serious impediment to treatment.
Yingxiang is the most significant local point for treating all nasal conditions: loss of smell, difficulty breathing, sneezing, nasal congestion and discharge, sinusitis, hay fever, nosebleed and nasal polyps.
It also exerts an influence throughout the face, treating conditions such as red eyes, facial paralysis, tic, trigeminal neuralgia, swelling and itching of the face, pain and swelling in the lips and deviation of the mouth.
Welcome Fragrance invites you to stop for a moment, take time to smell the roses, inhale and appreciate this unique, never to be repeated moment of your life
Location of Large Intestine 20
The point is located in a notch at the side of the nose, at the mid-point of the bulb of the nose. Press towards the sides of the nose. Pressing the points and stretching them away from each other to open the nostrils is also an effective way to treat the points.
This is an extract from John’s forthcoming book on the Five Elements to be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers www.jkp.com