In the southern hemisphere, winter is waiting in the wings, anxious to take its place onstage during the dark months. But before autumn is done, let us take one more excursion into the realm of the Metal Element.
In the early years of my practice, I discovered the power of Lung 9 to help asthma sufferers. One client in particular found that by holding this point for herself whenever she felt an asthma attack coming, she was able to reduce the use of her inhalant medication by two thirds. Lung 9 is the source point of the meridian and as such it directly relaxes the organ as well as balancing the meridian. Source points are powerful points and if all you know about acupressure is the 12 source points, you have a valuable tool set
Other physical conditions that this point can treat include cough, wheezing, difficult breathing, dry throat, phlegm in the lungs, cold hands, weak voice and the weakness and fragility that result from Qi deficiency.
Later in my practice, I came to discover that Lung 9 can go much deeper, to the psycho-emotional and spiritual levels of a person’s being. Indeed, the name of this point, Very Great Abyss, suggests more profound possibilities than simply treating the lungs.
Very Great Abyss influences the Po which is the spirit of the Metal Element. Of the five spirits the Po, also known as the Corporeal Soul, is the one that supports the functioning of the body. It is what gives us our instincts, our animal nature. It is our animal soul. Paradoxically, the Po also allows for a tricky balancing act of living life as a human being, namely that of being a creature of spirit inhabiting the body of an animal.
When the Po is troubled, this balance between spirit and body, between heaven and earth, can be disturbed. Lung 9 is able to go down into the abyss, to the depth of the soul. It can retrieve a person who has lost their way, calm one who is manic, stabilise someone who feels like they are cracking up or losing control. In short, it can reach down into the very depth of a person, calming, revitalising, rejuvenating and bringing a sense of security and stability.
Whether you simply want to breathe more deeply or if you want to feel more at ease in your body-soul, Very Great Abyss will help bring you back to yourself.
Location of Lung 9
Hold your left hand with the palm facing you. On the thumb side of the wrist crease, find the hollow between a tendon on the thumb side, the radial artery next to it, and the bone at the base of the hand. Hold the point with gentle pressure for 2 to 3 minutes. Tune into the Qi at the point. Notice how you feel as you hold it. Notice whether it affects your breathing or your mood. When you feel done, hold the same point on the right wrist and tune into the Qi there.
If you want to explore further, you can hold Lung 9 in combination with Large Intestine 4 which we learned earlier in the autumn. (See previous blog post). By holding the two source points of the Metal meridians together, you will be balancing the yin and yang of Metal. Doing this in the autumn, the season of Metal, makes it more powerful still. Try this on your friends and family. Self acupressure is good but treating another allows the work to go much deeper.