Tag Archives: depression

Restoring Flow

Kidney 5 – Shuiquan – Water Spring

Our cold, wet winter continues in South Australia. And because of Covid outbreaks, our government has kindly given us a chance to explore the depth of Water more deeply by sending us into a 7-day lockdown.

Meanwhile, the recent heavy rains have left my back garden sodden, serendipitously evocative of the Kidney point we are exploring today.

Kidney 5 – Shuiquan – Water Spring is one of a loop of points from KI 3 to KI 6 that lie like a billabong behind and below the inner ankle bone. A bit like my garden at the moment. These are all important points, KI 3 the yuan-source point, KI 4 the luo-connecting point, KI 5 the xi-cleft point and KI 6 the master point of the Extraordinary Vessel Yin Qiao Mai.

As we saw in the previous post on its partner point Bladder 63, the xi-cleft points of the yin meridians are used to clear disorders of the Blood as well as to treat acute conditions of the organs.

There is close connection between the Kidneys, uterus, Blood and menstruation. Given this and the fact that the yin xi-cleft points are known for treating Blood disorders, Kidney 5 is an excellent choice for treating all menstrual problems. These include irregular or delayed menstruation, amenorrhoea (absence of menstruation) and dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation). Shuiquan is also known for treating abdominal pain, infertility, uterine prolapse and cystitis. It does all of these things by promoting movement of Qi and Blood in the lower burner and harmonising the Conception Vessel (Ren Mai) and Penetrating Vessel (Chong Mai).

Water Spring, as the name suggests, promotes the smooth flow of water. It is therefore used for treating conditions of the urinary system including painful, frequent, difficult and dribbling urination.

Kidney 5 has the capacity to purify the nature of the Water Element. It can be considered as a secondary source point, cleansing and refurbishing the Water in a similar way to the source point’s (KI 3) function of restoring us to original Qi.

It thereby brings a fresh perspective. Water Spring restores, refreshes and brings new vigour to all levels of the body, mind and spirit.

In cases where fear and depression are both present, this point is called for. Use when a person is frozen in place, rooted to the spot, afraid to even go outdoors, can’t budge from where they are out of fear of moving forward. For people who have created a prison round themselves, this point utilises the immense power of Water to smash through the prison walls, enabling the Water to flow freely once more and allowing the person to access the full depth of their potential.

Location of Kidney 5

First locate Kidney 3 (white dot), immediately posterior to the high point of the inner ankle bone, in the deep hollow between the tibia bone and the Achilles tendon. KI 5 (blue dot) is one cun directly below (inferior to) KI 3, in a depression above (superior to) the insertion of the Achilles tendon.

For information about Five Element Acupressure courses in Australia
www.acupressure.com.au

Wood Work

Spring is here again. I know this not just from the calendar, the change in temperature, the blossoms on trees, lambs frolicking and all that. I know it from my bodymind.

To start with, I feel an irresistible urge to tend to my compost pile which has been languishing, cold and stagnant over winter. Yesterday I dug out tools from the shed and turned it all over into the sunshine to dry out and aerate. Getting into the mood, I weeded and fertilised the peas and garlic. Before long I’d lost track of time as I cheerfully tended to tasks I’d been shirking all winter. What was happening? Spring’s Wood energy was rising up my body, fuelling action.

Another way I know it’s spring is that my liver and gall bladder are talking to me again. I feel a slight pressure in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, my liver reminding me that I ate too much gluten and dairy when I travelled interstate last week. Chiming in is gall bladder, giving the occasional squeak as it squirts bile into the duodenum. These are the organs of Wood which can manifest symptoms when this Element isn’t balanced. For someone of a Wood constitution like me, these organs are particularly susceptible. They are a source of information for monitoring my health.

At a recent course I taught, one of the students was having a challenging time around these organs. During several treatments, he experienced a strong vibrating sensation in the upper right quadrant which we tracked to the acupoint Liver 13. This is the alarm point for Spleen but it also reflects the Liver itself. The student revealed that he was going through a significant stage, one requiring a pivotal decision about the fundamental direction of his work life. He also noticed that working on Liver points on another person triggered these same sensations in his own body. And when it came time to make a firm decision in the days after the course, the sensations became extreme.

The capacities of planning and decision making are the province of the Liver and Gall Bladder Officials respectively. This person’s physical symptoms were reflecting what was happening at the psycho-emotional level. And all of this was arising in the springtime when Wood energy is at its highest. There is a long tide which moves around the Five Element Cycle over the course of a year, the high tide passing through the corresponding Element of the season and pushing up against anything that isn’t harmonised. Like a high tide that strains boats whose anchors are too tightly set.

There are a number of other signals that can indicate that Wood is out of balance. These derive from the resonances of the Element. The following table shows some of these resonances of the Wood Element.

Season Spring
Climate Wind
Colour Green
Sound Shouting
Odour Rancid
Emotion Anger
Taste Sour
Sense Vision
Sense Organ Eyes
Yin Organ Liver
Yang Organ Gall Bladder
Tissue Tendons/Ligaments

These resonances are vibrations. For example, spring is the Wood Element vibrating as a season while anger is Wood vibrating as an emotion. When our Wood is out of balance, we may find that our bodymind shows the imbalance through these resonances. Here are some ways this might be revealed:

• Getting sick at the start of spring
• A strong dislike of wind
• Feelings of irritability or outbursts of anger
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Difficulty making plans
• Difficulty making decisions
• Aversion to or craving for sour foods
• Visual disturbances or other eye problems
• Easily nauseated by fatty food
• Congestion in the upper right of the abdomen
• Headaches, especially at the back of the head
• Neck and shoulder stiffness or pain
• Hip and outer leg pain
• Tight tendons
• Stiff joints
• Restlessness, can’t keep still

If you find that you have several of these conditions, your bodymind may be showing you that Wood is calling for attention. These symptoms can appear at any time, but they are more likely to show up in spring when the high tide of the Wood phase pushes up against things that are out of balance. The good news is that by addressing them in the spring, you will have the support of the ambient energy of nature. Here are some ways to work with your Wood.

Add more green foods to your diet: kale and other leafy greens, broccoli, peas and so on. The darker green the better. Eat more foods that are sour in taste: lemon, lime, grapefruit, sauerkraut and other fermented food.

Detoxify. The liver is responsible for cleansing the body of toxins. Doing a liver cleanse by eating simple foods and taking cleansing herbs will be well supported in the springtime. If you’ve been thinking of doing a gall bladder flush, then spring is the best time to do it.

Move. Wood likes to move so get plenty of movement. Walk, hike, run, jump, skip, ride, row, garden, build… whatever makes you feel good in your body. Make sure to stretch before leaping into action.

Shout! Sometimes when Wood is stuck, movement is not enough to dislodge the congestion. Shouting can discharge the energy that has been suppressed. Shout into the wind or in your car on the freeway. Don’t shout at others.

Explore your anger. Most of us learn from an early age that anger is a bad thing because it hurts others. But suppressed anger becomes stored in the body, specifically in the liver, and then starts to hurt us. Anger is seen as bad because it is equated with violence. But anger is not violence. It is the frustration that can arise from operating in a world of limits and boundaries. Try to understand why you are angry. Feel that anger without suppressing it and without venting it. The energy that you get in touch with can be powerful fuel for action.

Hold some acupressure points. Any points that relate to the Liver (LV) and Gall Bladder (GB) will be useful and are more powerful at this time of year. Here are links to some good points discussed in previous blogs:

Acupoint Some Uses
LV 1 Calms restlessness, agitation. The Wood point, it deeply supports the Element.
LV 3 Treats allergies, fatigue, nausea, eyes, irritability. Supports immune system.
LV 13 Promotes smooth flow of Liver Qi, relieves abdominal distension.
LV 14 For vomiting, rib pain, depression, hopelessness.
GB 1 Treats eye pain, migraines, lack of clarity.
GB 15 Treats headache, eye pain, confusion, lack of perspective. Eliminates wind.
GB 20 Treats headache, neck pain, irritability. Eliminates wind.
GB 21 Treats anxiety, irritability, hypertension, headaches, shoulder stiffness.
GB 30 For lower back and hip problems, sciatica, stiff joints, irritability, frustration.
GB 34 Master point for tendons and ligaments. Timidity, headache, hypertension.
GB 41 Relieves headache, sciatica, frustration, indecision.
BL 47 Supports psycho-emotional and spiritual aspects of Wood.
GV 16 Eliminates wind, treats headache, stiff neck, colds and flu, fever.

And finally, use the uprising energy of the Wood season to make plans for the future. See where you are going, map out your path, plan the stages of the journey, decide how to get there and take the first step. Your inner Wood will provide you with the gifts of imagination, creativity, vision, wise judgement, and motivation to help you on your path.

Go boldly!

For more suggestions on working with your Wood, see that chapter of my book
The Way of the Five Seasons.