“Welcome to the Hellmouth” (Buffy Season 1)


In the inaugural episode of the Buffy television series we meet not only the heroes (or the “Scoobies”) of the tale, but also Season One’s Big Bad:  the Master.

It seems that the Master has been “asleep” within the Hellmouth for quite some time, and it has only been through the efforts of his devoted minions that he has begun to awaken.

In the clinic, I encountered mostly cases of insomnia; hypersomnia was comparatively rare.  This, therefore, is a perfect opportunity to examine some treatments for an inability to wake up.

The suggestions contained in this post are for amusement purposes only.  Do not try this or any other remedy without first consulting a licensed practitioner about the appropriateness of such remedies for your particular case.

In terms of acupuncture, one could use jing-well points to revive consciousness.  Jing-well points activate wei qi, the defensive qi of the body, and since wei qi begins to circulate with the opening of the eyes, it can be argued that moving wei qi in general will awken a person.  Thus the effectiveness of jing-well points.  These points activate the sinew-channels as well as the primary channels.

What if the Master is only bones?  In that case, it would be better to choose a meridian system which deals with yuan-qi, the original qi which circulates through the extra-ordinary organs (bones, marrow, vessels, brain, bao (uterus), and gallbladder).  For this, we can again return to the statement that wei qi is activated by the opening of the eyes, that is, by activating BL-1.  This point happens to lie at the meeting point of the Yin and Yang Qiao Mai, and in fact, in Ling Shu ch 17, it states that when the Yang Qiao is disordered, insomnia results.  One could derive that an excess of Yin would cause hypersomnia.  Add to this Li ShiZhen’s advice in the Mai Shu that Yang Qiao disorders can cause madness and paralysis, we have a perfect channel to treat.  Therefore, one should tonify the Yang Qiao, and disperse the Yin Qiao (preferably by bloodletting).  Therefore, needle BL-62, BL-1, and lance Kd-6.

As a side note, ch 80 of the Ling Shu describes the eyes as being not only composed of the essences of the five zang and six fu, but as where the shen is produced, and as the residence of the po (bone souls) and hun (ethereal soul).  In an effort to revive the po contained in the bones, and draw a shen down to unite with these most solid aspects of jing (the bones), it would stand to reason that Bl-1 would be a good choice.  Of course, if the Master were only bones, one could assume the eyes would be gone as well.

Indeed, it seems that physical access to the Master was quite limited, and acupuncture would not be the best option for treatment (unless one wished to just throw needles down into the hellmouth pit where the Master sleeps).  Throwing offerings into a well to placate its spirit is an ancient tradition.  Some offerings have been plant based, and certainly, this is one pit in which those herbs would be nicely cooked.  So what are some herbal remedies for hypersomnia?

Looking at his condition as one of excess yin, one might choose to regulate the relationship between yin and yang.  This can be accomplished, without dispersing yin, by the use of acrid medicinals.  Gui Zhi jia Gui Tang might prove useful, if we consider the imbalance to lie between wei and ying qi (and desire to augment wei qi while rectifying this imbalance).  However, it seems the Master  has an excess of yuan-yin — a situation deemed impossible by most clinicians today.  However, I would contend that one can have too much jing, especially if we relate “jing” to genetic material.  Trisomy 21 would be an example of too much jing, and its effect is to slow down development, since jing is the slowest moving humour or fluid of the body.  Anyhow,  to draw out the yin in the Master’s case, perhaps the use of deer antler glue is called for.  Being sweet and warm, it has an outward movement; being an animal product, it relates to yuan qi.  Therefore it could draw out the yin, while tonifying the yang.  One might consider using Rou Gui to lead fire back to its source (I would have considered Xi Xin, but it is given to children to protect them from ghosts at funerals; thus the presence of an exorcistic, though very hot herb, would be contraindicated in awakening the Master).  Perhaps some Ma Huang, which could release some of the damp yin to the exterior could be used; certainly it grows in the deserts not terribly far from Sunnydale.  Add a little Zhi Shi to regulate qi and you have a simple formula.  For draining the dampness, one could consider Bai Zhu, Fu Ling, and add some Gan Cao to nourish qi.

So to awaken the Master throw into the pit:

Rou Gui, Lu Jiao Jiao, Zhi Shi.  (Cassia bark, Deer Antler glue, unripe Bitter Orange)

or Rou Gui, Ma Huang (Ephedra), Zhi Shi, Bai Zhu (Root of White Atractylodes), Gan Cao (Licorice Root, at twice the dosage of Bai Zhu).

Again, the suggestions contained in this post are for amusement purposes only.  Do not try this or any other remedy without first consulting a licensed practitioner about the appropriateness of such remedies for your particular case.

Happy Slayage.

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