Inca Mummy Girl (Buffy, Season 2)


UC Sunnydale must have an absolutely astounding Anthropology department.  Anthropologists seem to be at the heart of so many events in Sunnydale, even if in the background.  This week, we can thank the museum ethnography division for bringing an Incan Mummy to the Hellmouth.  Sometimes, anthropologists just don’t seem to see the big picture — namely, the physical context into which they bring their information, the most obvious being what is in front of them.  In this case, the hellmouth…

Once again, though, the meticulously crafted exhibits provided by UC Sunnydale’s anthro graduate students were destroyed by a roving band of high schools students led by Buffy.  Pity.  If only those high school students had known a few simple techniques, they could have saved their classmates from frigid dessication at the lips of an Incan Mummy Princess.

That dry cold wind from the Andes seems to have followed our Incan Princess north to warmer southern California. It really does something to one’s skin, if it finds an entrance.  That entrance could be provided by the Liver (which governs the inside of the lips), and the cold seems to go right to the Kidneys.  Certainly Xander’s kidneys could no longer grasp LU qi after his remarkable “melding of two cultures” in a kiss.

Cold in the Kidneys is a frequently encountered pathology in Mongolia, which faces frigid Siberian cold fronts in the winter.  Cold in the kidneys could easily lead to susceptibility to exterior wind-cold, because yang qi is not warming the exterior.   Conversely, keeping one’s kidneys warm by stealing the ming men fire of young men could ward away the onslaught of wind cold.  So perhaps I have the pathology backwards:  Kidney fire escapes through the LV channel.

And to think a little moxa on Du-4 and Bl-23 could have solved Princess Amapata’s problems.  In fact, Mongolians use several varieties of herbs, not just Artemesia Annua, to make moxa.  Edelweiss comes to mind.  I’ll bet maca is used to warm the kidneys internally in South America.  I don’t know if it burns hot or not — the root is what is sold in North America — but if the Incans had a particular herb they used as kindling or as a firestarter, that would be the place to look.  Luckily Californians have ample access to moxa.

In this particular case, I would use a sinew vessel approach.  The sinew channels are effective for treating exterior conditions — like wind-cold.  In fact, the Tai Yang sinew vessel is the primary sinew vessel to treat these conditions, and moxa, rather than needling, would be applied.  Since the wind-cold seems to be chronic (it keeps reappearing on our Princess), I would also treat the yin pair of Tai Yang, which happens to include the Kidney sinew vessel.  Although the kidney sinew vessel does not reach the kidneys themselves, the sinew vessels can be seen as the externalisation of the primary meridians, which do reach those organs.  Thus the kidneys sinew channel should be addressed to protect the kidney organs.  The poor chaps who were kissed by the princess and fell asleep would also get a treatment on the jue yin channel, although I’m not sure they’d be able to indicate where all the ah shi points we’d moxa are.

The basic treatment protocol is to release Ming Men and Da Zhui.  This can be done either through massage, gua sha, cupping, or applying other manual therapy techniques.  I might be inclined to believe Amapata’s Du Mai is full of blockages, so I would burn thread moxa at each of the intervertebral spaces in addition.

Then ah shi points are located through the use of bodywork.  In wind cold conditions, these ah shi areas are treated with dispersive moxa — making big, fluffy cones and blowing on them while they burn down.  Theoretically, you should be able to blow them off the skin by the time they get too hot.  (I somehow don’t think that intense heat will be an issue in this case, however.)  Then, use a hot needle technique on the affected jing-well point.  I use thread moxa there as well.

I also needle the shu-stream point of the affected meridian, so that the external pathogen does not go deeper.  One could use moxa on the head of the needle here as well, for extra tonification.  Just remember to wear a dust mask so you don’t inhale too much moxa smoke during this treatment.

Since the Princess’ Du Mai seems obviously lacking in the warming power of yang, I would begin by burning moxa in a tonifying manner (using small cones and letting them burn down) on Du-4 and Du-14, and then proceed to do a series of sotai releases for the neck and low back.  This should also help ascertain the location of some ah-shi points.

Then I would massage the back and legs, and burn moxa on any ah shi points of the Arm and Leg Tai Yang, and the Leg and Arm Shao Yin channels.  Then I would add one thread of okyu to BL-67, SI-1, HT-9 and KD-1 (located on the medial side of the little toe, in this case).  This would be followed by warming needle to KD-3, among other points.  Then we wait to see if the wind-cold returns to our Incan Princess (or her momentary lovers).

As for Herbal medicine, Zhang Zhong Jing is the master of dealing with wind-cold conditions.  Ma Huang, Xi Xin, Fu Zi Tang sounds like a good formula.  So does Dang Gui Si Ni Tang, especially considering that the wind cold invasion seems to start at the extremities (at least for the Princess); this formula can be modified by adding Wu Zhu Yu, but I see nothing wrong with adding the two formulas together to create a double formula.  Fu zi scatters cold, acrid Xi Xin will return heat to ming men, and ma huang will disperse wind cold.  Dang Gui opens the channels, and the rest of the formula clearly removes impediments to the smooth flow of wei qi in the sinew vessels.  Treatment should be administered as necessary.  Keep an eye out to see if  herbs with moistening qualities — xing ren and zhi mu come to mind — need to be added.

The above discussion is for theoretical purposes only.  If you feel that Asian Medicine can help address your cold limbs or oncoming head-cold and aversion to cold drafts, please see a qualified practitioner.
Happy Slayage!

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