Halloween (Buffy, Season 2)

Ah, the warlock Ethan.  Rather prankish, that one.  Come into town, set up shop selling costumes for Halloween, then casting a spell so that anyone in a purchased costume actually becomes what they dressed up as.  And of course, since this is a limited time holiday, the shop can close up and the prankster depart as soon as the fun is had.

Interesting, though, how it can take dressing up as — or in this episode, actually changing into — someone else to really make one comfortable with one own true personality.

Happily, acupuncture has the means at its disposal to bring about similar results.  (Theoretical means, only, folks!  Don’t try this except with a qualified practitioner.)  Naturally, the extraordinary vessels will once again be called upon.

The Qiao Mai deal with how we see things.  This can be how we see the world, in the case of Yang Qiao Mai, or it can be how we see ourselves, as in the case of Yin Qiao Mai.  I could have chosen to work with the Divergent Channels, since they deal with the connexion of the exterior with the interior.  However, I would think of CDs more if I were helping someone who had been bullied and had turned that anger inwards (wei qi attacking the jing level).  Since that is not the case, we will choose a simple Yin Qiao Mai treatment.

Points along the Yin Qiao Mai include KD-6, KD-8, the rest of the points on the Kidney channel to KD-11; ST12, ST9, and Bl-1.  Needling depth is deep, and a vibrating technique is used.  I would expect about three months of treatment, once a week, to yield solid results.

I would begin with the opening point, KD-6, “Reflecting Sea” on the left hand side.  I might forgo KD-8, “Meeting Trust”, since I’m not certain this is a matter of Willow trusting herself, or other people.  Then I would choose ST-9, “Welcome to Humanity”, which some practitioners name “Welcome to Adulthood.”  As a window to the sky point, its effects include opening up the connexion between mind and body. I would also select BL-1, since we are concerned with self-envisioning.

Finally, since the Qiao Mai enter the genitalia, and Willow seems uncomfortable expressing her sexuality (as we find out again in Season Four), I would add LV-5.  This luo point goes to the genitals, and affects the blood level, the level of emotions.  One could have selected SP-6 instead, and hedge one’s bets by treating a point belonging to all three leg yin channels, but I prefer LV-5.

I would not close this treatment by bringing in another Extraordinary Vessel.  I think Yin Qiao Mai by itself suffices.

Herbally, the treatment principles can be reduced to using one herb which goes to the eyes, one herb which goes to the self, and one herb which goes to either the jing level or the san jiao channel.

The herb which goes to the eyes is chosen because of its resonance with BL-1, the meeting of the yin and yang qiao mai.  More importantly, though, herbs which go to the eyes and brighten vision also allow one to see situations with greater clarity.  These situations can include other people or oneself.

Since we want to make certain the herbs help one see oneself in a different light, another medicinal which goes to the kidneys is called for.  The kidneys represent the self.  Storing the jing-essence, they are the repository of the resources from which we can pattern ourselves in the world.  We might want to think of mild kidney tonics, or herbs which consolidate, but not contain the kidneys.  We don’t want to keep everything bottled up, after all; but we do want the self to have a solid basis from which to emerge.

Bringing that essence into the world is the work of minister fire — which is also stored in the Kidneys.  The San Jiao mechanism is the minister fire responsible for bringing things out into the world; the Pericardium is the minister fire responsible for letting things in.  Since we aren’t really dealing with a situation in which Willow needs to make sense of the messages she’s getting from the outside — from Cordelia, for example — we won’t focus on herbs which go to the PC or SP-earth channels.  (Spleen-earth being representative of society.)

With those guidelines in mind, I have chosen the following three herbs:

Ju Hua, chrysanthemum, brightens the eyes and nourishes the kidneys.

Wu Wei Zi, schizandra berries, astringe the essence and nourish the kidneys.  It also happens to absorb phlegm, and should smooth the transition into being oneself without guilt.

Chai Hu releases the exterior, and weeds out the stale to bring for the new.  It also travels to the PC and SJ channels.

Together the three nourish and constrain the essence, move it upwards, and allow it to nourish introspection so that the inner essences may manifest smoothly into the exterior environment.

As always this post is for theoretical purposes only.  If you feel you may benefit from Chinese medicine, please see a qualified practitioner.

Happy Slayage!


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