Checkpoint (Buffy, Season 5, Episode 12)


The episode about power.  I love Buffy’s near monologue towards the end of the episode.  ‘I have something she wants.  I have power over her.’  Buffy’s power over the Watcher’s Council is to give meaning to their leaves.  That is considerable power.

The organ to which power relates is the Gallbladder.  Not the Heart, though this is the emperor; not the Pericardium, which functions as the Confucian minsters who tell the emperor when to act.  Not the Liver, with the office of general strategising the allocation of defensive and nutritive resources.  The Gallbladder is the ‘magic’ organ, one of the extraordinary organs embodying the union of jing and shen, particularly at GB-39 and GB-13.  It stores jing, but also moves it outwards.  As a ShaoYang organ, it directs its attention to deciding when a person should retreat and when a person should advance.  When warm and harmonious, it lends courage to the individual.  It masters the bones, and through the luo-point GB-37 affects the blood.

The GallBladder luo is concerned with redefinition and options. Like the rotational movement of the Gallbladder Shaoyang channel, the GB luo helps one to see options.  This is reflected in its name, Guang Ming, ‘Bright Clarity’.  In excess, pathology of the GB luo manifests as inversion.  The person is stuck trying to re-invent him or herself, seeing too many options for the personality to fill in the world — not uncommon during a job search, perhaps.  In depletion, limpness and an inability to sit up and take action are presenting symptoms.  The effects of prolonged job searching, perhaps!

Buffy’s GB luo seems to be functioning in perfect balance.  It does not need treatment — but it did give an opportunity to talk about its role in the healthy functioning of our heroine.

I would treat the Gallbladder luo with herbal formulae based Wen Dan Tang.  A useful variation of the base formula for deficiency conditions without heat is Shi Wei Wen Dan Tang.  The ingredients include Zhi Ban Xia, to clear phlegm and regulate stomach qi; note that the Stomach is responsible for generating blood.  Zhi Shi and Chen Pi both regulate qi. Fu Ling drains dampness and can quiet the spirit, leading the herbs towards the heart. Suan Zao Ren, nourishes the heart, calming the mai-vessel/pulses.  Yuan Zhi, clears phlegm from the heart and re-establishes communication between the Heart and Kidney. Wu Wei Zi restrains the essence, while Shu Di Huang and Ren Shen together nourish the marrow and lead herbs towards the jing-level.  Zhi Gan Cao, Sheng Jiang, and Da Zao are a common triad to regulate the relationship between interior and exterior qi, nourish the blood, and warm the channels.  Although nothing specifically goes to the Gallbladder, together, the herbs treat the functions of the Gallbladder — its relation to jing, to blood, and to marrow; its effect on the spirit (the GB is said to be the ‘tranquil’ organ), and its nourishing relationship to the heart.

As always, these posts are for entertainment purposes only.  If you feel you could benefit from the wisdom of Chinese Medicine, please see a qualified practitioner.

Happy Slayage!

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