Intervention (Buffy, Season 5, Episode 18)


In this episode, Buffy confesses to Giles that she feels she’s turning to stone.  Every synonym she comes up with relates to hardness.  She feels she’s losing her humanity because of her mission, her going out into the world.  Giles suggests a quest.  On the quest, the guide, in the image of the First Slayer, tells Buffy that she is full of love, that the Slayer forges strength out of pain, and most important, that death is her gift.

Meanwhile, Spike gets his Buffybot.  The Buffybot causes a little confusion with Buffy’s friends and they attempt to stage a mild intervention, until Buffy returns from her quest and clarifies the issue — giving Spike a kiss in the end, for not betraying them.

My first thought when Buffy said she was turning to stone was CV-5, called Shi Men, Stone Gate  (HT-6, KD-18, and KD-19 also all have ‘stone’ in their names).  However, since we are dealing with the luo vessels, the Du Mai Luo seems most appropriate.  In repletion, Du Mai luo pathology shows up as stiffness of the entire bod  in contrast to the TW luo, which addresses only rigid elbows.  (In depletion, the head is constantly shaking.)

Why did Buffy choose stone as her image?  (As a side note, stone almost made it into the five-phase canon — we have manuscript evidence that it was being considered as a sixth phase of qi.)  Stone is hard, resilient, and inflexible.  It is too mission focused.  The Du Mai is the extraordinary vessel responsible for allowing the person to stand up and individuate his or her mission in the world within the context of the lineage he or she was given.  What is the luo or blood level of Du Mai?  It is the level at which emotion drives the person’s mission forward.  Pathologically, though, the luo vessel system, if unable to resolve an issue, will overflow into the Extraordinary Vessels, the EVs catching excess pathogens as they enter through the luo (and emotional) system.  (At least, this is how I understand the Nan Jing’s description of the EV’s.)  From that perspective, Buffy has not been able to resolve some emotional issues and now they are coming out or affecting her mission in the world.  In some respects, they are filling the mission too much — stiffness, repletion — and not allowing the flexibility which would help resolve them.

So the treatment would be to bleed Du-1, and look for any spider veins along the spine, bleeding those as well.

Herbal treatment for a Du Mai luo pathology would need to address both jing and blood; I would use Lu Jiao or Lu Jiao Jiao.  The substance is warming, not heating; it is sticky and lubricating.  It will help bring resilience and flexibility to the spine.  Yi Yi Ren is said to treat an inability to stretch and bend; it thus may be useful in these cases as well.  (As a side note, the root of Yi Yi Ren can be used for Liver luo issues, being called ‘woodworm eliminator’.)

As always, these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only.  If you feel that your emotions are causing you to focus too much on your work to the extent you are beginning to lose it, please see a qualified health care practitioner. 

Happy Slayage!

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