The Gift (Buffy, Season 5, Episode 22)


The stunning conclusion of Season Five sees Dawn tied up atop a newly constructed platform.  Doc arrives to make shallow cuts in her skin, allowing her blood to drip down and open the portal to all dimensions.  The dimensions themselves bleed into one another.  Earlier in the episode, someone asked, ‘why blood?’  Spike responded:  because it is life.  It’s always about blood, just as even death is not about death so much as it is about life — and blood.

The solution to the dimensional bleed, of course, is simple: stop Dawn’s — or the various dimensions’ — bleeding.

For acupuncture, I would choose the remaining luo vessel:  the Great Luo of the Stomach.  Nothing is known or spoken of this in terms of its pathology.  Only the physiology of the vessel is mentioned in the Ling Shu:  it is responsible for the motility of the Heart.  Therefore, it is the symbol of blood as life.  It must be tonified in this particular episode 00 so the use of moxa over the heart, along the ST meridian will help close up the shallow cuts Doc made.

Why is the Stomach the motile force and not the Heart?  Because Stomach qi flows downwards from the uppermost limb (the head), and it controls all four limbs; its qi is thus the qi which helps the Heart move blood and bring blood to all four corners of the human body.  Its qi acts as the mechanical force behind the Luo vessel system, and tonifying Stomach qi in particular will help generate blood.

Herbally, this raises an interesting question.  Shi Hu and Mai Dong bring ST fluids to the LU and help generate qi over all through that organ… But what would bring ST blood specifically to nourish the HT, ST yang to move HT yang (not that this is strictly necessary)?  Of course, the focus must also be to stop bleeding — so I will leave the above questions to a future theoretician, and recommend the formula Gu Ben Zhi Beng Tang, Stabilize the Root and Stop Uterine Bleeding Decoction.  It consists of Shu Di, Bai Zhu, Ren Shen, Huang Qi, Dang Gui and Pao Jiang, and not only stops bleeding and tonifies qi, it also tonifies blood.  It is unsurprisingly similar to Ba Zhen Tang.

But another question is raised in my mind, which I don’t have time to answer right now — If LV blood nourishes HT qi, how do we reconcile this with the herbal medicine?  Herbs taken internally to stop bleeding may give us a clue.

As always, these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only.  If you feel you could benefit from Chinese medicine, please see a qualified practitioner.  And remember the closing lines of this episode:  “The hardest thing in this world… is to live in it.”  Take care of your friends.  Be brave.

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