Older and Far Away (Buffy, Season 6, Episode 14)


‘Older and Far Away’.  How apropos, given this post will be published on my birthday…

As Buffy struggles to re-anchor herself in life, Xander and Anya prepare for their wedding, and Willow is in recovery, no one pays attention to Dawn.  Dawn’s pain cries out for attention.  She receives that much needed attention from Anya’s old colleague, the ‘justice demon’ Halfrek (who seems to have obtained a position as guidance counsellor at Sunnydale High).  Dawn wishes people would just stop going away.  Her wish comes true that night.

Meanwhile, it also happens to be Buffy’s (original) birthday, and the Scoobies come over for a little party.  At some point, they discover that no one can leave the house, including Spike, who is trying to bed Buffy despite the presence of a new date for her (a human date).   To complicate matters, a demon whom Buffy killed by trapping it in a sword gets released and starts hunting the party-goers. Finally, Anya discovers that Dawn has been shoplifting from the Magic Shop.

Everyone has necklaces in this episode, interestingly enough.

Dawn wishes people would stop … going away.  The sinew vessel which controls slowing down and stopping is the Yang Ming sinew vessel, which runs from the second toe along the anterior lateral aspect of the leg and up the rectus abdominus muscle to the eye.

Spike references the channel when he mentions he has a ‘muscle cramp’ he wants Buffy to work out of him.   He is referring to his ‘ancestral sinew’, which can refer to either the genitals, or particularly in Matsumoto’s interpretation, the abdominis rectus — in other words, the domain of Yang Ming.

Clem, the demon with a skin condition, might also benefit from a Yang Ming sinew treatment.  Yang Ming is the stage when heat gets trapped in the interior, causing flaccidity.  In Clem’s case, the heat needs to be released through the skin to tighten his connective tissue disorder.  The skin, as an exterior organ governed by the Lungs, is an area which responds well to sinew treatments, as these treatments focus on wei qi.

The Yang Ming sinew vessel includes the arms, not just the legs.  In the Samurai demon who must be disarmed if he is to be killed with his own sword, a quick an-mo massage treatment (or martial application of acupressure) to his Arm Yang Ming Channel at the elbow and wrist might just do the trick of stopping him by over-tonifying the qi of that channel.

As noted before, it was Dawn’s pain which summoned Halfrek.  When wei qi stagnates, dull, achey pain is the result, calling attention to the area.  The Nei Jing says that where there is pain, there is a point.  This is the Ah Shi point, a point discovered by sensitivity to palpation, and an integral part of any Sinew Vessel treatment.

In the case of all the Scoobies, treatment would be cupping around Du 4 and Du 14 to bring yang wei qi to the surface.  The channel is then palpated (maybe Buffy should not palpate Spike’s channel for now) and not more than three ah shi points are needled, using a chisel technique, or if tonifying the channel, use warming moxa cones.  Then the jing-well point of the ST or LI channel is needled, followed by tonification of the ying-spring point, so that the illness does not go into the interior.
At the end of the episode, everyone praises the beauty of the stars in the sky. Points along the CV and Du Mai have been needled as a reflection of the Big Dipper.  Perhaps as a follow-up treatment to restore a sense of beauty in our characters, an EV treatment which needles those points is in order.

As for herbal treatments focused on Yang Ming, Ge Gen is a good carrier herb, as this goes releases the muscle layer and the exterior, like Mu Zei.  Huang Qi and Pu Gong Ying make a good combination not only to nourish blood, but also to secure the exterior while removing heat toxins from the interior — something Clem might benefit from.

As always, these posts are for entertainment purposes only.  If you feel your skin condition may benefit from Chinese Medicine, please see a qualified practitioner.  Happy Slayage!

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