Seeing Red (Buffy, Season 6, Episode 19)

The season begins to reach its climax as we see Buffy begin to embrace a new role as peacemaker.  Xander remains upset with Buffy (for having slept with Spike, or having kept it from her friends) until the end of the episode; Willow herself is upset that she was never told by Buffy.  In these two cases, characters are upset because they feel they weren’t seen as trustworthy by someone they were close to.  We also see Anya’s lost wish, as she commiserates with a scorned woman, rather than aids her:  A scorned woman wished that Carl’s flesh would grow so fat he’d blow up.  The episode also happens to be where Amber Benson is added to the opening credits, which is a tip off (knowing Joss Whedon) about how the episode will end.  Until the end, though, we are entertained with some good film noir dialogue.

Did anyone notice the acupuncture models in the Trio’s hideout?  They’ve appeared before, but since that lair gets destroyed by swinging saws after Buffy enters, I thought I’d mention it now.

The SuperVillains had previously sneaked into a demon lair and obtain an item which allows them to become invincible.  Andrew and Warren plot to leave Jonathan behind at an opportune moment.  Warren, however, is consumed with his own thirst for power, and with the new item, he begins to exercise his new found invincibility.  Buffy manages to find the villains and destroy the item before Warren can wreak too much magical damage.  We are treated to a particularly involved fight scene, with injuries to the low back, a broken knee, and a particularly extreme external arm rotation.  Ultimately, however, Warren escapes using a jetpack.  Andrew tries to follow him, but blasts off into ceiling overhanging his escape route.  The jetpack fails, and Andrew falls back to the ground.  Jonathan is upset at this betrayal (although he is the one who told Buffy how to defeat Warren.)  Meanwhile, Warren decides to use a more mundane method to take out the Slayer, and in the process catalyses the events which will play out for the rest of the episode.

So what shall we treat?  I’ve treated Concussion previously.  I’ve already treated Heart Pain in previous episodes.  That leaves obesity — but Anya’s wish was not granted. Perhaps Carl was actually seeing his acupuncturist at the time, and Chinese Medicine staved off the vengeance demon’s curse?  Or we could treat some of the fight scene injuries:  meniscus tears, broken elbows.  I think I will treat the loss of arm function due to elbow injury, because it will also allow me to address the matter of trust from a wei qi perspective.

We’ve already discussed how the arm jue-yin treats inverted cup syndrome because the channel disperses in the diaphragm, and how the movement associated with the jue-yin channel is paralysis.  I’ve also alluded to the physiology of wei qi as it enters the interior of the body at night to protect the organs.  The point at which it enters the body is CV-17, the mu point of the Pericardium.  The sinew channel of the Pericardium travels up the arm, binds at the inner side of the elbow, continues up the anterior aspect of the arm and then disperses both in front of and behind the rib cage — ending at CV-17 and BL-14.  Another branch enters through the axilla to bind at the Heart.  The channel trajectory illustrates how wei qi wraps around the emperor Heart to guard it from attack, particularly at night, when conscious guarding is unavailable due to sleep.

The  guarding of the organs at night by wei qi is unconscious and automatic in the same way trust in friends is unconscious.  Friends will not harm me.  We trust they will caution ourselves against potential dangers, and will not ambush us the way an enemy wishing to incapacitate us would do.  When friends do harm one another, the result is a disruption of the particular flow of wei qi in the PC sinew vessel.  Either the wei qi goes in to guard the interior organs and their spirit-affect functions (intention, will, freedom of personality/ hun) or the properly outward movement of their qi as expressed in emotion (joy, sadness, worry, anger, fear).  Trust and the free flow of wei qi are thus interlinked in ways which move beyond the consciousness of blood and ying.

For a sinew treatment to help restore the flow of trust by freeing blockages in the PC sinew vessel, first ensure yang qi is flowing freely in the Du Mai by cupping Du 4 and Du 14, while paying attention to any blockages in the upper thoracic vertebrae, where the sinew vessel wraps around.  Then release the orifices of the anterior neck, particularly around the vagus nerve and deep front lines.  Then palpate the channel and use okyu or thread moxa on the points which elicit tenderness.  Finally, needle or use thread moxa on the jing well point of the PC channel (PC-9).  If consciousness needs to be brought to the issue of trust and protecting the heart, needling the ying-spring point at PC-8 or bleeding the luo point at PC-6 is indicated.

If the lack of trust seems to be constitutionally related, or otherwise lodged at the jing-essence level (as can happen with betrayal in sexual relationships), use of the EVs as an adjunct is called for.  I’ve related the use of EVs in this regard earlier, but to repeat, Yin Qiao and Yin Wei Mai, including needling BL-1 and KD-8 (Jiao Xin, ‘Meeting Trust’) is useful.  CV-22, as a Yin Wei Mai point, or ST-9 as a Yin Qiao point, both also being Window to the Sky points, may also prove to be particularly effective points on those channels.

I’ve given a Chinese herbal formula for trust before, in Season 3, Episode 7; but from a North American herbal perspective, I would recommend the use of goldenseal.  Goldenseal, known for its ‘detoxifying’ qualities, increases the presence of oxytocin in the body.  Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the ‘bonding’ neurochemical.  It increases a person’s trust in appropriate circumstances.  By appropriate circumstances, I mean that it isn’t going to induce a person to carelessness in a dodgy part of town, or make people suddenly talk to suspicious strangers or recognisably harmful people.  It will, though, help a person lower their threshold for trusting friends again.  If frayed nerves and a high level of guarding are present, I’ve found that combining goldenseal with the Ayurvedic herb gotu kola and the widely used resin Myrrh, can be helpful.  Gotu kola is a restorative for the nervous system in Ayurveda; in TCM terms, it calms the shen and nourishes the Heart and Liver.  Myrrh, of course, is known for its blood invigorating properties and its ability to help regenerate the flesh in Chinese medicine; in Ayurveda, it is also known to be a purifying herb for the system.  The combination of these three herbs,  goldenseal, gotu kola, and myrrh, made as a steeped tea or taken in combination as a mixed-just-before-ingestion powder, may help put a person back on an even keel.

As always, these posts are for entertainment and educational purposes only.  If you or a loved one find it difficult to restore your trust in people after a betrayal or other shocking event, please find an appropriate practitioner to help you heal.  (Acknowledging that a lack of trust can make this difficult, if not impossible.)

Happy Slayage!


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