In this episode, the misogynist preacher-servant of the First is introduced. He stops to rescue a potential slayer from the Bringers. At first he appears to be a good guy, but we soon see his views of strange women are not predicated on an innocent until proven guilty attitude. Ultimately, he has a message for the Potential to bring the Slayer. That message is burned onto the Potential’s neck. Later, it provides a clue which Spike and Andrew piece together at an old California mission.
This is also the episode in which Faith returns to Sunnydale. She re-encounters Buffy in a cemetery after leaving the hospital where the Potential has been treated. Acupuncturists must respect a patient’s choice of medical treatment. Thus, Faith’s comment as she left Willow with the Potential, namely that Faith and Hospitals don’t really get along, encapsulates that idea quite nicely. If a patient wants to combine systems of medicine, great. If she wants one or the other exclusively, so long as she is educated about possible outcomes, fine. Anthropological research shows that social support networks are among the most determining factors in health outcomes. Why sabotage a support system when a person needs it most?
Overall, this was a difficult episode to diagnose. I’m going to extrapolate from the neck burn, however, and discuss nodules along the neck and how neck blockages interrupt the full trajectory of the LU Channel Divergence. The episode’s recurring image is of ‘Darkness inside’. Can the LU CD be used to treat that? Interestingly, one of the key herbs in a neck nodule formula, Xuan Shen, is precisely oriented towards ‘dark’ or ‘mysterious’ feelings in a patient’s life.
The Large Intestine – Lung Channel Divergence contains points which don’t appear if the neck is blocked. This is particularly the case with the LI CD. It is worth remembering that not all points are active on a person’s body at all times. When points don’t appear, or are rendered unworkable, the source of this condition must be sought. Sometimes, the points are just not active because the person never has trouble with the aspect of life governed by that point. Other times, the points are not active because qi has become stuck earlier in the channel — or perhaps not enough qi is flowing in the channel to be ‘read’ by the practitioner’s fingertips. If qi is stuck, phlegm nodules — showing up as ‘kori’ or as hard lymph nodes — often result. While kori can be needled with a Japanese technique and lightly dispersed, lymph node swellings call for herbal treatment.
(Kori are found by lightly palpating the skin and feeling for hard or tense areas of skin and flesh (but no deeper than that). Those areas are then needled with a #2 sized needle and rapidly twirled in a dispersing direction.)
A simple herbal treatment for nodules around neck is composed of three herbs: Mu Li, Zhe Bei Mu, and Xuan Shen. If blood stasis accompanies the condition (indicated by a purple tongue and choppy pulse), add another shell herb, Wa Leng Zi. If the LU pulse overall seems hasty or lacking in qi, add Huang Qin to tonify LU blood.
Lung Channel Divergence is the start of the primary meridian cycle (for humans, but as mentioned in the last post, perhaps not for vampires). It is responsible for diffusing qi (wei and ying qi) into the vessels. In contrast, the Lung organ diffuses qi into the body as a whole. It can be used to tonify qi in cases of LU qi deficiency. The method in that case is to needle the selected points with a deep-shallow-deep needle vibration technique.
The LU CD trajectory is rather short. It begins at LU-1, where the LU channel emerges onto the chest. From there, it moves to GB-22, the canyon by which ye, thick fluid, supports marrow, bone, and brain. Here, the LU channel can draw on body fluids to form wei qi, or draw pathogens out from the jing-organ (marrow, bone, brain, GB) level and bring those pathogens to the exterior.
From the ShaoYang GB-22 point, the Lung channel divergence then spreads to TaiYang. This is an odd phrase; TaiYang could mean either the Small Intestine (sinew?) channel, or the Bladder (sinew?) channel, or both. Either way, it spreads to the outermost channels to provide defence for the body. In terms of point location, however, several options present themselves. Since the channel needs a connexion to the heart, options include HT-1 and SI-10 (as in the SI CD); or possibly the TaiYang Bladder points BL-44 and BL-15 (as in the BL CD). Another possibility is HT-9 and SI-1, as the start of the Arm TaiYang sinew vessels.
From the TaiYang level, the channel divergence then connects to the LI organ. This could happen at ST-25, but it could also mean moving from SI-1 to LI-11, the he-sea point and binding site of the sinew vessel.
However, the Tai Yang aspect of the LU Channel divergence also branches to connect to the breasts. This can mean either through JueYin (the LV goes to the genitals and breasts) or YangMing (ST-17 is at the centre of the nipple). If the channel moves from LI-11 to ST-17, this would allow a connection from the Large Intestine to the breasts along the YangMing channel.
The Tai Yang connexion also branches to the Lung organ; this can occur at LU-3, or at LU-1. From the Lung, the channel divergence moves to ST-12. ST-12, in addition to connecting to the diaphragm, releases the neck. Finally, the channel ends at another neck releasing point, LI-18. LI-18 is indicated for throat conditions like goiter and scrofula — in other words, cases in which phlegm nodules begin to appear and congest the thyroid and lymph nodes of the neck. Earlier, when examining the LI Channel Divergence, two points were not on that channel when the neck was blocked. These two points can help release the neck and open up LI-20 and ST-1 in such a case.
As always, these posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only. If you or a loved one feel like you’ve been so depleted you’ve reached your last breath, or if you have mysterious lumps in your neck, please seek out a qualified practitioner.