Peaceful Mountain Acupuncture

A weekly blog about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States

This blog is going to be, primarily a venue for me to express my thoughts about Life and the complexities of the physical plane. My story is simple, I am an easy going individual and a moderate recluse. I am comfortable walking or sitting, talking or being silent. I am always seeking new friends and acquaintenances. I tend to look deeply and question myself about the lesson behind the experience. If you like what you read, please leave me a note, if you have a blog please leave me a link so I can read your writing as well. Thanks

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Narrowing My Focus

I have been graced to receive a business coach for the next three months. It is part of a “Small Business Makeover.” Karen is a great, energetic, vibrant coach and she is helping me refine my business. The idea is if all goes well we will get the story in the local newspaper to get both of us some publicity. (I know I certainly need it!)

One of the first things she helped me realize is that my focus was too broad; I like to do too many things in my acupuncture clinic. I like to work in the area of women’s health, hospice, sports-injuries, side effects from chemotherapy, etc, etc. “Whoa, hold on. This is all great and I am sure you can work well in all these areas, but you will find success to be very elusive in your clinic if you are spread out like that.” With that gentle statement Karen started the process of helping me redefine my focus and specialty. It was quite an interesting conversation, to be sure.

“No it does not mean that you cannot or will not treat other concerns, it is just this is going to be your specialty. What is the one area of TCM that calls to you the most, or that you feel TCM can address the best?”

Well, that took ten minutes for me to uncover and interpret what calls to me; explaining why is a bit more intricate.

I am shifting my clinical focus to supporting women as they undergo the changes involved with menopause.

This is one area of medicine that I feel is not being addressed effectively by allopathic medicine; and it is, in my opinion, one of the strongest areas of Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM has very effective treatments for the ‘change-of-life’ and these treatments do not have serious side-effects.

I am already starting to present myself in this light when I introduce myself and to tell friends and co-workers that my focus has shifted. It feels a little strange to be focused on one specific condition, but if I am going to choose one I might as well pick one that ½ of the population will experience at one time in their life.

I have a series of talks coming up in May, a two part informational lecture. Part one will be an overview of TCM, part two will turn the focus to menopause. I am currently searching for other venues to give talks in. If anyone that reads this knows of any Tucson womens’ groups that might be interested in having a speaker, please contact me.

Next week I will search to uncover another interesting (to me at least) topic to explore in my blog. This week is more of an update on what’s happening.

Will write more soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Power of Discernment

A few days ago I saw an interesting story on the national news; this young marine received two “purple-heart” medals resulting from injuries he received while in Iraq. One was a shrapnel wound, the other was a bullet that hit is right hand. This is the injury that got me thinking.

The bullet entered his right hand, just distal to the wrist, in the “knife-hand” area; the bullet penetrated through the palm of his hand just below the bones and exited from the web between his thumb and index finger.

Another way of saying this would be to say the bullet entered through SI-4 and exited from LI-4 area.

The young marine wants to return to Iraq; he feels he still has a mission to accomplish. I respect his intention, dedication, sacrifice and commitment. Yet his story has caused me to think about his injury.

SI-4, Wangu translates as “wrist bone,” no big surprise there. But what is interesting to me is one of my source books lists “improving discernment” as one of the energetics of this point. I would have to acknowledge discernment has always been a tricky issue for me; sometimes I just do not know what is the ‘best’ choice. Maybe this is why I have been contemplating this injury. Anymore I just tend to look at it from the perspective of “Will this impede or improve my Spiritual Evolution?”

What I was thinking about concerning this young marine is, here he is with a major injury to this point and I am wondering did this affect his ability to make a clear discernment concerning his future? Did the traumatic impact of that bullet slamming into Wangu affect his ability in a negative way, or in all fairness did it affect his discernment ability in a positive way, or not at all. Unless I knew him and was able to treat him I will never know. But it does raise an interesting point for contemplation.

The connection of LI-4, Hegu or “Joining Valley” is intriguing in that Hegu is also the “Command Point of the Head and Neck.” This is primarily in regard to physical components; toothache, headache, stiff neck, these types of complaints.

Both Wangu and Hegu are Yuan-Source Points. The Yuan-Source Points are places where it is said that the Original (Yuan) Qi surfaces and lingers. The Yang Yuan-Source Points are used for treating excess conditions, they have a minimal ‘tonifying’ effect of their associated organ system complex.

So what happened to this young man’s energy, his digestive tracts, and even his cognition, his breathing and or sleeping? SI-4 (Small Intestine) is “paired“ with the Heart; LI-4 (Large Intestine) is paired with the Lungs. The Heart is the Emperor and is where the Shen comes to rest at night in order for one to go to sleep. The Lungs house the “Corporeal Soul,” one of five aspects of the Spirit. The emotion of the Lungs is “Grief;” the emotion of the Heart is “Joy.” However I wonder; what about the bullet’s impact? Does this young man have an inability to feel grief, or experience an inappropriate sense of joy? Is he experiencing insomnia? Has his digestion been affected?

These are questions I would love to ask him. However, knowing me, I would ask him; “You want to return to Iraq? What are you thinking???”

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It Surprised Me

Last week I was working with an 86 year old patient. He is an interesting guy, but due to his dementia all he has is now. The past is gone and I do not know if he thinks about the future at all. Actually that is a good place to be, NOW IS THE MOMENT OF POWER. But of course it is better when one can remain there through choice.


This is the first time I have worked with this man, as I was feeling his pulses they were deficient as I would expect, except his left most distal pulse, the Heart Pulse. It has a ‘hard, bean-like’ quality that I have never felt in any other pulse. I felt his pulses for a good three minutes and tried to figure out what it was I was feeling. His nurses said that he was feeling as good as usual, sleeping well. They were unaware of any other concern and the patient was happy. I gave him a Tui Na treatment which he enjoyed (Read that he went to sleep half way through.) I documented what I felt in his pulses and then saw two more patients before I went home.

After I got home I was reflecting on what I felt. The more I thought about it, the less I was comfortable with it and the less I thought I knew about what the pulses could have meant. I called the assisted living center and spoke to the manager. I explained what I was feeling in the “Heart” position. She immediately said “Oh, he has had a heart-valve replacement and is on a pace-maker.” I said, “Oh, that is it!”

I was very amazed that I was feeling something reflected in his Heart pulse that was, in my opinion, directly related to his heart history.

I know that the art of reading a pulse is subtle, I have written about that here before; but it is always a bit of a surprise when I get something as substantial as what I was feeling in his pulse. As I said it was a hard, bean-like quality unlike anything else I have experienced.

To me it was refreshing to experience something new and unusual. I was also glad the home manager said she would have the nurse check his vitals and listen closely to his heart.