"Latent or moving
Emotion stored or released
The voice frees the Heart"
Haiku at Cape Cornwall
Thank you to everyone who came to my Tui na & Moxibustion for Menstrual and Fertility Issues workshop at City College, London on 25th and 26th January. It was nicely (and unconsciously) timed for the New Moon and Chinese New Year of the Yang Metal Rat! Thank you all for entering into the journey of exploration and feeling so openly.
I know many of you have started to integrate the work with your hands and some of you have rediscovered moxa and found your bravery with ‘The Power of Mugwort Fire’! (I love this title of Lorraine Wilcox’ book). As we said in this year of Metal and Water, we will need to kindle the Fire element in our hearts. Sing, light candles, find the joy and use that moxa!
Here are a few reflections from the weekend.
‘Bao Mai belongs to the Heart and connects to the Uterus’ Su wen ch 33
Women, feeling and the manifestation of Zheng Jia (concretions and conglomerations) - ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis
Perhaps the root of most and maybe even all menstrual and fertility issues is repressed emotion, a lack of expression, women stifling their power. Deep rooted shame, guilt, fear, anger and grief?
Blood passes from generation to generation, through our ancestry, Grandmother to Granddaughter, (SP4 Gong sun, chong mai opening point). A patient I was seeing for menstrual issues told me that when her daughter started her periods that her daughter’s first response was one of shame. She had not taught her this consciously and yet there it was. The deeply engrained shame that women have been carrying for eons.
We touched on how women have been affected by patriarchal societies that essentially disregard our connection (as all human beings) to the cosmos, to the movements of the seasons, the planets, to our feeling and intuitive selves, and for women to their cycles.
We posed the question, what would it be like if society honoured the natural cycles? The bleeding time or moon time for women would be one of retreat, for moving inward, for meditation, a time of heightened psychic awareness. Although now there are more conversations, more glimmerings of awareness around these issues we are still a long way off changing the way our societies are structured.
During the years of menstruation women have the opportunity each month to release stored or repressed emotion through the release of Blood.
We looked at the production, movement, storage and release of Blood.
We discussed the Spleen as the foundation of Blood production and the generator of Yi– thought. How thought generates emotion and how Blood carries our feelings.
The Heart is the commander of the rhythmic movement of Blood through the Mai. The Heart, the element of Fire, moves emotion towards expression through speaking the truth of our hearts – voicing what is in our Hearts. What is not expressed is repressed by the Pericardium and then stored in the Liver. How this unexpressed emotion over time creates a latency, a stagnation which can easily become Heat, often Empty Heat and sometimes Fire.
The Liver controls not only the storing of Blood but also its release. The need to use what we store rather than just holding on or hoarding. The support we need from the Lung/Metal providing the signal to descend and ‘let go’ of the Blood. Let it go again, let it go:-)
Simple work with presence and connection and the importance of the feeling experience as practitioners
As always, I’m particularly interested in hearing feedback in the group of how this simple work actually feels in the body. The feelings of nourishment, being supported and held, how Qi and consciousness move to the places where we are congested and blocked, how the experience changes during treatment, after and in the days to come.
6 Sounds Qi Gong
The voice is the first gong and we all have one! It is a highly effective therapeutic tool and over the weekend we incorporated the use of 6 Sounds Qi Gong with our Tui na.
In the group the sounds induced different feelings, not always those we expected. One participant expressed that “The Liver sound reminded me of pushing my baby daughter out”! Some felt relaxed by it and others almost threatened.
The Water sound sent receivers into a very deep place - altered states of consciousness come about easily with this sound it seems. An interesting effect with the Water sound was the feeling of coldness in the feet and lower legs of those ‘sounding’ too.
There is much to explore here and I’m looking forward to doing more with this work in future.
A little feedback from the group – about starting to integrate the work
“Well, I was brave and decided to jump right in by treating my fertility patients with Tui Na today - of which there were 3! I really enjoyed it. Feedback from patients ranged from "nice, relaxing, warming, felt like blood was circulating and muscles were relaxing". I was pleased with it. I also gave one of them some tui na homework to take home for working on the chest.”
“It’s quite amazing to experience the power of Tuina for oneself! It also gave me the confidence to use direct Moxa properly, in all its aspects. Straight away that evening, my patient got rice grain Moxa :)”
“I have now done the dispersing Moxa, not sure if it was hot enough, still feeling a bit scared of sending the Moxa flying around. On a torn Achilles, which has now formed a very big plate underneath, blocking circulation. Also done the sounds (Kid and Ht) on a patient last week. She really liked it and felt it in her 3rd eye.”
“I came back from the course feeling inspired and energised (in a grounded way) and have a sense of a new lease of life in my practice this week. Lots of things I have been able to put into practice straight away and my clients have loved it!”
“To receive a proper treatment both days felt very nourishing and of course good for learning.”
“I really enjoyed the practicality of this course and have already done a groin block on the px, I asked you about and Liv5 and Kid9 and she told me, it released so much held in emotion, she didn't realise she was holding.”
“I loved the visualisations of the element colours you lead us through in the Qi gong and when we are working on each other and have started to get px's to visualise those colours when working on certain points.”
“Just for some feedback if you don't mind about the groin block technique. I used it on my partner who underwent back fusion surgery last August. She had quite severe numbness in both lower legs and feet immediately post-op due to nerve damage which is very slowly repairing. After the block treatment, she felt a vast improvement so we were both really pleased - thank you”.