Greetings Dear Readers,
The body wants homeostasis, a relative balance in all areas of mind, body and spirit. In Five Element Acupuncture, the Earth element needs a balance between lack of nourishment and over-nutrition, a middle ground between Excess and Deficiency. Acupuncture point Stomach 40 Fenglong “Abundant Splendor” supports the body in avoiding the extremes of excess Damp (which can show up as excess weight, sinus congestion, runny nose, sneezing, growths, tumors, cysts and cystic acne) and its’ opposite, a weakness or deficiency in the Stomach system whereby the Stomach official is not breaking down food and nutrients are poorly extracted leading to under-development of the muscles and flesh.
We can see this Earth element imbalance physically in Type II diabetes where obesity, a form a Damp, is present in over 80% of patients.1 With Type II diabetes, TCM explains there is also typically Yin Deficiency with excess Heat in one of the three burners (Upper, Middle or Lower). Heat in the Middle Burner (the jurisdiction of the Spleen and Stomach systems) shows up with the patient having an insatiable appetite. In spite of eating more and more, there is no real contentment or satisfaction. Such a person may eat too much without satiation. Since they are often not receiving nourishment on the more subtle spirit level of the Stomach system either, the use of food to fill this void is to no avail. Where there is harmony in the Stomach system, a person is better able to feel a sense of contentment with respect to food and nourishment.
All acupuncture points work homeostatically, where the body reacts to the stimulation of the point by moving away from the extreme of conditions each point treats. Stomach 40 brings us into balance between the opposite poles of neediness, and ingratiation and the feeling of being burdened. 2 A person can be burdened by unprocessed or undigested thoughts, feelings, or trauma from the past. By using Stomach 40 “Abundant Splendor” in treatment a person can start to gain a release of this emotional baggage and feel greater satisfaction from the food eaten and life in general. It becomes possible to reap a harvest from within. They can feel a lifting of the burden of weight and the emotions that weigh down on them, transforming the physical and emotional expressions of the Damp into inner nourishment. As a result, they can start to feel a lightness in their being and satiation or fullness on the emotional plane that resolves excess hunger and promotes the feeling of abundance.
Holding on to excess that we no longer need is a theme that comes up with weight loss and is mirrored by another Earth element theme: clutter. Earth constitutional types are susceptible to these kinds of excesses. Once we start to break down the energetic pattern in the body that is holding them in place we can start to see these patterns of excess weight in the body, as well as clutter in one’s house start to dissolve. A good friend of mine is a de-clutter expert. Working with people who struggle with over-accumulation of possessions, she explains that people hold on to things often due to emotional issues that have not yet been processed or “digested”. She works compassionately to talk clients through the sensitive emotions that come up in the process of letting go. As the emotions are processed and digested, people feel a sense of relief, a lightness in the mind as they become ready to let go.
As Lonny Jerrat, acupuncturist and acupuncture scholar explains in his ground-breaking book, The Clinical Practice of Chinese Medicine, “dampness represents the accumulation (abundance) of all unintegrated experiences.” By stimulating Stomach 40 through acupuncture or moxabustion the body can start to process the mental and physical dampness and come into a sense of having enough.
Yours in health,
Cynthia McGilvray, R.Ac.
1. Stephenson, Clare. (2017). The Acupuncturists Guide to Conventional Medicine. Singing Dragon: London, UK.
2. Jerrat, Lonny. (2003). The Clinical Practice of Chinese Medicine. Spirit Path Press: Stockbridge, MA.
3. Gumenick, Neil. The Stomach Official. Retrieved from: http://www.5elements.com/articles/stomachofficial.html