Happy Chinese New Year! Spring, or the Wood element calls forward the mobilization phase of our self-protective response. The Liver, the General of the Armed Forces and the Gall Bladder, the Official of Wise Judgment, are together responsible for strategizing and implementing our fight or flight response in the presence of perceived danger.
If our patient’s mobilization response was thwarted or unavailable to them at a critical moment in their past, it will remain in their tissues. The Spring may support these body memories to emerge. Helping these responses complete will support the smooth movement of Qi and the benevolent nature of the Wood to emerge.
The anger or rage associated with Wood is powerful Qi! Acupuncturists are in a unique position to help Wood survivor types harness and focus this power, and use it to thaw incomplete or collapsed mobilization responses. These hidden-away and frozen states may be misdirecting and misinforming our clients in ways that are destructive to themselves and others. Their families and our communities will benefit from the vision, leadership and benevolence these survivors can bring when their true nature blooms with enhanced restoration and balance.Look for system-wide coherence as you work with the correspondences of the Wood – the blood, eyes, tendons, ligaments and joints – and the anger, hope and benevolence that shape the actions we take.
We are witnessing massive “mobilization” responses on the front pages of our newspapers and in our communities. I keep coming back to the words: Our nation needs its healers. Here are some of the ways we support healthy mobilization and serve our nation from the perspective of threat physiology:
- We can help move Wood energy into the Fire. If our patients focus on their mobilization response, without directing that powerful energy to build the Fire and enhance the Heart’s Shen, they risk losing their sense of relationship and companionship on the journey. They also risk losing their capacity to make thoughtful decisions. The passion behind their mobilization response will turn into its opposite. Benevolence, the true nature of the Wood is lost.
We can support mutually beneficial relationships between Wood and Earth. Part of full-on mobilization includes sending a message to the Spleen and Stomach to shut down. Digestion, while critical for long-term health, is irrelevant when there is a perception of immediate life threat, and all our energy is needed to power fight or flight. Life can become one big belly-ache! Our patients risk losing their ability to digest the gristle in this chapter of their lives, transform their experience — and harvest the lessons available to them. We have much to digest and much to learn. We can support access to these important functions in the Earth.
We can support the Kidneys to use fear wisely.Helping our patients move out of certainty and conclusion about the future and into curiosity and “don’t know” will support empowering their mobilization response and will nourish the critical relationship of the Kidney with the Heart. We can help people find both deep quiet and resourceful power inside themselves. We can help keep the Supreme Controller on the throne in the center of the kingdom.
Nourishing the Metal will temper hyper-arousal in the Wood. Respect for people we don’t know or understand is the beginning of creating relationships across differences, and is a foundation for peace. Using the K’e cycle, we treat the Metal, with attention on the Wood. We cultivate respect for self and others, and mitigate hyper-arousal in the Wood, helping to restore vision, and move stagnation.