As Acupuncturists we all train on a basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a standard structure for treatment. Depending on whether we do herbs or not training is typically four to five years & we leave with this foundation knowledge. Unfortunately this is only the beginning.
As practitioners we are working with qi/energy/life force & our own qi plays a role in how we treat. If you had two practitioners use the same points on a patient but one practitioner used those points all the time while the other didn’t feel as confident with them they may not get the same positive result. This is because your intent and assertiveness when treating make a big difference to what you are telling the body to do & therefore how it will respond. This is also true for the style of treatment we practice.
While our overall diagnosis may be the same, the way we arrive to this diagnosis & the way we treat varies considerably depending on the style of practice we use & are drawn to. I remember discovering kiiko acupuncture & having that light bulb moment of “this is what I always imagined acupuncture to be, this is how I’m meant to treat.” This is a Japanese technique with palpation & pressure feedback being central to diagnosis & treatment. It gave me the insight to practice in a way which highlighted my strengths & managed my weakness. Which brings me to stems & branches!
Stems & branches is the chinese medicine astrology. It looks at cycles of time & seasons to give us information about ourselves as man. On the most basic level we look at the month & year someone is born & correlate this to to the stems & branches.
In the context of stems & branches I am liver stem in metal great movement. The liver in chinese medicine relates to spring, to growth, expansion, free flow. When the liver energy is constrained (often by emotions or stress) there is no movement, growth, progression & people can get stuck. This can manifest emotionally, through depression, anxiety or anger, or physically, with headaches, painful periods, digestive issues. Metal is related to the energy of Autumn, where trees rid themselves of their leaves, shedding what they no longer need. People with metal in their chart tend to be determined, kind, righteous & have the need for justification & structure.
For someone with this elemental combination they need be conscious of their weakness. When they get out of balance, whether from stress, smoking which damages the lung (the organ of metal) or excessive drinking (which constrains the liver), it can manifest as the following; rigidity in thinking, greed, the need for material things to no satisfaction, always concerned with the future instead of the present, very black & white, right & wrong thinking, the need for control, the inability to separate what is needed & what isn’t & to be able to let go. This can be mentally, emotionally or even manifest physically.
Learning this form of diagnosis has made lot of things fall into place & allowed me to understand myself a little better like why kiiko acupuncture resonates so well with me, because it has structure & justification which is so important for a liver in metal person. More than that, this system gives insight into some of the pitfalls myself & patients can fall into in order to try & balance themselves. An example of this is in viewing the earth element. This element relates to the stomach & spleen & digestion. If they are imbalanced, deficient in energy or have poor digestion, often they will remidy this with sugar & carbs which gives them energy in the short term but renders them more depleted in the long run.
If you are interested in trying kiiko accupuncture, I would love to share it with you.
To book please call us on ph: 5973 6886.