by Warren L. Cargal, L. Ac.
The integration of Body, Mind and Spirit has been a central part of Acupuncture since the sixth century AD. During this period, the Su – wen, the earliest treatise on acupuncture, classified acupuncture according to three levels. The lowest corresponds to Earth and works on the body to heal physical disease; the middle corresponds to man and works on the mind and emotions by nourishing psycho-emotional reactions; while the highest level corresponds to heaven and works on the spirit by nourishing ming.
Ming means a certain mandate given to each person at birth containing subconscious instructions planted within the body from Heaven, the creative source of the universe. These instructions unfold during the course of life in a way that maintains the powerful connection between the Higher and Lower Self, the Divine within mundane consciousness. This unfolding helps one develop the wisdom to live in harmony between the fluctuating poles of certainty and uncertainty in life.
A review of Felix Mann’s book, The Treatment of Disease by Acupuncture, Part 1, “Function of Acupuncture Points,” reveals that one hundred and thirty – five of the original three hundred sixty – five acupuncture points are used to treat mental, emotional, and spiritual disharmony, in addition to physical conditions.
There are acupuncture points, all of which begin with the word “Tian” (meaning heavenly) that are used to open a person to spiritual awareness. There are acupuncture point combinations which relax the mind and calm the Spirit (four gates), others (windows to the sky) open the upper chakras to clairvoyance and clairsentience and others (ghost points) help with manic disorders, hearing voices and entity attachment.
Each of the five Yin organs is related to a certain spiritual aspect and there are acupuncture points that can nourish or tonify these aspects. The aspects are: – the Mind (Shen) for the Heart indicates the whole sphere of emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a human being. – the Ethereal Soul (Hun) for the Liver corresponds to our western concept of “Soul” or “Spirit” – the Corporeal Soul (Po) for the Lung, is that part of the Soul which is indissolubly attached to the body and goes down to Earth with it at death. – the Will power (Zhi) for the Kidneys is the mental drive that gives us determination and single-mindedness in the pursuit of our goals – Thought (Yi) for the Spleen corresponds to our capacity for applied thinking, studying, concentrating and memorizing.
The following case will help illustrate this body – mind – spirit approach. The patient was a young man suffering from what one psychologist had tentatively diagnosed as panic disorder syndrome. He was not interested in taking medications usually prescribed for this condition. His physical symptoms included agitated sleep, irritability, constant anxiety, tightness of the musculature throughout the body, and fatigue.
He had recently graduated and was working in a highly competitive and lucrative profession. He commented that pressure from his family to become financially successful had forced him to give up his interest in philosophy and literature in college. It was hard for him to have relationships with women, as he felt disconnected or frozen, as he said, from his heart.
Palpation revealed a hard musculature knot several inches above the navel (frozen in the pit of the stomach). Also the Gallbladder channel was extremely tight and sensitive to palpation.
The treatment strategy focused on the greater Jueyin and Shaoyang energetic circuits, which encompass the Liver/Gallbladder channels and the Pericardium/Triple Burner channels. Points along the Liver/Gallbladder channel were used to relax the musculature and to relieve anger and anxiety. Points on the Bladder channel were used to relax the liver and to open the Ethereal Door of the Soul. These points are used for emotional problems such as depression and frustration and they have a profound influence on a person?s capacity of planning his/her life by rooting and steadying the Ethereal Soul. Additional points along the bladder channel were used to build the Kidney fire to deal with fear in the pit of his stomach. Finally points along the Pericardium (Envelope that protects the Heart) /Triple Burner channels were used to open the heart and to help the free flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body.
At the two – week follow – up treatment, the patient was more relaxed and had been sleeping better. He had made a decision to quit his job and pursue his interest in philosophy and literature. He realized his fear around relationship was related to his past feeling about his mother and he decided to begin psychotherapy to explore this issue. Clearly, the man had made substantial changes that were being felt through his physical – emotional – spiritual aspects.
It is my belief that acupuncture serves as a strong foundation upon which to explore and treat somatic energetic reaction patterns of the body – mind – spirit. The stimulation of acupuncture channels, by way of acupuncture points, leads to a resonance with archaic, previously functional energetic pathways. This serves to awaken a deep recognition, on the part of the patient, of body/mind splits, which then help the patient move into resonance with unfoldment of the soul (spirit).
Warren L. Cargal, M. A., L. Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and also a diplomat with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He has practiced Chinese medicine for over 10 years in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology and internal medicine and has helped hundreds of men and women with fertility issues. He maintains an active clinic practice in Atlanta Ga.
Cargal attended the Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine. He has a Master in Transpersonal Psychology from Westbrook University and he completed a four year training program in body-orientated psychotherapy at the Core Energetic Institute. He completed a two-year training program in Human Sexuality at the Institute of Human Abilities and taught for four years at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. He has spent hundreds of post-graduate hours in Chinese herbology, nutrition and endocrine education. He can be reached at www.acuatlanta.net.