A patient came in last week, desperately hoping acupuncture would work.
Nothing else was helping…
Her family circumstances were overwhelming to the point her emotions were out of control. She couldn’t stop crying. She wished she could run away from everything and everyone.
And she even said she wished her life could just end, although she knew that wasn’t an option.
I’m so glad she had the wisdom to call me. I’d taught her over the years that whatever discomfort she experiences in her body is always related to a meridian imbalance.
Emotions can either be the cause or the effect of an imbalance in the meridians.
- Cause: If there is a physical blockage in a meridian for too long, the emotion associated with that meridian then becomes out of balance as well.
- Effect: If someone experiences long-term emotional problems—such as clinical depression, anger-management issues, grief from the passing of a loved one, etc.—physical symptoms will surely follow.
I love treating emotions because they are so easy to shift.
Patients love when I’m able to analyze the graph and say things like this, without them telling me their chief complaint:
“Wow—it looks like you’ve been angry.”
“I’m guessing you’ve had a lot of anxiety lately.”
They have learned that the graph doesn’t lie!
Simply balancing the graph is enough to take care of 80% of the patient’s present emotional condition. Knowing a few extra classical key points is enough to often get 100% relief.
Chief complaint: Extreme emotions.
- This is the patient I was speaking about above.
- Uncontrollable crying, grief, anxiety, and worry.
- 62-year-old female.
- Recent, two-week bout with an upper respiratory infection. Lingering phlegm and sinus congestion. Yellow sputum.
- Recent UTI. Lingering kidney area pressure.
- Red, dry, thick yellow coat (middle to back). Quivers.
Physical: She has excess in both the Lung and the Large Intestine. Her lingering upper respiratory infection and phlegm in the lung are present here.
Emotional: The emotion of the Lung is grief. She was having family relationship issues with the very real likelihood that she might lose contact with a family member.
Physical: There is a deficiency in the Heart. She doesn’t typically have a deficiency here, but it makes sense if you look at the graph according to the flow of energy.
Emotional: Anxiety is the emotion of the Fire element. Because the heart is deficient, her tendency toward anxiety is increased.
Physical: The Stomach channel runs right through the chest. Because of the constant crying, she is hanging onto energy there.
Emotional: Worry is the emotion of the Earth element. Obviously she has spent many hours worrying about her current family situation.
Physical: Life source energy is stored in the Kidney. She is 62 and works full-time. Her Kidney channel has a tendency toward deficiency anyway, the extra wear and tear she has been experiencing lately has drained her reserves.
Emotional: Fear is the emotion that surfaces when the Water element is deficient. Earth is her lowest element in this graph. Fear is the biggest emotion she is feeling.
Step 1: To balance the graph, I focused on the yin meridians first.
Heart Deficiency: HT 7—I chose the source point because it also has a strong effect on emotions.
Kidney Deficiency: KI 3—I chose the source point again, because it has a strong effect on source qi.
Lung Excess: LU 5—I chose the sedation point.
Step 2: I palpated the yang meridians to see what was happening tendinomusclarly. Each of these pathways were full and tender to palpation.
Triple Energizer Split: TE 5—I chose the Luo point because the channel was split, and also because TE 5 helps strongly with the distribution of hormones.
Large Intestine Excess: LI 10, LI 12—I chose these points because they were ashi and I knew they would also help resolve the tension in her shoulders that had accumulated from crying. *These are great points to open the Large Intestine tendinouscular meridian.
Stomach Channel Excess: ST 44—I chose this point because it’s great for clearing heat from the channel and also because it’s great for bringing energy back downward.
Step 3: A few extra great points I like.
To calm her mind: Yin Tang
To help all the other points work better: Shen Men on the ear.
Immediately After Treatment
While she was on the table, she calmed down. Two hours after treatment she sent me this text message:
“I’m doing so much better. My circumstances haven’t changed, but I feel in control, my mind is clear and I’m able to cope. Thank you.”
Three Days Later
It’s important to teach your patients about the havoc extreme emotions can play on the body. Luckily, she knew when to call. Patients who don’t know when to call typically wind up with long-term, chronic health and pain conditions.
AcuGraph is a great resource, not only to educate your patient but for greater insight as a practitioner.
Still thinking about getting one? Sign up for the demo/webinar to learn more. Click here!
Have a great week!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst