Opposites Attract

“The Canine Acupressure Workbook; A Learning Tool for Enthusiasts and Professionals” by Lisa Speaker (Founder and Executive Director of RMSAAM) and JoMarie Indovina

by Sandi Martinez

The last time I wrote about my study foibles, was back at the end of August.  I am enrolled in the correspondence course: Fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  I am ready now, to take my test.  Or am I?

I spoke about how Meridians are a bit like a river; Qi (life force) flows through and nourishes and energizes the human body.  As a recap, the Five Element Theory is based on the observation of the natural cycles and interrelationships in both our environment and within ourselves.  This led me to cover the Yin aspect and its relationship to our organs back in my August 27th, entry.

I promised I would cover the Yang aspect and its organs in this installment.  The study process has led me to this understanding: The Five Elements that correspond to each organ: Fire corresponds to the Small Intestine and Triple Heater; Earth to the Stomach; Metal to the Large Intestine; Water to the Urinary Bladder; and Wood to the Gall Bladder.

These organs/elements are paired, and work together in Yin/Yang relationship.  As you may know, yin and yang are like black and white, hot and cold, summer and winter, and so on.  Opposites apply, and since one cannot exist without the other, so it is with the flow of meridians and their directional energetic flow throughout the body.  In the same way this process works with humans, it also work with animals.

The picture above shows the Small Intestine meridian (Yang) and its partner, Heart meridian, (Yin) in conjunction with each other.  In the diagram, one can see that SI 1 starts at the paw, and ends at the base of the ear at SI 19.  At the same time, in its opposite direction, the Heart Meridian begins at HT 1, and ends at the base of the 5th toenail.

My fascination with TCM has always been with the ways in which our environment can directly affect our body/mind.  When it’s too windy, I often lose my internal balance, or think chaotic thoughts.  When there’s a lot of snow, (plenty in Colorado!) I get a bit depressed, and feel internally cold.  When it’s too hot, I get a bit grumpy and… in lieu of it all, there is an amazing opportunity to help put the body/mind back in balance by targeting the many acupressure points in our body.  By applying pressure on specific points, balance can be achieved to aid healing and well-being both in the human body, and in our animal companions.

Did you know there are 12 main meridians?  Each meridian is partnered by its opposite; as a result there are six-paired meridians.  Did you know there are 67 acupressure points in the Urinary Bladder alone?  Speaking of snow… as winter is upon us, the bladder meridian will encounter an imbalance that results in: Fear, anxiety, confusion, and agitation.

What I’ve learned, is that while the body can become quite imbalanced, it can also become balanced by employing TCM modalities, diet changes, and lifestyle changes, in addition to other healing methods and applications.  But this is just the fundamentals!  There’s much, much more to learn!

How have you been affected by environmental influences?  Did you employ Acupressure treatments, to correct any problems or challenges that came up as a result?  RMSAAM would love to hear about your experiences!