One of the shortcomings of many Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) schools is that they are often accused of teaching Traditional “Communist” Medicine. This is because, unlike 5-Element institutions, they tend to overlook the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of acupuncture. Whereas in Western Medicine, diabetes is diabetes no matter who your physician is or what school he went to, diagnosis and treatment with acupuncture depends largely on where you studied and the modality you prefer. Although my TCM program did explore 5-element theory in addition to other systems, they were not the emphasis. That is why today’s session was such a pleasure – it was a review made new.
Mary Elizabeth opened with an informative Q&A period that could have gone on all day had she allowed it. She introduced elemental diagnosis using hand and facing reading as well as Hara palpation to determine one’s tendency to wood, fire, earth, metal, or water. There was also instruction on the spiritual uses of Kidney points 23 – 26, scar therapy, and the five element wrinkle patterns. Unlike day one where I was well versed with 8-principle treatment and her needling techniques, I found that these were methods that I had previously had only the barest of introductions. Needless to say, I was eager to give them a try.
The protocol taught can be utilized prior to the facial portion and in conjunction with whatever “you do what you do” style of treatment. From personal experience, I can now testify to this method’s incredible power and immediately noticeable effects.
Mary Elizabeth Wakefield is my kind of instructor: She is passionate and knowledgeable about her craft, genuinely warm and attentive to her students, adaptable and accepting of differing styles of practice, encouraging, and above all patient. This seminar awakened a host of new creative juices in my Jing, and there is no doubt I will be returning for the rest of the series.
A Wrinkle In Rhyme (a ditty to remember the treatment principle):
If deep in the skin, thread it in
If superficially muscular, use Lavier perpendicular
When you spread the flesh
Wrinkles fade if in muscle
But stay if in skin