So How Do you Fix That? by Ann Cecil-Sterman


So How Do you Fix That?

I really enjoy treating people with Damp-Heat in the joints. In the general population the condition is widely thought be permanent, even incurable, but the Divergent Channels know otherwise. These people can be ill to the point of being crippled, yet relief is usually so fast. A woman came in desperate condition in early October. She’d had several attempts at IVF and the drugs had created terrible havoc. From a Divergent Channel point of view, the drugs had created more toxicity than the joints were unable to contain and it had spilled from latency, creating terrible symptoms—disabling the person with a damp-heat that was actually visible through the skin. “I heard you can fix this condition, Ann. So tell me, how do you fix that?”

Oy. Another one. I shouldn’t get frustrated when I hear that but I do; I fail at being Daoist, I just practice Daoist medicine. It’s anathema to healing of any kind to defer to a practitioner. Every week to some degree there’s someone for whom I have to help dismantle the idea that the practitioner is doing the work, or that the practitioner studied so hard and has so much knowledge that surely they know what to do, or that they have access to secret answers, or that they have answers at all… We don’t perform healing. We don’t “correct the flow of energy”. We don’t do anything but make space. We open up our own minds to the feeling of healing and we hold that feeling in the room like a pilot light and everything else is just decoration, ritual and manners. It’s difficult to explain that you’re not doing the healing when you have a good track record. “Yeah, right Ann, sure, yep, uh huh, you’re just practicing the medicine and it has nothing to do with you,“ is a frequent mode of reply. The battling of this idea in a patient is the most taxing part of my practice. Without clearing it they will become a regular and dependent patient and what I love about my practice is that people get better and don’t need to hang on, leaving room for others to come through. But I can’t graduate them and they won’t separate if they don’t take responsibility for their healing, or if they won’t see their own magnificence, their own light, their own intrinsic ability to heal.

So here’s what I’ve been doing for the last year or so to make this situation go away. I come right out and say what I used to keep to myself because I didn’t want people to think I’m a nutcase. The energetic channel system which we think is for the purpose of acupuncture alone, is not solely for acupuncture or Chinese Medicine. It’s a grand and infinitely complex circuitry, that runs the human system of body and mind, by connecting to spirit. The human being is like a beautiful light bulb that’s powered by the Divine. The filament of the light bulb is the channel system. The channel system is what lights us up. It’s what enables us to shine our Divine light. The channel system and the qi it conducts is what departs at the moment of death.

Acupuncturists might be the luckiest people. We get to remind people that they are already plugged in. When we insert needles in the body we are simply making space for the wires to work out their own kinks. We needle into a channel and that channel says, “Oh yes, I forgot both that I am plugged into the Divine, and that I am Divine, let me realign myself so that this body-mind can remember its own magnificence and its own Destiny and move forward out of this idea of stagnation.” The practitioner is a bystander. But a watchful one. The bystander understands she cannot even begin to understand or measure the outcome. The bystander remains clear of expectation, ready for anything, but keeps consciousness as open as possible, ready to expand with the patient. There is not a single session I’ve had with a patient in the last few years where I haven’t felt that I healed, too. What a profession we are in.

Getting back to the patient:  I took the pulses and the superficial level in guan of the left wrist was extremely tight. When I pressed down into it, sensation in the moderate level was absent and at the deep level, there was that same tightness again. If I pressed even further in the deep level it became like a board pushing me back. This was the position to focus on as it showed a classic Divergent pulse. The pathogen (the heat that was responding to the toxicity of the medications and the byproducts of the medication itself) and the body’s response of dampness, which together created Damp-Heat, had been diverted to the joints by the Gallbladder divergent channel. This is a perfect action as the organs are saved from consumption by the pathogen and the joints, the deepest level of the exterior anatomy, are able to contain that pathology, since their Yuan level substance is relatively inert and not in actual circulation. Pathology can stay quiet there for a very long time, even decades. But if the patient is bombarded by a concentrated dose of pathogen, the joints are overloaded and the pathology is released to the exterior (showing at the superficial level of the pulse). The tightness in the Yuan level shows the Yuan level trying its utmost to hang on to the pathology while the exterior tries to release it.  But in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, both the storage of the pathogen and attempts at its release fail and the pathogen gets stuck. It gets wedged between the joints and the rest of the exterior and is very painful, even immobilizing, as was the case with this patient. Today, in early December, less than two months later, she has no trace of the arthritis in her shoulders, hips, elbows and knees and now we are working to help clear the finger joints. She understands my role in her treatment and looks forward to walking away in January.

Ann, NYC

Practice as though nothing else matters, because everything does.

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