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“So, let’s continue,” Emily said after a brief water break, “talking about the Upper Jiao. In particular, let’s talk about shoulder, neck, and head.

[responsive]unbalanced system

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“Suppose for a moment that your body is rather like a puppet on strings. If you removed the strings, the body would fall, so, you have to set up internal strings and a series of pulleys that will suspend the body in equillibrium, right?”

“Of course,” Arty replied, “like crane-work at the site.”

“Correct, so what happens when you overload one side of the beams you lift or they aren’t balanced in the center?”

“Well… then it sort of topples to the side, and can swing around, dangerously.”

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pulley system

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“Exactly. So you have these long muscles in the back that tie together two bow-like muscles, the Quadratus Lumborum and the Trapezius, which has upper, middle, and lower strands. What happens if I pull up on the longissimus muscle in the back? The QL muscle will pull down in response. When it pulls down what will the bottom of it do? Pull up. Now you have pulled the string on the bow… by law the bow must bend. If the lumbus is already tight and bent, it can come close to snapping. This causes disc issues. Now, what if I pull down on the longissimus?”

“Well.. then I guess the upper back pulls up…”

“And likewise the upper trap pulls down to mitigate the pull up of the bottom trap. Hence the bow of the cervicals (neck) is drawn to. You see? Everyone getting neck and back disc issues, they should seek the tense mid back muscles, and the cause of those!” She beamed.

Arty was silent for a moment, thinking on all his hard work over the years… But Sclerosa leaned forward and said, “… which are?”

Emily smiled. “Well, among lifestyles, it’s work on computers, physical labor, athletics, and anything requiring forward stretching motions, like horse-back riding. Among diets, it’s obesity which causes the front to sag and the back to pull. Among traumas, it’s most commonly strains of the neck and back while in tension – and traffic causes a lot of stress and tension. Among internal causes, it’s mostly issues with the Middle Jiao – liver and digestion – which cause aggressive Qi to radiate out from the nerves innervating them back towards the muscle. In other words, Liver and Stomach Heat.
“All of these things stagnate the channels of the back, and cause structural changes, even to the point of ribs and vertebrae spontaneously subluxating (coming out of place.)”

“Well I’ll be damned!” Arty said.

Sclerosa just shook her head and frowned.

5 Elements
5 Elements (Wu Xing)

Emily said to her, “It gets worse, if untreated over years. First of all you get myofacial adhesions and then scar tissue and knots, and finally immobility and frozen muscles. A great example is frozen shoulder. If not caused by a reaction of the nervous system to an injury, or to coldness itself, frozen should can be a non-proliferation of Qi energy through the Taiyang (back) channels that pass through the shoulder. You combine the Liver Heat on the backside with Heart Heat on the front (such as anxiety, palpitations, nervousness, etc…) and now you have tight front pecs, which pull on the shoulder girdle causing the rotator cuff to pull back in response . When this happens the neck muscles strain, and then it propagates up the Shaoyang (side & neck) channel into the head causing tension headaches, migraines, and even issues of the ear and jaw.”

“You mean like tinnitus?” Sclerosa asked.

“I mean all kinds of issues, which is why the Shaoyang (Gallbladder and San Jiao) channel penetrates the ear, eye, and lymphatics below the jaw. So many issues you would not believe how many of them share the same common root in the digestive system and one’s stress levels. The fruit may be different, but the trees look the same.”

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“The 5 Senses are a flowering of the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine and philosophy. Fire goes to the eyes, earth to the tongue, metal to the nose, water to the inner ear for hearing and wood to the cochlea for balance. The sense of touch is also governed by wood and metal together. What happens wen you organs get imbalanced – or you are born this way – is that one, two, or rarer, three of these five elements get out of sync, to the point that it isn’t life-granting but ‘pathological’. When this happens it begins in the channels, then in the organs, and finally in the flowering organs or sensory. Most common problems include disorders of liver & gallbladder phlegm such as balance, tremor, tinnitus, cataracts, styes, skin tags, and glaucoma. But also issues of all 12 Cranial Nerves can begin with forms of liver wind (spastic nerves) that affect sense as well as cause pain or numbness. The progression can eventually enter the brain and such phlegm disorders cause major cognitive issues. ”

“Do, I know we’ve spent a few hours of time, already, but you see… “Arty frowned, “I’ve been worried about my body and all that, but the thing that has bothered me the most for all these years has been my senses being off. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking through a cloud of fog, and sometimes like I don’t hear nothin’ anymore. My eyesight has declined, and my hearing, and ‘Rosa’s balance ain’t what it used to be. I’m worried for my health and longevity, sure, but quality of life is what I’m most concerned with. I don’t want to get old and die in a nursin’ home.”

Emily nodded thoughtfully. “Then perhaps let’s go out to dinner and talk a little bit more about everything from the neck up. but first, anymore questions about the Upper Jiao?”

[separator headline=”h1″ title=”Shoulder Issues”]

“Yes, I have one, “Sclerosa chimed in, “My shoulder tends to hurt right here:ed at her front shoulder.

“Ah, bicipital tendonitis. That’s because you have something the Western docs call “upper-cross-syndrome.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, you see, when the pulleys get out of sync, and there is a pulling forward by the pecs, over time the Rhomboids get weaker and weaker until they no longer hold the shoulder girdle in place. The remedy, therefore, is to work out the Rhomboids primarily. You have to do what I call an ‘extended row’. Then the shoulder will start being pulled back, and the subscapularis muscle won’t pull on the bicipital groove so much. You must understand, that in a tiny little area this big “———-” is attached three very large muscles, biceps humoris, subscapularis, and latissimus dorsi. All of these muscles pull on the same little tendon. Chronic tendon spraining or tendonitis is therefore very common in a society of drivers and computer users whose shoulders are pulled forward constantly. In guys also pecs and biceps are valued and so UCS is very common in men. In women, it is the weakening of the Thoracic that causes it.”

“Are there any other shoulder issues I should be aware of?”

“Yes there are some conditions, such as labrum or SLAP tears, which come from falls; and Acromio-clavicular injuries can be a pain, and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which mimicks Raynaud’s and Carpal Tunnel… but for the most part, all of these are treated rather mechnically with some Qi being circulated to the area to heal them. UCS is the most common form of shoulder issue.

“Now it may also be true that your shoulder issues can radiate, upwards to the neck or down to the forearms and cause tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. Or even carpal tunnel. But usually these are energetics issues to do with the channel and how the person stores unwanted, pathological energy from stress. Or with atrophy, or together.

“Ok, let’s go to dinner, and talk about the inside of the head.”

And together they left.

End of Issue 8

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