an acupuncturists perspective ...
I tend to find that the region of Jian Jing GB-21 tends to get quite tight & painful in individuals who present to my acupuncture practice with neck & shoulder issues, digestive issues, stress & anxiety as well as Temporomandibular Joins Dysfunction (TMJ). Granted, I also find Jian Jing GB -21 to be tight and restricted in many individuals who are not even aware of the ‘contracted’ state they tend to hold, thus it is always essential to palpate & feel the state of the meridians, associates tissues and structures.
In regards to the acupuncture theoretical underpinnings as to why the region of GB-21 Jian Jing does become tight & painful, we first need to observe the body as whole entity. Firstly, from a structural perspective it is the shoulders that assist us to walk upright in a balanced manner & they also take the ‘brunt of our burdens’. Thus, structural imbalances can occur from a pelvic shift, a foot issue or a local neck issue. Or a structural issue can result from a said ‘burden’ such as stress and worry, inappropriate positioning of bags (i.e. backpacks/handbags) or even longstanding emotional repression. A ‘burden’ is something that we carry in our lives & this can relate to the physical action of carrying a handbag always on the left shoulder, or from ‘carrying’ a constant companion in the form of anxiety, worry & fear. Regardless of the causative emotional or physical factor, the shoulders which are made to lug a load will feel the strain.
The classical acupuncturists depicted the character ‘Jian’ as an arm that moves as the swing of a door which is situated above the character for ‘flesh’. Thus, ‘Jian’ relates to the body and the action of a hinged door. ‘Jing’ is depicted as eight divisions situated evenly around a central point, essentially it depicts eight lots of land with a well in its centre. Thus, ‘Jing’ relates to a ‘source’ that gives the community ‘life’. I also interpret the diagram of ‘Jing’ to relate to the myriad of movements the shoulder joint can carry out from its central pivotal source.
I think it is important to highlight the relationship between the ‘spleen’ & ‘gallbladder’ or ‘wood’ & ‘earth’ phases as this conceptual framework can serve as a manner in which to explain why pressure pain at Jian Jing GB-21 can show in individuals with digestive disorders or emotional issues, and hence the vast majority of individuals in our society.
In regards to a five element perspective if the earth element of which the spleen/stomach meridian pertains to is in a state of deficiency, the wood element which is comprised of the liver/gallbladder meridian can ‘invade’ and become excessive. Alternatively, if the wood element becomes excessive due to i.e. repressed emotions, it can in turn overcome and weaken the earth element (spleen/stomach) manifesting as digestive issues. Thus, this above concept highlights a mechanism to explain this natural phenomena & furthermore it explains why in treating the spleen meridian and strengthening the ‘earth’ element an immediate reduction in pressure pain at the region of Jian Jing GB-21 results.
The mind & body may be referred to separately in script & spoken word, yet in reality no such separation exists.
Until next time … & please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini – Acupuncturist (Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula)