In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there is a system of meridians or channels that course through the body. Several of these channels fall into a category called the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. These channels do not have multiple acupuncture points to work with that can affect multiple things. They are very specific and have two points, an opening point and a coupled point. Each of these meridians have a specific purpose. I’d like to introduce you to the Yin Qiao Mai, otherwise known as the Yin Heel Vessel. This channel has a couple purposes, one is to absorb excess yin energy in the abdomen and the other helps regulate sleep. The trajectory of the channel runs from the inside of the heel through the inner thigh, up the abdomen all the way to the inner canthus of the eye. Therefore, it can also be utilized to assist with any weakness of those areas.
Let’s talk about the yin energy and the abdomen first. Yin energy is basically the cooling system of the body. It’s known for its feminine qualities. It is more of a resting energy than a doing energy. When there are excess symptoms in the abdomen the Yin Linking Vessel can be used to “absorb” some of those symptoms. That would look like lower abdominal distension, masses and pain.
Sleep disturbances can also be treated through this channel, because of its connection to the eye. It can be used in both the experience of lethargy/somnolence and in conjunction with its brother channel the Yang Stepping Vessel for insomnia. It assists in keeping the eyelid open, or closed depending on its usage. However, it’s not just due to controlling the eyelid that makes it work.
As with all things in Chinese Medicine the physical cannot be separated from the emotional or spiritual. This channel also deals with blame turned inward, abandonment, and depression (catch the connection with the lethargy and wanting to sleep, to get away from those feelings?). Ancient Chinese used to call these issues demons. What they meant by that was any form of conscious or subconscious thought that has a destructive influence on a person’s actions. Those things would then block the spirit of a person from manifesting their “Golden Path”, or purpose in life (what the Chinese used to refer to as destiny).
This channel is then thought to hold greater spiritual purpose in helping people manifest that which was meant for them in their Highest Good for the growth of their consciousness.
Here’s a suggestion, look at any of the above symptoms and see if you have any of them. Then think about if you might be holding onto thought patterns, or beliefs that deal with the emotional and spiritual aspect of this channel. Can you make a connection? If so, how does that feel? Can you see how your emotional symptoms can manifest physically? What do you do next to begin to heal?