Last week I started talking about the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. Today, I’m going to follow up with the Yang Heel Vessel, or Yang Qiao Mai. It sits on the opposing side of the body as the Yin Heel Vessel. So it runs from the outside of the heel, up the side of the leg, along the side of the body almost as though it follows the curvature of the backside of the arm. It comes over the back and across the top of the shoulder, onto the face where it hits the corner of the mouth and connects to the inner canthus of the eye where it can communicate with the Yin Qiao Mai.
The Yang Heel Vessel is concerned with physical ailments such as: the agility of the lower body, Bell’s Palsey (which is considered a wind condition in Chinese Medicine), opening and closing of the eyelids, insomnia, and walking “on a slant”.
If you think about the lateral side of your body, or the outer edges you can envision how this plays a role in standing up and how it faces the outside world (whereas that Yin channel was more internal and protected). The symptoms or issues that might be dealt with using the energy of this channel therefore would look more like standing up for yourself and engaging in the world. If there is a drastic imbalance in this channel you might struggle with those issues. Likewise, where the Yin channel is more internal, the Yang channel is more external when it comes to blame. So, you may find yourself trying to blame others or the outside world for problems that arise for you or within your life. People who tend to blame others might find that anger or controlling a situation are things that they deal with on a regular basis. Anger can be a “go to” emotion when we feel things outside of us are affecting us and instead of being able to look at ourselves and the choices or changes we could make to have things look different, we stick to anger because then it’s not something that we “should” have to deal with, we put it on someone else or something else to make it better.
The Yang Heel Vessel, when in balance, will help us with self-knowledge. How we can take responsibility for our roles in how things play out in our lives instead of giving that power to someone else and feeling like we have none for ourselves. It can help you move through life and deal responsibly with the problems and issues arising in your life because you no longer have to perceive yourself as being the victim to other people’s actions.
These channels are powerful balancing tools for emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual issues that we deal with on a regular basis. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are these things you struggle with or can see in yourself and don’t know where to turn for help? Perhaps you see this pattern in others around you. How does it feel knowing that there are ways to deal with those things beyond just putting up with it? Self-knowledge is a gift that will continue to serve you in many ways.
If you have questions on how acupuncture can help you in any way, I am here for the asking.