The Small Intestine.
The Small Intestine- you can see- makes its way up the arm, zig zags all around the shoulder blades and terminates at the ear.
This is a big channel for shoulder issues because of the musculature that it runs through. So the movement of Energy and Physiology is very much tied together. If one gets bound up- the other will not be able to move freely. And if one is freed up- the other will also be free. So a lot of times what is happening when one is experiencing chronic pain and tension in the shoulders, according to TCM theory, is a traffic jam of sorts. Energy and physiology/blood are just getting all stuck, and nobody is moving through very efficiently. And this usually goes on for long enough to make it into conscious awareness. So we experience this traffic jam as pain, tension, irritation, limited range of motion… etc.. Sometimes- if this goes on for so long, which is often the case, our Energy and our Physiology forget how and where they are supposed to go. The efficient route is lost, forgotten. So we have this tiny chaotic, lost, stuck, frustrated mess just sitting around in our Small Intestine channel system, causing pain and tension. The use of Acupuncture in this situation is like using a CAIRN for marking a trail. ‘Try this route’, the needles gently say. It is a suggested direction amidst the chaos. It is a way out for the lost.
Another thing about the Small Intestine system in TCM theory. This organ system houses the function of DISCERNMENT. This system holds our ability to discern what IS and IS NOT good for us. So we have talked about how the Spleen and Stomach process and break down the foods we eat, and the things we experience. The mechanism of the Spleen and Stomach start the sorting process as energy, that is not our constitutional reserves, comes into our form. We also talked about the Letting Go aspect of the Large Intestine system. The Large Intestine is the process of Letting Go, the work of accepting the decision the Small Intestine has made.
The mechanism of the Small Intestine is to take what is given to it from the Spleen and Stomach (both in form and in energy), and make a decision about its fate. ‘Is this good for me? Where is this going to be most useful? This body does not need this.’
How confident do you feel in your ability to discern?