Spirits of the Points: Small Intestine Official (Pt. 2)

By Neil Gumenick, MAc (UK), LAc, Dipl. Ac

In prior articles, I discussed small intestine points 1-5 (August 2019 issue) and 6, 9, 11-12, and 17 (August 2004 issue). Part 1 of this article (July 2021 issue) featured points 7 and 8.

SI 10: Shoulder Blade

When a point name has the body part in its name, we must consider what that part does. The shoulder blade is the scapula – the large, triangular-shaped bone in the upper back. Attached to it are muscles and ligaments that help the arms to move. Scapular disorders can diminish the ability to move the arms and weaken the shoulders.

We carry more than just physical weight with our arms and shoulders. We also carry the weight of our burdens and responsibilities; and often, much more than is necessary. Unable to separate out and let go of mental and spiritual toxic residue – emotional charge, regrets of the past and anxiety about the future – we continue to shoulder the heaviness.

This point brings strength to help the fire-imbalanced patient carry with uprightness, dignity and grace what is essential, while letting go of what is unnecessary.

SI 16: Heavenly Window

small intestine - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark This point belongs to a special category of points called "Windows of the Sky." Many sick people lose their ability to "see." They may possess physical sight, but cannot clearly see with their mental or spiritual eyes what is going on within them or in the outside world. It is as if they are imprisoned by their sickness in a dark and dreary place, excommunicated from the flow of life.

Treating a Window of the Sky is akin to breaking a hole in this prison. It lets in a rush of fresh air and light. Once the patient can see the sky, the outside world, it may be the impetus to break down the walls and barriers to freedom. We use these extremely powerful points only when the patient is prepared and when the officials express the need.

Opening a window too soon is like suddenly releasing a prisoner from solitary confinement into the bright sun and saying, "You're free. Deal with it." The shock could be overwhelming.

Preparing the patient primarily involves the use of command points over a number of treatment sessions to more gently encourage the energy toward balance. The amount of treatment needed to prepare a patient for a window or, indeed, to determine if such points are needed, will vary tremendously from person to person, as each is a unique individual.

Using command points (e.g., source points, tonification and sedation points, junction/connecting points, horary points, element points, energy transfers) influences every point on the body, including opening and closing every window as necessary. However, if a window is stuck and unable to open and close appropriately, the patient, although improved, will still be unable to clearly "see." He or she may say things like, "I'm feeling better in many ways, but in this area, I just can't see how to ... It just looks hopeless."

The small intestine, as the Separator of Pure From Impure, must be able to clearly see the good in order to do its job. Heavenly Window opens the eye of spirit to see what one has been unable or unwilling to see – those areas of darkness and negativity in which one has been metaphorically imprisoned. One cannot perceive even a morsel of good in what appears to be a completely nasty situation.

When this window is opened, one can see with greater clarity and a spiritual perspective, finding that valuable lesson and grace – the silver lining or golden nugget within.

SI 19: Listening Palace

The word palace in the point name refers to the abode of the heart, the supreme controller. The Sovereign, in order to rule over the kingdom with love, wisdom and fairness, must be attuned to the needs of every official and every level – body, mind and spirit.

To do this, the heart relies on its brother, the small intestine, to sort out what is good, pure and essential, pass it to the ear of the monarch, and discard the rest. Then, based on hearing the essence of every issue brought before him / her, the monarch can respond with uprightness, clarity and truth.

We know the expression "the ring of truth." It is the resonance we feel in our heart when we hear the truth behind the words; beyond facades, pretenses and falsity. How many patients cannot truly hear? Without the clarity of true listening, one may hear only what one's ego wants to hear, or hear through filters of old concepts and beliefs; cannot understand the essence of what has been said; and is easily distracted, confused and unable to concentrate. With the clarity this point can bring, one can hear the whispers of the divine in everything and everyone.

Author's Note: English translations of point names are those taught by Professor J.R. Worsley and appear in Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, Volume 1: Meridians and Points by J.R. Worsley; Element Books, 1982.

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