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Acupuncture Today
June, 2006, Vol. 07, Issue 06
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Mail Call!

By Felice Dunas, PhD

Thank you for all the wonderful letters and questions I continually receive. I try to answer every one, so if you are tempted to write, please do. It seems as if long plane flights to lectures were invented for the answering of such e-mails.

This month's column is devoted to responding to your questions and comments. It's important to have a forum for sharing with one another, and I am considering on how to expand upon that idea for you, possibly with teleclasses and group phone discussions. If you have suggestions, let me know.

Dear Dr. F:

I attended one of your seminars when I was a student in Florida about four years ago, and you have made a profound impact on how I work with my clients regarding sex. For that I thank you and they thank you tremendously! [Hey, every columnist deserves to include the occasional plug!]

What can you tell me about the energetic effects of a vasectomy? I have a patient who is about to get one. My first thought was to treat him right before and right after the procedure to keep the channels opened. Any thoughts?

Dear FW:

A vasectomy, as with any surgical procedure, has its pros and cons. Focus on supporting the benefits and alleviating the detriments. Vasectomy damages tissues and leaves scarring. A scar is a form of energetic stagnation. Trauma experienced by the local tissue also is a stagnating and heat-generating force, but for many couples, vasectomy gets rid of tension around pregnancy, allowing the local channels to open. It permits an intermingling of chi between lovers that is greater than prior to the procedure. This relief supports deeper energetic connections and movement. In that sense, you relieve stagnation by creating it with a scar. It is important to consider both sides of that equation. Another factor to consider is that the body reabsorbs chi from the sperm, so not as much chi is dissipated during ejaculation.

Treat him right before and after, administering acupuncture at least a few times each. Consider using whatever modalities you are comfortable with to address the inflammation, trauma and stagnation. Over time, watch what the procedure does to the energetic profile of the individual patient. By this, I mean what happens to his chi because he did this procedure. There is no simple, generic response, though there are tendencies. Generally, you may want to make a point of invigorating chi through the local and eight extra meridians, and you also may want to watch for dampness or chi or blood stagnation in the lower burner. Dampness likes scars. It puddles up around them, just like creeks pool around forest debris, but these conditions take a long time to develop.

The effort required by the body to transform sperm back into amino acids begins locally. This extra effort can generate heat or, in the long run, cold. What unique and idiosyncratic reactions is this patient's body having? Address those to best serve him.

Dear Felice:

I became a practitioner in 1989, although last year I almost quit due to burn out. Any ideas how I can continue to be a good healer without killing myself?


Hey, MB. You aren't walking your talk, are you? This medicine teaches the importance of balance between yin/yang, between receiving/giving. I bet you teach your patients about living balanced lives every day. Here you are plugging away through our yang culture, sacrificing your life's blood. You aren't the only practitioner struggling with this. We are raised to be giveaholics. It is how we succeed. Giving (yang) creates accomplishment, accomplishment creates success, success creates self-respect, and self-respect (balanced yin and yang) allows for inner peace (yin). It works conceptually, but in that cycle we lose the capacity to enjoy the ride and often do not get to the planned end result. When we overgive, we do not find peace. We find burnout.

How do we avoid burnout? By receiving in balance with how much we give. You have to put into your pot to get value out of it. You have to walk the talk of this medicine.

Seven Ways to Receive Chi

  1. Find a photo of someone you enjoy looking at. It might be someone you know, but it also could be out of a magazine or online source. Look into the eyes of that person and allow yourself to receive from their gaze. Let the energy from that person come into you and feed you. I had a photo of several models from an advertisement whose bodies and faces I would gaze at throughout my workday. I took a deep breath and relaxed as I let their chi nourish mine.
  2. Experience delicious hugs with friends and loved ones, during which you allow yourself to feel the gift of someone else's energy coming in to you and nourishing you. Don't rush through hugs. Absorb them like a sponge.
  3. Spend five minutes of quiet with your eyes closed (to make your liver happier) and your ears open to beautiful music (kidneys like that) between patients. Chi comes in and out through all the holes of the body. The more holes you close, the more self-contained you are and the better you can recycle chi in your body. If you keep your holes open consciously, take positive energy in through them.
  4. Budget your time and finances for self-healing. Take 3 percent of your gross and use it to pay people to heal you. Let others stick pins into you, give you massages, and take good care of you on a regular basis. This is the "walking your talk" part.
  5. Chew each bite 10 times before you swallow it. And sit while you eat. Duh!
  6. Breathe three times deeply into your dan tien before you enter each treatment room.
  7. Fill in the blank here. What do you tell your patients to do when creating balance in their lives? Well, doctor, heal thyself!

Remember, peacefulness (yin) leads to motivation, which leads to enthusiasm, which leads to accomplishment (yang), success and inner peace. Isn't that the way you want your energetic spirals to flow?

If you have questions or comments, please contact me at .

Click here for more information about Felice Dunas, PhD.


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