Oriental Medicine Journal Summer/Fire 2010
Summer – a time of expansive growth and effervescence! The yang energy of the season creates a palpable and audible hum of activity. Our ears are filled with the sounds of nature, from the staccato of the woodpecker to the low drone of the bumble bee, as well as the sounds of human activity, such as the growling of air conditioner condensers and the louder-than-usual chugging of train engines in the humid air. My childhood memories of summer will always include the buzzing of single-engine aircraft.
Mars, the planet of energy and action, shows itself in the summer night sky at sunset. Its element is Fire, and it reminds us of enthusiasm, qi, and the spark of life. In Oriental Medicine, the Fire element rules the Heart; and the Heart is the Upper Burner of the Triple Warmer organ system. The Heart is known as the Ruler, responsible for keeping calm in the kingdom. Disturbances of the Heart can have widespread effects throughout the body-mind-spirit, affecting everything from the emotions to the circulation and the very rhythm of life itself.
So it makes sense that, at this Fire time of the year, we should look at vibrational influences in healing. The use of vibration and sound for healing purposes is surprisingly widespread. Cats purr at a frequency that is optimal for healing. Native American and Hawaiian shamans use drums for healing. Singing bowls are used in Tibetan medicine for meditation and healing. I use a Chinese massage needle to create vibrations that help me realign bones. We even find that sustained contraction of skeletal muscles creates low frequency sound (Oster & Jaffe, 1980).
Our first article in this issue is a fascinating exploration of the San Jiao (or Triple Warmer, Triple Burner, Triple Heater), an organ unique to Oriental Medicine, by Richard “Kyo” Mitchell, a faculty member at Bastyr University. Mitchell discusses current Western science research that appears to validate the Chinese notion that the Triple Warmer is a single organ. This is an exciting example of how Oriental Medicine and Western Medicine can benefit from each other’s concepts, methods, and research.
Past issues of Oriental Medicine Journal have explored the use of tuning forks on acupuncture points as a healing modality of Oriental Medicine. In the current issue, we delve deeper into this use of vibration to promote healing. Donna Carey, Ellen Franklin, and their colleagues at the Kairos Institute of Sound Healing, share with the readers of OMJ a preview from their second book, Acutonics From Cells to Galaxies, Planetary Science, Harmony, and Medicine.
Their chapter on Mars and its unique energy is reprinted here. Though it is beyond the scope of this issue to explain the Acutonics method of treating with tuning forks, practitioners will acquire a flavor for the character of Mars energy and how to recognize it in their patients. The chapter begins with a thorough discussion of Mars as an astronomical entity and as a source of myth. Practitioners already familiar with Acutonics will find examples at the end of the chapter, illustrating how to use Mars energy in treatments. Practitioners not familiar with Acutonics will find a brief overview beginning on p. 10, immediately preceding the chapter. Additional articles on Acutonics can be found in back issues of OMJ, which are available for purchase on the OMJ website. References for these articles are listed below.
Carey, D., & MichelAngelo. Sedna: The Mysteries,Miracles and Infinite Capacity of Water. Oriental Medicine Journal, 2006, 14(2),Water/Winter, 6-17.
Franklin, E., & Carey, D. Earth: Myths, Archetypes, and Healing Correspondences in the Acutonics® Healing System. Oriental Medicine Journal, 2008, 16(5), Earth/Late Summer, 5-19.
Oster, G., & Jaffe, J.S. Low Frequency Sounds from Sustained Contraction of Human Skeletal Muscle. Biophysical Journal, 1980, 30, 119-128.
Storey, C.B. Oriental Medicine, Harmonic Vibration and Planetary Responsibility. Oriental Medicine Journal, 2004, 12(5), Earth/Late Summer, 5-13.
Wadden, S. Acutonics®: A Harmonic Approach to Oriental Medicine. Oriental Medicine Journal, 2003, 11(3), Fire/Summer, 5-9