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4_Summer_Fire_2012Oriental Medicine Journal, Summer/Fire 2012

Most of us memorized the Antique Points in order to pass various exams required for licensure, but how many of us really understand what they are and how to use them? The sixty Antique Points, also known as Command Points or Inner Phase Points, are one of the oldest systems of acupuncture. They are deeply interwoven in the correspondences we associate with the Five Phases diagnostic and treatment system.

In this issue, and in two more to follow, Dennis Willmont takes us on an excursion through the Inner Phase Points and their correspondences. In Part I, Willmont focuses on the cosmological, physiological, and psycho-spiritual and psycho-emotional correlations, using the Fire element as his example, as is fitting for this time of year. Most of us are familiar with the characteristics of the Five Phases, but each Phase can be further subdivided into the five Phases. Willmont takes us to this deeper level, focusing on Wood within Fire, again fitting, as we move from Spring into Summer. His goal is to help us use the Inner Phases for diagnosis and treatment, so he shows us how Wood within Fire would look as Excess, as Deficiency, and in Balance. In addition, he compares and contrasts the TCM and Five Phase point functions of the Wood within Fire points, demonstrating how these two traditions (TCM and Five Phases) can complement each other.

In later issues, Willmont will explore Inter-Phase Relationships (Part II) of Wood within Fire, particularly with regard to Root and Branch treatment methods using One, Two, and Four Needle Techniques; and in Part III, he will present Advanced Four Needle Technique.

As I write this, we are approaching the Summer Solstice in the Year of the Water Dragon. Without doubt, we have seen plenty of bold and grandiose Dragon energy so far this year. As I noted in my New Year editorial, our profession is under assault. We have been experiencing grandiose attacks, such as the attempt in Illinois by an out of state former chiropractor to train massage therapists to practice acupuncture in a weekend course plus distance learning totaling 120 hours. Bold, indeed, and grandiose, and coming to your state. This is a year to be bold in return and claim what is ours, fearlessly.

As we enter the Fire Phase of the yearly cycle, we can take inspiration from Dennis Willmont’s description of Fire energy as intelligent and mature. Willmont says in this issue, “Using intelligence to guide your life leads to growth and maturity as life goes on.” Not only are AOM practitioners intelligent, but we reap many benefits in terms of brain neuroplasticity by the fact that we move facilely between Eastern and Western styles of thinking throughout our daily activities. It is imperative that we use that facility to safeguard our profession.

The Dragon is an auspicious symbol of success and happiness, and Water makes the Dragon more perceptive and able to make smart decisions. It is up to us to take advantage of the calming effect that Water has on this year’s Dragon, and to make sure that our profession succeeds – rather than fails – on a grand scale.

May you be inspired by Fire.