Acupuncture: the good use of time to heal

“Aion”, “Chronos”, “Kaïros”, Greek thought developed very well what time is, or rather times. Let us learn from this thought. There are Aion, the passage of time : a second follows the previous one and that in a perpetual flow. This is the Chinese hourglass or clepsydra, who very early sought to “measure” time. Aiôn is counted from the moment of our first breath to our last breath. There are Chronosthe cyclic time. The seasons, sunrise and sunset belong to Chronos. A disease that recurs at or near a fixed date is a chronic illness. And there is an obvious proximity between this god Chronos and a chronic disease ! Finally, there is Kairosthe time of the coincidenceof the Jungian synchronicity, “doing the right thing at the right time”. It is the time when man no longer lets his own time slip away through his hands but accepts it and becomes responsible for it. He becomes an actor of his health and does not rely on the judgment of the gods or others.

In the chinese thought and particularly in its approach to health through acupuncture, what is the “measurer” of time? It’s the large intestine. Let’s try to see how this manifests itself.

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The passing of time and therefore agingwe said, is Aion. In intestines, villi are like slides of life and death. The cell grows “up” along the villus and dies “down”. This cell-wide cycle of life and death can repeat itself about 50 times (Hayflick limit). By duplicating itself, the cell takes energy at the end of the DNA strand, the telomere, which gradually loses its length. The minimum length being that of Hayflick. When the latter is reached, the cell enters senescence. This leads to aging but also immune senescence and therefore vulnerability to viral attacks. Another phenomenon also interesting the intestines is its microbiota. This one is varied, but the older we get, the more its diversity is restricted, to the point of achieving homogeneity of the microbiota. It is clear then that the intestinal time becomes a disease provider. The Chinese understood this very quickly by choosing to treat the large intestine (GI) a very special acupuncture point, the 5 GI Zhong Kui (Yang Xi), associated with the Big Dipper. Indeed, this constellation, also called the northern Boisseau, indicates by its daily rotation around the sky the passing of time.

The clepsydra, a clock in two pots with three movements

The Chinese very early tried to measure time. The water clock, a water clock, consisted of two earthenware pots, one placed above the other. The first, filled with water with a hole in the bottom, flowed into the second, which was graduated and calibrated to the night course of the stars. This allowed the Chinese to determine the rotation of the Earth on itself (24 hours) and that around the sun (23 h 56 min). And even more, the speed of propagation of energy and breath in the acupuncture meridians.

the Chronos time, is chronic and cyclical. It’s the time of chinese five seasons represented by the four “classic” seasons interspersed with four off-seasons which allow the smooth transition from one season to another. These seasons are the cosmological and energetic model of traditional acupuncture. But who says cyclical also says chronic diseases, which return, such as spring allergies. A point of large intestine is attributed to this cyclical finding, 13 GI Ou Li (Wou Li). Wou, it’s five, and Lithese are irrigation channels, a role once again assigned to the intestines. The rule about this point is not to prick it more than five times on the same individual in its lifetime.. It is a notable fact that if we have to act more than five times, it means that we have not solved the problem and that our patient is still dependent on this disease which reappears with each cycle.

the Kairos weatherthe one that synchronizes us, is also indicated by a point on the large intestine meridian. It’s about 20 GI, Inn Siang (Yingxiang), reception of perfumes. This point allows us to receive the smells who feed the General Yang of our organism. It seems surprising to talk about this point to address a notion of aging. However, there is a closeness between nose and anusand this from embryogenesis. Both are at the ends of our digestive tract, much like telomeres are at the ends of DNA strands. There is a real relationship between the odors from above, which come in, and those from below, which come out. It is clear that we are attracted to those who awaken our senses and give us pleasure. It is through this that we stimulate serotonin, the hormone of happiness. It can be produced by emotionsbut we now know that these are hyperstimulated by smells – see madeleine by M. Proust.

Odors are largely linked to our microbiota. They are more or less strong depending on the amount of bacteria and viruses who work. Fewer bacteria and more stagnation lead to putrefaction and foul odors. The odors received or emitted thus reflect our state of health by through this microbiota. the 20 GI stimulates our symbiote and ultimately our health.

Kairos therefore invites us to take charge of our lives and not be passive in the face of our aging. For example, we can choose to eat differently depending on our age and the odors produced by our body. Certainly, we will grow old and we are still mortal, and so much the better. But it’s all there, in our belly, which is the one who will be on the front line before the disease. In acupuncture, the large intestine indeed produces an energy called Oe (Wei) which allows the human body to defend itself against the invader, whether bacterial or viral.

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Essential problem of our time: no doubt that of time ! Everything is going fast, too fast and we no longer take or give our body time to repair, rearrange, heal. You need medicine for fever, diarrhea, constipation, Crohn’s disease. This last is a inflammatory and especially immune disease. There is no more time for time. All people with Crohn’s are restless, anxious, restless and always busy. Their clock has gone crazy and you have to rediscover the flavor of passing time. A point arouses curiosity, the 26 E (stomach) Oae Ling (Wailing), which means to hit, to violate external time. This point acts on the long intestine, the small intestine. How is time expressed at this point? By an ideogram which explains that the moon is a time marker that we must obey. So you won’t be surprised to learn that 2 GI El Tsienn (Erjian) and 3 GI San Tsienn (Sanjian) – on the large intestine meridian – also tell us about this moon which marks monthly time. Other practices are based on natural cycles, such as scapulomancyof which we use the 50 divination rods in reference to the 50 cycles of the cell !

Yi Jing or divination with a wand

Developed in China more than 3,500 years ago, the Yi Jing or Book of Mutations, system of “divination” called achilleomancy, was done on turtle shells. The shaman interpreted the cracks created by the fire which illuminated the one who came to consult. The shells were then replaced by yarrow sticks that allowed to mount a hexagram, a figure consisting of six superimposed lines. 64 in number, the hexagrams answer all the questions encountered in life.

In a study published in Science*, François Legoux and Olivier Lantz show that some T lymphocytes, recognizing a bacterial compound, need the intestinal bacteria to grow in the thymus. Their experiments indicate that certain gut bacteria secrete this compound which then travels through the body to the thymus, where it is captured and presented to immature T cells. The latter recognize it, mature in response, then increase in number and leave the thymus to position themselves in the mucous membranes, in particular intestinal. The education in the thymus of certain T lymphocytes is therefore based on molecules of the microbiota, which upsets the current paradigm and suggests that the microbiota is an integral part of the immune self.. Sixty percent of our immune cells are in our intestines!

You would have understood it, the intestines are the link between time and disease. I believe, as a therapist for over forty years, that this problem of time is fundamental. It is one of the diseases of the century, and we have a great interest in worrying about it. As much as the air we breathe, which intoxicates us – and it seems useful to do cures of the Jacquier bowl of air to increase our oxygen – and hasas much as our food, which has become too sweet, which modifies the acid-base terrain of our intestines.

In this frantic race forward without letting futility or laziness enter our lives, there is a kind of frenzy going towards our grave. Our intestines are sensitive to this passage of time, to the time we give them and to the fact of sometimes leaving them a little empty. Sixteen-hour fasts relieve them and allow them to rest. This much-deserved rest.

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Nevertheless, the race between our aspirations in our head and the tranquility of our intestines can cause disease. The 56 V (bladder) Tchreng Tsinn (Chengjin) means “to accept the load, to correct the intestines”. The intestines therefore also have the ability to help us in our Ming – destiny –imposed by the weight of education, culture, beliefs. It is our duty to know how to sort out what is good or bad for us. If this sorting is badly carried out, then the impurities go up in our body, creating all kinds of energy disorders.

I hope this quick overview has enabled you to understand the important place of the intestines in the maintenance of health. An imbalance of it, and here is the anguish of time that embraces us and the disease that is positioned not far away, hidden behind our compulsive frenzy.

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Acupuncture: the good use of time to heal

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