Monday, December 6, 2010

Sawada Ryu Moxibustion (and thoughts on running myself ragged)

On Saturday I attended the moxibustion seminar at KSSK.  It was really fun!  I am excited to be learning more about the healing arts and to learn some of the points on various energy meridians.  I am going to practice on Derek today and hopefully even a little on myself and see what it feels like.

Moxibustion is the art of applying heat to different energy points to restore energy there.  The method that we learned was Sawada Ryu, which uses moxa in small threads to direct the heat deep down below the skin in a straight line.  In this way it can help replenish yin energy as well as yang energy.

I now have my own starter moxa kit.  It includes moxa, which is the fuzz brushed off of mugwort leaves, hollow bamboo sticks to cap the burning moxa and make sure it goes out before burning the patient, purple cloud plum ointment to attach the moxa to the body and also to soothe the skin after treatment in case of too much heat, incense sticks to light the moxa with and to further soothe the senses during treatment, two wooden planks to roll the moxa into threads, and a lighter.  I want to make a better case for all of these items but for now its paper bag will do.

We learned a kata for bolstering the constitution in winter.  The points help with feeling centered and rested and help to cultivate yin which has been depleted through overwork.  I am hoping to learn how to do it well on Derek and teach him to do this for me, so we can both feel better this winter.  I am definitely exhausted and I know he is too.  I don't think either of us have stopped to rest much in the last several years.  I certainly haven't.

I think a big challenge in learning to do this well will be learning anatomy better.   I never took an anatomy class and I suppose now is a good time to start.  Locating the points requires knowledge of where all of the bones are and being able to feel them and the surrounding tendons and muscles.  Also challenging is learning how to hold the moxa, incense and bamboo all at once and move seemlessly through lighting and putting out each pillar of moxa.  I was lucky enough to try it out at the seminar. Though it felt awkward, I am sure with practice it becomes a lot more natural of a motion, rather like learning to tattoo was very awkward at first.  Fortunately I am no longer scared of touching people's bodies and understand about applying pressure in the touch so that the application doesn't tickle and actually places the moxa where it needs to go.

My cold is still hanging on and I am still very drained.  More than likely my whole experience of this sickness is an extension of how generally bedraggled I let myself become over the last few years.  I keep feeling impatient about how fast I want to get better and start doing all this amazing new stuff that I am learning about.  I think I need to remember that it took me years to get this tired and confused, and it could take me years to get out of that state.  Just because I want to train myself in new disciplines and read lots of new books doesn't mean I instantly have the time and energy to do it all.  And I still have obligations to live up to.  I can't drop my whole life in order to pick up a new discipline for living a better life.  The integration of what is and has been with the new stuff is the key, and I'd do well to find ways to do this.

Making it to classes has so far been difficult not only because of sickness but also because my work schedule overlaps all of the class times.  :(  I can modify my schedule over time to allow myself the joy of classes, but for now I need to keep working and make sure I am not shucking work responsibilities.  And, training when I am honestly near collapse due to breathing difficulties and the exhaustion of kicking this bug is not a great idea.  I can feel bad about it all I want, it won't make it a good idea to tattoo for four hours and then train for one and a half on the remains of what energy I have at that point.  On Saturday I took the seminar for two hours, then ran to the studio and tattooed for two hours, then felt ready to pass out.

I have not been good at my lesson for the week which was to pace myself.  I keep thinking I am doing it, but I am not.  I continually overestimate what I am capable of getting done without getting tired.  I have become used to getting it all done regardless of how tired or hurt I am, and now I expect to continue to get the same amount done without the exhaustion that follows.  Maybe I should be impressed by how much I can choose to ignore and forge on ahead when I will to do so.  But I am starting to have a different opinion of it now.  Now it feels like it's a sure way to slowly kill myself because I have so many balls in the air that I feel I can't stop tossing them all.

I feel like if I let anything slide, it reflects on me as a failure for giving up.  If I stop pushing so hard with work I might be seen by my workers as disinterested in the studio or lose their respect because they have become used to a pace of continual expansion and reaching for more and more ways to relate to the public. I really want to stop pushing and just rest for a while and let it catch up to where it can be for now.  I am afraid that resting will be seen as disinterest and giving up on all of the things we were pushing for.

At home, I am afraid that if I stop pushing at trying to get the place ready to sell in the Spring, it will be one more project that never sees completion.  Everything will get halfway done and then sit in a worse state then it was to begin with.

With KSSK, I worry that because I can't actually show up as much as I want to I will miss out on learning lots of things that would be good to know or could help out with the way I am currently easily upset by expectations all the time.

I have worry about all kinds of silly things, like my second website I was so excited about writing but let slide for four months now.  I have been hesitant to get back into it because it will take a lot of time and thought, but maybe I need to work on the studio more, and KSSK more, and the paintings for the acupuncture charts.

If I stop the panic, almost none of these things actually need to be done.  The charts need to be done and will actually assist in learning more about KSSK, which is two good things caught up in one action.  Yay for me!  Work must become calmer with less pushing because there is not the business for it, and as long as I keep up with my clients and obligations to them there is no need to be upset or keep pushing there.  The season will come for that, but because we pushed too long too early on, it might even be a year away instead of just a season away this time.  We have to catch up.  The new website is my own pleasure, so doesn't need to be done on anyone's timeline but my own.  The house will sell when it sells.  That too can wait.  It's getting my panicky mind to agree on these points that isn't coming easy.

Happily, this afternoon is mine to do with what I wish.  I slept (or at least lay in bed) for 12 hours last night, which was very helpful.  Derek just got home and I will practice on him for a bit.  And this evening I have a massage with Shawn - yahoo!  I'll be back to myself in no time.

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