I’ve been reading a good book recently called The Nature Fix by Florence Williams. In it, she explores many of the different aspects of nature and how it relates to health. I am not that far into the book yet, just a few chapters, but it is rather fascinating. The second chapter follows her journey into the western desert of America with a bunch of brain researchers to brainstorm ideas on how to research nature’s effect on stress and the brain. The following quote really spoke to me, as she quotes it from author Daniel Levitin in The Organized Mind:
“ The average American owns thousands of times more possessions than the average hunter-gatherer. In a real biological sense, we have more things to keep track of than our brains were designed to handle.” (Williams p.46)
It’s a great point both authors bring up. As nomads, we would have owned a handful of things. A weapon or two, and kitchen utensil/cooking item or two, and maybe a keepsake of a family member. Just looking around my desk, I have easily a hundred different small items ranging from pictures to gemstones to plants, to papers I swore were important years ago and haven’t looked at since.
A call for minimalism… Two Mondays ago, I made my first post for something I’m calling minimalism monday. With it, I’ll track certain items I donate or throw away over the weekend. As much as it does pain me to throw certain things away and not dispose of them properly, some things simply need to go into the landfill as they don’t have an easily donatable option. Minimalism, in my view of it, is more about playing defense (reducing and reusing) than it is about playing offense (recycling). If I don’t buy product x, then the parent company’s sales will go down, then maybe they’ll stop producing the product, which is probably bad for the environment. EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND SPEAKS TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN!
The Small Intestine as the organ of defense… The Small Intestine in acupuncture is the organ of scrutiny and uptake. When you pick up a candy bar, the first thing that happens is that you have to determine “what is this?” After scrutinizing it, and determining its parts, you must decide, “do I want this in me?” Both aspects are important. You may scrutinize it as “junk food” or you may scrutinize it as “brain food.” No lie, I one time had an in-class essay when I was in middle school and the teacher passed out candy as brain food for during the test. After scrutiny comes uptake. “It’s junk food, but I’m so depressed I need it.” “It’s brain food, but I can’t afford it.” Scrutiny and uptake are separate and independent of each other. There is no right or wrong, just decisions and outcomes.
One point to balance the Small Intestine… There are many points that can help balance the Small Intestine. Here is a powerful one that works on many energetic levels.
SI 3 – Sensory Sorter
SI 3 in two sentences… When the combination of scrutiny and perspective are both imbalanced, humans will live in their own world. Bring them back to reality by empowering the senses to see and hear the truth.
Location… Found just below the head of the lateral 5th metacarpal.
Commentary… Humans tend to obscure perceptions of themselves by being caught up in the moment and not taking a step back and looking at the overall picture. SI 3 helps to sort through the complexity of that vision of self and allows for an authentic view of the Heart and soul. As the Wood point on a Fire meridian, SI 3 has a strong ability to empower proper perspective as it correlates to the senses. One symptom of an imbalanced Small Intestine is the inability to sort out sounds, meaning everything blurs together. The Small Intestine and the Fire element tends to correlate to the sense of hearing while the Wood element tends to correlate to the sense of sight. That is why SI 3 is “Sensory Sorter”, because it is a place where the Wood element within the Fire element can be strengthened, and perspective can be added to the Small Intestine. Wood points on Fire meridians are also tonification points for those organs, helping to strengthen them. As well, the influence of the Small Intestine can be strengthened within the Wood element, allowing for better scrutiny in the sense of sight. Everyone has experienced the phenomenon of look-but-don’t-see, and an imbalanced Small Intestine has a lot to do with that. The scrutiny is poor, so there’s vision but no discretion.