New Years – The Holiday of Rebranding

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November 27, 2017
Acupuncture Systems vs. Theories of Energy Flow
January 16, 2020

writer’s note* This article was supposed to be posted closer to Jan 1st but technical issues caused the delay.

It was 7:05pm on New Year’s Day and my wife and I were about to make the hardest yet most unimportant decision of the day. What should we watch tonight? We had been up late the night before and out all afternoon visiting family with our two young children. They were just in bed and for a rare moment, we snuggled and spaced out looking at our phones. We both wanted that movie that hit the spot; the one that was stupid enough AND we had already seen. This way, we didn’t have to pay attention to every detail but could still enjoy it. 

We settled on Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle as it checked both boxes, plus, it had been enough years since our most recent viewing that it would be a bit fresh. It was, as predicted, basic. There wasn’t much nuance. Two young stoners go on a journey for that perfect meal and get into impossible situations that only Hollywood could create. There were cameos, over-the-top characters, a few laughs, and many scenarios that my wife and I picked apart. 

Then it happened. The true story of the movie hit me in the face like the branch that knocked Harold off the cheetah he was riding, and after being passed out on the ground for a half hour, he woke up WITHOUT a massive concussion or a headache. This movie wasn’t about food or weed, it was about rebranding. Harold had no self-confidence and it bled into every phase of his life. This was highlighted by his work bullies and the hot girl on his floor who he has a big crush on but can’t speak to. Kumar was a medical prodigy in a family of doctors, shown by the scene in which he got pulled into an ER room to stabilize a gun-shot victim with a collapsed lung (insane right?!). He was avoiding medical school and had no plans in life. 

The movie ended predictably. When they hit rock bottom and almost admit defeat, Harold and Kumar realize that getting to White Castle is more than just about eating, it’s about attaining a goal and working hard for it. So they steal a car, avoid the cops, hang glide, and land at White Castle like they were delivered by a drone. After eating an insane amount of food, the universe grants them all the situations they needed to overcome and correct the faults of the night. With that massive endorphin rush of grasping ahold of the prize, they each have epiphanies and decide to change the course of life. Kumar gives into going to medical school, and Harold stands up to his work bully and kisses the girl. What a happy ending. 

Why is this movie perfectly timed for New Years Day?… January 1st is a holiday of rebranding. People make resolutions with the best of intentions to keep them. They breathe a sigh of relief that the past is officially the past. The artificial deadline 12am on January 1st gives every a renewed sense of hope and it’s completely understandable. This phenomenon happens all the time in professional sports, where a month ends and a player completely turns it around to play better or worse. There is no difference between the last days of one month and the first days of another, but it STILL makes a difference. The crazy night that Harold and Kumar have also mirrors the craziness of New Years Eve. People stay up late and burn off all the stress from the year before, celebrating that they’ve become that new person they’ve always wanted to be. 

Some helpful acupoints for New Years… This is not an article about how to keep your resolution. This is not an article about the best changes to make for next year. This is an article about rebranding and moving forward in life. Stimulating certain acupoints can help you make this desired rebranding. Below, I’ve laid out a few different acupoints and HOW they can help shift energy. Note that for each acupoint, I’ll use it’s technical location name (organ and number) and a name that helps to describe the energetic shifts it helps someone make. I’ve created the names of the acupoints in accordance to some basic information anyone can look up about them.

Two points for Harold… who needs one moment of bravery to stand up to his work bullies and talk to the person he has a crush on. Once he achieves this, no matter what the outcome, he will be able to progress in life.

UB 11 – Structural Integrity

Point Facts:

  1. Meeting of Bones
  2. Sea of Blood
  3. Intersects with Gallbladder, Small Intestine, Triple Warmer and Governing Vessel

UB 11 in two sentences… Life has a tendency to knock people down. Stand up, find strength, and fight back!

Location… Found about one inch lateral to the base of the first thoracic vertebrae

Quick Commentary… As the “meeting of bones”, UB 11 has a strong influence on the structure of the body. Mostly, this is used to drive energy toward bones, as in helping to physically strengthen bones or help broken bones heal. Energetically, the bones provides a base and the strength to stand up straight and have integrity. UB 11, especially being at the top of the spine, helps people to stand confidently, and solidly defend what they believe in. As a urinary bladder point, UB 11 will also help balance fear, which is a typical block to confidence and this defense of beliefs. Harold needed the strength of his bones to find his integrity and get over his fear in order to stand up to his bullies and talk to his crush.

KDY 21 – Moment of Truth

Point Facts:

  1. Upper most point of the Chong Mai

KDY 21 in two sentences… The end of the journey is near, there’s just one more small task. Unfortunately, this small task requires great strength.

Location… Found a half inch lateral of the tip of the xiphoid. Though I always go lower since many patient’s rib angle is too steep to needle there safely, so I go a bit lower.

Quick Commentary… Moment of Truth represents those moments in life that require great bravery and strength for only a short amount of time. This could represent: asking for a raise, asking your crush on a date, or standing up to your bully. A good TV example is in the beach episode of The Office when Pam walks across the coals, and in the moment of ecstasy gets all the stressers off her chest. By performing these short yet difficult acts of life, we are able to move on and no longer remain in limbo. As a water point, KDY 21 also represents the fears in life that inhibit us from leaping through these small moments. Once Harold grasped that fear and used it to drive him, he was able to achieve the things he wanted.

Two points for Kumar… who needs to get out of his own way, accept the responsibility of his gifted talents, and progress forward in life.

GB 31 – Pressure from Below

Point Facts:  

  1. Vastus Lateralis trigger point 

GB 31 in two sentences… Pressure can come from outside and pressure can come from inside. Both are equally able to create anxiety, pain and other symptoms.

Location… Find GB 31 by standing up straight and putting your arms by your side. Where your hand falls, palpate for tenderness. That is GB 31.  

Quick Commentary… Wind is a pathogen in Chinese medicine that represents all sorts of symptoms: pain, shaking disorders, hives, cold and flu like symptoms, and many others. GB 31 is classically a wind-releasing point, especially for those symptoms on the lower body. Here, I’m referencing it because of pressure. Wind and air pressure can feel the same, and releasing pressure, especially as it builds within oneself, can allow people to feel the freedom they seek within the constraints of life. For Kumar, he needed to let go his self-induced pressure of what he perceived to be the constraints of the life of a doctor to accept his talents.

SI 11 – Unblocked Biases

Point Facts:  

  1. Trigger Point for the Infraspinatus

SI 11 in two sentences… Life provides experience that lingers in the form of bias. Clear the bias, and judge life from a fresh and objective perspective.

Location… Found in the center of the shoulder blade/infraspinatus muscle.

Quick Commentary… The Small Intestine has two major functions: scrutiny and uptake. The location of this point gives it an effect on clearing the deepest biases in life, enabling us to discern parts of life with clarity. For Kumar, he was scrutinizing being a doctor through a certain lens that made him not want to uptake that life into his self. Once he cleared certain biases about it, that life didn’t seem so foul, and he was able to determine that it was worth the uptake.

The beauty of Chinese medicine is that these aren’t the only points that could have helped Harold and Kumar. There are many that could have similar effects. As well, it could have been different emotional reasons they were stalling in life. These were four points that I felt could have helped them, and could possibly help you. 

How to stimulate these acupoints… There are a few ways to stimulate these acupoints, but for now I’ll talk about two. The first is through acupressure. Find the point, and press down using between 3 and 7 out of 10 pressure. Any finger will work. While pressing, close your eyes and visualize some part of the energy of the point in whatever way comes to mind. Do this until you feel like you’ve had a shift, or until you want to move on. Everyone will need a different amount of time to create a shift. The second way to stimulate the point is with tapping. Find the point, and tap on it while visualizing or while saying a mantra. “I can overcome my obstacles” is a good example of a short and to-the-point mantra. Allow your creativity to come through as you find what works for you.

Happy New Year!

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