Diane says . . .
Listening to the body can greatly impact a treatment. I have felt the profound effects, and these experiences have motivated me to persist in practicing the Engaging Vitality palpation techniques.
I received my first experience as a patient. I was being treated in the SIOM student clinic when Marguerite Dinkins, as supervisor, listened to the push-pull of an inserted needle. Marguerite then informed the student practitioner that the needle needed to be inserted 1 more millimeter. The point location was correct but the depth of the needle was not where it needed to be, to fully engage with the channel pathway. After the needle was adjusted, I could instantly feel the channel opening up and my lower abdomen warm up. The correct needle depth opened up what was blocked. Who knew that 1 millimeter would make such a difference? I imagine this is like getting a new house key made, if the angles and depth of the new key "teeth" are not precise, it is much more difficult getting the door open to get into the house. This was the moment I realized that Engaging Vitality palpatory skills could lead to very powerful and effective treatments.
The second experience I had also left a similarly lasting impression on me. I was in Module 2, Dan Bensky was helping us to further refine our palpatory skills. Our small group needled 2 points on the patient that we found through our Engaging Vitality palpation. The Yang Rhythm (quality of the movement of Qi) had improved and was greater and smoother. Dan then proceeded to needle reliable ST36. To my surprise, the Yang Rhythm changed. The movement of the Qi was no longer big and smooth. I couldn't feel it anymore. The first 2 points had affected positive change but the body was now telling us that ST36 was agitating it. It is one thing to hear Dan and Marguerite tell us to not over treat but to experience it under my own hand and by having the patient's body tell me directly was a very clear and strong message. The patient also reported that although she did not feel the insertion of the needle into ST36, her body did not feel right.
It was very powerful to experience firsthand the profound effects of using Engaging Vitality to guide a treatment, both as a patient and as a practitioner. The empirical successes have encouraged me to keep practicing, to fine tune my techniques and to improve my sense of touch.
SIEAM (Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine) graduate.