Finding The Way Through: Treating Psycho-Social Trauma With Acupuncture • Qi034

by Michael Max | With guest, Will Morris

Physiology does not forget. Our experience in life effects and shapes our body, our habits and perception. We develop ways to compensate for the difficulties wrought from traumas and unmetabolized experience  in life, but when stressed those compensations don't work so well. That's when symptoms and long held patterns of dysfunction show up asking for our attention.

In this episode we discuss how the work of Wilhelm Reich is helpful when considering the treatment of emotional trauma, along with perspectives of Dr. Hammer and Dr. Shen. We also touch in on the importance of having a tolerance for ambiguity and paradox, the various aspects of 神 Shen (Spirit), and some ways of using the pulse to better understand the differences between a patient’s agitated and compensated state.

Listen in to this discussion that bridges East Asian medicine and Western psychology.

Show Highlights

  • How Will got started with treating trauma
  • Willem Reich and the power of breath
  • Take the pulse during an emotionally charged moment to get a clearer sense of how the patient’s physiology is communicating about that experience
  • Considering the spirit aspect of the zang in treatment of trauma
  • Attending to pulses with an eye toward the five spirits
  • Seeing through our disbelief
  • Are we using the pulse to guide or to confirm?
  • Eight extraordinary pulses lay outside the usual trajectory of the radial artery
  • Cozying up to ambiguity and paradox
  • Being cautious about basing our identity on clinical outcomes

Follow the pulse during intake so that as issues arise, the physiological response to that issue can be mapped. If you are conversant with the pulses of the eight extraordinary vessels, it is a great help! It is important to know how the patient is responding at a deep level to their experience, but also, the way they are responding to our treatments

The guest of this show 

I love working at the intersection of music, medicine, and magic. I was playing drums in a jazz-funk band on the road where I was exposed to astrology and decided to leave the road for another adventure. Met Ron Teeguarden and was exposed to Daoist three treasures and tonic herbalism. I am a huge fan of where western herbalists live in conscious communication with the plant teachers who bring about wisdom and healing to humans who have been on this planet for a fraction of the time that our plant brothers and sisters have.

Along the lines of plant communication – I record music and improvisation with plants using a biofeedback-to-music converter. Here is an example: I use these sounds to enhance plant spirit journey work combined with acupuncture. I also just moved to British Columbia interior to be with my wife who is a sound healer. BC also allows me to be in a more direct relationship with the plants I use for healing.

I love theory and transdisciplinary works. My practice feeds into teaching and writing. Oh – I have two earned doctorates, developed to IRBs and led the AAAOM to a single national association and led AOMA Graduate Education to regional accreditation as a level IV doctoral degree-granting institution.

Links and Resources

For more information on the Neoclassic Pulse work that Will teaches, visit the website.
Kootenay Sound Healing, the website of Theresa Lee.
Will's writing, over on the big river of books.
Read Volker Scheid's excellent book on the Currents  in Traditional Chinese Medicine that focuses on the Menghe doctors.
Will's book Transformation: Treating Trauma with Acupuncture goes into the details and methods that we touched on in this conversation.

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