The next EV I'm going to discuss is the Chong, For all of you who didn't read the previous post, EVs are Extraordinary Vessels-very deep wells of energy that course through the body. During a Japanese-style acupuncture session, I can palpate your abdomen along the pathways of these vessels and find out which ones are out of balance. The Chong has a lot to do with blood; in fact, it is referred to as the "Sea of Blood." Now remember, pain is a form of stagnation of either qi or blood, so when there is pain, we want the blood and qi to get moving. Some treatments are more "moving" than others, and the Chong is one of them, so it is often used for pain conditions.

When I touch your abdomen during treatment, the area under your ribs (especially on the right) may be very tender or tight to the touch. This is indicative of a Chong pattern. The area down the sides of your body, from armpit to the end of the ribcage, may be reactive as well if this pattern is present.

Since the Chong controls the blood, it is often used for gynecological issues. It also is often used when there are problems with digestion. In fact, one of the two acupuncture points we use to access this pattern is P6, a point between the two tendons on the wrists, about 1 1/2 inches from the bracelets of fortune. This point is commonly used for nausea, especially during pregnancy. Years ago, I remember buying wristbands for a pregnant friend that were designed to stimulate this point and relieve morning sickness.

It is said that the blood is what nourishes the body hair and causes it to grow abundantly. Women lose blood every month through menstruation, so they are naturally more deficient in blood than men. This is why men have more body hair. So, if a woman develops a 'stache or a beard, it is a sign that there is a disorder of the blood. This seems to indicate that the Chong also has a connection with hormonal issues-especially since this pattern also affects the breasts, pubic region, and perineum.

The Chong can also be used to treat the heart. It is commonly used for palpitations. However, bear in mind that the organ systems in Chinese medicine always have a mental component as well as the physical. This means that the Chong can also be utilized to treat emotional symptoms of a heart imbalance, such as insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness.