Stagnant blood is the somatic version of unresolved emotional conflicts.
Who doesn’t have any of those? No attachment to having your way? Don’t think your way is the right way? Well, I don’t believe contemporary people come close to that stringent standard of spiritual liberation. We have too much apparent (temporal) power, and generally fail to differentiate clearly between what we can and can’t control. Yet, our embodied spirits also know they have to put those unresolved issues aside, so we can get on with life. Ever wonder where those finished issues go?
The embodied spirit uses its key function of embodiment to displace unresolved spiritual issues into the body.
Among a broader range of unresolved spiritual conflicts, emotional conflicts have specific “targets,” and are displaced into the blood. Chapter 10 of the Língshū (靈樞), The Spiritual Axis, instructs that the embodied spirit (jīngshén (精神)) stores such blood stagnation in the luò (絡) vessels, which that important chapter notes are the only visible acupuncture channels. Learning to diagnose and treat luò (絡) vessels is among the simplest ways to begin working with the channels (in contrast to the modern acupuncture approach, which focuses on specific points and point combinations).
[Note: Other spiritual conflicts (without clear targets) are often displaced into one or more vital fluids, and are stored in the channel divergences. These are not visible, and learning to treat them requires considerably more study. Learn more about the theory and clinical application of the channels and vessels.]
Treating luo vessels can assist the embodied spirit in moving blood stagnation out of the system
Often blood stagnation accumulates for years, before it eventually progresses into overt disease. While venting out that accumulation doesn’t actually change the underlying pathogenic process (of accumulating unresolved emotional conflict), it can substantially reduce the load. Since most luò (絡) vessels flow into the chest, their filling frequently compromises the axis of qì (氣) – in the chest. Thus, releasing stagnant blood facilitates the flow of all post-natal qì (氣) — the vital functions of life.
Each of the five systems of channels and vessels fills a key role in sustaining individual life
Each system of channels and vessels exhibits distinctive pathological processes, and responds to specific clinical procedures. The luò (絡) fill with stagnant blood (unfulfilled and somatized emotional conflict), until they overflow to empty back into the primary channels, which leads to a progression of pathology. A one-day study of the luò (絡) is included in the five weekend series of seminars on the systems of channels, which introduces Nèijīng (內經)-style acupuncture.