I had an interesting experience with the SJ-Liver pair this month. You know how we often discuss how the precise location of the ‘boundary’ between internal and external pertaining to the wet and dry characteristics of the Lung-Stomach pair is not straightforward? Sometimes, dry eyes or dry mouth (for example) can be dry on the outside and sometimes it can be dry on the inside, etc etc.
I have always assumed the same kind of ‘boundary’ is much more straightforward in the Liver-SJ pair; that focus on the inside (Liver Excess) really means focus on the interior concerns of the patient with no regard for the external environment and focus on the outside (SJ Excess) really means focus on the external environment. For example, one set of questions I often ask to shed light on this aspect is how attentive a patient is to the order and detail in their home and work environment (assuming that excessive concern and attention to this signifies a SJ Excess). Clinic recently showed me this may need to be fine tuned!
This month I had a patient who on her third session, I felt needed a Liver+ treatment. She returned the following week reporting that after that treatment, she became very focussed on longstanding disorder at home in her kitchen, her bathroom, her living room. She became very motivated and cleaned and ordered things she had allowed to become very disorderly over the months and years. She said this motivation and drive to do this was very clear and pronounced after the treatment. It got me thinking much more fluidly about where that SJ-Liver boundary between internal and external focus is to be located . . . . in her case, I am presuming that her most immediate personal domestic environment (her own bathroom, kitchen, living room) are, in fact, part of her domain of ‘internal focus’ and when I supplemented her Liver system, she became engaged with that immediate personal environment that I had mistakenly been assuming was always in the ‘external’, outwardly focussed domain of the San Jiao .