Qiological Community

Experience with GB tonification

Since folks have mentioned that GB tonification is needed relatively seldom, I wanted to share a couple of GB experiences.

Early this spring I tried tonifying my Pericardium out of a sense of wanting to oxygenate the chest. This wasn’t the best idea–I’m on the bookish, shy side already–and while the needles were still in I started having palpitations: by which I mean I became uncomfortably aware of my heartbeat and was mildly alarmed. My next treatment I tonified the GB to compensate. I didn’t exactly relax with the needles in, rather I found my nostrils flaring and felt a kind of surly toughness, a confidence that was quite welcome. I went a little overboard and tonified GB twice more over the next 10 day or so. What happened next was illuminating. I “accidentally” (Freudian slip?) made a faux pas on an email thread involving someone with whom I had a complicated relationship and a backlog of latent resentment. The episode made this person really mad and gave us the opportunity to have a confrontation–something I suddenly had the “gall” to do. That was deeply uncomfortable, but I held my ground, and the follow-up conversation ended up being a cathartic emotional detox. Things between us have been smooth since then, better than in years. It’s like an old festering boil came to a head and burst. So, GB for emotional detox seems to be a thing.

I’ve tonified GB on three other people since then. In two cases it’s helped people be more expressive, without however triggering any conflict or that I’m aware of. In the most recent case, two days after treatment the patient reports that, at a recent event, “I was able to scream and feel fury and shake in rage! So fucking awesome!! And using the f word more freely since I saw you! And in my yoga practice was able to access the deep tension held in my solar plexus hips…poses were ecstatic and freeing, all around muscle fiber connective tissue openings.” I suspect there are quite a few out there who could use some help letting pent-up emotion out.


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Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. GB+ sure is powerful and sometimes it is just what is needed. However, it is good to keep in mind how seductive, addictive and excessively righteous that power can become if it doesn’t have enough P to ground it.

This sounds a little over the edge of good GB/P balance to my ears.

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Possibly so re: swinging past the balance point in this case, will be interesting to assess at next visit once things have settled. And agreed on too much GB energy being seductive and problematic. Not wanting to glorify rage at all. But in those who’ve been repressed, I wonder if reaching balance might not necessitate at least a minor eruption in some cases.

Thanks for your thoughts, insightful as always.

Thank-you so much for these cases. I agree that GB + has to be used with caution but I also very much agree that alot of us hold way too much in and are scared of confrontation. I fully support keeping the peace but some of us go far beyond that and hold so much in that it affects our own health negatively. I find your perspective on GB+ refreshing and insightful.

Thanks, Adina. It’s such a great system to be exploring and learning within, isn’t it.

Musing on GB+ treatments……I have had some interesting positive outcomes using GB+ on several people with anxiety, depression, and even reported ‘anger’. I supplement GB when I get a sense that things are too bottled up and they have trouble expressing. I’ve been seeing it as opening up what is stuck deep down.

However I used it last week on a patient who has been having the opposite reactions to what I expect from a treatment. This patient is a 3rd year acupuncture student who I started seeing Spring 2019 and drives out of her way to get the Sa’am treatments (“I’ve had lots of acupuncture but the treatments I get from you are so effective” or something permutation on that thought she’d often share. ) I am so grateful to be practicing a smidge of this Sa’am lineage Thank you Toby,

I should add that this woman is very expressive. She comes across as smiling, happy laughter but underneath there is a sense of uneasiness. She hates chilly weather and loves the summer heat. She is 5’11’, thin, long hair big brown eyes. She receives treatments well and appears to relax on the table deeply. Her MC originally were digestive ieeues and GYN - Sa’am helped tremendously. Starting mid-June we were not having good treatment outcomes as some family issues came up.

6/23 - “Yesterday was out of it. … Very thirsty. … Crazy dreams. … SOB”. Very tight shoulders/trapezius, GB21. Pulse: forceful wiry at surface, right side very strong pulse. Tongue: Tongue: red tip, white coat moderately thick to block tongue color., slight pale, scalloped”

I went with PC+ supplementation as it worked in the past. It took her a while to sink in and when I checked on her at the end her pulse didn’t change much. Her trapezius was still hard. I didn’t have a good feeling about the treatment but she said “I always feel better when I leave here”.
(I wonder what LR+ would have done here - and looking back I should have taken out and perhaps done that when she couldn’t settle)

6/29 - “I am an angry mess…I have been so angry…I’ve had floaters and so many palpitations…I can feel my heart….I have been so thirsty at night”. Digestion has not been great and needs magnesium to have a bowel movement. (this is not unusual for her). Last treatment (PC+) made her more angry.
Pulse: excess, strong. ( I did not note her tongue so probably didn’t look at it)
Even though she is cold I went with a BL+ supplementation thinking she is ‘hyper’.
She seemed to relax as she always does and I assumed it just worked for her because it usually does. But nope obviously the wrong diagnosis……

She had a panic attack after last treatment in addition to period a little early. Today is CD5. “I have not had a panic attack in so long”. “Crazy vivid dreams”. She said chest pain around CV17. Tongue: swollen, scalloped, significant red tip. Pulse: wiry, excess.

Since she is an acupuncture student I asked if she was willing to take a risk as the last few treatments she has not had an expected reaction. She was game. I cautioned her that if she feels like crying to just bawl and gave her tissues. And that if the treatment feels wrong and she is more angry she needs to tell me and I will take out the needles.
So yes I did a GB+ supplementation. As soon as a put in GB44- she said she felt a cool wave over her pelvis that felt really nice. Within 5 minutes “wow I feel so calm”.

I told her to keep in touch with me during the week because if things went sideways she needs to come back in right away or I would tell her what to needle on herself.

That afternoon 7/7 she texted me “I am feeling really good I hope it lasts. The is the best emotionally I have felt in months”.

7/7 email: “I’m thinking more about what you asked if I hold things in… and YES, I absolutely hold so much in. I have so much going on inside and I want to keep it in there and be calm.”

7/8 text “”I AM SO CALM - this is amazing. Zero anger”.

7/8 email: “My family-drama discovery also led me to think about one of the first questions you ever asked me… I would rather discuss it in person if you next week”

710 email: “In practice, is that treatment supposed to bring forth what is being repressed? I can’t stop thinking about the thing I have been trying to forget about.”

7/11 text - “I am still so calm! I love it”

So this was a bit surprising. Red tongue tip, Excess pulse. Saying “I feel so angry, I am so angry”. Yet she is cold. Clearly GB+ was a correct treatment, but I don’t know if I would have gone there with a new patient or one who wasn’t so non-demanding. I know a little bit about her from what she shared and IMO she is not honoring herself as she is a care taker of other’s feeling. Can this be part of a GB deficiency? .

My wife’s work is one about getting to the core of emotions stuck in the body and I am influenced by all she shares. With this patient her 7/8 email about family-drama demonstrates the emotional stuckness leading to the physical issues. But the paradox how she cannot stop thinking about it but she feels calm is fascinating to me. Maybe the GB+ helped her be less attached or worried about others?

My experience with the flavor of Sa’am that Toby is teaching us is that it can be an incredibly effective method to get at deep emotional issues that I have never experienced with other styles. I am getting how the GB+ treatment can be so powerful when used appropriately.


Really interesting, George, thanks for writing this up. I followed up with my swearing GB patient and have a bit more perspective on his case now. Subjectively he had an “amazing week” following the treatment, with some real emotional catharsis happening; he noted reductions in pain and allergies, better sleep, and way less anxiety and emotional eating (wood now controlling earth?). At the same time, he also admitted that he crossed the line a couple of times in terms of coming on too strong with the anger expression. I wondered briefly whether to tonify PC at the next treatment to counterbalance this but opted against it, since after four or five days he had mostly integrated the treatment and was no longer “crossing lines.” It was as if he needed test his new emotional range wingspan and quickly learned where the boundaries are.

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Thanks for the case George. I am just wondering how we all can learn to see P excess so we can know when to use GB+.

She is self soothing by rationalizing her experience.So P excess. She can flex her P muscles to keep herself seeming calm but it isn’t the real thing.

P excess values being the good girl or good boy.

It is helpful to go back to the elemental physical of the 12 Saam channels. GB excess is upward and outward physical movement.
P is downward and inward movement. When someone says they are angry, we all need to ask which movement is creating it.
The forum is always a god opportunity to remind myself to go back to the basics.

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GREAT discussion! Thanks so much everyone.

Just did a GB treatment which was interesting.
Patient just finished with chemo for breast cancer in left breast. She pointed to P1 when asked about the location of the tumor. Her CC was left sciatic pain, worse at the buttock. She is a very talkative and pleasant who works in medical research. I teased out that she always kept negative emotions in because her mom couldn’t handle it when the kids got hurt in anyway. So she is definitely a good girl prototype.

I put in GB+r and she was out. Sa’am is fun!

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Hey @jedwardian
Thanks for this conversation.

I’ve found that tonifying the GB usually shakes things up for people, but as you point out here… sometimes things need a good shaking. Or even busting up.

I see the GB as being about boundaries. Having them, holding them and enforcing them if need be. It is an energy that many could use in their lives. Especially us “nice” folk.

I like to check in with people and be sure they are ok if they find themselves "getting into it… " with someone. I warn them that people might call them a jerk, or get angry at them when they stand up for themself… and then ask if that would be OK with them.

Occasionally people say no. But mostly they say ‘yes’ and smile a bit and their eyes start to twinkle. I take that as a good sign they are ready for thunderous power of the GB.

I have a patient with severe depression in whom I’d like to supplement GB, but as I have zero experience with using GB+ successfully, would like to run it by the group before treating next week. I can do a more full writeup if this info isn’t enough; just lmk.

23yo Asian female with CCs depression and fatigue
Fatigue began in later highschool years while pushing self SO HARD at a magnet high school, taking many AP classes and training in classical ballet.
Freshman year of college classes were easy, but had no energy to study, became withdrawn, zero interest in friends, diagnosed with depression; has been cycling through various antidepressants/mood stabilizers/ADHD meds since, with little change.
Dropped out of college 2x, most recently Spring 2020 after becoming suicidal b/c she couldn’t focus or keep up with her studies.

Thin build, dense tissues 6+, dull eyes 9+, shifty eyes (can’t look at me for more than 2 seconds during conversation) 9+
Moist skin 3+, hives mainly along lu/pc channels
Thenar eminence full 7+, medial heel full/not dry 6+, no varicosities
Symmetry 5+
Grooming 3+
Self-care 8- (lives at home, completely cared for by parents who are very concerned about her; often no energy to shower, no appetite/desire for food)
Mood is self-described as gray, dull; history suicidal, “bad thoughts”; currently not suicidal. She says “people tell me I have low self-confidence”.
Poor reporter 10+
Sleeps until noon-1pm daily, then makes self get out of bed out of obligation.

Temp: hates to be warm/hot
GI: low appetite/no interest in food, loose stools 2x/d but no GI sx/discomfort
GYN: amenorrhea in teenage years bw acu and herbs last year; no cramps

Extremely ticklish abdomen, can’t handle any palpation

Most standout aspects:
LV excess: dull eyes, dense tissues, poor reporter, dull mood
ST excess: thin body, moist skin, hives Lu channel
SI excess: suicidal, no cramps/varicosities, can’t get it together to take care of self

So far I’ve done SJ+ 3x; LU+, KD+ 1x each
She reports slightly better energy (began to take some walks and playing the piano without prompting), and says mood is now more up and down - feels the goods are better, and the bads are worse. Less gray, now mood is lighter gray.
But she still sleeps until 10-11am, and has to make herself get out of bed. Dull eyes not much change.

The last session we talked in-depth with her and her mom, and something that came up was how much of a rule follower she is: regarding drugs, “I would NEVER want to get high or drunk or lose control.” Her mom then regrefully talked about how much the patient pushed herself to study and achieve in high school; and also that in their Asian family, the parents squashed any voices of rebellion (or even opinion) that the kids had.

So now I’m seeing the PC xs qualities that I had missed before. And doing GB+ for the hypersomnia certainly makes sense. Also the hives along PC channel…
Since I’ve only performed GB+ treatments with bad outcomes thus far, I am just looking for validation that this sounds like PC excess. Like @michaelmax says, trying to talk myself out of my diagnosis as an intellectual exercise. Thanks for any feedback!

ooo I just saw this and it sounds so much like my 23yo depression case. more weight for doing GB+!

How does she move through your office? “Rooted body with slow deliberate movements” would give more weight to P excess.

P excess devotion to following rules could make one speak these words. Especially since she is low on SJ.

I see way more P excess down and in and not much GB excess reactive up and out.
You can make an extra special point to closely watch her response to GB+ on the table. You know what to do if she reacts badly.

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I don’t know about slow deliberate, but she’s definitely NOT fast spastic. I’ll proceed cautiously and report back. thanks-

Did you end up trying GB+ with this patient? If so, did it help?

Yes, in fact I have used GB+ 2x:
12/22 GB+ by itself. the points hurt but she settled well (she almost always falls asleep; I have to keep in mind her extreme fatigue); 2 weeks later she reported

“I think I was better for a few days afterwards.” which is quite a lot for her to admit - typically she doesn’t notice much.
Around Christmas felt pretty good, no bad thoughts, ok energy, not napping, talking w family, wasn’t as uncomfortable in general.

then 1/19 I did SJ+/GB+ for deep dark depression, because she had responded well to each treatment. She also settled well, but I couldn’t tell if that treatment offered different results than each separate treatment.

This is the most extreme case of chronic fatigue + depression that I’ve ever taken on (previously I just referred them out), which I only did because of what I felt Saam could offer her. While we haven’t had any miraculous breakthroughs, this 23-year old, under the care of a psychiatrist, multiple meds, history of suicidal ideation, who can barely function while being cared for by her parents, and who absolutely cannot function in society, is reporting improvements. I don’t know how far Saam can take her, but as long as it’s making a difference, we’ll keep going. Her main treatments are

SJ+, KD+, LU+, GB+

I would love to hear any others’ experiences in treating deep dark depression.

I have used GB+ recently for a woman undergoing chemo and resulting in her legs feeling tight, weak and a foot drop. All of these symptoms started after months of chemo. She has had to start using a walker to maintain stability in movement. She often wears sparkly sweaters and her eyes have a very shielded quality. She is also the caretaker for her husband with ALS. So I have danced around many of the channels with incremental results and overall feeling better. 2 weeks ago I put on my big girl panties and went for GB+ to get some expansive outward energy into those legs. She passed out hard and peacefully. After the session, as she left the office her foot was animated and was no longer dragging. In following up, most of the animation has held and the legs have overall softened and thawed a bit.


I am trying to learn here…

Just curious if there is any SJ excess in her?
Some symptoms point to SJ excess but without having the patient in front of you, it is hard to tell from the description. I just have been so wrong in my assessment so I am trying to learn more. Thank you.
The symptoms that may point to SJ excess
amenorrhea (blood def?)
hates to be warm (SJ+ would warm her up)
dull eyes (so hard to assess in people with dark eyes)
she cannot function in society (maybe she needs more shielding?)

Hi Maria, I think you have the dull eyes mixed up - that is a LV excess symptom. Normal menstrual cycles now (amenorrhea was a few years ago); the lack of functioning in society is more about being inwardly-drawn, she knows that she should be a more functional part of society, but she is so tired and inward that she can’t make herself do it.

The treatments have changed her affect enough that our receptionist commented on it - how the patient looks SO much better now, she makes eye contact; she waves and smiles as she walks by (even in a mask - it takes effort to make the eyes show a smile!)