Qiological Community

Shielding vs light sensitivity

A bit confused on a patient who seems so sj excess but doesn’t respond at all to Liv+. He is very sensitive to light, meticulous, prefers a darker room, can’t sleep when the moon is full, the first thing he does at the beach is find the shade, he has a fairly light body density (though maybe slight denseness in his calves), his eyes aren’t super sparkly but are also not dull. He is extremely sensitive to all sensations with acupuncture treatments, and can tell me exactly what is happening in his body and where, BUT He feels very shielded - he even used those words today. I get the feeling when I’m with him, that I am being keenly observed, but that he is behind a cloud. I can usually read people with more ease, and even after many treatments, I’m still not quite sure what makes him tick. His chief complaint is pain along the sj channel of his forearm. The first time I tonified liver he seemed to have a flare up in his arm (although could also have been flared up by activity). The arm is slowly improving with sp+ (he’s very industrious and mostly frustrated that the arm keeps him from household projects) but today I tried to tonify liver again - but no response. I’m wondering if the shielding in this case is actually trumping all the other apparent sj excess. As an aside (although nothing feels an aside in sa’am) his head is always tilted to the side I believe from a tight left trapezius - not sure if this goes under assymmetry or gb/pc/si/ki but it is very noticeable. Apart from +Lv, +Sp, I’ve also tonified SI due to the nature of his arm injury and the ropey sensations at the injured area - and his arm did improve - though he is still frustrated with the rate of improvement.

Here are some other characteristics
Pc: seems studious. Calm. Centered +8
Liv: feels shielded +7, sj channel pain, dull complexion +7
Sj: meticulous +8 light sensitive +8, sj channel pain
Li: industrious +8
Lu: driesh skin, soft belly +3
Ki: pain, injury, ropey sensation +8
SI: Assymetry + 7

There’s part of me itching to +sj - even though on paper it seems like that would be a crazy idea. Maybe this is a liv - sj toggle? Have you all seen that?

Oh these are the tricky cases we can so learn from if we can crack them.

Bilateral? Or is it the left side where the trapezius is tight?

I have only heard it described in terms of bone structure/facial structure.

Did his trapezius release from the SI+ supplementation?

what was the injury and how long? Did it pre-date or come after the tight trapezius?

How does he express his frustration?
Does he feel more “concave” to you?

Where does he lie in terms of temperature? Does he get cold easily - or hot all the time?

From what you say he sounds so much more SJ excess. Does he make eye contact and see present and aware of surroundings? - if so then don’t get confused by that shielded word and I’d say he is SJ excess. If he looks away and more withdrawn then maybe then that is what I think of shielded. As to why Liver supplementation didn’t work - hmm. I will say I have found location, location, location, make sure you feel and hit the correct points.

Thanks so much George!

[quote=“George_Mandler, post:2, topic:1432”]
Bilateral? Or is it the left side where the trapezius is tight?
Both trapezius and arm pain on the left side.

Yes, Si+ temporarily released it a bit.

He was walking his dog and the dog raced after something and the leash pulled his fingers (I believe 2-4). His tight traps predated this.

His frustrations expression is subtle. More in terms of “well, it’s not gone yet”
He maybe does feel a little concave.

No hot or cold sensitivities or subjective sensations, though his feet are cold to the touch.

Yes, lots of eye contact and awareness.

I needle Liv+ all the time - and have been using the method for about 1.5 years now. I’m open to it being user error, but I did recheck the points many times, used thick needles, and twirled.

Thanks so much for your response.

Toggling SJ/Liver is a thing but not for this patient. You only toggle treatments that help. Liver+ didn’t help him and might have flared him up on the first visit. 2 failed Liv+ means that draining SJ would be a huge mistake! You have 0 indications for draining right now so don’t go there.

I don’t know what he means when he says he feels shielded.
We really need more information about this patient. You haven’t included what he does for a living, grooming, the side of his arm pain, or many of the Saam physical findings such as medial heel, thenars, varicosities, and everything George mentioned. Where is the ropey sensation? BTW, unless the ropey sensation is on the K or SI channels or is a varicosity it shouldn’t be listed as a K excess sign.

Take a fresh look and send along more info.


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I wonder if you open up the traps if that may help the forearm?

Sounds like you are on point. I only mention the location from my wrong location experience and wonder how many times I’ve thought a treatment didn’t work was only because of wrong location. :slight_smile:

So taken other characteristics you’ve shared this is not the shielded we talk about when we say Liver excess. That shielded is more dull and lack of awareness - the shield of a SJ excess is sort of not like being in the limelight. That is how I view it.

Sometimes channel and maybe you can do SJ supplementation, but he sounds so SJ excess to me.
If it were me based on what you said I’d consider seeing if GB supplementation melts the trapezius. How does that feel to you? You can sit with him and you’ll know quickly whether it will go sideways, but he sounds to have PC excess qualities and given the trapezius predated the dog leash incident I’d give that a try.

I am of course so curious as to what others think.

I didn’t think a SJ drain was presented, but more a question of supplementing both Liver+ and SJ+. If I read that wrong then I agree definitely no SJ drain.

I have zero intention of draining him. Or anyone for that matter at this point.

He is a graphic designer for a local company. He is well groomed. Pain is on the left arm. Some varicosities on his feet but very mild. Medial heel is not dry or cracked or puffy - just normal. The ropey sensation is where the injury was - on the sj channel.

Sounds like a great idea George. To be honest, I have an aversion to needling that channel because of that poor little pinkie toe, but he definitely exhibits some PC excess symptoms - and perhaps his calm centered characteristics are what I’m perceiving has being shielded.

Thanks for your consideration!

Talk about getting fixated on ideas! Sorry, I didn’t see the + and instead saw the - as an indication for draining.

The potentially adverse reaction to Liv+ would be an indication for SJ+. But it is interesting that he didn’t have another adverse event after the second Liv+. That takes the steam out of SJ+.

Tread carefully then and ask yourself how believable a P excess he is. I know many, many people with convincingly calm exteriors who have a good amount of GB excess inside.

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Well, I didn’t leave it in long. Only 5-10 minutes - but it just felt flat - nothing was happening and he is normally so very sensitive.

Gonna have to think about this one. And maybe ask his wife (:


I’m curious though…have any of you have seen a patient that is just so obvious one confirmation, but didn’t respond at all, or responded negatively, to the corresponding tonifying treatment? Would love to hear your experiences.

Yes. Your case reminds me of a patient with extreme light sensitivity (sunglasses indoors, felt attacked by light), who superficially presented as a poster woman for P excess. Ends up she needed her Gb drained to treat her light sensitivity. The attacked by light aspect proved to be very telling. Liver+ didn’t do a thing for her. This took over a year of Saam treatment to figure out.
We think of light sensitivity as a for sure sign for SJ excess but my case proves it isn’t. This particular patient was very polite and outwardly detail oriented in many ways but in other ways also quite oblivious to the outer and actually quite caught up with her inner story. Her eyes are somewhat dull too. She is not too open like a SJ excess would be. Her case is a good reminder to go back to the fundamental dynamics of the channel excesses. Really learning to recognize them will help us understand our patients so much better than light sensitivity=SJ excess.

Liver excess patients can’t be reached, won’t let you really see them.
This dynamic reminds me of my patient. Her hypervigilance ended being GB excess. My patient seemed to be Liver excess in this way of being unreachable/clouded over but SJ+ was one of the few treatments she clearly reacted negatively to.

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But hypervigilance is not a GB excess quality…
Did she have anything about her at all that was aggressive? forceful? angry?
Now that you know that she is GB excess what else do you see in her now that could have pointed you in that direction earlier?

The nature of GB excess is “expansive heat and outward aggression”. Hypervigilance is an expansive and outward orientation and can certainly be place on the spectrum of GB excess.

On the surface no aggression or anger. Under the surface lots of forcefully assertive responsiveness.

Refer to page 63 of the advanced class powerpoint for details of this case. It is a very, very unusual situation that has helped me better recognize Gb excess under the veneer of P excess. It really helps to boil the channel excesses down to their essences as presented in the intro powerpoint. The additional words we lay over these essential movements can disorient us at times.

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What caught my eye was the “attacked” by light… If that is her language, that is interesting…Much more GB than Liv.
Is that the class from September?

Yes, the class from September. I didn’t mention in the case that she has loads of skin tags on her eyelids- convexities of a sort.

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How do I find notes that have page numbers, or did you number them yourself?

The pages don’t have numbers on them but show up in my attempts to navigate the pdf. You will find this case after T’s 71 yo male with sob worse from smoke inhalation.

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