The ‘Hui Yin’ acupuncture point gathers the soul, mind and body of the entire body. It is the most vital acupuncture point for healing all sickness’ (Soul Mind Body Science System, Dr & Master Zhi Gang Sha and Dr. Rulin Xiu, page 107).
There has been very little written about ‘Hui Yin’, or CV1, the first point on the Conception Vessel, other than this very powerful point lies on the perineum. Bearing in mind that the perineum as part of the anatomy is completely different in women and men, it does seem odd that so little time and attention has been spent studying this area of the anatomy. During my own training, nearly thirty years ago, while much time was spent on surface anatomy in general, there was very little detail focussed on the perineal cavity or the sub-surface anatomy in that area which is extremely important in understanding how to find CV1.
CV 1 is a controversial point, not least because we were not given the correct tuition and so were left to our own devices – many of us hoped that the point would go away or at the very best cease to exist! Any practitioner working with this point will have to process their fear. This could include fear of palpating a patient’s perineum, or fear of needling the point. Fear of penises! Fear of the vagina! Fear of being misunderstood, fear of making a patient feel uncomfortable, embarrassment, awkwardness, fear of clumsiness or missing the point, fear of triggering abuse memories and maybe not knowing how to handle what comes up – there are many and varied reasons why we may feel a little reluctant to enter this territory. Yet the point is far too valuable to ignore, and some patients just cannot be fully helped without using it.
I doubt too that other systems of acupuncture have addressed this point to the fullest depth of its potential, which involves so much more than just needling a point. It is about becoming a channel to allow the spirit to fully root into the body, sometimes for the first time. My journey of working with this point with patients has led me to witness such magical transformations that I was compelled to share some of this work.
It is imperative that practitioners do a significant amount of work on themselves in order to be an effective channel for the five elements. And that is what we aspire to be – a channel. The treatment is never about you. J R Worsley was so right when he taught that you need to leave yourself outside the treatment room. I now know what that means. It has taken me over 20 years of intense self-analysis to come to a place where a certain magic can happen spontaneously when working with this point. In order for the magic to happen the practitioner needs to be a clear channel, as empty and as ego-free as possible. In order to become truly empty you have to have addressed your issues and history to a point where, even in the moment of working with the point, you can just let go of anything blocking you from becoming fully present but non-attached.
Five element practitioners will know that it is often when we are most empty and free of ego-based trying and attachment to results that we suddenly see the patient’s colour so vividly, or pick up their odour with sudden absolute clarity. Similarly the most powerful needling is generally when the practitioner is present and clear.
CV1 is a point of resurrection for the spirit. It can give life where there has been death. We are sometimes advised to first use Kidney 24 ‘Spirit Burial Ground’ and then go to CV1. You can use CV1 where the spirit is actually overcome. A block may be created here after giving birth, or an abortion, a C-section, or more profoundly where there is a history of abuse. CV1 provides a house for the spirit, it anchors us. If the plug comes out, CV1 will hold it back in.
In order to needle this point you have to know exactly where the point is in both men and women. You have to know the angle and the exact depth. If your ego is getting in the way or if you are using your intention to ‘get’ the point it is unlikely to work. To treat the spirit at that level requires a combination of skill, awareness, consciousness and a lack of ego. This is the true essence of the five elements and is the true beauty of this system. My experience of what JR Worsley was trying to teach was beyond words and I was privileged to witness that shamanic level in his healing.
My journey to finding the point, and discovering how it shifted levels, has come from truly listening to the patient, being able to feel when they are leaving their body, and sensing what is stopping them from coming in (re-entering). Often the process can be like a gentle unravelling of the personal story of the spirit – a journey the patient and practitioner take together to a place where the spirit can come in, sometimes gently, sometimes dramatically.
As a victim of abuse, I am only too aware of the terror of having any practitioner going ‘down there’. Acute sensitivity is required when working with a victim of abuse. However, assisting the patient back into their root chakra offers them the opportunity to reconnect with their power. Sexual abuse and rape and all the various subtle innuendos of psychic attack are about disconnecting the patient from their power. To work with a patient at this level requires that you have worked on your own sexuality and have total clarity and emptiness in order for the patient to feel safe enough to ground back into their power point, which ultimately is what CV1 is all about.
Beccy Summers (formerly Beccy Leech), a five element acupuncturist who trained alongside me from 1987-1990, says:
“I reconnected with Karen last year, after a long break in which I had moved to Australia. When we reconnected I was really struggling on a personal level. My young granddaughter has been the subject of a bitter family court struggle for several years and the fear and stress was taking a massive toll. Of course I knew that CV1 is a first aid point for drowning, and that it works for emotional drowning as well – I had had it needled before and it had always helped. But as I chatted with Karen via Skype she told me about her experiences with CV1 being used in a much deeper way, not just for the spirit of the point, but to enable people who were not really ‘in their body’ to ‘come in’. She said that, needled in a certain way, in the absence of ego and control, the point could bring a person’s spirit back in. I’ve done a lot of shamanic work and what she said made sense to me. I was fascinated to hear several of her many success stories with the CV / GV block, especially with helping people with fertility issues to conceive. It was clear to me that Karen was using the point in a deeper way than we had been taught. She taught me how to breathe into my perineum to reconnect me with my feminine power and help me to ground; then later she came out to Australia from Ireland to treat me and to teach me more about the magic of this point.
Firstly it is no coincidence that CV/GV blocks so often occur in people who have experienced sexual abuse. I had thought, as many do, that I had recovered from ‘all that’ years ago, especially as I had done lots of work on the issues over time. Yet I still experienced what I called ‘splitting’ in which it felt like parts of me were at war with each other. In fact abuse really does cause parts of the self or the personality to ‘split off’, fragment or dissociate, and just not want to be ‘in the body’.
Karen helped me through perceptive and sensitive questions to see where I was fragmented and not fully present and I could see how this undermined my strength and energy and amplified my reactions to traumatic and stressful events. When she came to needle the point, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was surprised to find the ‘split off’ parts of me were fearful and resistant. Lots of memories surfaced. Karen supported me with patience and compassion and great depth of understanding.
I found out that just hitting the point is only the beginning. Needled the way Karen needles, not with an intention of will, but rather an emptiness, yet with a depth of connection to the patient’s energy, the needle seems to draw the spirit in, in a way that grounds and roots and strengthens. Several times I felt myself coming into my body in a new, deeper way, only to baulk and rush out again at the last possible minute. Just as it all seemed too hard, and I decided that being present and grounded was probably overrated anyway, Karen hit the point, made the connection, and pulled me back in with a rush of chi that flooded through me like a tingling warm stream. I said it was like a ‘rush of chi and blood’ and she thought I said ‘tea and blood’ and we both giggled. I was home.
Although I am still experiencing a horrible situation in Australia, I found that after the first few days of integrating the treatment I stopped feeling split, and found instead a new grounded-ness, strength and capacity to deal with things.
Not everyone who needs this point will need it to this depth, or have a story like mine. Probably not every practitioner would be comfortable to work with it in this way, dealing with the kinds of issues this point brings up, or tapping into its power so deeply. I do feel though that the depth and power of CV 1 has been very much underrated. I hope that the magical and far reaching, life-changing effects and possibilities of this treatment can come to a wider audience, and that CV 1 can emerge from the realm of the scary and taboo to achieve the powerful respect it deserves. I look forward to working with it in this way in my own practice.”
Much of my work is with couples experiencing infertility.
Thomas and his wife came to me as part of an Irish TV series in which I was asked to participate. He had no sperm. The Western medical model advised using donor sperm. Following needling CV1 and the accompanying points used for the CV /GV (Conception Vessel / Governing Vessel) block, Thomas went on to father a child himself with his wife. The Western model called it ‘Spontaneous conception!’ For Thomas it was a lot more than that. He regained his power and his sense of his sexuality. The couple also saved thousands of euros that could have been spent on IVF, only to, as Thomas said, ‘have someone else’s child’.
A great many other couples who have otherwise unexplained fertility issues have conceived naturally within days or weeks of having CV1 needled in this specific way. Knowing that this point can make such a significant difference in someone’s life is one of the motivating factors for me.
Because of the fear and controversy, that can surround this point, I felt I needed a ‘back-up system’ and I started to ask some of my patients if we could do recordings of their anonymous testimonials. The majority were happy to assist if it meant helping to allay the fears any other patients might have about having this amazing treatment done
In preparing my patients for the treatment, I suggest they listen to my audiotapes to inspire them and let them know what to expect. Check out the testimonial of Kaye at https://soundcloud.com/karencostin/cvgv-the-feeling-kayes-testimonial, or Clare’s story at https://soundcloud.com/karen-costin/clare-post-natal-depression
Lastly, despite all this enthusiasm, I would still advise caution. This is one of the most powerful treatments and requires a significant amount of training, respect and willingness, as well as humility and openness to guidance. If the practitioner is willing to be in ‘Beginner’s Mind’ and to open to not-knowing, the journey of miracles can begin. I have developed a protocol to ensure a safe environment for both patient and practitioner. Find out more : firstname.lastname@example.org
Full unedited version of article printed in Autumn edition, ACU