The Urinary Bladder (UB) system, in the paradigm of Oriental Medicine, is the yang companion to the yin Kidney system. Both Organ/Channel systems, as well as the winter season (maximum yin, or yin within yin) are assigned to the Water Phase in the doctrine of the Five Phases.
The Urinary Bladder Channel is the longest of the body’s twelve main Channels, having 67 assigned acupoints and spanning the entire length of the body on the posterior side.
Oriental Medicine, holistic at its core, recognizes the dynamic balance between the yin and yang forces operating in the natural world and in the human body as the foundation of health. Yin and yang are inseparable from each other and, in fact, are transforming into each other. Within yin is the seed of yang; within yang is the seed of yin.
Mind is yang, body is yin. In the domain of mind, thoughts are yang while emotions are yin–another interdependent pair. The higher mind, that which abides in timeless, universal, noble wisdom is yang while the lower mind, that which abides in self-centered, ignorance-afflicted ideas is yin.
In the domain of body, there are several levels of yin-yang relationships; one such level is the connection between the solid organs (yin) and the hollow organs (yang), another is the weave between the heavenly influence of breath (yang qi) and the earthly waters (yin blood). Without yang, the body is a lifeless heap; without yin, the mind and soul have nowhere to root down and manifest their respective theses.
Without recognizing the fundamental, inviolable interweave between yang mind and yin body, how could one ever flow in A-grade health? It would not be possible. To approach 100 in health-building, then, requires that we recognize this basic truth. Recognizing this basic truth, the mind can work to craft a balanced preventive wellness program that honors the needs of mind and body.
The Pathwork Lectures, a body of knowledge delivered over a span of over two decades, contains a direct addressing of our need for spiritual food (which uplifts the mind) just as important as material food. From Lecture 16:
Therefore, spiritual nourishment is, in part, listening to lectures, reading the appropriate literature, and conversing with people who know more than oneself. Spiritual nourishment is also prayer and meditation in the right way.
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The UB Channel links the head, eyes, brain, neck, lower back, buttocks, and feet.
The UB Channel dominates disorders of the tendons and ligaments.
A division of the UB Channel, its Channel Divergence, connects with the Heart.
Each of the body’s Organ Systems has a direct connection with the UB Channel via a special grouping of acupoints termed the beishuxue, literally the “back transporting points”.
A troubled heart–weighed down by stress, angst, fear, shame, guilt, etc. and imbalanced by insufficient cultivation of Truth–therefore can manifest as tension-inflammation-pain in head, neck, between the shoulder blades, lower back, buttocks.
Diseases directly affecting the urinary bladder organ, e.g., interstitial cystitis, neurogenic bladder, urinary incontinence, may have a psychoemotional component at its root.
According to the theories of Oriental Medicine, the internal causes of disease are damage caused by the Seven Emotions–anger, joy, worry, overthinking, grief, fear, fright/shock. Each of the Seven Emotions–when experienced either too much or too little–influences the Organ Systems. Since the Organ Systems have a direct connect to the UB channel via the back transporting points, and since imbalances in the Seven Emotions can affect the Organ Systems, therefore the disorder at the level of the Seven Emotions can manifest as disorder in the UB channel (the nerdy among you are advised to search the following term: viscerosomatic reflexes).
To bring it full circle, then: disharmony in mind produces disharmony in body. Disharmony in body, when not addressed correctly, tends to produce disharmony in mind.
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Action items to consider:
* Practice observing daily the relationship between the mind and the body; note where mental-emotional states influence how the body feels, note where bodily states–whether pleasure, pain, mixed, or neither–influence mental-emotional states.
* Consider that your verbal and non-verbal communication, both of which follow from a personal state of mind, have the potential to influence the people and environment around you (which we can consider a composite “body”). If you agree that such is possible, consider that we have a responsibility to mind the mind carefully.
* When mentally-emotionally stressed, consider the value of physical exercise to discharge stress energy and stimulate release of the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which some theorize as mediated by the endocannabinoid system. Put another way, to change the mind sometimes we must change the body.
* Consider the value of regular, sufficient physical exercise as a means to prevent the accumulation of mental-emotional stress energy.
* When the body is afflicted with pain or otherwise imbalanced, consider that a root cause may be faulty thoughts, ideas, beliefs, etc. which leads to the choosing of a certain lifestyle. This chosen lifestyle, although familiar and comfortable, results in system inputs which naturally and logically result in imbalance, pain, suffering. In other words, consider that to change the body we must first change our mind.
* Consider why in January 1750, founding father Benjamin Franklin would, in his Poor Richard’s Almanack, state the following: There are three Things extreamly hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s Self.
* If you don’t already have a similar preventive wellness program in place presently, cultivate a regular (daily to every-other-day) practice of exercises which stimulate circulation in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint spaces in and around the spinal column (domain of UB channel) from head to tail. The following blog posts, in this specific order, can get you started with a routine which mobilizes neck, upper and lower back, and hips/pelvis in the name of health-building. While relatively gentle in nature, explore these exercises with a healthy dose of common sense and, by all means, heed your heart-gut-inner teacher: if something in you says these are not right for you at this time, then it’s probably a good idea to listen.
Hope this helps you in your quest for health, wholeness, and fulfillment. Love within, J*
PS: Got any relevant thoughts, comments, reflections, insights, questions, &/or answers pertaining to today’s read? Please share!