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The Bladder: Fear & Money / The Bladder Meridian & Healing Low Back Pain

Posted: Nov 30th, 2012

Paying attention to the physical and mental associations that Chinese medicine makes with the urinary bladder gives us clues about how to improve and maintain our health.  This newsletter will also look at low back pain and how to address its underlying cause.

The Bladder:  Fear and Money

The urinary bladder was represented in ancient Chinese texts by an ideogram of a shining purse or sack, emblematic of the bladder's function as a container that is soft and elastic. When the bladder suffers an infection is it is difficult for the bladder to open, and when fear is expressed, it may be difficult to keep the bladder closed. So it is not surprising that fear is the emotion associated with the bladder. Cold weather often exacerbates poor bladder control, and winter, the coldest season, is this organ's associated season. 

Mentally, our ability to open and close our wallets wisely can be reflective of our Bladder qi. If you have a tendency to overspend easily or be excessively frugal, you may notice a tendency towards excessive urination or difficulty voiding the bladder, in which case, the best treatment will be to focus on cultivation of Bladder qi, something your acupuncturist can help with.


The Bladder Meridian
and Healing Low Back Pain

The greatest density of Bladder points on the body is in the area of the sacrum. When patients complain of low back pain, I often find tenderness on bladder points that are located in other areas of the body, especially around the ankles. If the cause of the pain is merely stagnation of the Bladder meridian, then a few well-chosen and well-needled points may cure the pain. This may be the case if the condition is due to simple inflammation from a recent injury. 
However, poor posture is very frequently the cause of compressed, misaligned and herniated discs as well as overly tight musculature that cause pain in the low back.  Once acupuncture has alleviated the inflammation and pain, I encourage my patients to focus on improving their posture using exercise that safely strengthens and stretches the back, like Pilates and yoga.
In addition, the emotion of fear and the mental belief that one is not supported can also play a role in aggravating low-back pain. Resolving these thoughts and feelings may be essential in curing the underlying cause.


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