Apr 02

Where science and spirit intersect

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. Esoteric Acupuncture Austin

I have more than a passing interest in quantum physics. I first came across the term, with no explanation of what it meant, in about 10th grade. There was no Google or Yahoo at the time and entry level discussions of what the term meant were non-existent. The one book in the Wilson County Public Library in Floresville, Texas was so far over my head it might as well have been in ancient Farsi. Regardless, I knew there was something I needed to know about it and the interest never died.

Years later I discovered the basic premise in quantum physics that says (in extremely mathematical language) that the behavior of sub-atomic elements, which make up all things, changes in response to the observer because there is no separation between us and these elements. We are all part of the fabric of life through which Source flows.

Quantum physics is the mathematical language that describes how we are one with each other and all things, that puts into scientific terms how everything we do affects everything else, that proves that we communicate with the Universe instantly. I could go on and on about ‘wow, holy crap! how cool is that!’ but your time might be better spent reading this guy’s blog. Suffice it to say, we really are all one, cosmic consciousness is a real deal, and our thoughts are the energy that programs our life.

When you create an Esoteric acupuncture pattern you are working with this energy directly. You are touching pure consciousness with the intent to create an opportunity for healing for your client on a primal level that transcends this temporary physical body we all inhabit while we float on this island called Earth. Holding the tiger’s tail indeed!

Seriously. Read all about it. 

Mar 21

Esoteric Pendulum Use 101

There’s nothing at all magical about pendulums…
There’s absolutely everything magical about you!

Pendulums are helpful adjunct tools to use when creating esoteric acupuncture healing experiences for your clients. You can use a pendulum to determine when a pattern has been in place for the right amount of time for the individual you are working with, to find energetic blockages, to decide on the correct pattern/s to use for your client that particular day, and many other things related to your healing session.

Egyptian plumb bobA pendulum is nothing more than a weight on a string. Your grandfather probably had one in his garage or shop, but he called it a “plumb bob.” This is a brass weight on a string, a tool that has been used by stone masons for thousands of years (think Egyptian pyramids and Assyrian ziggurats) to determine the level status of a building project. They have also been used by “dowsers” to find hidden resources such as mineral deposits, underground water, lost graves and more.

Pendulums can also be used to find other hidden resources like the truth of a situation. When you ask a question of the Universal Energy Field (call that God, angels, guides, or whatever else suits you) you always get an answer, but you may not have a good way to understand the information that comes back at you. Because we are finite beings we need answers in finite terms. The Universe does not ‘think’ in finite terms (indeed it does not think at all), but still draws answers to you when you request information.

This is why I say that you are the magic, not the pendulum. The pendulum is just a weight on a string. It could be your wedding band on necklace chain, a washer on the end of some of your kid’s kite string, or something more specific like a pendulum you bought at Nature’s Treasures. You are the magic that makes a pendulum work.

That said, there is one huge caveat to consider. Remember the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment? No, not the band. The quantum physics experiment. This hypothetical experiment – no actual cats were killed – illustrates that the expectation of the scientist and/or the subjects affects the outcome of the experiment. This is called the observer’s paradox or quantum indeterminancy and it applies to the use of a pendulum when seeking answers.

You can read all about the theory and principle here, but suffice it to say that you have to get yourself out of the way of the truth if you want a pendulum to work as an accurate ‘amplifier’ for the answer to your question or request. I find the best way to do that is 2 fold:

1)   Center yourself.
What I mean by that is to let the world go and to let yourself be quiet and calm for a while. I do this by paying attention to my breath, watching it go in and out and not trying to control it. It takes a minute or two of drawing my wandering attention gently back to the breath and just feeling this moment instead of my usual living in the past or worrying about the future.

2)   Tell the Universe (or God, angels, guides, whatever works for you) that you want to know the truth, no matter what that is. This is letting go of any expectation or desire you have about the outcome of the question you ask.

Once you’ve done this you can start using your pendulum to find get answers. And if you’re like me you might have to repeat one or both of these steps.

So how do pendulums work?

When you ask a question of the Universe you always get an answer. If you have any experience of muscle testing you will remember that your muscles respond to the questions that are asked. This is true when working with a pendulum also. You ask a question and your body begins to resonate with the answer. If you are holding your pendulum’s string/chain these small vasiculations in your musculature vibrate the string or chain and the pendulum begins to move.

How it moves depends on the movements in your muscles, true, but that is determined by your own programming – how you have been conditioned to respond to the world which then translates to movement in the pendulum.

Basic pendulum use

hold a pendulum 2To use a pendulum prepare yourself as outlined above and simply hold the chain between your index finger and thumb about 3-4 inches above the pendulum weight. If I am standing I hold mine with my elbow bent parallel to the floor and my upper arm held close to the body, which is a nice stable position and can be held comfortably without physical tension. Remember that you are looking for the vibration of the universe. Tension in the body will dampen the vibration as if you were trying to ring a bell but holding on tightly to the body of the bell. You get some noise, but it’s not the resonant clear tone you would get it your held the handle. If I am sitting I rest my elbow on a table or flat surface for easy stability.

Ask the universe to show you what a “yes” looks like. Then ask to see what a “no” looks like. Next, ask a question to which you know the answer (such as “Is my name [your name here]?”) to verify that indeed that is a yes response. If you get a no or some kind of ambiguous movement one of a couple of things is happening.

    1. You lied and that’s not your name.
    2. You aren’t “out of the way” and have some kind of expectation that is blocking your access to Truth.
    3. You have a lot of tension in your body and are anxious about the whole process. This happens to people new to pendulum use. They are often afraid they aren’t doing it right and that’s what the universe is reflecting back to them. Remember the universe is not an identity or an entity – it is All Possibilities.

One other possibility is that this is not the pendulum for you. For instance, I don’t do so well with brass or copper pendulums, but silver, gold, crystal, stone, resin, and wood work just fine for me. Once you’ve established this baseline, it’s time to seek out some answers.

Pendulums and Esoteric Acupuncture

In Esoteric Acupuncture you generally use a pendulum in 4 ways:

    • to gauge the health of a chakra
    • to find energetic attachments
    • to determine when to move to the next point if you are using a method for esoteric healing that does not involve needles.
    • to pick which pattern to use for your patient

Pendulum chakra diagnosisChakra health and pendulum use is covered briefly in my Esoteric Intro Class and will be addressed more deeply in the Esoteric Acupuncture 1 class, but in a nutshell you hold the pendulum several inches above or away from a chakra and ask to see the health of that chakra. Some practitioners will swing the pendulum between the 7 o’clock and 1 o’clock positions (or 4:00 and 11:00) and wait for the swinging to motions to settle into a circular or oval pattern. I prefer to hold the pendulum still and then see how it begins to move. This is a little slower, but often give me more information than the above method does.

A chakra that is open and flowing in a healthy manner will respond with a clockwise circular motion. If you happen to be south of the equator, it’s just the opposite – counterclockwise indicates a healthy chakra. If there is any other response (and that includes clockwise ovals) the chakra needs some work. If you want very detailed information about movement other than circular, refer to Barbara Brennan’s Hands of Light.

cordingEnergetic attachments, also called ‘cordings,’ are a kind of “feeding tube” that can become attached to a person. They come from other people and sometimes from entities that are sucking energy from the person to whom they attach. These are pathological and need to be removed. We are all capable of feeding ourselves. When we believe we are not we reach out to others in unhealthy ways, sometimes leaving these hooks or attachments to another person. This is unhealthy for both people. Dr. Mikio Sankey uses a pendulum to find these attachments and uses acupuncture to remove them. I find I have more success using Reiki for this work.

chakra chartPicking a pattern to use for your patient is, like all things in esoteric acupuncture, very intuitive business. Sometimes I know when a client walks in the door what pattern they need that day. Sometimes I get no direction so I have to ask. I have my patterns broken into several categories laid out in a fan chart in a format similar to the right. I hold the tip of the pendulum at the meeting point for all of those options and then ask the Universal Energy Field to point to the set of patterns I need to use for this particular client which gets me in the ballpark very quickly. I can then ask which out of this set and find the pattern within moments. You can even do this before the client arrives and you will find after talking with the person for a few moments that the pattern you were shown invariably fits well.

If you are using a non-needling method for giving an esoteric treatment hold your pendulum in your non-dominant hand. With your dominant hand focus on the first point in the pattern. Ask the pendulum to swing in a certain direction when it’s time for you to move to the next point. Some points take longer than others, usually where blockages are stronger. I prefer asking the pendulum to move in a strong clockwise circle when it’s time to move to the next point since I have my pendulum move in that direction for a basic “yes” most of the time, but you could also choose a side to side swing or a swing away and back to you. Totally up to you.

Finding your pendulum

You develop a kind of rapport with tools you use for energy work such as pendulums, selenite swords or wands, acupuncture needles, etc. The more you use them the more comfortable you become with them. This applies to the technique you use as well as the object itself. This seems to especially be true for crystal tools such as pendulums. A crystal’s matrix is very good at storing information, which is why they are used for quartz watches. The more you use them the more your energy becomes embedded in the crystal matrix. This is why, even though anything on a string can be a pendulum, people who work with pendulums have a pendulum they prefer to use. I have one I use for chakra and esoteric acupuncture use and another I keep at home for other purposes.

To find your pendulum(s), use your intuition. Try several and see how they respond to you. Use the steps outlined in this article to test drive them. Pay attention to what you are drawn to even if it’s not the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen. As an fyi, I find that crystal quartz pendulums work quite well for diagnosing chakras and for esoteric acupuncture in general.

Once you find your pendulum you can then cleanse it, charge it, and program it for use.

 Cleansing a pendulum

Everything on this earth picks up an energetic signature from what happens to it. Our commercially created, manufactured world, isn’t the kindest place to live. Objects you purchase (including food) have often been in some pretty disagreeable circumstances. I find it is best to reset objects such as pendulums and other healing tools, especially those made of stone and crystal since they are so good at storing energy, back to zero prior to using them. Doing this is really press easy: cleansing is more about intention than about method. Use a method that ‘clicks’ with you. You can find a myriad of methods all over the internet, but if this is a nice link that explains a few.

Be very careful about salt-sensitive materials. Angelite, calcite, selenite, satin spar, and desert rose are all damaged by salt. Selenite is also not particularly fond of water. By far one of the easiest methods of cleansing and charging a crystal of any kind is to rest it on a chunk of selenite which transforms any negative programming into a form of light called fifth dimensional light.

If you don’t use a chunk of selenite you should cleanse, charge and program your pendulum every so often (monthly perhaps) to keep it fresh. Think of it as a form of housekeeping. It doesn’t take very long and will give you a lot of benefits. Chunks of amethyst will do much the same thing as selenite for you, but this will need to be cleansed, charged, and programmed once in a while too. Selenite? Not so much!

Charging a pendulum

This is sort of like plugging in your phone overnight. Like cleansing, this is very much about your intention. I place my pendulum in my garden in standing in the earth in the sunlight all day on the day before the full moon. I let the pendulum stay in place under the moon overnight and retrieve it the following morning. Seems to work just fine. I sometimes take an extra few steps. This attunes the crystal with the sun (fire), moon(water) and earth. Rinse it in fresh water for if you want a more tangible water element, then pass it through incense, sage or sweetgrass smoke to represent the air element.

Programming a pendulum

Holding a crystalThis is completely possible. Even non-crystal pendulums can be ‘programmed.’ In reality you are partially programming yourself, partially explaining to the pendulum and to the Universe how you want the responses to appear, and partially setting your intention for how your ‘receiver’ works with the Universal Energy Field.

Programming is pretty simple. Here are some basic step-by-step instructions for programming your pendulum. Your intuition may pull you in a slightly different direction and that’s fine. Just use this as the basic pattern and feel free to deviate from it if your higher self tells you to do so.

  1. Clear your energy first.
    Let your body be relaxed. Sit in a comfortable position either on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Center yourself by paying attention to your breath and letting the world fall away. If you have something bothering you symbolically take it out of your body and set it down on the floor next to you. If you still want it when you’re done you can pick it back up and take responsibility for it then.
  2. Program your pendulum.
    Hold your pendulum in between your palms and visualize as clearly as you can how you want the pendulum to respond to you.If you are mainly going to use this pendulum to dowse the chakras and determine their health I recommend you set the intention that the pendulum moves in a clockwise circle for a healthy chakra and a counterclockwise circle for an unhealthly chakra. Hold this intention in your mind as firmly as possible and imagine the pendulum moving in a perfectly round strong clockwise motion for a healthy chakra. Spend most of your ‘programming’ time on this intention and visualization.
  3. Visualize this intention in your mind moving down into your heart, then into your hands, and then into the pendulum itself. Hold this visualization and intention for several minutes until the pendulum feels “cooked.” That seems vague and it is. Every person’s body responds differently. When it feels as if I am done with something like this I usually just ‘know.’ If I want verification, I ask the Universe silently if the action is complete. I often feel a lightness in my chest and head if the answer is yes and a heaviness in my lower abdomen if the work is still in progress.

You can vary this theme in many ways. I’ve held pendulums between my palms like they were small birds and whispered chants into them, visualizing the chants permeating them and becoming part of them. I’ve also done very temporary reprograming for the pendulums I use for esoteric and chakra work, just telling them out loud that I want a swing like ‘this’ (and manually swinging the pendulum in that motion) for yes and one like ‘this’ (moving in a different motion) for no.

 Final words

The continued care of your pendulum is a matter of periodic cleansing, charging, and reinforcing the programming or reprogramming it as your needs change. You can get very creative with pendulum work.

Jan 05

The Power of Intuition

tempI’ve spent the day chasing family that is no longer living. That sounds kind of weird, but if you know me you know I am a genealogy buff and a history geek. I also have a history of talking with dead people – that Sixth Sense kid’s got nothing on me! So I dropped my girlfriend off to teach a yoga teacher training in Salado and I hit the road. I’ve got T-Mobile and can usually get anywhere with the map function on my cell phone, but today the wind was wreaking havoc on my cell connection, so my phone was no help at all and I didn’t have my usual map collection with me.

I was tempted to give it up, but decided to navigate by intuition instead. I will confess I’ve bumped around this territory before, but it’s been a good decade or so since I did. I ‘got centered.’ What that meant was I sat still on the shoulder of a quiet country road and paid attention to nothing but my breathing for a few minutes. Soon the cares and worries of my world settled like silt in a pond and all I saw was clear water. Then I started the engine and began to drive with the radio off. I began to notice sensations in my body when I needed to turn. The side I was supposed to turn toward would feel kind of empty, like it was searching for something to fill it up. When I turned toward it, it was always the right thing to do. When I was no longer to continue down that road it just felt right to stop and turn around. I began to feel ‘sticky’ sensations when I was supposed to stop and began to take notice of what I had stopped near. I wrote those places down or took a photo and then it felt ok to go on.

After I got to a spot with internet again (yay!) I pulled out the list. I found the church where my great grandparents were married, the burial place of my other greats and a great uncle as well as family that had migrated to Texas from South Carolina and Georgia (southern to the bone, baby!). Some of these pieces had been missing in my family history narrative for a long time. I found one place in particular, a place called Dickerson River Bottom, that was mentioned by a slightly different name in a letter from my great great uncle to his wife to be written in the 1870’s.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhat does this have to do with Esoteric Acupuncture? Though Dr. Sankey has very prescribed protocols for Esoteric Acupuncture he also states that EA is a launching place for your spiritual acupuncture sessions. Your intuition always has the trump card. You use it for picking protocols and someday you might use it to craft your own spiritual treatment protocols. Use every chance you get to practice centering yourself, living in this moment, and navigating by your intuition and the guidance of your higher self.

Esoteric Acupuncture isn’t just a written protocol on paper – it is animated and powered by you.

Nov 26

Esoteric Acupuncture Basics – All About Esoteric Points

Dr. Mikio Sankey

Dr. Mikio Sankey

Many of the points in Esoteric Acupuncture (EA) are the same as or are similar to acupuncture/acupressure point in Chinese, but there are some differences. The information for this article comes from several Mikio Sankey workshops I have attended as well as from his 4th book, Sea of Fire: Cosmic Fire.

This article gives you a look at why we use names rather than numbered points in EA and provides a way of looking at each point to help you understand why the esoteric patterns use these points.

What’s in a Name?

The first difference  you may notice in EA is that the points are not primarily labeled by number, but by name. I graduated from an acupuncture school that taught points by the number, so this was a little strange to me at first. Even if you attended a school that taught points by the name, you might notice that the names used in EA deviate from what you learned.

Why is this? This is because our words have power. That which we speak becomes part of the permanent record, the Akashic record, and can never be unspoken. By using the Esoteric names for the points we are bringing that intention and energy into our conscious world and strengthening the healing inherent in these names. 

Locating Esoteric Acupuncture Points

Esoteric patternsPut away the strings and measures you learned to use in acupuncture school. The point location you learned is a good starting point, but is by no means definitive. Esoteric Acupuncture requires you to use your intuitive senses to find the points. For me that means feeling very very lightly with the fingertips of my left hand until I feel a something. There is usually a shallow depression where the point is, but not always. I’m not being vague on purpose – I just don’t have any words for the sensation I feel that means “this is where the qi is.” Some people see a something rather than feeling a something, some people just know this is it. How you sense the qi will depend on how your intuition talks to you. It will probably be different from what others experience and that is more than ok – it’s perfect.

The most important point here is that you are feeling for qi, for the “there it is!” sensation. As you know, we all feel qi a little bit differently. When you are locating esoteric points don’t press into the skin because qi will travel to where ever you press. You are looking for where the qi is naturally around or on the point.

Needling Esoteric Points

These are some basic concepts for needling esoteric patterns. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with them before you needle your next EA pattern. If you use these suggestions you will find that the effectiveness of your EA sessions increases significantly.

Needle Gently

There is no need to needle strongly or deeply, nor to manipulate the needles when you perform an Esoteric pattern. You don’t need to get the Da Qi either. As a matter of fact, gentle needling is more powerful than strong needling. Insert gently and only deep enough for the needle to stand up on its’ own.

Needle With Intention

intentionQuiet your mind then concentrate on why you are needling this client with this pattern. Let your intent be clear in your mind before you insert the needle.

Needle In Order

Esoteric patterns are constructed as a kind of keycode to unlock doors. In order for the patterns to work as intended they must be inserted in order. If you realize you forgot a point in the needling sequence stop needling. Go back to the first point in the sequence, touch it and send qi to this point. Continue through the points in order until you get to the one your forgot. Now insert the point. Touch the next point in the sequence and send qi to it. Continue doing this until you get back to where you were in the pattern. (If you had already completed the pattern except for the forgotten point just do this for each point remaining in the sequence.) (1)

Needle Where You Feel Qi

Ideally, when you locate Esoteric Acupuncture points you use what you learned in school to get in the very near ballpark of the point, but then you either feel or see the Qi and put the needle in that spot even if it differs slightly from the technical location you memorized in school. I know people that can see the point even before they feel for it. I’m not one of those people. But I can run the fingertips of my left hand very lightly around the area where the point should be and I can feel a little ‘something’ that I have learned is me connecting with the Qi of the point. I place a fingertip lightly on this point, then roll it off and tap a needle into the spot.

If you can’t feel it, see it, or sense the Qi in some other manner, don’t fret over it. Just use the locations you learned in school and keep trying to feel or see the Qi. I couldn’t do it at first either. Then I could, but it didn’t work all the time. Now it’s pretty consistent unless I’m just terribly distracted, which is my cue to focus on my breath and on being in the moment.

You will find your ability develops as you work with Qi through meditation or Qigong. Anytime you are working with Qi you are also working with what yoginis call prana, so yoga practiced with a focus on your internal development will also help you develop your ability to sense Qi.


Most of the points below will feel familiar to you if you have studied acupuncture point locations, though a few do differ. Though the points are used in a non-traditional way, they still do all the stuff you studied.

Most EA points are needled on the right side first, regardless of the client’s gender, then on the left. There are a few variations to this rule of thumb which will be spelled out in the EA patterns you use.

Points on the Head and Neck

Tian Man or Celestial Fullness (also called 100 Meetings)

Tian Man (Du 20) is the point is right below your Crown Chakra, which is where you connect to your higher self, to God, to the Universe, or whatever you call your higher power.Before I can explain this adequately, let’s have a bit of Chakra Chat. There is a minor chakra (as opposed to the seven major ones most of us know) in the cranium called the Brahmaranda Chakra. There’s another minor chakra that rests on the top of the head called the Guru Chakra. The Crown Chakra, one of the major ones which most people know as the 7th Chakra, is above the Guru Chakra and doesn’t actually touch the physical body. In order to move qi up from the base of your body, the Root Chakra, all the way up through the physical body to the 7th/Crown Chakra you have to bridge the gap between the physical and the Crown Chakra. Tian Man is the site where the Kundalini energy (the qi that rises up from the base of the spine at the Root) jumps that gap.

By using this point with the intention of doing an esoteric treatment, you can help activate and balance the Crown chakra or Sahasrara. If you are a meditator of some kind and are working on your inner self (as opposed to working out, exercising, studying, working at your clinic and generally focusing on your outer self) you might also be able to activate higher energetic centers in and above the head using Tian Man Whether this actually activates this way is up to you and the client. If you have both been working on your inner selves there is a better possibility that this will be true.

In Esoteric Acupuncture Tian Man (Du 20) is further back on the head than the way it is taught in acupuncture schools. Tian Man as taught in traditional acupuncture is at the apex of the head, which is where human connects to sky, to the cosmos. This is probably true when you are younger, but as you develop and learn to quiet your mind through meditation you learn to drop your chin to lengthen your neck. At that time in your life that spot you learned to call Du 20 seems to move slightly forward and the spot on your head that points directly to the sky is further back. You will find Tian Man somewhere near the posterior-most Sishencong point in a fairly obvious depression on the centerline of the head (i.e., still on the Du channel). 

Sishencong or “Four Wisdom” (also called “Spirit Brightening”)

These four points are approximately 1 cun lateral, anterior, and posterior to Tian Man. Be sure to use the esoteric location for Tian Man when you set these points. They are usually needled anterior first, then lateral right, lateral left, and finally posterior. I visualize a triangle pointing anteriorly after setting the first 3, then a triangle pointing posteriorly after setting the last point.

The concept of double triangles runs through EA rather often and represents a fire triangle (anterior or upward) and a water triangle (posterior or downward). The balance of fire/water is a common thread you will see over and over again.

This set of points energizes the Crown chakra and the Guru Chakra. These four points plus Tian Man form a double tetrahedron.

Tian Chong or Celestial Thoroughfare (also called Celestial Surge)

You know this point as Gallbladder 9. Some texts translate Tian Chong  as Celestial Hub, implying that this area allows higher spiritual energies not just to enter, but also to distribute to other areas or aspects of the client. You will find this point around the traditional location or perhaps a bit higher on the head. Feel for a depression and needle there. Gb 9 is needled on the right first, then on the left.This point is also about “inner hearing” rather than the sense of physical hearing. These points can awaken the possibility of clairaudience.

Feng Fu or Wind/Spirit Mansion

You know this point as Du 16 and is located in the traditional location (barring your intuition finding it in a slightly different spot of course). You might find a slight depression here…sometimes you will find two or three of them. Let yourself be pulled by your intuition to the point of greatest Qi and needle there. Sometimes it feels like it is pushing outward when I feel it, sometimes it feels like a depression that is trying to pull my Qi into it.

This is a Window of Heaven point and a Ghost point. It is also the entry point into the brain. This point is also called Gui Xue  or Gui Lin in some texts, which translates respectively to “Ghost Hole” and “Ghost Forest.” The implication is that one can communicate with those on the spiritual plane via this point.

Feng Fu also communicates with a minor chakra called Alta Major, the pineal gland, and the pituitary gland. There is a pathway from Feng Fu to the brain and to the Brahmaranda chakra, an inner cranial chakra. (Yeah….lots more chakras than just the seven most of us know!) Qi travels this pathway when you needle Feng Fu (Du 16), which is why you often see it used in combination with Tian Man (Du 20) and Yintang. And no, it’s not likely you’ll be needling all three, but you will see several patterns that as the client to make a visualized triangular connection between these three.

If you want to know more about this very important point in EA, check out pages 231-234 in Sea of Fire – Cosmic Fire. 

Tong Tian or Celestial Connection

Tong Tian (Bladder 7) is connected to Shang Xing (Du 23) in some EA patterns to make a triangular shape. Triangles are very important in esoteric acupuncture and are capable of generating strong energetic fields. This particular triangle is capable of activating the Guru Chakra, the chakra which sits between the top of the head and the Crown Chakra.

Shang Xing or Upper Star

Shang Xing (Du 23) is a major point for activating the bridge from the Brahmaranda Chakra in the cranium  up to the Guru Chakra resting on top of the head.The term “upper star” refers to a shape that is created when Shang Xing is needled along with the Sishencong points.

Shen Ting, Spirit Court or Courtyard of Heaven

Shen Ting (Du 24) is another point for energizing the Brahmaranda Chakra and accessing the Crown Chakra. You will find it in several patterns in Esoteric Acupuncture including one of my favorites, the Eight Heart Gates pattern.

Ajna Group

Ajna is a Sanskrit word which means command or summoning. It is also the name given to the 6th chakra which is often referred to as the Third Eye. This is the area associated with your intuitive ‘seeing.’This is a group of four (sometimes five) points set in a diamond pattern with point you know as Yintang at the bottom-most point of the group. This is not a traditional set of points used in TCM with the exception of the Yintang point. This grouping activates the sequence which allows the client access to their Indu Chakra, Manas Chakra, and to the Third Eye Chakra.

To locate these points you first locate Yintang. Next, measure the distance between the left and right inner canthus. Using this distance, go upward from Yintang. This is the Ajna #1 point.  The Ajna #2 point is right between Yintang (referred to in Esoteric Acupuncture as Ajna #3) and Ajna #1. The two remaining points are directly above the canthi and level with Ajna #2. The point on the right is Indigo #1 and the point on the left is Indigo #2.

Tian Rong or Heaven’s Content

Tian Rong (Small Intestine 17) is a Window of Sky point. It is used in Esoteric patters along with Tian Qi in Eight Heart Gates and other EA patterns. Tian Rong is used to access the part of the heart pathway that travels to the tongue. When used as an esoteric point it can awaken the higher/spiritual aspect of the heart.

Tian Qi or Celestial Pool

Tian Qi (Ren 24) is often considered to be a heart point because of it’s association with the portion of the heart channel that opens into the underside of the tongue. It is used with Tian Rong in some patterns for this reason.

Points on the Anterior Trunk

Yuan Jian or The Source

TCM acu-geeks refer to this as Ren 17. Yuan Jian is another heart point for fairly obvious location reasons, but is more connected to the pericardium. In Esoteric Acupuncture as in old school Chinese medicine the pericardium meridian is seen as a more direct pathway to the Anahata (Heart Chakra) than the heart meridian is. Yuan Jian is the key point to activate the Anahata.

Karma Release Points

This is a 4-point grouping around the umbilicus located approximately 1/2 cun from the outer border of the umbilicus. If you arrange them as if they were numbers on a clock the top-most point would be 12:00, left and right would be 9:00 and 3:00 respectively (and they may or may not be located where Kidney 16 is – depends on the size of the belly button), and the bottom point would be at 6:00. The top-most point is referred to as The Point of Stillness. The points are needled this way:

1. Point of Stillness (12:00)
2. 9:00 point
3. 3:00 point
4. 6:00 point

These points are used to release karmic debris that came along from past lives and to harmonize and strengthen the etheric body. They have the ability to tonify the Yuan Qi and are also sister points to Sishencong. When used with these they stabilize and ground your client as the Sishencong points unlock the gateway to the Crown (Sahasrara) Chakra.

Guan Yuan or Original Gate

Guan Yuan (aka, Ren 4) strengthens the Lower Dan Tian and can activate and strengthen the Yuan Qi. It also helps to harmonize and tonify the Swadthisthana or Sacral Chakra.

Something fun to know: the Lower Dan Tian is also called the Fields of Red Elixer and Fields of Cinnabar. Cinnabar is mercury or quicksilver, a very handy but extremely toxic mineral. In ancient Chinese and Tibetan medicine this mineral, if refined correctly with the right herbs transformed from a powerful toxin to an amazing medicine. So we all start off with a raw toxin and it’s up to us to either refine ourselves into a powerful medicine for ourselves and others….or to remain toxic.

Points on the Posterior Trunk

Da Zhui – Big Vertebra or Big Hammer

Da Zhui (Du 14) activates the Vishuddha (Throat) Chakra and the pituitary gland. This point is the key gateway to connect the lower/concrete mind to the higher/abstract mind. This point also has a resonance which activates the Ajna center at the Yintang point.I think of this point as “Big Hammer” because it resonates when you needle it, activating Yintang as well as Tian Chong (Gb 9) and Tian Ting (Sj 15). Da Zhui is therefore a major hidden gateway with the capacity to help your client open up to an expanded level of consciousness, giving access to their life’s purpose as well as to the healing of their heart, mind, and body.

Tian Zong – Celestial Gathering or Heaven’s Worship

This point is also known as Small Intestine 11 in TCM school. The name Tian Zong winged heart 2 implies that this is an area where energies from higher celestial realms enter and gather. These points are closely connected to the energies of the Anahata or Heart Chakra and there is a strong energetic connection between Tian Zong and Shen Dao (Du 11) as well.

If you have done some EA treatments and wondered what the heck SI 11 was doing in the pattern, it’s because these are also referred to as the Wing Maker Points. These are the “wings of the heart.” The Wing Maker Frequency is the gateway to multi-dimensional realities.

Shen Dao or Spirit Path

Shen Dao (Du 11), just below the spinous process of T5, is the key entrance point to the Anahata or Heart Chakra on the back of the body. There is a concept called the Jewel in the Lotus among meditators in some eastern spiritual practices.

If you’ve ever heard the mantra Om mani padme hum, a mantra associated with Avolkiteshvara who is also known as Quan Yin in Chinese culture, this is the mantra which can activate the Jewel in the Lotus, the compassion within the human heart. (Mani means jewel or bead and Padme translates to lotus flower.) Shen Dao is the point equivalent to this mantra, able to open the door to the Heart Chakra and compassion.

Shen Dao is also referred to as one of the Lower Twin Flames. You may have heard the saying , “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”(2) Completely true. So why do we exist in a physical form? To experience form and relationship. Our spiritual and human selves are represented by “twin flames” within. Seeking your twin flame is like seeking your soulmate, but rather than looking on eHarmony, you are looking for the spark of the divine, that infinite compassion within. To develop this requires time in meditation with a calm mind and connection with the divine.

Tian Ting or Celestial Hearing

San Jiao 15 or Tian Ting is a pair of points that often goes with Tian Chong/Gb 9 to create the “Upper Shaoyang Gate” which means in EA terms that one is working on both inner and outer parts of themselves. Much like the Ajna group allows one to see from within and access information that is sourced from Spirit, these points allow the client to hear that still small voice of intuition that is connected to the Divine.

There are many hourglass type shapes within Esoteric Acupuncture. Hourglass shapes could be interpreted as either a type of figure 8, reflecting infinity, or they can be seen as a four-sided pyramid viewed from directly over the capstone of the pyramid. You can also view them as a mobius strip, which has no end and no beginning, again reflecting infinity.

Mingmen or Gate of Life

Mingmen (Du 4) is one of the strong anchoring points (along with Kidney 1) and also assists in strengthening the positive aspects of Swadhisthana, the 2nd Chakra. Mingmen is also where the ‘fire’ of the body resides, which on a physical level refers to our qi and vitality. In a more esoteric sense, this is a mystic fire, the kundalini energy that resides at the base of the spine.

Mingmen is also the sister point to Shen Dao and is the other of the Lower Twin Flames. Remember learning that the heart is a fiery organ and the kidney has the mingmen fire? These two points represent the fire of the heart and the fire of the kidney mingmen – the lower twin flames. The relationship between Shen Dao and Mingmen is also one of fire (heart) and water (kidney). You will see a lot of upward and downward pointing triangles in the Esoteric Acupuncture patterns. This represents that same balance: fire and water, yang and yin, masculine and feminine.

Points on the Lower Limbs

Esoteric Weizhong

This point is in between Bladder 40 and Kidney 10 in a depression at the popliteal crease. Weizhong activates the second chakra’s minor frequencies and is intimately connected to Mingmen. There is also a minor chakra here called the Satala Chakra which is intimately connected to the Sacral Chakra, just like Mingmen is. For this reason you will see Weizhong used in combination with Mingmen in EA patterns. When you become aware of the triangle this combination forms you see a large triangle pointing upward. Upward point triangles are fire or Heart triangle.

Yang Lingquan or Yang Tomb Spring

Not a terribly descriptive name, I hope! Yang Lingquan (Gallbladder 34) assists in clear inner hearing and has lovely effects on the Liver qi as well. Actually, you can pair this point with Yang Qi (Sj 4) as an alternate form of four gates called The Shaoyang Four Gates which works on both the lower and higher spiritual frequencies at the same time.

Cheng Shan

Cheng Shan (Bladder 57) harmonizes the energies of the Root (Muladhara) Chakra. While the lower aspects of these bilateral points work on the physical root of the body and on hemorrhoids, the higher frequencies of these points connect to Feng Fu/Du 16 to form a triangular pattern sometimes referred to as The Mountain Within the Cranium, the Brahmaranda Chakra within the cranium.

Feng Fu sits at the level of the medulla oblongata, which is connected to the Root or Muladhara Chakra. Cheng Shan is often used in conjunction with the Coccyx point at the base of the spine to strengthen and support the Muladhara Chakra.

Di Chong or Earth’s Thoroughfare

While this point is similar to Kidney 1, it’s not in the same location. Di Chong is located at the dimple on the bottom of the foot between the balls of the feet.Sometimes this point is called The Bubbling Spring in TCM, which I think is appropriate since this is a major grounding point for all of those high frequency spiritual energies you are helping to bring to the dense physical body. It can also work the other way: Di Chong can also allow the energies of the Earth to ascend into the physical body. You will see this point used in conjunction with Tian Man (Du 20) to form a grand triangle which is representative of connecting Earth to Heaven.

Points on the Upper Limbs

 Shenmen or Spirit Gate

You know Shenmen as Heart 7. These points are connected to the Anahata/Heart Chakra and to the opening of this chakra at Shen Dao/Du 11. When your client is lying face down on the table and you needle these three points you have formed an upward pointing or Heart triangle. This can open the Heart Gates allowing energy to flow smoothly to the client’s Spirit or Heart path.

Yang Qi or Yang Pool

Yang Qi (San Jiao 4) can open up all yang channels, build the Wei Qi, and unblock the pathways for clairaudience.

1. Dr. Sankey used to advocate removing all needles and starting over again, but in a recent seminar (October 2013) in Boulder, Colorado he said there is no need for that if you send qi to each point in the sequence as described.
2. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Le Phénomène Humain (1955)

Nov 14

Esoteric Acupuncture Basics – Philosophy

What in the World is Esoteric Acupuncture (EA)?

Esoteric Acupuncture (EA) is far more than just another form of acupuncture. EA is designed to help you heal your spirit and energetic body (or bodies) which then has positive effects on the physical body. Since that’s a really simplified answer, let me get more specific.

We live in a world that generally validates information learned from external sources. That is exoteric knowledge. This is information you gain in school, at your church, at your job, etc. This is stuff you can study out of a book. It’s the stuff that makes our society and technology work.

Esoteric information is information that comes from inside of you. If you grew up in a Christian faith you could equate this kind of information with that “still small voice.” It’s that inner knowing you get when you silence the chatter in your mind and focus on your internal world instead of your external world. Esoteric acupuncture helps you get in touch with and develop your inner world and with the non-physical side of who you are. Why would you want to do this? Because healing this aspect of yourself has positive effects that ripple out to the rest of your life.

The Energetic Connection

You have probably heard the phrase “Form follows thought.” Dis-ease is often preceded by a long time mental, emotional, or energetic pattern. You see this in Chinese medicine frequently – anger can cause Liver dysfunction, worry can damage the Spleen, fear can impair Kidney function, grief can scatter the Qi of the Lung. Form following thought is not limited to those expressions in TCM. Thought and energy patterns can affect the body in many ways. Here is one small example: I have had a long-term habit of saying that this or that was a “pain in the butt.” I used that term for years . . .  until I had really bad sciatic pain that seemingly came out of nowhere. Did I program myself for that? Maybe. Form, after all, does follow thought. One thing I know for sure – I’ve stopped using the term “pain in the butt!” That was excessively painful (9/10) for weeks on end.

Esoteric Acupuncture focuses on the energetic aspects of ourselves, which is where we all really come from anyway. By healing and tuning those energetic aspects we put ourselves in a state in which the physical body can heal.

The Spiritual Connection

Russian dolls BabushkaWe are more than just our physical body. As a matter of fact, we are layers upon layers of energy that overlap at the very center of our being. I think of this as being a bit like a Russian Matryoshka doll which is really a series of figures that nest one inside the other. The difference is that these energetic layers of ours are not so distinct and each layer goes all the way through to the center. The innermost doll in this analogy represents our dense physical body, the point of greatest overlap.

The center, our physical body, is the densest layer of who we are. As you move outward through the energetic layers each gets less dense and finer in nature. Consciously working on these energetic layers helps to refine and strengthen them. Dr. Mikio Sankey, the founder of Esoteric Acupuncture, expresses this as “tiers of density.”

At our finest and least dense frequencies we connect to the Universe, to God, to the Ein Sof/Ayn Soph, or whatever term you use to mean your Higher Power. While we all return to that after we die, I think one of our primary functions here on this earth is to refine that connection now. This in turn changes our lives, helps us find our true purpose in being here in these bodies and gives meaning to our existence.

Each of us has blocks to finding that higher purpose. Esoteric Acupuncture patterns function  like a digital lock to open the doors to removing those blockages. It is up to us and/or our patients to walk through the opened door and do the work of clearing the things that block us from our true selves.

Final Thoughts

Awakening and expanding your spiritual connection also awakens you to your place and purpose in the world. As a practitioner this is important because the qi we bring to our patients gets passed on to them on many levels. Bringing higher, finer frequencies into your life and into your clinic room/s brings peace and confidence into your treatments, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your sessions.

Bringing this type of awareness into your life doesn’t mean you get so airy-fairy that you can’t keep your feet on the ground. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Refining your own energy allows you to view life from a totally different perspective and to bring the divine into your everyday world. Your clients will notice the difference in the results they get and in your demeanor. When you are calm and connected to your divine source you become an inspiration to them. You owe it to them, and more importantly, you owe it to yourself.

Nov 13

Eight Heart Gates

What is your hearts’ desire? I don’t mean what do you want for Christmas when I ask this. I Eight Heart Gates Patternmean what is it that your highest heart wants? If you don’t know, or if you feel your heart has been broken, this pattern might be for you. Each point in the pattern is a type of heart point, not geared toward mending the physical heart (though at times that can happen as a result of this pattern as well), but toward aligning with the heart chakra, your hearts’ desire, your true purpose here on this planet.

As with all Esoteric patterns, you can do this with or without needles. Regardless of whether you work with acupuncture needles, crystals, essential oils, tuning forks, or some other healing tool, you can use this pattern. Even though this is called “Esoteric Acupuncture,” you do not have to be an acupuncturist to use the patterns. Some knowledge of Chinese acupuncture point locations is strongly recommended since the places that are treated are based on the Chinese acupuncture system.


  • If you are working with acupuncture needles, I recommend 1/2 cun red handled Seirins.
  • The Esoteric location for Du 20 is further back than the TCM location. Because you need to access this point, and because you are also going to use Ren 22 at the throat, I recommend you use a small neck support for your client rather than a full pillow. It will also help if you have your client slide up on the table so that the head is right at the edge.
  • Check the clients’ chakras prior to doing the pattern to see which ones are aligned and functional and which are not. Recheck after completing the pattern to make sure all chakras are aligned, open and happy. Start at the root chakra and move up to the crown when you check. If you don’t know how to check chakras, see the post on Chakras.

Point Sequence

When using an Esoteric Acupuncture (EA) pattern it is imperative that you do the points in the sequence given. EA is a bit like a digital lock: you can only open it by using the correct numbers in the correct sequence. This is what you are doing for your clients. Whether they turn the handle and go through the door you have unlocked is up to them.

If you are using acupuncture needles, bear in mind you don’t need to needle deeply. You only need to insert the needle far enough into the skin for it to stand up.

  1. Tian Man (Celestial Fullness – Du 20)
  2. Shen Ting (Celestial or Heavenly Court – Du 24)
  3. Ajna Center (Third Eye – Yintang)
  4. Tian Qi (Celestial Pool – Ren 24)
  5. Tian Tu (Celestial Chimney – Ren 22)
  6. Yuan Jian (Ren 17)
    This is the sister point to Du 11 on the back.
  7. Zhong Ting (Center Palace or Gateway to the Central Cinnabar Field – Ren 16)
  8. Point of Stillness
    Located about ½ cun proximal to the center of the umbilicus, Ren 8. If your client has a large belly button, you may need to locate right on the edge of the ‘bowl.’ Body piercings here can block this “point of stillness” energy. If you client has one, see if they are willing to remove it and explain why. If this is scarred, use a guide tube rather than freehand needling and punch through it. 
  9. Yang Qi (SJ 4) – right side
  10. Yangling Quan (GB 34) – left side
  11. Yangling Quan (GB 34) – right side
  12. Yang Qi (SJ 4) – left side

After you complete the 12 points of this pattern there is a 13th area that will activate in the center of the chest. This is the Thirteenth Heart Gate and includes Ki 25, which is called “The Spirit Storehouse.”

Let your client rest with this pattern for about 40 minutes. Even if you are not using needles, you need to “remove” the points in reverse order. Start with the 12th point, Yang Qi (SJ 4) on the left and work your way back up to Tian Man (Du 20).

Next, insert the Integration Synthesis Pattern and let your client retain that pattern for an additional 15-20 minutes before you close the session.

Integration Synthesis Pattern

 This very simple pattern is an excellent way to help your client fully integrate an esotericpattern. I recommend you put the pattern in place (needles, oils, crystals, etc.) and leave it for 15-20 minutes before closing your session.


  • Again, if you are working with acupuncture needles, I recommend 1/2 cun red Integration Synthesis Esoteric Patternhandled Seirins.
  • The Esoteric location for Du 20 is further back than the TCM location. Because you need to access this point, and because you are also going to use Ren 22 at the throat, I recommend you use a small neck support for your client rather than a full pillow. It will also help if you have your client slide up on the table so that the head is right at the edge.
  • This is a great time to re-check your clients’ chakras.

Point Sequence

  1. Tian Man (Du 20)
  2. Lao Gong (PC 8) – right
    The location is a bit different than the TCM location. This point is located on the palm just below the heads of the knuckle bones (click on the image to the right above to see a graphic for this) of the 2nd and 3rd metacarpal bones (between the index and middle fingers)
  3. Lao Gong (PC 8) – left
  4. Yuan Jian (Ren 17)

Be sure to guide your client through the visualization below:

  • Visualize a line connecting the Lao Gong points (PC 8)
    It is often helpful to lightly touch the area near the points. Ask you client to acknowledge it when he or she can “see” that line.
  • Visualize a line connection both Lao Gong points to Tian Man (Du 20) to form a big triangle.
    Again, ask your client to let you know when he or she has that visualization in place
  • Visualize the Yuan Jian (Ren 17) point to be the capstone of a large pyramid. Ask your client to visualize that point reaching up to the sky. The corners of the triangle now become the corners of a large 3 sided pyramid. Have them acknowledge it when the visual is in place.
  • Ask you client to visualize the Yuan Jian point mirroring the previous step so that another pyramid forms and reaches down into the earth.

A word about visualization.
If your client gets very relaxed or has difficulty imaging these shapes, no worries. You can imagine it for them. Just insert (or work with the points if you are not using needles), visualize, and let the client rest. Even if they can visualize, they do not have to hold the visualization the entire time the needles are in.

Retain the pattern for 15-20 minutes then remove the needles or points in reverse order.