Donna Carey, LAc and Ellen F. Franklin, Phd
California Journal of Oriental Medicine, 2004, Volume 15, No. 2 - Summer
Transitions are about growing into our greatest capacities and launching into our highest expression of self with renewed energy and wisdom.
In an earlier CJOM article, we wrote about sound healing, Oriental medicine, and the three treasures. We provided some basic treatment protocols for the application of tuning forks to cultivate the three treasures and to create balance, harmony, longevity, and wholeness by accessing and strengthening the kidney. This is accomplished through the application of sound to the huato jiaji and the immortal caves, or baliao. In this article, we will address women in transition and the use of tuning forks for the treatment of menopause and perimenopause.
Menopause and perimenopause is one of the most significant and powerful transitions in a woman’s life. This time is marked by physiological, psychological, and spiritual changes, often requiring a blending of treatment strategies and paradigms. It is a time when women access a new and oftentimes confusing sense of power. The use of sound healing tools is invaluable for dealing with the issues and subtle textures experienced during this time of transition. Deep down, the issues of menopause and perimenopause are associated with the natural rhythms and cycles, with which we’ve lost contact. By working on specific acupuncture points with the frequencies of the new and full moons, we are able to provide the individual with nurturance, emotional support, and sympathetic vibrational rhythms.
Women will often present with a constellation of symptoms that are ignored or labeled as hormonal and/or psychological imbalances. Western medicine and some alternative therapies will deliver multiple diagnoses, including Sjoegren’s syndrome, hypothymia, non-specific autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, depression, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, and so on. These diagnoses alone are often not the answer, and in many cases they are inaccurate. As clinicians, we must also consider that during this time of transition women are being initiated into their power, self-autonomy, destiny, and a larger blueprint which can be one of the most profound, life-altering, confusing, and shattering experiences in life. Unfortunately, many of us live in a world and within family structures that do not support these transitions because the outcome is feared—namely change. These are often irreversible and irresistible changes that come when we are given a gift of insight into our life. Women begin to access their divine spark and often experience a heightened awareness. They are called to move beyond their existing structure and to redesign or craft a brand new architecture for their lives based on inner authority and guidance.
All of these symptoms and syndromes that seem so overwhelming and unbearable are not all that complex, strange, or pathological. Remember that in other cultures this is a celebrated and sacred time. Our culture minimizes transitions, and offers few rites of passage, thereby disempowering these powerful times, especially the powerful times of women. Lab results measuring a biochemical moment leading to a medical diagnosis do not tell the complete story.
Transitions are about growing into our greatest capacities and launching into our highest expression of self with renewed energy and wisdom. The menopausal years are part of this critical transition.
Rather than providing many individual case studies, we offer some general treatment strategies that have been extremely effective in clinical practice.
Menopausal syndromes almost always involve a constellation of patterns and symptoms around the factor of heat. From an Oriental medicine perspective, the diagnosis is kidney yin deficiency. Yin is the female aspect (Moon), the material base, the nurturing substance and process. Yang is the masculine principle (Sun), the energy, and the action. Yin and yang are complementary forces that exist within our body, within nature, and throughout the universe. These forces interplay, complement, and check one another. When in balance, there is harmony. When yin is deficient, yang will take over. We see how the yin (water) deficiency cannot provide the root, and the yang (fire) will immediately exhibit itself with a flare.
Symptoms of heat include hot flashes, heat rising up in the form of headaches, restlessness, fidgetiness, sleeplessness, and irritability. The heat can give way to dryness, both vaginal and general dryness of mouth, eyes, skin, and a feeling of itchy, crawly skin. Joint aches can occur due to the loss of moisture and lubrication as well. There may be feelings of being ungrounded and unrooted due to the energy constantly rising up. The heat can cause unsettling feelings of anger, aggression, nervousness; it may also cause either excessive menstrual bleeding (heat will burn collaterals), or incessant spotting (yin source drying and preventing blood production). Emotionally, there is a wide gamut—from elation with constant activity and restlessness, to depression and very little activity. Insomnia may be present with hypo- or hyper-emotions.
Psycho-spiritual symptoms may include a blown out low back or sacrum, which is common in transformational crisis—the stability of our old life and ways of thinking and being are challenged. Our creative urge for spiritual and soul growth is awakening at the base of the spine and Kundalini energy is being stirred up at its core. Other symptoms women may experience include feelings that the world and the people around them are becoming too small as well as feelings of loss or impending change. The nervous system oftentimes becomes extremely sensitive and fragile—everything becomes a crisis, and there can be a loss of control. Things once taken in stride become overwhelming. When this is coupled with inability to sleep and surging power, our system’s circuitry can easily become fried.
The following are general treatment protocols designed to be used in combination with the constitutional work that would be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for your clients. The behavior of the forks and duration of vibration when placed on points can also provide key diagnostic information, but that is beyond the scope of this article. When dealing with menopause, the primary forks that we work with will be the Earth (deeply grounding) and the New and the Full Moon (nurturing and watering).
After activating the tuning forks by tapping them lightly, the stems of the forks are placed directly on the indicated points for approximately 25 to 35 seconds or until they stop vibrating. In some situations, we point the weighted ends of the tuning forks over an area or organ that is being treated. As a general guideline, we would repeat the application of the forks to each point or area approximately three times.
It is critical to ground, root, and settle the nervous system, which helps to bring the body back into its new rhythms and cycles. When we work with the planetary frequencies of these tuning forks, we are brought into alignment with the cycles of nature and the universe. The best place to begin a treatment is with the fundamental and foundational cycle of Ohm, the sound of the earth traveling through the four seasons. It is excellent for grounding, rooting, balance, and homeostasis.
Begin your treatment by having the client listen to the Ohm Octave, the Low Ohm fork, and the Middle Ohm fork sounded together. Then, place these two forks together on the soles of the feet at KID 1, Gushing Spring.
Next, use both Middle Ohm forks together (Ohm Unison) and travel down the entire spine first along the huato jiaji points, and then out from the spine on the shu points. This helps to settle the nervous system and aids the client in integrating the new energies, frequencies, and insights that are coming into the body. After going down the spine, be sure to work on the sacrum and coccyx, ending at the bottom of the foot at KID 1.
Next, use the Ohm forks above the body, sweeping energy from the top to the bottom of the body, guiding it downward toward the root. Apply the combination of the Ohm and Full Moon fork on the inside of the lower leg on SP 6 (Three Leg Yin). This is a powerful psycho-spiritual point, and using this combination can water the yin of the body and help harmonize the emotions. Once the client has turned over, root again using the Ohm Octave on REN 4, (Origins Pass). This point is great for rooting the core energy, centering, and supporting the kidney.
One of the most effective treatments for leveling, grounding, nourishing, and helping to realign energies in the physical and subtle energy bodies is using the Full Moon 6th Interval (the Ohm and Full Moon fork) on the extraordinary vessels. The combination of the chong and ren mai support the treatment of signs and symptoms and reach deep into the root to allow a rebirth or new conception of self to form on all levels. Begin by treating the chong mai (Penetrating Vessel). Place the New Moon fork on SP 4 (Grandparents/Grandchild) and the Ohm on P 6 (Inner Gate). Follow with the Full Moon fork on SP 4 and the Ohm on P 6. Repeat the sequence on the ren mai (Conception Vessel), placing the New Moon fork on the opening point LU 7 (Broken Sequence) and the Ohm Fork on KID 6 (Shining Sea). Follow with the Full Moon fork on LU 7 and the Ohm on KID 6.
For liver stagnation and heat: Zodiac 3rd on LIV 3 (Great Surge) or LIV 14 (Cycle Gate).
For dry eyes: Full Moon 6th on KID 6 (Shining Sea).
For insomnia and or irritability: Full Moon 6th on SP 6 (Three Yin Intersection) and HT 7 (Spirit Gate).
For heat and nightsweats: Full Moon 6th on HT 5 (Connecting Li), KID 7 (Recover Flow), and KID 10 (Yin Valley).
For heavy bleeding: Earth Day 5th on ST 36 (Leg Three Li) and SP 6 (Three Yin Intersection).
To root, ground and settle: Ohm Octave on KID 1 (Gushing Spring), SP 3 (Supreme White), and REN 4 (Origins Pass).
For additional emotional and spiritual balance: New Moon 5th and or Ohm Unison on KID 23 (Spirit Seal), KID 24 (Spirit Ruins), and K 25 (Spirit Storehouse).
To nourish kidney yin and yang: Full Moon 6th followed by Solar 7th on KID 3 (Great Ravine), BL 23 (kidney shu point), REN 4 (Origins Pass) and DU 4 (Life Gate).
Trace a figure eight above the body with the Ohm Forks to signify the infinite connection between heaven, earth, and humanity. Then, hold these near your client’s ears to end the treatment.
The frequencies of the tuning forks that we work with are based on the work of Kepler, who in the 1620’s discovered the elliptical paths of the planets. Kepler calculated the velocity of all known planets (invalidating the accepted concept of circular orbits). He presented scientific evidence of the relationship between the musical ratios and the planetary motion—the music of the spheres. In the 20th century, Hans Cousto translated the planetary velocities into musical tone. Cousto’s musical transpositions of Kepler’s planetary orbits provided a foundation for the tuning fork frequencies that we use. Carey & de Muynck expanded on these translations and calculated the frequencies for Chiron, Nibiru, and the four largest asteroids.
Each musical combination or interval used in this system has its own unique healing properties. For example, a musical 3rd, a dispersing interval, is created by combining the Ohm fork, the sound of the Earth traveling through the four seasons, and the Zodiac Earth, the sound of the Earth traveling through the processional cycle of the zodiac, where Earth disperses in a 25,000-year cycle. This is an excellent combination for reducing stagnation, calming the liver, and dealing with the mobilization of scar tissue. The New Moon 5th is created by combining the Ohm fork with the New Moon fork. This 5th creates an opening in the flow of energy and is used for lymphedema, treatment of window to the sky points, and for releasing old emotional patterns. The Earth Day 5th is created when the green Earth Day fork, which represents the earth revolving on its own axis (a 24 hour cycle), is combined with the gold Ohm fork to produce a strongly generative combination. The Solar 7th Interval is also generative as well as vitalizing and warming. It combines the Sun Fork with the Low Ohm fork. This combination is being used in place of moxa with great results. The Full Moon 6th combines the Full Moon fork (white) with the Ohm and is used to nourish yin and essence. All applications of tuning forks are based on planetary correspondences and sympathies and can be directly integrated into Oriental medical diagnostics.
Acutonics Intervals Used in the Treatment Protocol for Menopause and Perimenopause
OHM UNISON: Two gold Middle Ohm tuning forks. This is the fundamental tone interval. It grounds, balances, roots, and connects us to earth. It provides us with a sense of ease, safety, and feeling at home. (Ohm is approximately C #)
ZODIAC 3rd: Gold Middle Ohm and Purple tuning forks. This interval is calming and meditative. It is expansive and dispersing and relaxes mind and muscle. (Zodiac Earth is approximately F)
EARTH DAY 5th: Gold Middle Ohm and green Earth Day tuning forks. This interval is generative and tonifying. It is also energetic and stimulating. (Earth Day is approximately a G)
NEW MOON 5th: Gold Middle Ohm and metallic-blue middle New Moon tuning forks. This interval opens and disperses. It is feminine, nurturing, watering, and emotionally releasing. (New Moon is approximately G#)
FULL MOON 6th: Gold Middle Ohm and white middle Full Moon tuning forks. This powerful interval builds and bridges. It is feminine, watering, and brings emotions to fullness. This interval is the ultimate expression of yin. (Full Moon is approximately A #)
SOLAR 7th: Gold low Ohm and sunflower yellow Middle Sun tuning forks. This interval is vitalizing and warming. Its masculine, initiatory power tonifies and pulls us toward source. This interval is the ultimate expression of yang. (Sun is approximately B)
OHM OCTAVE: Gold Low Ohm and gold Middle Ohm tuning forks. This interval completes and grounds while connecting us to deeper issues. As it unifies parts of the whole, it works well to energetically connect the lower and middle body.
(Note: Because these are cosmic tunings, the notes are only approximate)
1. Carey, D., and de Muynck, M. Acutonics: There’s No Place Like Ohm, Sound Healing, Oriental Medicine and the Cosmic Mysteries, Vadito, NM: Devachan Press, 2002.
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