A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that Lisa and I had started doing “Back Shu.”
“Shu” means transport, and by getting Back Shu I am transporting Qi through the acupuncture points. Of course, everything is very strategic (acupuncture!) and so what it entails is that certain points (that are located on the inner pathway of the bladder meridian on both sides of your back, straddling your spine) correspond to a specific organ, directly. So by targeting a certain point, via the meridian, it helps tonify that organ that is located underneath. As well as with all acupuncture points, it also helps balance the ying or yang in your body, stimulating the Qi along the channel, which then wonderfully (internally) massages the channel with a wave, helping remove stagnation. This is why it is a practice that is so particularly potent, there is no intermediary. So what it’s acutely good for (I’ve been told) is to treat chronic ailments.
Why it’s so good for me is because it helps me with a lot of organs that I have stagnation in. For example, I have an immense amount of strain on my bladder, kidney, spleen and large intestine. This might be for a lot of reasons, aka my genetic makeup, but it’s possibly also due to having a lifetime of IBS (and though I’m finally “cured” it still comes to say hi, recurring every now and again like a bad dream) as my body has certain trigger points. I can feel the stagnation, whether that’s via constipation (hello, I’m obsessed with my poops!) or even a certain kind of achiness and bloating I regularly feel in that area. Other than that, how else have I located stagnation? Well, I’ve talked a bit about the disassociation and dysmorphia I’ve experienced throughout my life, which are largely mental and emotional reactions. Physically it is embodied in my body via bloating, general digestive discomfort and constipation… or sometimes strange, strange diarrhea.
This is a lot, and I’m sorry, but it’s important to be candid about what happens inside of your body!
So I’m uncloaking the shame.
Talking about how we defecate has frankly been really elucidating for me. Firstly, poops tell you a lot about your body—even if it’s just what it’s lacking, and what it needs. Acupuncturists are trained to understand the symbology of a poop and what it allocates to, and hopefully they help you enter the world where we (you, and everyone we know!) have pristine poops that are beneficial to our bodily system. Recently, a friend of mine that recently had OBGYN cancer told me that now she loves talking about pooping, and fixating on how or why she poops. She considers it to be life-changing because it keeps her in sync with her own body, as opposed to locking herself out of it, and not checking in, due to embarrassment.
I’m tired of being embarrassed by my body.
I’m also tired of talking about things that aren’t actually important while avoiding the very necessary conversations we need to be having with ourselves.
They’re not all poop related, but hey… let’s start there! How often do you poop? How do you feel when you poop? Maybe start a poop journal.
Back to stagnation, Back Shu has had particularly positive impacts on the organs I mentioned earlier. For these reasons, Lisa gives me this treatment once a week, and once a week I feel their direct benefit. I feel less bloated in general, I’m also very tapped in to when something feels off. Getting to know my body (and my poops, sorry) has meant that I’m way more prone to understanding when I’m dehydrated, or what foods are directly cramping my style (cheese) or why I need to focus on my liver, and detox.
I’m not taking my body for a ride anymore and heading towards the exit sign, in full speed, whistling “whooooooops” as I smash head first into a wall. These days, it’s directing me, and I’m listening. When it talks I’m no longer pretending to listen, or agreeing half-heartedly, and then doing the thing that’s the complete opposite. I’m stopping, I’m being more patient with myself (and my restrictions) and I’m understanding that this beautiful complicated body of mine is working for me, not against me.
About The Author
This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.
Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha will also soon have two books published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:
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