Jing stagnation is one of the major complications of Jing Gong, which can lead to physical, emotional and spiritual turbulence. One of the most likely places where jing get stagnated is in the male pelvis, a.k.a. lower dan tian. There are numerous benefits to relieving pelvic tension:
- Increased qi, blood and jing circulation in the pelvis. This promotes prostate health and enhances all alchemical practices that utilize this cauldron.
- Increased qi, blood and jing circulation in the lower limbs all the way to Kidney 1 (Yong Quan). This promotes grounding and relieves pelvic tension that blocks communication between the upper and lower halves of the body.
- Increased awareness of the anus, rectum and lower abdomen and how this area is one of the very best barometers for overall body tension. Therefore, a key to resolving this tension.
- Improved postural alignment of the whole body as the layers of fascia get untangled here and the release is propagated throughout the myofascial web of the body.
Over the years, we have seen a variety of methods developed to free up this area of the body for qi, blood and jing circulation. Now, I would like to introduce yet another method. The key to this approach is to go from the INSIDE out. I call this method "Crystal in (yo)Ur anus".
Here, we definitely need the right tool. It is called the Crystal Wand.
It is an S-shaped clear acrylic tool originally made for stimulating the female G-spot. It is now also being advertised as a prostate massage tool. I propose that it is much more than a prostate massager. Used in a creative way, it can educate you kinesthetically the internal structures of your pelvic bowl.
Once you insert the wand about half-way through your anal canal, turn it in place 360 degrees. This sweep of the S-hook will inform you that your rectum is not just a tight canal. It is also expandable and allows you to explore the bowel-like structure of your pelvis. You can massage your tailbone, sacrum, bladder, prostate, seminal vesicles, urogenital diaphragm, pelvic diaphragm and even some lateral rotators from the INSIDE!
A visual aid: Make a ring with your LEFT index finger and LEFT thumb. Point the rest of the fingers to the front of you so you have a ring in the horizontal plane. Put your RIGHT index finger through the ring and curl it. Turn your curled RIGHT index finger around for 360 degrees.
It is very safe to explore the pelvic bowl as long as you do it gently and slowly. Your intuition and sense of wonder will lead you to explore places deep inside yourself which you never thought existed or accessible.
Using the same visual aid, let's continue our exploration in more details. First, let's establish our bearings. Let's just say that the horizontal ring is actually a clock face. 12 o'clock is where the tip of your curled RIGHT index finger is facing directly to the front (away from you). This is our starting point.
Trail 1: The anterior wall: the Jing Chamber.
At 12 o'clock, if you press directly forward you will usually find the prostate. If you go a bit more upward at 1 and 11 o'clock you will find the ampullae of the ductus deferens. At 2 and 10 o'clock you will find the seminal vesicles. Note that about 60% of semen is produced by the seminal vesicles with most of the remainder by the prostate. The ampullae act as reservoirs for sperm cells transported from the epididymis. I believe these 3 structures are what the ancient daoists collectively referred to as Jing Shi(Chamber). The muscular bouncy wall you feel beyond the seminal vesicles belongs to the bladder.
Trail 2: The pelvic floor: the pelvic diaphragm.
At 12 o'clock, retreat the hook a little and aim it directly downward (towards the ground instead of forward). You are in the neighborhood of the first acupuncture point of the Conception Vessel, Ren 1 (Hui Yin). Perform a 360 degrees sweep around the clock. This is your pelvic diaphragm, the floor of your pelvis.
The pelvic diaphragm is actually made up of the levator ani and the coccygeus. The levator ani is in turn made up of puborectalis, pubococcygeus and iliocyccygeus, each forming a larger U shape sling around the rectum.
Trail 3: The posterior anchor: the coccyx and the sacrum.
At 6 o'clock, you will find the tip of the coccyx. Note that almost the entire pelvic diaphragm is anchored in the coccyx. As such, it is an important site for exploration. Also, half-way between the ring and the tip of the coccyx is the first acupuncture point of the Governing Channel: Du-1 (Chang Qiang). Further in and slightly up in the 6 o'clock direction is the sacrum. The importance of the sacrum has been discussed by many. Here I just want to point out that the fascia of the pelvic floor is continuous with that of the coccyx and the sacrum. The sacrum itself is linked to all the lumbar, thoracic and cervical vertebrae via the anterior longitudinal ligament.
Trail 4: The lateral wall: obturator internus.
Between 2 to 4 o'clock and between 10 to 8 o'clock, advance the hook beyond the tendinous arch that feels like a bony ridge and you will feel the fascia of obturator internus - a lateral rotator of the hip. Again, note that the fascia of the obturator internus is continuous with the pelvic floor.
Trail 5: The posterior wall: piriformis.
Between 4 to 5 o'clock and 8 to 7 o'clock you will find another body ridge which is really where the coccygeous muscle goes over the sacrospinous ligament. Beyond this ridge you will drop into an opening (the greater sciatic foramen). Above this opening you can feel the piriformis. This opening is also where the sciatic nerve emerges from the pelvic bowl and goes into the back of the leg for most people. A tight piriformis is usually implicated for sciatica. If you advance your hook beyond this opening, you can potentially touch the gluteus maximus - the most superficial muscle that makes up most of your butt cheek.
Crystal Wand Models
There are currently 2 models: Crystal Wand and Deluxe Crystal Wand. They are available at http://www.doctorg.com/crystalwand.htm. Even though I have owned the original model for years and do not own the Deluxe, I think the Deluxe is a good one to start with. It is slimmer so it is a lot easier for insertion and getting into tight crevices. Besides, the ribbed end provides a better grip and therefore better control.
Comparison with Aneros
I personally own 3 Aneros models: Classic, Helix and Eupho. I use Aneros for pleasure and Crystal Wand for muscular and fascial release. To me, Aneros is yin, Crystal wand is yang. In other words, one for pleasure, the other for work.
Histologically, the rectum is very similar to the colon. Therefore I choose not to use any lubrication in this area that I wouldn't want absorbed into my blood stream. In other words, commercial lube is out of the question for me. My personal favorite mixture is organic olive oil with organic aloe vera gel (Lily of the Dessert 99% Gelly). From time to time, I also add some bee wax (Burt's Bees Hand Salve) to change the consistencies of my homemade lube.
My favorite position is standing, with one foot on a chair. This seems to provide the best access for exploration.
I have been using the crystal wand for almost 8 years now. I have never been injured by this method of exploration. Granted there are a lot of delicate structures and nerves running through the region. Gentle probing and ample lubrication are indespensable in this approach. Remember to breath!
The anus, rectum and pelvis can be supercharged with strong feelings dating back to the pre-verbal phase of your life as an infant. Lots of compassion, patience and gentleness towards self are needed to experience, acknowledge, let go of and integrate whatever came up on the journey.
There could be minor changes in the terrain depending on how an individual holds tension in this area. Individual anatomical differences can also play a role. Depending on how your brain catalogs and represents felt sense, your experience may not match the trails description completely. Remember, the map is not the territory.
I would like to thank Trunk and Sean for their editorial efforts and kind encouragement. Deep appreciation also goes to Dr. BL for transmitting to me her magical sense of wonders and awe for human anatomy.
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