The Painful Valley


I want to tell you that for the last couple of days, the right side of my neck, right upper trapezoid, and shoulder down to my elbow has been aching like all heck.

I’m not sure if I pulled a muscle when I was doing pull-ups on Friday or when I was nodding off in front of the computer Friday night, but for two days it’s been really bothering me. The worst is when it is difficult to sleep because when either I have to move my head or rotate from side to side, all of those muscles used to support your head that I usually never have to think about are reminding me they are there and not happy.

You ever have a neck pain like this? You know, the kind of pain that if you have to drive and check your blind spots, it becomes a chore like you never expected, you begin to rely a lot more on your mirrors and your lower back to turn your body.

It’s one of those pains, that if you weren’t really motivated to do something, like your daily business routine, you’d much rather lie down and become a vegetable. When you sneeze it hurts. When you lower your head it hurts. Bending over hurts.

I’m sitting here now asking myself, “Which lesson do I want to help you with from these last couple of days when I was bothered by this nagging aches and pain?


I want to talk about the “Painful Valley”

For effective therapy, sometimes you need to endure pain that is much more intense that the one that you are suffering from. And the rational thought that helps you endure that pain is you know it’s not going to kill you, but it is as painful as heck.

Last night, I was tossing and turning in bed, wondering how I was going to sleep while keeping my wife awake. She was massaging my neck and shoulder but it didn’t help. She finally started massaging my arm down to my hand to the point between my thumb and forefinger (the pointing finger) where there is a muscle, that was hyper-sensitive to touch.

In Chinese Medicine, this point is known as “The Joining Valley” (a.k.a Large Intestine #4 for you Western acupuncturists). It’s one of the most important single points in the arsenal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s a point that has a wide variety of applications and it also has a major influence on your arm to all the ways up into your head.

Yes, yes… being an acupuncturist, I should have thought about treating myself with this point earlier because it is especially good at the onset of acute pain. When I realized that the right point was much more sensitive than the left point, I let my wife massage that sensitive spot.

There’s something about letting my wife massage it, it’s a hell of a lot more painful when she does it for some reason, maybe it’s because her finger points are smaller, or maybe it’s because I don’t clean the house as often as I should, but then I know the pain is associated with therapeutic action, so I let her do it.

We’re not talking some kind of light touchy feel massage, we’re talking “this is painful!… I am going to survive this if it kills me… I know it’s good for me!”- kind of massage. 

Well after one round of this, I could tell the the discomfort was alleviated somewhat, so I let my wife go at it a couple more time, with me groaning and moaning big time.

It worked.

It was enough to help me sleep undisturbed until the alarm went of at 5:00 am.


So my question for you is, “What pain do you know that you have to endure to get you out of your funk?”

There is a lot of pain and fear we have submit ourselves to in life. You know it will not kill you, but it can definitely help advance you to a better place having the experience and the real life view that can only come to you once to get around the next corner.


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09:10 Publish (after big break, had to  take kids to school first).


I’ll see you… on the next page

Challen Yee

Challen Yee

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