Have you ever had a massage, or maybe an acupuncture treatment, and gotten the, “Yep, that’s the spot,” feeling when a certain point on your body was pressed? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we call those “ah shi” points. “Ah shi” translates as, “Oh, that’s it.” These points tend to feel tender, or sensitive, or simply significant somehow.
In this conversation with Katherine Bell, it occurred to us that the “ah-ha moment” in dreamwork is the same sort of thing. The dreamer just knows: That’s it.
And, tender points on the body, which we press on for therapeutic effect, are not unlike tender points in our mental/emotional selves – which dreams can press on quite precisely.
This episode is a recording of my interview on Katherine Bell’s show, The Dream Journal. I joined her on live radio in May of 2020, when I was five episodes into producing The Dreamers’ Den Podcast, and we were all about two months into the COVID-19 pandemic changing our daily lives.
If you’ve never listened to The Dream Journal, I’m pleased to introduce you to it. Katherine Bell interviews dreamworkers and takes call-ins from live listeners every week. You can tune in online (or by radio in Santa Cruz, CA), or catch the recordings on her podcast.
Katherine always begins the show with some reflections on her own personal dreamwork. In our conversation, we dive a little deeper into the dream she shares. We look through the lens of the Five Elements to see what insights that might bring.
You’ll hear Katherine ask me about how I bring dreamwork into my clinical practice. I share that I find dreams helpful in two major ways: deepening the level of the conversation; and helping me and the patient recognize “where the action is.” A human being is complex. Approaching health holistically, there are always many choices: hundreds of acupuncture points to choose from; a variety of lifestyle changes that could help. Dreams can let us know what the most important action to take is, because they reflect our most pressing imbalances or needs.
We also talk about how locations on the body can be specified by a dream, often by an event like a snake bite or an insect sting. Since there are hundreds of acupuncture points on the body, it’s always worth asking what acupuncture points were contacted in a dream – especially if they were “punctured,” maybe by a fang, stinger, or blade.
There are two extra-fun pieces to this one: Musical breaks with songs I got to choose (Spirit Voices by Paul Simon, and Machi by Peia), and call-ins from dreamworker Billie Ortiz and a member of The Dreamers’ Den. We talk about “car dreams,” and a dream that includes an unexpectedly welcome message. The second caller shares how the group dreamwork process led to a major shift in the way she was viewing a dream.
At the end of our conversation, I mention inviting Katherine Bell onto The Dreamers’ Den Podcast – which happened in September, on Episode 13. You can hear that conversation here: https://thedreamersden.org/13-2/
Find The Dream Journal on KSQD: https://ksqd.org/the-dream-journal/
Music by East Forest: www.eastforest.org