As Above, So Below: an Interview on the healing arts with Jack Jewell

 

We touched base with an old friend & London based Five Element Acupuncturist, Jack Jesse Jewell to delve into the ancient Chinese healing art of accupuncture.

As well as his practice Jack is also an avid record collector and runs a club-night in London called Connecting Heads, a place to nurture and bring together the sonic endevaours of his nearest and dearest.

 


What made you want to practice the healing arts?

A long time ago I came into contact with Five Element Acupuncture and was treated for “possession”, a sensational word I know but its translation is one that remains true to the shamanic roots of this classical style of acupuncture.

Basically my ability to be my authentic self was being obstructed by an overriding false self that had somehow landed into the driving seat of my being. When that was cleared I felt that I had literally became another person, someone much realer, and since then I’ve been trying to figure out how the flip that had happened!

What made you want to practice the healing arts?

A long time ago I came into contact with Five Element Acupuncture and was treated for “possession”, a sensational word I know but its translation is one that remains true to the shamanic roots of this classical style of acupuncture.

Basically my ability to be my authentic self was being obstructed by an overriding false self that had somehow landed into the driving seat of my being. When that was cleared I felt that I had literally became another person, someone much realer, and since then I’ve been trying to figure out how the flip that had happened!

Traditional Chinese Meridian Diagrams

Can you tell us a little bit about the meridian system?

Meridians are part of an energy network contained inside the body, within which flows what the Chinese called qi, or what the Indians called Prana, essentially - life-force. Qi is quite an elusive thing as we can’t perceive it with our eyes but we can see it when winter turns to spring or when the late summer leaves begin to darken, shrivel and then fall to the ground.

There are twelve meridians in our body that correlate to twelve internal organs, and along those meridians are the precious acupuncture points, all of which have their own unique function and spirit. Each meridian flows onto the next, the heart flows into the small intestines and the small intestines flows into the bladder and so on and so forth.

These twelve meridians are like rivers of energy but there are also meridians that are like seas of energy so it’s a very complex system! Each meridian can be felt on the radial artery on the wrist and one aspect of the treatment seeks to balance the relative strength of these pulses so that there are no blocks in the system and that qi is flowing as best as it can. The experience of having a liver/lung block removed can feel like your soul coming up for air!

Traditional Chinese Meridian Diagrams



Acupuncture is a holistic practice, to say that the theory held is that the parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, what does holism mean to you?
 

Hermes Trismegistus said “As above, so below...” you’ll find at the esoteric roots of practically every mainstream religion an analogy that communicates this vital principle. Daoism is no exception and the ancient Chinese knew very well that the ultimate aim of their internal medicine was to reunite mankind with their heavenly mandate- their Dao.

Certain styles of acupuncture is efficient at treating symptoms, and temporarily relieving someone of pain or disease, but unless you work holistically, with body, mind and spirit, you will never be able to restore balance, & facilitate transformation.



Prince Far I
Photo: Dick Jewell

Onto the music, tell us a little bit about your journey with music...
 

My father is an artist film-maker who had his own reggae record label called Pre; he pressed and released records by artists from Jamaica such as Gregory Isaacs and Prince Far I, he also did the album art work. He was serious! He connected Horace Andy to Massive Attack, the man has his fingerprints on some seminal stuff.

My mum is no joke either, she was a fashion designer and DJ in London in the 80’s and throughout the world in the 90’s and early 00’s, pioneering hard house music and just straight up representing. She was the first female DJ to play in China!

Both my mother and father deserve major props in regards to their contribution to music and I look up to them for opening the doors of sound to me. As I was growing up the closest music to me was UK Hip Hop (in hindsight I find this quite tragic) and MCing was a big ambition for me at the time, I used to write songs, freestyle, battle, everything. I was obsessed.

It was only later that I discovered how narrow that world was and would move onto rare groove, jazz, soul and disco for my food. I consider music to be one of the closest exponents of the ‘as above/so below/microcosm/macrocosm’ truth, the harmony of the inspiration of Heaven and the vibration of Earth! My taste in music is largely informed by this principle, I love that pure sound, that real, eternal melody and groove that endures time and connects you straight to the source.



Prince Far I
Photo: Dick Jewell

Onto the music, tell us a little bit about your journey with music...
 

My father is an artist film-maker who had his own reggae record label called Pre; he pressed and released records by artists from Jamaica such as Gregory Isaacs and Prince Far I, he also did the album art work. He was serious! He connected Horace Andy to Massive Attack, the man has his fingerprints on some seminal stuff.

My mum is no joke either, she was a fashion designer and DJ in London in the 80’s and throughout the world in the 90’s and early 00’s, pioneering hard house music and just straight up representing. She was the first female DJ to play in China!

Both my mother and father deserve major props in regards to their contribution to music and I look up to them for opening the doors of sound to me. As I was growing up the closest music to me was UK Hip Hop (in hindsight I find this quite tragic) and MCing was a big ambition for me at the time, I used to write songs, freestyle, battle, everything. I was obsessed.

It was only later that I discovered how narrow that world was and would move onto rare groove, jazz, soul and disco for my food. I consider music to be one of the closest exponents of the ‘as above/so below/microcosm/macrocosm’ truth, the harmony of the inspiration of Heaven and the vibration of Earth! My taste in music is largely informed by this principle, I love that pure sound, that real, eternal melody and groove that endures time and connects you straight to the source.