Monday, December 28, 2009

My Blog moving While I am in China

Dear friends,
I will be flying to China tomorrow, and still haven't found the "perfect" way to continue this blog from China. So I will try two ways, and see which may work better.
I have started a google discussion group which I like even more because then it's a dialogue between all of us. The address is: http://groups.google.com/group/heart-centered-image-therapy?hl=en
Please email me and let me know if you would like to join us.

Another option is a Chinese site, which all of the manuvering unfortunately are in Chinese. If the google discussion site is not available to me in China, I will utilize this Chinese site to continue my writings on traditional Chinese medicine and my practice. The address is: http://blog.sina.com.cn/claireg

Either way I hope to continue to share this journey with you in the new year.

May the new year bring peace, joy and light to you all,
Claire Johnson

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another Confirmation of Direct Experience

I had a client recently who seemed to have the perfect life. I saw her a year ago and she still believed that her childhood was perfect, and her parents were perfect. This year things fell apart for her. Both her children got into trouble, and she began to re-examine her life, little by little. When I scanned her, I didn’t know any of these.

First instead of seeing her aura bubble, I saw her energy all going downward, shaping like a pyramid. That was a first for me and made a strong impression. I saw her liver energy all suppressed downward, although a tiny bit were like pins, trying hard to rise. I asked her to face down which was also not how I usually treated the liver and gall bladder. There was a point in the back of her liver that was not on any chart that looked very blocked. I woke the point up with softness, and she was already crying. Then the energy jumped up to underneath her armpit. Another surprise, I thought, there is no channel that went this way. I followed what I saw and worked on the point under her armpit. The thought that came to my head was “self hate.” I relaid the information to her, and she said how she felt that her father never approved who she was. I see. It was a good session, but the intensity of emotional release was still scary to the client. She decided not to come back this time and waited for next year to continue this work.

The story continued with me. One day during the Thanksgiving holiday, I felt a painful point on my back that was familiar from collage days. It was so annoying that I asked my dad to help me. When he needled it, I almost jumped off of the table! My right arm swang up without my control. The qi sensation was so strong I had to breathe deeply to keep the needle in. Then I noticed a point below my armpit started hurting. Another needle there may be of relief, I thought, but I was still having to breathe so hard to get used to the other one, I chickened out. A bit later I also felt a pain in my elbow. Why is that? I kept on asking myself.

Things didn’t dawn on me until I was brushing my teeth absent mindedly. All of a sudden a light came on. I was just reading my current favorite Chinese medicine book in Chinese, and the author talked about how for women, the small intestine channel is very important. Suppressed anger is vented through the small intestine channel, and especially for menopausal women, there may be very painful points along this channel. So massaging, pounding and scrapping along this channel help women release old, piled up suppressed anger.
Aha, again experience made sense of knowledge. Again the scanning was able to pin pointed the necessary healing at that specific time. How nature works, how our bodies work continue to fascinate me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Continuing from Previous Writing

Knowledge is dialectic. It can always make sense simply by shifting the circumstance. Knowledge can be used well when combined with one’s intuition that may come from extensive practical experience. Knowledge is endless, and too much can become tiring. Our scanning abilities are before duality. It may simply be an image. It just is in the moment, not depending on the past or future circumstances. Using our abilities and intuition in life energize us, and furthur expands our capacity. Knowledge can be used as a communication tool after but not before we have checked with our abilities.

Trusting Our Scanning Abilities

Here is another reminder of trusting our scanning abilities versus what our mind currently know. I have been working a lot with the spine lately in my healing work. As it is our back bone, it literally tells us how we are standing up for who we are, and how we are giving our power away. Different vertibraes signifies different psychological patterns of giving away our own power. Releases in physical and energy blockages unleash psychological patterns we have been holding in our bodies, perhaps since childhood, or perhaps in many life times.

An Image Therapy student asked me if I also work with points along the bladder channels. I said yes, since they hold gates to the organs. Yet there is something else I didn’t know how to explain at the time, because I actually used points an inch from each side of the spine more than the bladder points. My hands feel their blockage, and my third eye sees stored information in them. Yet they are not on any acupuncture charts.

Then my father told me about the Hua Tuo Jia Ji Points that he uses often that treated everything. Oh, I said to myself, so these points do exist to others, not just me. So again trusting my scanning abilities served us practically versus just following the knowledge I had at the time. It’s always good to get these little reminders from time to time. It’s impossible for us to know all the existing knowledge. But it is possible for us to feel and see the thousands, perhaps millions of energy points in the body.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heart Medicine Part I

Most Chinese words consist of two characters, therefore there are always two meanings contained in one word. For example the word illness is “ji bing.” The character “ji” implies an arrow shooting at us from the outside, such as coldness, dampness or viruses and bacteria. The character “bing” implies heart fire, which explains why an arrow from the outside could stay within us, and turn into chronic illnesses. Our heart fire could be caused by an imbalance in our emotions such as excessive worries, unexpressed anger, hidden fears, prolonged grief, over fatigue, unprocessed and repeated shocks, long term stress, or even on going adrenoline rushes. These emotions create weakness in our body that invites external enemies to stay. This is why in the ancient medical books, they say all illnesses arise from the heart and can be healed from the heart.
In the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic, it states obsessive thinking knots our vital energy, anger raises our energy up (into the chest and head), fear brings our energy down, shock makes the energy irratic, happiness slows down energy, grief decipates energy.” Normally energy would naturally flow throughout the body, making our blood flow and the organs function. If we chronically suppress qi flow or habitually make it move a certain way, soon we invite unwellness. For example when people chronically suppress their anger, they tend to have hot heads, maybe pain and dizziness, also heart burns and chestache. People who are chronically fearful may experience heaviness in their legs, even water retention in the leg and feet. When qi always go into one area, it would at first create excessive pressure and pain in that area, which turns into internal “fire” (i.e. energy fighting with the blockage trying to get through). If fighting goes on for long enough, qi and blood slow down and stagnate in that area, becoming cool and congealed. Blood in that area would come out dark and unhealthy. The area would easily be painful and bruised. In this case we would need to wake this area up physically and energetically, and help release the initial pent up emotions to complete the healing.
One of my client once said, “I thought I was being kind to my legs and feet by not touching them because they hurt so much. My mind was trying to avoid paying attention to the painful areas. But the evidence shows differently, doesn’t it?” Long term avoidance turns pain into numbness, and thus chronic stagnation that slowly clogs up the organs energetically, physically and emotionally. Another student told me after attending two consecutive weekend workshops that she was amazed, by simply pressing into a chronically painful spot, breathing into it and paying deep attention, the pain decipates. Two weeks after the workshops she was still off of her pain medication and doing well.
In our daily lives, if we can let our qi flow smoothly, expressing our emotions in healthy ways in a timely manner, illnesses may only pass through us and never stay. When our energy has become strong through qigong practice and natural eating habits, the arrows would not even be able to go through anymore. (To be continued...)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts

Enthusiasm is an external fa├žade. Faith is the inner drive. A steady peace and joy come with the inner faith. Unwavering faith brings about focused, clear intent and perseverance, not burst of enthusiasm in different directions. Enthusiasm may bring extreme actions that could hurt us whereas faith keeps us taking each step firmly, trustingly and joyously. We feel increasingly grounded and well.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Conquering Fear with Joy

It was amazing fears were coming up. Before going to bed I was wondering to myself, why am I attracted to a Mongolian? I myself am already split between China and the US. Whenever I am in China, I miss the greenery, the clean air, the spaceousness in nature, and the curteous attitude, the deep, individually inquisitive spirituality of the Americans; whenever I am in the US, I miss the wonderful array of foods, the abundance of different kinds of fresh, in season greens, the richness of tastes from different provinces, the warm connection of the ordinary people in China and the long history of wellness, spirituality and wisdom. My fear was, am I getting more unstable by marrying a Mongolian?

Then it donged on me, I am of both places. I couldn’t just be in one place for the rest of my life. My life is fabulously rich because I am of both places, and I enjoy going back and forth! So it’s perfect that I am marrying someone who would also enjoy going back and forth with me. I am of China and the US. He is of Mongolia and China. Together we are of all three places. We are not less. We are more. Our children will be more. And since our hearts are happy together, our home is with our hearts. So I might as well feel right at home migrating through our three homes! Voila! Spontaneous explosion of joy blows out the fear yet again. Always, always remember joy and gratitude in each of my steps.

(In the five element theory of TCM, fire of the heart system controls and regulates water of the kidney system. When the heart fire is constantly vibrant, it can turn excess water into steam. But if we seek out adrenoline joy rides, ridinng on the ups and downs of the heart, we can burn up rest of the water, and deplete our kidneys and our energy. Again it’s about finding our personal balance in specific times.)

Back in the US--Back to Posting!

Dear friends,
I am finally back in the States, and eager to put more writings onto my blog. China had blocked many western sites such as youtube, facebook and google blog. This was why all of a sudden I couldn’t post any new writings anymore. That is something to be thankful for living in the North America. In the future I will find a Chinese site to host my blog so I can continue my conversations with all of you.

Thank you all for your patience. Your feedbacks are precious to me, so please leave your words! It’s good to be back!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Preventing Lung Cancer Two Years Ahead

Western medicine believes lung cancer has no early symptoms. It’s not so with TCM. First of all, when qi and blood flows in the lung channels from three to five in the morning, this is the time early symptoms show. Some people would naturally wake up during this time and cannot fall back to asleep until five am. If this continues for about a year, these people would start coughing, and have phlegm that is light white with bubbles. Even though this already is the early stage of lung cancer, western medicine would not be able to diagnose yet, and could only give the patients antibiotics. The symptoms would have to go on for yet another year before western medicine could be sure. Therefore on average TCM can diagnose lung cancer two years before western medicine.

If you go to a TCM doctor when you consistently start to wake up around three am, disease can easily be prevented. The TCM doctor doesn’t even have to use herbs but only use acupuncture needles on the yu2ji4 point (LU10) on the lung channels, symptom would be gone. This is also for acupuncturists because many may not know such simple and effective way of treatment.

Lung Channel—the channel easiest to get hurt

When people wake up at night between three and five am often, one should consider if there is a problem with the lungs because this is the lung time. If someone feels hot and sweaty around this time and feels cold during the daytime, it means the external cold wind bonds up his/her exterior, while there is excess heart fire that is being contained by the cold layer. This case is called “ice encasing fire.” It is caused by lung qi deficiency, not having enough power to help heart fire go outward to get rid of the cold on the surface. Only when it’s the lung hour does it have enough power to sweat it out. Going with the flow of what the lungs are trying hard to do, just using one dose of the herb bu3zhong1yi4qi4tang1 can solve the case.

People usually catch cold and flu when they are upset emotionally but couldn’t express or resolve which causes a qi blockage and thus a low in one’s immune system. Catching a cold could be seen as a challenge that is good because it’s a chance for the body to get rid of toxin, including toxin from the upset emotions. It’s a time to rest up, to sort through stirred up emotions and let them process consciously and subconsciously during rest, and to store up enough qi to push out the cold and toxin through sweating, sneezing and nose running. Therefore it’s good to let the cold run its course, and follow our bodies need in detoxification. To take medication that stops sneezing and nose running may temporarily stop the external symptoms but store up internal toxins in the long run.

We can cure the cold and flu easily and naturally and help along this detox process in several ways. One, intensify the sneezing by inserting thin rolled up tissue paper tip into both nostrils and tickle until they no longer itch, and we no longer have the need to sneeze. This will cause light sweating on the forehead which is a sign that the surface cold is being pushed out by lung qi through the nose.

Two, we can massage several points along the lung channel according to different cold symptoms and point sensitivity. For example, yu2ji4 point (LU10) is effective for asthma. If one could not get enough breath, press the original point of lung channel tai4yuan1 (LU9). Chi3ze2 point (LU5) is best for tonifying the kidneys through lung qi descending into the kidneys. This is effective for people who have excess above and deficiency below which high blood pressure people commonly have. Jing1qu2 point (LU8) treats all kind of coughing. Kong3zui4 (LU6) is especially good for coughing and swollen glands from wind cold. Healing sore throat very effectively is the shao4shang1 point (LU11), by using a three sided needle to release blood from the point, one gets immediate relieve.

Three, if we are coughing without phlegm, we can take herbs such as tong1xuan1li3fei4 to loosen the phlegm from the lungs.

(For healers especially) Studying Chinese medicine is not about memorizing hundreds of points and thousands of formulas. From the famous poems you can see, it is about tasting a tiny cup of water and know the entire river’s flavor, seeing one fallen leaf and understand the fall coolness felt amongst all people. Start with a few points and through using them repeatedly on many people, you will understand many others.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Going Forward

I really like this inspirng message I read today from "The Universe":

The few who look forward, while always knocking on new doors, no matter how futile it may seem or how insignificant their progress, will carry the many who just keep waiting for things to get better.

And the few will "suddenly" become overnight legends within their families, 'hoods, and countries, while having the most fun, with the most friends, at the most after-parties.
Win/Win, baby -
The Universe

The Quickest Way of Learning TCM and Using it Effectively

If you want to learn TCM in a way where you can use right away, and get results right away, the best path is to learn about the channels. There are twelve main channels connecting to organs, and many sub channels. They form a web that covers the entire human being, from the core to skin and hair. Whenever an organ has problems, it manifests on the web as if lights light up. Correlating points will have discomfort, for example pain, soreness or numbness. But there are more than three hundred sixty points altogethers. Memorizing them seems a daunting task. Actually to resolve common illnesses, just knowing twenty some points can be amazingly effective.

For example on the stomach channel there are four points often used. For acute stomachache and chronic stomachache, massaging the Liang2Qiu1 point (ST34) can stop the pain immediately. If the pain is lower than the stomach more in the small intestine area, massage the xia4ju4xu1 point (ST39). If the pain is above the stomach and below the chest, massage zu2san1li3 (ST36). If it is chronic stomach and intestine pain, massage feng1long2 (ST40).

The important thing is, only when the point is uncomfortable and you massage the point until the discomfort is gone, the treatment is effective. If the point is not sensitive, there could be three reasons. One, you did not correctly locate the point. Two, the illness does not match this point. Three, qi and blood are too weak that it cannot reach this point on the leg. Both the sensation of pain and soreness means the channel is still flowing, but there is stagnation or blockage in this point so the flow is not well. Soreness usually means qi and blood is weak, need tonifying, therefore one cannot use strong force. Pain means there is qi and blood there but is blocked. Qi and blood is trying hard to open the blockage, therefore using stronger force in massage can help this effort.

Learning TCM, it’s best to learn something and be able to use it right away and see results immediately. Because the human body is complex and there are so many points and channels, if you waste your attention on things you don’t understand, you cannot use and wouldn’t understand it. It’s like carrying around a bunch of tools that you don’t know how to use. It’s much more effective to know the few tools you have well. Knowing these few points deeper will help you understand other points later. This is why TCM is best taught through apprenticeship and not in class with books. In a working clinic, you get an intuitive sense of how the environment and season change also is part of the whole picture as well. And you learn how your experienced teacher intuitively use points rather than through known knowledge.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Bodies R Us, We R Our Bodies

When our heart/mind (same character in Chinese) and our body are the same, we are in harmony. When our thoughts and actions match, we are using the least energy to achieve the most. If we act without knowing what we think, how we feel, or we cannot act according to what we think and feel, our energy is fighting and therefore wasted. We would not be able to achieve as much as we can. Therefore balancing and harmonizing our body and heart/mind is the foundation for best usage of our energy, achievement in life, healing illness and being well.

Illnesses reflect one’s believes and one’s life style. We can say our believes and our life style create the kind of environment that is suitable for that specific illness. Our believes and life style construct an ecosystem that manifest the kind of life forms living in it. For example if we cut off a burst gall bladder without changing our thought patterns, our emotions and life style, the same problem would only manifest elsewhere, perhaps even deeper into the next layer in our body, in this case it may be our liver. Whereas if with the help of natural remedies, our blocked energy start to flow again, our emotions start to flow again, our thoughts would naturally change, thus our life style.

It’s like when we wake up completely rested, our energy fully recharged, our body soft and supple, our mind clear and focused, of course then our mood would be good. We are more likely to smile and be helpful to others. Others are likely to return the help. We feel more able to achieve challenging tasks. Thus our self esteem is higher. We may begin to lead a more active and productive life style, and thus happier and more prosperous life, etc.

Energy must flow, in the natural world or in our body. If it stagnates or is blocked, there is disease. We can choose how to let it flow. If we stop the symptoms such as pain or itch through numbing it or cutting off the nerve, the illness will only spread to other areas, organs and go deeper.

When we get a cold, we can get well easily by opening some channels and points and warm up the inside. This way we let our immune system practice. Many western cold medicines harm our blood making system. Using these natural practices make us stronger instead of weaker.

This is true with any kind of illness. If we think of our body as our house, and there are mice invading, but our house cat has gotten lazy and sleeps too much when its natural instinct is to catch mouse. We can either wake up and exercise our cat to let it become healthy and regain its instinct—this is the natural practices that wakes up our energy system and immune system; or we can temporarily train our dog to catch the mice, which is like asking a traditional Chinese doctor’s help to come in with herbs and natural remedies. If the mice are overwhelming the house, we can spray chemicals which is the western medicine approach. This approach may quickly eradicate the mice but our cat may get poisoned and even ourselves. Nature already has ways to get all things in cycles of check and balance.

Our bodies are us. We are our bodies. Our body functions just like our emotions. Sometimes when we are so upset we become like unreasoning children. We yell, we whine and cry. Our bodies, too, when there is a condition that’s not dealt with for a long time, our body may start whining, crying and yelling. If we stop the noise, the problem only goes deeper and more difficult to solve.

When we get ill it’s not the bacteria or virus’ fault. They are like mosquito looking for still water. So who created that still water that attract mosquito? It’s time we take responsibility for our own illness and not blame it on an external source. Only then can we start on the path of self healing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Releasing Control

One lesson I have been receiving repeatedly is humbleness—being open to life’s constant changes, listen, let life course through, release any resistance. When something feels hard to “me”, when life is not going “my way,” when what someone says is not what “I want” to hear, when the outcomes are not how “I imaged”, this is when the “I” is called for to release, let go, and change, transform. When I let “what is” courses through me, let it change me, transform me, my ego gives up, my ordinary spirit relaxes. I feel resistance easing in my body, my psyche and my emotions altogether. I feel life as a being, an energy, an awareness that flows, and me, the expressive conduit of the life inside. I feel the web that connects all of us, all events and all life times. I feel the immensity of the oneness, and gratitude for being a speckle on it. Imagine the care of creation it takes so that all of us are eternally unique. All of our lives’ unfolding beauty continues in all directions. The wonders! The magic! Ecstasy shivers through me as I feel the miracle of life, alongside shadows, darkness, sadness and suffering. This is life. It is, simple, in the now.
(This was written last year.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Exercising

The five liquids that correspond to our five organ systems are: sweat to heart, tear to liver, saliva to spleen, nasal mucus to lungs, white layer on the tongue to kidney. This white layer comes from our bladder yang which changes jing into qi, bringing kidney qi upward.
The Classic says it is best to exercise the body but not to tiredness because sweat comes from the heart. To have a thin layer of sweat all over the body is good for blood circulation. But to sweat profusely taxes our heart and blood system which depletes blood from other organs and body functions. This kind of exercising is not good for our health.

Spicy Food

When people are under lots of pressure or their lives are too busy, they tend to crave food with lots of flavor. Too much salt brings out too much of our original qi and depletes us in the long run. Spice help us temporarily melt stagnation in channels but our body may need more and more in time. This is why lightly flavored food, not too salty or spicy, in the long run is best for wellness and longevity.

Nutrition

To improve nutrition is an individual art. Depending on people’s ability to break down and absorb nutrients, if too much is taken, it not only becomes garbage, it also takes much energy to get rid of this garbage and make these people weaker and possibly sicker than they started. Therefore improving the function of one's organs is just as important as taking nutrition. When one's stomach and spleen function is strong, one can get enough nutrients from the least amount of food, and the simpliest food.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Menstrual Cycle Can Heal Us

March 10, 2009 (In celebration of the International Women’s Day on March 8th)
I finally got it! It’s such a good thing to be a woman, even when we are having our period, even when we are having our menstrual cramps and mode swings. For the first time I understand, wherever I feel pain, my body is telling me there is a blockage. And with the help of the strong flowing of blood each month, I have the opportunity to address these blockages. This could be part of why women tend to live longer than men because our body gives us a monthly check up!
Wherever it hurts, press the points, massage the areas and pound on the achy lines down the legs. It’s likely for many of us that these points and lines are on the liver and gall bladder channels. As soon as they are open, we’d feel a rush of electricity or cold qi run down the channels and out of our feet. Sometime our feet may stay ice cold for a while until all the cold qi the body could push out at this time is gone.
On the emotional end, some of us tend to have outbursts before our blood flows. Some men around us may not appreciate it. But it is precisely these outbursts that show us our suppressed upsets and anger. Like the physical body, these emotional outbursts are also signs that perhaps during the rest of the month we have been blocking, numbing and not dealing with some issues in our lives. Don’t discredit these outbursts as nonsense, rather, treasure this messenger and listen.
We have such wonderful help. If we ignore them, we waste our natural abilities to heal ourselves. Our menstrual cycles are a gift that can help us prevent future diseases such as uterine, ovarian and breast ailments. If we can promptly open our liver and gall bladder channels, we also avoid pent up anger that hurt our liver and destroy our gall bladder.
For many of us, our mind may want to avoid facing pain and doing something to change it because it does not get the body logic. But our body, our heart and soul want it, need it, flourish because of it. We have nature helping us through this process. The pull of the full moon, the push and pull of ocean tides, the pulsation of earth all nurture us women to be fully women. Accepting this natural process, celebrating it allow us to come into our full power as women, and allow the interaction between men and women to be fuller, truer and more profound.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Losing Weight & Gaining Wellness

I have a number of very good friends who are overweight, and it’s affecting their heart health. This worries me quite a bit since they are all such wonderful people, and I want them to be well, happy and energetic, and be around for a long time. So one of my first priorities on this Chinese Medicine study research is to find ways they could use in regaining wellness and vitality. Here I have translated some very useful information especially with their common symptoms in mind, and hope many can find this process useful.

We gain weight not from absorbing too much nutrients. We gain weight from absorbing garbage that could not be processed out of our body. The more we couldn’t process our food, the more starved our body feels and need more food to get the needed nutrients. The more garbage our body accumulate, the more blockages, and our elimination process weaken more. Because it’s garbage not nutrients we are accumulating, we would gain excess fat instead of getting more energy and stronger. This is why overweight people tend to have less energy and get fatigued faster. The more blockages and stagnation also cause more illnesses. This lessening of function of our organs forms a vicious cycle.
The best way to lose weight is to improve our nutrients absorbing function and get rid of garbage efficiently. The organ that breaks down food and turns it into energy and nutrients is our spleen. Then it stores the energy and nutrients in our muscles. Our muscles act as our storage unit until the organs need the nutrients and energy. But when the spleen functions low, has little or no energy, it half breaks down food or not at all. Then these half or not broken down food becomes garbage that doesn’t move or contribute to the rest of our body. They become excess fat that actually blocks flow and causes illness. Because spleen governs muscles, weak spleen also causes lack of muscle tone.
In order to burn the excess fat, it takes extra nutrients and energy. It’s like a factory full of half done and not assembled products that tie up its cash flow, it takes more labor, energy and cash to sort them through and finish them and move them out. This is why the starvation weight loss technique always rebounds. It burns up existing muscles, and with it stored nutrients and energy so organs get weak. But it doesn’t produce the extra nutrients and energy needed to process the fat. This can weaken and harm our vital organs such as our heart. With it we may experience more loss of muscle tone, skin elasticity and general energy level.
An even worse situation is when people take weight loss medication that increases their metabolism. In this case it is as if not only the half done products are moved out but the factory itself is being sold off cheap as well. It could result in thyroid disorders and heart muscle damages, worst it could even cause kidney failure.
Losing extra weight is a self-healing, caring, loving and joyous process. It should be a process where all or our vital organs work better so we feel well and more energetic. We can start this process by eating food that heals our spleen such as a porridge of three herbal grains: huai2shan1yao4, yi4mi3 and qian4shi2 (all three could be found in common Chinese Medicine stores. This is a great combination meal that can be taken every day for a long time). Avoid any over processed food including rice and bread. We can eat as much energy rich organic food such as beef, lamb, eggs, salt water fish and nuts, and fresh, in season, local vegetables and fruits. Avoid pork, chicken, fresh water fish, any sugary food and cold, refrigerated food and drinks.
If you are the kind of person who loves meat or nuts, sometimes it could be your body’s way of telling you that you are lacking major nutrients. You don’t need to control yourself too much as long as you chew two big hawthorn pills (this can be found in all Chinese herb stores) afterwards to aid the breaking down of the meat so they don’t become more garbage.
With this method you will feel more energetic all the time, your body producing more qi and blood to activate the organ restoration and the garbage cleaning process. At first you may experience a weight gain. Do not be discouraged. This is your body producing more qi and blood to store in your muscles and giving you more muscle tone. Other people may say you look thinner because you are more solid.
This time we can massage and hit a few spleen points on our lower leg to wake up our spleen. The more sensitive the points, the more time and focus we need to give them. It’s good to start with twenty minutes after each meal. With more nutrients absorbed, we will naturally feel our energy shift. Our body would want to move more. This would be the right time to add on more exercise. Depending on each individual’s condition, we can start with gentle exercises such as slow walking and taichi.
To avoid snacking sugar rich processed food, we can carry some Chinese red dates, dried gui4yuan2 (both can be found in all Chinese grocery stores) and some nuts. The two dried fruits both help increase our blood and qi while reducing garbage in our body.
If our elimination process is slow, blocked and weak, we can take two kinds of herbs, one to help cleansing, another to aid our energy and qi during the cleanse, such as shi2 quan2 da4 bu3 wan2 or bu3 zhong1 yi4 qi4. Both can be found at any Chinese herb store. These herbs can increase the power of the cleansing while not hurting our stomach and spleen functions. To keep the out and in process balanced also helps the cycle.

How to Prevent Pimples or Breakouts

This little bit of information could be useful for so many teens in the west! Indeed some modern ways of living have taken us far from our roots, our natural way of being. This is just another reminder of the draw backs of not using modern technology with ancient wisdom.

Pimples, or breakouts on the forehead and cheeks are usually caused by too much cold in the stomach meridian. Two common reasons causing stomach cold are too much cold drinks or refregerated food and unexpressed or suppressed emotions. Our human body keeps a steady temperature. If we often takes in cold drinks and food, our stomach must produce extra heat to normalize its temperature. This stomach heat would cause more thirst, thus the vicious cycle continues. After a while when there is more and more stomach heat built up, it travels upward in the stomach channels which pass through our face. The pimples are merely external manifestation of an internal imbalance. To stop it from the surface is like telling the messenger bearing the bad news to shut up. Pimples can be cured from treating the stomach channels, by simply massaging or pounding on the channels and points, especially ones that's sensitive. Even in the summer, drinking warm water can from the root cure our thirst, whereas cold water would only increase our thirst.

our Body Structure and Function Determines Our Destiny

I have started translating some contemporary views on traditional Chinese medicine today in China. I find many of them refreshing, and fit our current needs perfectly. I will start to post some of these translations and my own thoughts from now on. I hope many will benefit from these practical tools for everyday life. Below is a good introduction on traditional Chinese Medicine.

The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic suggests that a wise person is one who has control over oneself, one’s own life, one’s own nature, one’s own desire and body. In this world, the human body is the most precise self regulating eco-system, which means it depends on its nature to exists, to be in balance, to harmonize, not depending on any man-made thoughts or objective ideas.
An ancient Chinese saying goes, “Cultivate one self, unify one’s family, oversee one’s nation and then one may bring peace to the world.” Cultivating the self comes before all. In this case, the saying is not talking about our brain but our body. Our body is “smarter” than our brain because the brain thinks therefore there is action; whereas the body does not think yet knows therefore it is of non-action, in Daoist term, “wu wei”.
Our body is a microcosm of the world. To know our body is to know how the world works. To know how to balance our own ecosystem is to know how to keep the macrocosm in balance, in harmony. This is why the Chinese says, “The lowest level doctor heals disease; the middle level doctor heals human being; the highest level doctor heals the nation, the world.”
Everything in the world has changed over hundreds of thousands of years, except human being and its nature. All thoughts and knowledge come from the human being. This is why the Chinese says the highest understanding is to understand the human being. And this understanding comes from the body.
Chinese medicine understands that one’s body not only determines one’s physical state, but one’s emotional, mental and spiritual states also evolve out of one’s body. For example the book “Da Xue” from about twenty three hundred years ago says that the ultimate compassion comes from a heart spirit that is calm and centered. Another popular Chinese idiom says, “The state of ‘Ding’ produces wisdom.” The word “Ding” can be translated as pause, cease, which in meditation practice means when the heart-mind stops, when it ceases churning random thoughts. Chinese medicine says, when one’s liver qi is stagnate, one easily irritates and therefore cannot calm down to finish projects. When one’s kidney qi is weak, one doesn’t have enough brain power to think things through, therefore can fail easily. Even Napoleon was quoted that one’s fate is determined by one’s body structure. Chinese medicine adds that our body structure and function determines our destiny. From this view we can say the highest science is the science of the human body.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Taking Responsibility in Life--“Seven Pounds” with Will Smith

Some reviews say the movie Seven Pounds with Will Smith has a “graceful, moving revelations at the end.” I beg to differ. The writer of the film makes several assumptions. One, the assumption is doctor knows best. Two, transplant is the answer. Three, killing oneself can be martyrdom. Four, many years of upbringing by parents and loved one plus years of higher education plus a newly gained awareness to serve others is less than seven pounds of organs.

The main character is presumed to be a real person, which feels like an insult to my intelligence because the story cannot possibly be real. In comparison to another well debated movie, “The Curious Benjamin Button,” in which the main character is presumed to be fantasy, I respect the writer’s creative thinking though not perfect, but it provoked thoughts of “what ifs” in me, which is a sign of success for a movie I think. Because the main character played by Will Smith in “Seven Pounds” is so not believable, this is why Smith would shift from one character to another completely different person in seconds, playing an impossible role that is way beyond bipolar.

The Chinese culture renders suicide the most selfish act one can commit. How does one weigh one’s responsibility for his upbringing by parents and so many people’s hard work? One is most inconsiderate of his loved ones and irresponsible to life itself to end his own life. Even Jesus who knew he would die did not end his own life. A life is most precious because we can do so much good with a life on this Earth than any THING we can give. According to Buddhism, when one commit suicide, one is stuck in the middle realm for the rest of his natural life span, only an observer of the trauma his untimely departure has cost to others, but not able to live or change anything. It’s a compulsory time and space for inner observation. In Smith’s case, he’d have lots of time to think over whether seven pounds of organs is the most he could give to this world.

Psychologically when one wants to commit suicide, he is hopeless that there is anything more for him in life, sunk in darkness, shrinking away from living life and detaching from connecting with others. When Smith cannot forgive himself for killing many people, he would be incapable of forgiving others and therefore cannot be capable of giving to others, reaching out and connecting to others. When he cannot recognize the goodness in himself, how could he recognize goodness in others? When he is hopeless, how could he offer hope, inspiration and power to live their lives to others? We can see that dark, hopeless, disconnected and tortured expression whenever Smith thoughts of killing himself.

When he was thinking of helping others, his facial and body expressions completely shift to another character, one who is strong, powerful, making things happen, connected to his own feelings and others, able to love himself and others. In reality our thoughts are manifested into our words and actions. Our inside and outside are mirrors for each other. Smith’s character is at odds, conflicted because the story is trying to patch two impossibly opposite characters into one. No wonder the character felt like an extreme split personality to the extent of unbelievable.

Another aspect of the film is the western modern medicine’s myth that one can be instantly saved by a doctor, and one can be magically healed from a transplant. In modern alternative medicine, most of the heart diseases can be healed with nutrition. Some studies show that Congestive Heart Failures can even be caused by blood pressure medication. Whereas in traditional Chinese medicine, even the most debilitating heart diseases from birth can be healed easily and quickly from the subtle energy/emotional realm. Even if one receives a new transplanted heart, if one’s diet and emotions don’t change, the new heart will fail just like the old; whereas if one changes one’s diet and emotions, one does not need to go through a heart surgery or transplant at all.

Indeed it’s the patient’s responsibility to look at his life, how his past has made his present condition. If we go into spirituality, birth defects come from past lives unresolved issues that can be healed now in this life as well. Again we can help ourselves, and we are the only one who can truly change ourselves, not an all-powerful force from the outside of ourselves, like a doctor or a God that lives in heaven.

It’s unfortunate that actors have to portray such unreal characters in such impossible storylines. I hope as we shift into new energy, more movies will be more in touch with people’s lives and hope to inspire people to empower themselves through a process of taking charge, how people makes living responsibly for ourselves, our community and environment a daily practice. Because we could all use reminders from time to time.