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.)