The Inner Traditions
The inner traditions speak to the heart and soul of the human being. Treatment focus is on consciousness, how much of our health is about open awareness and our illness with habitual functioning? Genetically determined, socially and culturally reinforced? The ancient whispers to us and through us, with the meridians of the body.
The inner traditions of eastern medicine conceptually understood 'epigenetics' before the language of science gave us another language to consider it.
It is never going to be a matter of simple correlations; it is a dynamic, kaleidoscope of factors, impulses, muscle and mind memory.
And it takes a particular kind of practitioner. “A good healer cannot depend on skill alone. The healer must have correct attitude, sensitivity, compassion and a sense of responsibility.” [The Yellow Emperor's Classic]
Lonny Jarrett illustrates this concept further when considering an important cultivation in the practitioner. "..'De', which signifies ‘original nature’ in the infant and ‘virtue’ in the adult who has rectified the heart, and ‘gone all the way without stopping’ through the exertion of will, of upright qi, and traveled with intention to the distant shore.
Any treatment administered that rectifies a distortion, provides a conduit for true self, and engenders proper functioning, has made available and strengthened the presence of an individual's 'consciousness' [Zhen] and authentic self [Zheng qi].
Sitting up straighter, brightness in the eyes, clarity of thought, intention, and word are all evidence of zheng qi, and the rectification of what has been bent.
The foundation of zheng qi is a self-discovery and rectification of the will as a conduit for pure motive. While this can be supported from many angles with needles, herbs, etc... the foundation of clinical efficacy in the integral practice of medicine is having done this oneself. Only to the degree the practitioner is a living example of a higher integrity, will he or she be able to inspire such and work with the consciousness and authentic self, within the patient. It is our appreciation of the forces of both inspiration and resistance within, and the self-knowledge gained by not ‘stopping half way’ ourselves, through which we will come to know the patient because there is only one self. All medicine is, at its heart, in service to that." [From Catalysing Emergence: Zheng Qi and the Authentic Self, The European Journal of Oriental Medicine ]
Have you ever been so stressed or overworked that you've looked in the mirror and wondered who was looking back?
This experience often comes when the entirety of who we are, that unique embodiment of body, mind and spirit (the Shen) is being eroded by stresses beyond our capacity to adapt. It can often happen at those cusp moments of change and transformation, when we are shedding old skins for new ones. The opportunity for establishing new patterns at this time is so beneficial to the process of new beginnings, re-igniting the vitality and letting go.
Acupuncture, is a gentle, restorative therapy for all those symptoms and conditions that reduce our vitality and stress our well being. By calming the sensory system we ensure that we give ourselves and our bodies the 'sacred pause', the foundation for the cascade of positive, healthy adaptations.