.Why Chinese Medicine.
There is an accident scene. One car has smashed into the side of another at an intersection. The professionals look at the damage, send the cars to the shop for repairs, and bandage up the drivers. The next day, the same thing happens! Another crash, more damage to the cars and people, and more repairs. On the third day, same crash, same damage, but this time, the man on the scene steps back to view the whole intersection. He notices that the stop sign on one corner has been damaged and is not visible to the drivers. He sends the cars for repairs, bandages up the drivers, and fixes the sign. There are no more accidents at the intersection.
This man is the Chinese Medicine Doctor..
I wanted to understand the body, I wanted to be healthy. I was, and am continually, seeking answers regarding true health and vitality. But what does that mean? I was suffering at the time in devastating proportions (longer story here). I went into the doctors office to seek help. I talked, they listened. I walked out of there - up 3 medications and a mind full of unanswered questions, and down a couple notches in the hope department, confused about what was going on with me. The doctors were great, and did their jobs effectively. My physical and mental pain diminished, but I was not what I would consider healthy, or full of vitality. Was this it in life? I went to the almighty doc to soak up their knowledge and 'get better' but what I got was some bottles of numbing agents to suppress the uncomfortableness of life. The temporary relief I received was a nice break however, was short-lived before I began to ask questions about my anesthetized state of being. I went back to the Docs office again, asking questions. They would nod sympathetically at my confusion and hand me another paper with a scribbled prescription.
I realized that the doctors didn't have what I was looking for - education on why things were the way they were in my mind and my body, and guidance on what I could do about it.
That's the strength that Chinese medicine has to offer. The tools to understand the dynamic harmony of human health in relation to the unavoidable influences in life: diet, stress, exercise, weather, circumstance, emotions, etc.. It is about learning how we are connected to the world, how we are connected as a human organism. When signs and symptoms of imbalance arise, the Chinese medicine practitioner steps back to observe the dynamic interplay between you and the things in your life. This is what is required to get at the root of imbalance, to understand how signs and symptoms have developed, and determine what path to take for regaining harmony.
Until we learn to see the intersection as a whole, to observe all the moving parts, not just zeroing in on what we think is broken and trying to duct tape the eff out of it, we'll never truly experience our great potential for aliveness. Without understanding the whole, we'll always be victim to our narrow view of what's damaged, resulting in narrow diagnosis, and an attempt to find the quickest thing in reach to fix the broken pieces.
Our potential is much greater.
All it requires is a little understanding. This is the role of the Chinese medicine doctor; to offer education and inspiration, not with the intention of soothing the aches of being human, rather to guide your understanding about these helpful signs that are the result of some aspect of our ignorance to how our actions, and our environments, are affecting our lives.
It is one of the most empowering endeavours. It is a step on the path to freedom.
This is why I practice.