Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Qi and Me

I like Eastern medicine because it makes sense. Eastern Medicine (Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine etc) has pulled me out of many issues. Their main goal is to go with the flow of nature and the creation of our bodies, mind and soul. They do not force things that are contrary to nature so they do not rely on synthetic remedies or trying to force something which only makes things worse.

They work to harmonize which means getting back to our roots which includes having a reasonable outlook on life, meaning to ground oneself in spirituality (psychological) and to use the earth and the fruits of it to balance the body.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), they view the body as an organism which means they see the whole body while in Western Medicine they pick a symptom and give you a remedy which usually consists of drugs,  surgery or some type of therapy. TCM uses very different forms of diagnostics which include looking at your tongue and feeling the pulse. Although this sounds ridiculous, they have identified numerous patterns which occur in both the tongue and pulse. Don't forget they have 3000 years of trial and error in doing this.

Qi (Chi) is a description of the energy that is present in living things, people have qi. The Chinese believe that this energy flows throughout the body much like an electrical grid. They also believe that there are specific circuits in that grid, for instance the liver meridian (pathway) or the gallbladder. When energy gets cut off then those systems do not function correctly. It is the job of the TCM practitioner to reestablish that energy flow and they do it with acupuncture and herbal medicines in most cases.

Stagnant Qi is a description of most Americans. It is a low energy state and a sign that the body, mind and spirit is in crisis mode. Western thinking is to disrupt the stagnant Qi with energy drinks and more stress while TCM would do the opposite. So Eastern thinking is put the round peg in the round hole while Western would just get a bigger hammer and smash it in. The first uses harmony while the second will break the peg into a thousand pieces causing more damage. Less is more in this situation.

TCM looks at a number of factors including toxic emotions. The toxic emotions are the ones likely found in Western culture who prizes materialism, pride, resentment, hatred and possessiveness as its virtues. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul in the process (Jesus -St Mark 8:36).

Stagnant Qi is also caused by a nutritional crisis. The cells of the body are dependent on raw materials in order to function correctly. When the cells do not receive life sustaining nutrients, they begin to be dysfunctional.

Stress causes Stagnant Qi and when the cycle of stress ensues then everything else goes down with it. The scholars of TCM believe that with the cascade of stress then the liver becomes imbalanced. This being one of the central hubs in the body then the remaining body becomes damaged. Anger and resentment are classic signs of liver imbalances (a toxic liver = toxic mind) and these toxic emotions only set off more trouble for the body.

We are not meant to live in a toxic Western society that demands obedience to an entitlement mentality. Getting back to our roots of proper nutrition, spirituality and rootedness will heal the mind, body and soul.

Read more about stagnation

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