Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Self and The Shen

According to Jungian philosophy, “the self is a pattern of order and wholeness in the human psyche.” (Gareth Hill, Masculine and Feminine)

According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the Shen or spirit initiates all transformation in the world. It is a self-creating, active principle that connects the sacred realm of non-being with the material realm and form on earth. (Dennis Willmont, The Twelve Spiritpoints of Acupuncture)

The Shen exists before we are born. At the moment of our conception it unites with our Jing or Essence and begins to make its way into residence in our heart (not limited to the anatomical heart). Once the Shen fully enters the body, as the umbilical cord is severed, it extends into the physical world through personality to fulfill its destiny.

The Shen functions as the emperor or empress of the body. It sits firmly on the throne and rules all the officials of the body. The officials carry out all the necessary functions to keep the body up and running. An example, it is the pericardium officials job to protect the heart and serve as its guard. If the Shen is centered securely in the heart and able to rule effortlessly by non- doing, then we experience life being in the “right place at the right time (Willmont)”.

In other words the self is congruent with the environment. We know truth when we see it and we operate from our center. We make decisions from our own place of body intelligence and follow our path. Most of us have known this cycle to be interrupted during our existence. Whether through the influence of traumatic events, other personalities, or mixed information telling us what, who and how we should be.

Unraveling, this process is hard work. It takes time, practice, study and a willingness.

A willingness to work with our human nature, to awaken our hearts, to unearth our curiosity and courage.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Acupuncture and Disease

"In the most ancient acupuncture texts it is stated that if the mental state is at peace and equilibrated the person is less, indeed not all, subject to illness... He or she will be susceptible to no disease, even infections. This proposition is quite absolute."1

The first question that comes to mind after reading this statement is, can this be true?
As an acupuncturist, I would like to think so, but in my experience I have not found it to be absolute. However, in the trends that I witness through my work, I would say that it is more true then less true. The people that I treat who are actively dealing with their emotional issues, tend to have a better relationship with their physical/internal complaints. They have a greater capacity to heal. The more blocked a person is, the more the illness can balloon.

I read that acupuncture is a translation of the Chinese ideogram for "Needles and Fire"
If we interpret fire as the movement of energy, then we get a sense of the power of acupuncture.
Last week I was at the mall and in my casual observations of the people surrounding me, I was clearly aware of which people could benefit from acupuncture. These people seemed stiffer in their movements and more limited in their dynamic nature, almost taking up less space. Acupuncture is not the only way to move energy, there are plenty of other practices. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to focus only on acupuncture.

The most basic way of explaining acupuncture is that it removes blocks. The environment that we live in creates blocks. We are much more sedentary then our ancestors were. There is completely convuluted information communicated to us via the media, our family and educators concerning how to process our emotions. The entire environment, food and water contain toxins.

The nature of unblocking always feels good. That is why movement feels so wonderful. A powerful emotional connection with another human is so rewarding. The beauty of a sunset, a mountain, the ocean, a work of art all nourish that part inside of us that is looking for expansion.

"I've come to think that fourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-conciousness and become fused with other people, experiences or tasks."2

Traditionally humans lived in villages, tribes and small towns. Now we live in seperate houses. We are often too busy working, raising children, accomplishing endless lists of small tasks to find the time to connect with others, nature, Spirit/God. It is a genetic desire for us to want dyanamic expansion and connection. Acupuncture creates balance, opens up blocks and supports all the facets of self. It may not inhibit all disease but acupuncture can inhance the relationship with disease and the converse health.
1-Requena, Yves, Character and Health The Relationship of Acupuncture and Psychology, Paradigm Press, Brookline, Mass. 1984, Pg 11.
2- Brooks, David, The Social Animal, From The New Yorker, Jan.17, 2011. Pg 26.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Water Time

The word Winter translates into "time of water". This season announces itself with frost on the car and a crunching sound underfoot. Then the freezing rain, sleet and snow come down from the clouds to cleanse the earth of debris left-over from Autumn. A clear cold stillness is ever-present as we proceed into the deepest and darkest months of the Water time. No movement on the surface of the land but underneath the frozen water there is a great deal of activity happening. Winter is time to replenish our reserves, by sleeping more and eating nourishing vegetables such as squash and dark leafy greens. Drink plenty of liquids and take in the quietness of this season.

Key Words:
Will, Flow, Cleanse, Endurance, Reserve, Ambition

In Greek mythology: Hades, God of the underworld, separates Demeter, Goddess of the earth from her much loved daughter Persephone. He drags Persephone into the underworld to be his wife. Demeter is devastated and while she searches for her daughter, the crops wither and the weather turns cold.

In an earlier version of this same myth, Persephone willingly goes into the underworld to receive the newly dead. She says,"I am Persephone, I have come to be your guide. You have left your earthly bodies and now reside here in the realm of the dead. Come to me now, and I will initiate each of you into your new world." From Genia Pauli Haddon's, Uniting the Sex Self and Spirit, Plus publications 1993, Pg.111. Demeter waits for Persephone's return and in her sorrow forbids new plants to grow, everything withers and dies. As Demeter sits lost in grief, the green shoots of the crocus plant push up from the earth. The crocus plants begin to chant "Persephone returns!" Persephone returns!" Persephone emerges from the underworld and reunites with Demeter, they embrace and laugh, dance and renew the earth with Spring and wood energy. This cycle repeats itself every year.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Metal Time

Sometime around the middle of October, we wake up and notice a chill in the air. The leaves are half-way fallen from the trees and there is a deep melancholic feeling at the center of our chest. It is the arrival of the Metal Element. Red, orange, yellow, brown and indigo, a visual feast of color. The trees and plants drop their bounty, to be returned to the earth and to decompose, enriching the soil for next year's growth.
Letting go of the old and taking in the new is the mantra of Metal season.
"The essence which is distilled from rotting and dead matter is the essence which the Metal element itself represents." J. R. Worsley
Key words:
Death, Decline, Decompostion, Enrich, Essence, Inspiration

Metal season is a spiritual time where we are privleged to witness the transformation that occurs within the earth. Organic matter rots and turns into rich humus, essential for next year's harvest. A metaphor for our own personal growth as we use the rubbish in our lives and turn it into wealth.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Earth Time

Summer light becomes golden, the cicadas sing their ceaseless anthem.A hearty dusty feeling pervades the landscape. The horse drawn wagon pulls us slowly and steadily forward, we hear the echoes of the hooves as they hit the packed earth clop, clippity -clop, clip pity -clop…

This season creeps upon us. It is only when the harvest, the season of nourishment encompasses us fully that we find ourselves immersed in Earth time.It is the season of harvest, reaping the bounty of the dark earth to feed us on a physical and spiritual level. We need total nourishment. Just as a mother giver her love unconditionally to her child, we find the earth offering us the foundations for a nourished body, mind and spirit.
“We mainly feed our bodies pay little attention to the spirit.” J. R Worsley With out proper digestion and assimilation we can not utilize the energy from our food, leaving us depleted, empty and ungrounded.

Key Words: Stability, Nourishment, Mother
Abundance, Distribution, Store

Earth, a time to feed ourselves physically with fresh fruits and vegetables, spiritually with practice and grounding. Digest and relax, appreciate the cycles of energy as they transform within and without.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fire Time

As the temperature rises and the heat of the sun descends upon us, we move into the time of Fire.

This is the most Yang time of year. The sun resides at it’s zenith, the warmth pervades every dark corner. Flowers blossom displaying their striking beauty and color like fireworks. Bees buzz with the business of pollination. Plants and animals alike express their full potential of energy. Days are longer with more light, invoking the impetus to connect with others. The feeling of joy and lightness spread outward.

Connection, Love, Joy, Communication, Warmth, Openness

“When the king is happy the whole of the kingdom cannot fail to be happy too”. J.R Worsley

The job requirement of the supreme controller is spreading warmth and unconditional generosity/ love.If that organ’s energy is out of balance, everything within us falls apart. The spark is dulled, fear and anxiety run unchecked,. Our spirit has no place to rest and settle.
Summer is a time to connect with others, to be active and use our full potential of energy to create balance and health in our lives.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Open House

Dear valued client,
You are invited to an Open HouseFriday June 11th, 2010 from 5pm -8pm
291 Wall StreetSuite 2A Kingston
Come and see the new office space
View the art show : Claudia Engel, Watercolors 2010
Participate in a raffle
Light fare and music
See what other services are offered in suite 2A
Special promotion -10% off Gift certificates purchased @ open house OR Free cupping session with purchase of a Gift certificate.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
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Visit my blog for elemental posts @ transpersonalacupuncture.blogspot.com