Fifteen years of research in Chinese medicine, psychosomatic medicine, yoga and psychology has lead me to the conclusion:
“The mind is subtle body, the body is denser mind”
This idea is made clear by Candace Pert in her book “The Molecules of Emotion.” Pert, a NIH scientist for 20 years conscludes: “The body is the unconscious mind.” Our bodies then house all our old memories, repressed thoughts, numbed down feelings. Therapies like Acupuncture, that focus on releasing blockages in the bodymind, help restore us to our innate sense of peace and balance.
At the core of the energetic tradition of Acupuncture is the notion that the body is made for maximum enjoyment. Our tradition teaches that our physical impulses are not evil wrong or shameful, but are rather manifestations of the divine movement within form. We celebrate the body as existence itself, as the platform for our spiritual longings and as the temple for self-reflection and engagement with all life everywhere.
The Christian bible says we were created in God’s image and our self-image arises from our bodies. To illuminate the joy inherent within the body and revitalize our respect and appreciation for our lives as bones skin and blood, it is powerful to develop self compassion and self love.
An article yesterday in the New York Times reported that people who are very forgiving and tolerant of friends and families are often very hard on themselves. Are you hard on yourself? Can you learn to accept yourself right now as you are and take off the pressure? The New York Times article concluded that learning to love oneself and to practice self compassion is one of the healthiest things we can do.
Feel your body breathing right now. How do you feel? Are you tense? Are your muscles tight or sore? Is there pain in your body? I want to ask you a tremendously important question: Do you enjoy your body? Ask this deeply inside you heart and take time to explore the answers and emotions that arise. In working with patients I have found that there are numerous dissonant thoughts about the body that people carry around inside themselves. Among them are:
The body is bad
I am bad
I hate myself for feeling this way (angry, sad, anxious)
The body is selfish
The body is stupid and slow
In this form of inquiry, in this dialogue itself, the natural connection, the obvious singularity of the bodymind will be evident. This is extremely beneficial because the lamentable fact is that many people hate their bodies, they hate themselves and hate is one of the most energetically draining emotions there is. To help transform hate, simply realize hate is an incredibly powerful energy, let yourself feel it if it arises. In many cases hate is a VERY STRONG NO. Find out if you need to say no to more things in your life and you will unwind your hate and release it’s negative effects.
So to cultivate qi, to cultivate energy, of course the first principle must be to enjoy the body. You exist in the body, it is the home of your entire experience on earth, and you have the choice of either making it your sacred temple, the sacred vehicle of your journey here, or making it a miserable experience filled with low energy disease and lethargy.
Choosing self love, choosing self compassion and deciding to learn to speak to yourself in a loving, accepting way is a first step towards dynamic balance.
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