In our physical tissues, we can hold the energetic charges of trauma and pain, which can create shifts in our biochemistry such that the body is more prone to chronic health challenges. Yet, if we only address the physical aspect of these challenges, we may not experience fullest healing.
Thus, the presence of chronic health issues can be an opportunity to take a spiritual journey and discover how our energetic responses to our experiences are stored in the body.
For example, a young woman manifested chronic pain and fatigue that seemed to have no western, medical explanation or source. She was hypersensitive to chemicals and manifested many sensitivities to foods but no “true” allergies according to allergists.
After years of partaking of medications, embarking on special diets, and using acupuncture and other complementary techniques, she still suffered from debilitating levels of pain and fatigue.
Why? She was receiving allopathic and complementary care in a way that focused only on the physical aspects of health–her spiritual journey was completely ignored.
Yet, when she began working with Chinese medical qi gong practitioners who created an integration between working with the physical manifestations and developing a spiritual understanding of the energy patterns, she began to heal at a very profound level until she was able to live life pain-free and with higher levels of energy. This method of healing also emphasized the idea of self sufficiency, developing self help tools that she could integrate and use daily between appointments to strengthen her energy and reduce pain.
As a spiritual teacher and practitioner of medical qi gong, I truly believe that we need to complement traditional western medical therapies with the use of herbs and qi gong (bodywork and movement forms) which can work to reduce systemic inflammation (often existing when chronic pain is present) but more importantly, shift the underlying energetic and spiritual patterns that play a role in health manifestations and blocks to healing. Thus, this emphasis on vibrational healing–transforming across realms of self, is key to the way I practice. Thus, I tend to bring a deeper spiritual emphasis to all the tools of Chinese medicine that impact the body.
Master Jeffrey Yuen, 88th generation of a lineage of Taoist priests from the Jade Purity tradition, states in his transcript, Herbs and the Mind, “Herbs are not only going to produce a biochemical effect–they effect brain chemistry. But herbs also, as I want to contend, provides a vibrational effect as well.”
Yet, many Chinese medicine practitioners, are not well versed in the spiritual or vibrational application of herbs, for this application is not taught formally in acupuncture colleges. For instance, many Chinese medicine practitioners are unaware that there are some Chinese herbs that are wonderful for pain relief but do not necessarily have the effect of purging spiritual energies that may be creating blocks to healing. Other Chinese herbs are capable of not only sedating the neurological responses but also releasing spiritual energies or blocks.
In my journey of training with Master herbalist John Fung and Master Yuen, I have delighted in the dance of discovering the spiritual and biochemical applications of herbs such that my clients often comment that my formulations are quite unique. It’s not that the herbs I use are so unusual–it is the understanding of how to combine the herbs in a way to complement healing across all realms of self that makes the formulations effective.
Yet, I understand that in a busy world, not all clients have the time or desire to cook the custom tea decoctions, so I also use pre-made herb formulations such as Guang ci Tang brand, and augment their vibrational effects with medical qi gong bodywork so that clients receive the optimal effects with the pre-made formulations.
Some Chinese medicine practitioners work with the classical acupuncture points without knowledge or awareness of the spiritual applications of those points. Such knowledge is not critical if the practitioner is only looking at what is happening on a physiological level. Yet, the essence of Chinese medicine is about transformation of all parts of self, not just the physical layer.
Thus, as practitioners, we must consider the life and spiritual experiences of the individual and examine how those experiences are stored in the body in order to understand what needs to be released to obtain fullest healing.
Of course, working with both the physical and energetic aspects of health challenges takes time–so clients with chronic issues may not notice immediate shifts.
Yet, because clients with chronic issues are suffering, naturally they want more immediate relief-so this is where complementing the work with western medical therapies comes in handy–where the western methods can provide more immediate pain relief or subsiding of other symptoms–as clients engage the longer term and deeper work to resolve the underlying patterns.
Thus, in my practice, clients with chronic pain may be partaking of pain meds, while simultaneously engaging vibrational body work, acupressure and use of herbs.
Qi gong provides tools to help integrate what is happening with the physical body and the emotional and spiritual experiences of the individual.
However, like other prongs of Chinese medicine, it is not often taught in a customized way that overtly emphasizes the physical and spiritual connections.
In fact, in China, medical qi gong is taught in a very westernized way, much like acupuncture, with the focus on shifting the physical manifestations.
Thus, emphasis is often on large movements designed to move the qi but no background is given in terms of what the spiritual application of the movements are.
When I teach clients, especially in private lessons, I customize the movements and teach how the movements relate to their physical and spiritual selves.
Also, I emphasize quiescent meditations that can be performed sitting or lying down, so that people who may be severely debilitated by illness, can still partake of the healing benefits without tiring themselves or exacerbating discomfort.
Sometimes, it takes a practitioner skilled in synthesis techniques, methods of facilitating a harmony between all the tools a client is using, to create an integrative experience where all pieces of healing are working together instead of in a piecemeal fashion. So, often times, my role is as a synthesis practitioner, delicately weaving a bridge between all other healing techniques that a client may be experiencing, but especially providing to clients the fullest prongs and essence of Chinese medicine, which is truly about healing all parts of self.