Curious to know why I love Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture so much?
This system looks at our constitution, our emotions our behaviors and our spiritual life when considering the overall health picture of an individual. Chinese Medicine recognizes that our organs and all the related parts of the organ systems have consciousness. This idea may seem weird, it’s not mainstream and it’s not testable by science, at least not yet.
Its complex, no doubt about it, and for the longest time that stopped me from writing or even talking about this stuff to people not in the Chinese Medical world. How could I possibly do justice to something so connected, in a few linear sentences? But we have to start somewhere, and experience shows that people are hungry for this wisdom.
Before we begin, it’s important to start to think metaphorically. The Qi or “energy” we talk about in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture is actually REAL. It exists within a spectrum from the unseen to the seen. An example is the function of the Liver organ. It is related to our ability to make plans and therefore the health of one’s Liver (literally) is reflected in a person’s relationship to not just making plans but how they are carried out. Are they too loose in their plan? Are they overly rigid? Do they meet their plans with the flexibility of bamboo – with insane strength and the ability to bend in stressful situations?
Chinese Medicine holds a balanced perspective in all facets of life, including spiritual, mental/emotional and physical. An excellent physician will be able to know, based on diagnostic questions and observations, as well as their intuition which area needs attention. Intuition is key as this is when we begin to practice the art of any medicine. But we ONLY start to honour this art once we have a solid foundation of a medical system that has evolved over thousands of years of experience.
When we think metaphorically we go beyond what is obvious, into the deeper layers of our experience, into what we give meaning to in our lives. I invite you to begin to think in these terms as we move through the rest of this blog.
The Organ Systems according to Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
- The Kidney and Urinary Bladder are related to the Water Element.
- The water element houses our potential and our reserve energy as it is inherited by our parents. It is our lineage and our will to survive. Potential evolves from within the water element. If we are underutilizing our reserves, we stay still, frozen with fear, never bringing potential into the world. If we are overutilizing our reserves we will quickly burn out and our potential becomes limited.
- The themes surrounding the Water element is the proper utilization of resources. The Urinary Bladder meridian runs all along the back of the body, from the eyes to the back of the head, down the back, back of the legs and heels. It, along with the Kidneys govern our bones and how we stand up in our lives. Do we feel supported in life? Do we feel like we need to do everything on our own and of our own will? These beliefs can take a toll on our system often resulting in problems of the back (support).
- The Heart and Small Intestine are related to the Fire element.
- The Fire element is all about giving and receiving warmth and connection. Spiritual purpose is the responsibility of the Fire element and it very much relates to how connected we feel in life.
- The Mind/Shen (Shen is related to the spirit in Chinese Medicine) is a reflection of the state of the Heart. It is common when a person is feeling traumatized to become exceedingly emotional and even suffer from dissociative behaviors.
- The Liver and Gall Bladder are related to the Wood Element.
- It is the responsibility of the Wood organs to harmonize and bring forth our potential (water) and our purpose (Fire). Its central theme is to move forward and to do so it must send Qi out in all directions according to life’s bigger plan.
- The Liver is considered the General, it communicates with the highest authority in the kingdom – The Heart – and carries out its mandate. It holds the vision and makes plans in accordance with this vision. When things aren’t going our way, the Wood element can feel frustrated leading to irritability and anger.
- The Lungs and Large Intestine are related to the Metal Element.
- The metal element is about Value. Think about the value of minerals and all things refined in the earth (i.e. gold and diamonds). It is the refinement of our earthly experience. This phase is the death phase, it is where we let go via the Large Intestine of what is no longer valuable to us so that new life can be breathed into us via the Lungs so we are prepared for a new cycle of life to emerge.
- Our relationship to our own value is connected to this Element.
- The Spleen and Stomach are related to the Earth Element
- A strong earth element creates integrity within the whole system. It is the hub with which the rest of the body circles around. It is considered the middle of the body, it takes in and processes food and creates Qi, Blood, and Flesh. Our physical body is the vehicle with which our purpose, passion, and potential are earthed.
- When we are interpreting life as burdensome rather than nourishing it is common for digestive issues to manifest.
This is just the beginning. What unfolds is a wild, beautiful and integrated system that honors an individual’s unique physiology and experience.
See you on the wild side.