The Archeology of Disease

People develop progressive and degenerative diseases from stagnations that accumulate within the embodied spirit. We can tolerate those accumulations for some time, but eventually they impede or obstruct “normal” physiological process. Each embodied spirit is provided with an amazingly effective collection of “storage reservoirs” that allow them to adapt and adjust to pathogenic stagnations. (Technically, those reservoirs are called luo vessels, channel divergences, and several of the eight extraordinary vessels). They allow people to “move on” with life by storing pathogenic factors, when they are unable or unwilling to resolve them. However,

This process of storing unresolved pathogenic factors is a double-edged sword.

While storing unresolved pathogenic factors facilitates the individual’s personality in going on with life in the short-term, it also renders the diseases that eventually emerge more difficult to resolve. If we can resist the temptation to suspend the challenges and discomfort our unresolved pathogenic factors present, we can avoid burdening ourselves with such an immense project in the future, because

We can’t simply balance or control those diseases into resolution!

Instead, resolving most chronic progressive and degenerative diseases requires the willingness to dig through the layers of “unfinished business,” and unravel the entangled accumulations we’ve stored away. Healing is very much like Archeology, though in addition to digging through the layers (and documenting them), we are faced with the challenge of resolving the pathogenic factors stored in those layers. There are no “short-cuts” for the embodied spirit — if it hasn’t finished with some aspect of life process, it’s stored away to pile up. So, if we want to heal, we may as well get out our (metaphorical) shovels and start digging!

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Practicing Health Care

A few weeks ago, I taught a weekend continuing education seminar for acupuncturists on the channel divergences, which have central importance for both understanding and reversing progressive and degenerative disease. Early in that seminar, I posed the following question, which I believe lay deep in the soul of many health care practitioners:

Do you want to participate in the disease management industry or the art of healing?

Has the idealism to help others, which continues to inspire many young people to enter the health care fields, been overwhelmed by the “scientific” doctrines students must learn and later the practical challenges of making a living? While that idealism appears well beaten-down in most, I believe it continues to smolder in the hearts of many. Can we gently fan those embers with the knowledge that the healing potential of the embodied spirit dwarfs the efforts of scientific medicine to control the expression of pathology?

Modern medicine relies on fear.

Allopathic medicine portrays patients’ bodies as “broken” — in need of permanent physical repair through surgery or ongoing physiological control with pharmaceuticals. Yet, embodied spirits that exhibit various diseases aren’t broken; they’re simply congested with stagnation, which blocks the natural flow of vital function. The symptoms and signs of disease are a cry for help; they are the embodied spirit’s gesture to express the nature and extent of its distress.

While western medicine sets the tone for our health care system, most proponents of “natural” medicine conform to its passive care model. And why not? — it makes SO MUCH SENSE economically. What could be better than selling people on the need to take a certain supplement for the rest of their lives, or come for three treatments per week for the next six months? Excuse me while I price a new BMW.

Practicing Health Care is a Sacred Trust.

People come to health care practitioners with their pains and their fears. I believe our work challenges us to discern the sources of each individual’s suffering, and find ways to stimulate the transformations of healing. Often that takes more time initially than simply controlling the manifestations of distress, but careful work to discriminate an individual’s blocks to healing can pay substantial dividends. The financial value for both individuals and our society of empowering patients to resolve their ailments is enormous. The non-financial value is even greater!

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To Publish or Not to Publish?

That is the question. It’s particularly salient for me, as my own editor and publisher of this site. I’m wanting to make good use of my precious time and energy, and have bit into a REALLY BIG project — trying to share a worldview about health and healing that’s profoundly different from our modern “knowledge.” While modern scientific knowledge concerning health and healing appeals convincingly to the naïve perspectives of our personalities, it isn’t actually TRUE. As Shakespeare wrote so eloquently (Hamlet Act 1, Scene 5):

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy (or modern science!).

Relative to human health, there are the awesome mysteries and magic of the embodied spirit. Yet, where there is awesome power, many experience fear. How will people respond to my lancing – like a picador – the “sacred cow” of modern medical science? Many people place their faith in the truths of science as profoundly as many generations of our ancestors invested theirs in religion. Fundamental challenges to the authority of socially dominant paradigms have not been welcomed — ask Galileo or Socrates! Yet, the growth of human knowledge depend on such challenges.

The conceptual power of modern scientific thought is exactly what renders it incomplete for the study of human health and disease. The wondrous conceptual frameworks of modern science enhance our investigations of those aspects of human life that exhibit uniform physical laws, yet they fail to help us facilitate the individual potential to heal. The predictive power of modern science belies the individual possibilities of the embodied spirit. Can we learn to enhance the magic of individual healing? The modern consumption-based approach to health care doesn’t account for this basic truth:

Health and healing emerge from individuals who live in alignment with their beings; they are NOT consumer goods that can be procured from the outside.

We can’t control healing, but we can learn to stimulate and facilitate it. Are modern people willing to hear the basic truth that we can’t externally control such a fundamental aspect of human life as our health? Modern medical technologies leap forward in their ability to control acute crises, but ailing patients remain subject to the natural progression of most diseases. Are we willing to return our faith to efforts focused on enhancing the embodied spirit’s healing process, rather than simply trying to control the expression of distress?

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