As a Chinese Medicine practitioner I often find myself speaking of flow. We try to find words to explain as best as possible what we know to be true in our experience, and for me the way to healing ultimately is to be in flow. But what exactly does that mean?
Chinese Medicine originated over 3,000 years ago and it's understanding is tied to the ancient Taoist tradition which is translated as 'The Way'. The way in Taoism cannot be explained in words as it is based on life's ebbs and flows which can only be experienced. But here I am going to give it a go for the sake of translating what I have learned and experienced in watching my patients on their healing journey.
The way, also known as 'Wu Wei' is the golden path where everything is effortless and perfect. Yes, there is perfection here on earth and it's called 'nature' - that is, the way it was designed before obstacles or abnormal intervention. Nature is designed with everything in mind. It has perfect timing, perfect temperature, perfect growth - in it's ideal state. But when obstacles arise - pollution, harm, interference, a lack of living by nature's rules - then disharmony occurs. Although by design it's perfect, nature is so delicately interwoven that all parts need to work in unison for it to play out it's ultimate destiny.
Such is our body - which is a part of the whole. We see inside ourselves what we can also witness without. We no longer are in sync with the light of nature since creating our own artificial light - and then we ask why there is such a huge epidemic of insomnia in modern times. Our man made signals are causing us imbalance that we don't even perceive to be happening - partly because we've become so accustom to being in a dazed state due to overstimulation. Our minds can only take so much information and then in order to deal with this properly we need to tune some of it out. So we get used to tuning life out and then wonder why time speeds up these days. I used to think it was just age until I began speaking with kids who also feel that time is going so fast. If you asked me when I was their age when all these devices didn't exist, I would have said that a year felt like forever.
This is not to sound pessimistic, but in order to achieve balance we need to take an honest look at what is happening and why.
So when people get out of balance, they develop symptoms, and that is usually when my phone rings. The question that I get most often is 'Does acupuncture treat (insert symptom / condition)' and my answer is almost always the same. So long as the condition is not so far along that it needs immediate medical intervention, my job is to figure out how I can create a condition in my patient's body which is optimal for healing. My ultimate goal, is to encourage the body's own natural flow.
That job is not always easy, and at times it takes a lot of tries (because every 'body' responds differently to the many tools we have in Chinese Medicine). Eventually, practitioners can figure out a way to hone in on the patient's pattern and work through their imbalance in order to restore harmony. And when that happens, we get to witness what many consider to be miracles.
But you have the power to restore harmony in your own body. You can begin to live a life that is more harmonious with nature. Taking walks during the day, abstaining from using devices or watching TV late at night, eating fruits and vegetables that are in season, and meditation are just a few examples of ways that you can create flow in your own life. Since we can't change the ways of our modern life, we can still change our own behaviors to create homeostasis in our health. Adopting this practice is vital in order to create lasting health and well being. You are certainly worth the effort!