Imagery and Alchemy in Chinese Medicine Part 3

There are many ways you can apply this idea, it is up to your own imagination. Always describe your findings in terms of TCM so that the client gains an immediate image of their condition. I find that when I tell my clients my diagnosis in terms of TCM [ie Dampness, Heat, Water not supporting Wood, etc] they immediately get an image they can relate to, rather than trying to keep to more Western medical terms. Remembering that Mind leads Qi, many people have negative feelings and therefore images around Western medical terminology, so helping them to move right away from these creates a shift in their perception of their condition and, therefore, a potential shift in the condition itself.

How often have you treated someone with a variety of [apparently unrelated] symptoms, only to point out to them that they are all connected because they all related either to one organ/meridian network or to one climatic state? How relieved was that person when you gave them the ‘picture’ in TCM terms? I imagine they were very relieved, because this is what I see every day.

Make use of these images to enhance what you are already doing. Give your client some ‘homework’ to work on. If their Earth Element is deficient you can certainly ask them to dig in the garden but what if they don’t have one! Invite them to visualise their garden, have them create a lush, thriving garden that they tend to in their visualisation. Have them ‘weed’ out the toxins. If they have too much dampness, have them imagine that their garden is lacking in sunlight and they can clear overgrowth to allow more light and warmth in.

This may seem too simplistic to be of value but sometimes it’s the simple things that can do the most good. In our modern highly, technological age we are often too removed from reality to understand that simplicity has great value. Dr Jerry Alan Johnson, in his amazing thome: Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy: A Comprehensive Text, (p.73) states, “The goal of the Qigong doctor is to alter (if possible) the Toxic Qi patterns and help the patient’s body recognize that the formation of the disease is a mistake. In order to reprogram these patterns, the Qigong doctor often assists the patient in using guided meditations that employ vivid imagination, colorful visualizations, and positive affirmations. These images are used to encapsulate the disease and return it to the divine light.” A perfect decscription of both imagery and alchemy.

My clients all appreciate the fact that I include them and engage them in their healing process and often comment that other acupuncturists simply put the needles in and go away – which we know works – but these days many more people want to take an active part in their own healing process. And what better way to achieve it since you already know the information, all you have to do is include it when you give treatments. After all this is the 21st Century and all that we practise in TCM is oh so new age yet oh so ancient!!!

Selected Bibliography

Sheikh, Anees and Pachuta, Donald, Guided Imagery Workshop Training Manual, American Imagery Institute. 1987.
Wilhelm, Richard, The Secret of the Golden Flower : A Chinese Book of Life. Penguin Books London. 1984.
Cleary, Thomas, Immortal Sisters : Secrets of Taoist Women. Shambala Publications Boston. 1989.
Yasukawa, Sally, Metaphysics and Alchemy of the Tao : Reclaiming the Feminine Spirit of Life. Thesis published by Lindlahr Books Perth. 1997
Huang, Runtian, Treasured Qigong of the Traditional Medical School. Hai Feng Publishing Co, Hong Kong. 1994.
Chia, Mantak, Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality. Healing Tao Books New York. 1985
Chopra, Deepak, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. Rider Books London. 1993.
Dyer, Wayne, Real Magic : Creating Miracles in Everyday Life. Harper Collins Australia. 1992.
Brennan, Barbara Ann, Light Emerging : The Journey of Personal Healing. Bantam Books New York. 1993.
Johnson, Jerry Alan, Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy : A Comprehensive Text. International Institute of Medical Qigong, Pacific Grove California. 2000.

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