In traditional Chinese medicine, summer is considered the season of the Heart. The Heart, the King of all organs, is revered for its ability to create healing miracles. It is only when we open our hearts that we can touch the timeless, the infinite, and the sacred. The Heart has many roles; certainly key are the physiological functions, but TCM understands each organ is a fuller context than the physical. And the Heart makes many unique contributions, not the least of which is offering a path to self-healing.
Taoist philosophy believes that the human body is a microcosm of the Universe. If it remains balanced, the body can live a long, healthy life. The ancients knew this state could be achieved by practicing the healing arts. Today, most of Western culture is designed to support the concept that health solutions exist outside of us. If we have pain, we take a pill. If an organ causes problems, someone “helps” us remove it. The exploration that illness or disease initiate with unbalanced emotions or spiritual issues is given little credence. Consequently, most people only know how to search outside themselves for answers to health issues.
The forgotten secret is that each individual comes with its own inner healing blueprint. The program is downloaded in each and every one of us when we’re born. We just have to learn how to access it and use it. Self-healing is a lifelong process. It’s like swimming against a current. It’s almost impossible for the swimmer to take a break; otherwise she might fall behind, or worse, experience disastrous consequences. If she gives up midway, then she’ll have to start the whole process over.
Often people ask why they have a certain illness or disease. They may believe they’ve led the same or even healthier life than their family members or friends, but they still have problems. Why does illness choose them? The answer, according to TCM, is that this body, at this time, offers a perfect place for the disease energy to live. Once in, this energy is difficult to push out. An unbalanced body offers may places for disease to hide. We see this now in modern Western medicine as super germs battle with ever more powerful antibiotics. Bacteria and viruses use their intelligence to mutate and resist even the most advanced attempts to eradicate them. Yet, the final point is the individual. In an unbalanced state, we are not so much victims, as unconscious, or unaware accomplices. Especially if we are completely focused on finding external solutions.
TCM believes that no matter which path the self-healing journey takes, you will always meet yourself. It is vital to take responsibility for your own health. In fact, in TCM philosophy, “Your life belongs to God; your health belongs to you.” The real truth, TCM believes, is that only you can heal yourself. And this healing has everything to do with opening the heart–the highest goal of Taoist Qigong. If you’ve tried many ways to get well, take a moment to look inward to find out why your health is not getting better. Look at your daily life–the foods you eat, the stresses you choose to experience or let affect you, the kinds of feelings that run your life, the way you work and how you deal with the people in your life. Does your emotional self continually dwell in feelings of anger, sadness, worry or fear?
TCM theory states that if the body is in harmony, and its internal systems are balanced, then outside illness cannot affect it, not even cancer. There will be no place for it to hide. Though we cannot control outside factors, we do have the ability to control internal ones. As our culture offers more complex and seemingly effective solutions to health problems, it is easy to buy into the idea that health and healing are separate from ourselves. Gradually, and not so gradually, we are trained to give away our unique healing powers. It takes a strong Heart to stay well in a complex world.
Support your Heart this summer! Join our upcoming 7-Day Taoist Qigong Journey to Heart Harmony. Learn more.