Health Intuitive

Archive for the ‘acupuncture’ Category

Foods That Can Help Restore Kidney Balance And Make It Run At Optimal Levels

Nutrition has played a vital role in Chinese medicine for a long time, generating health within people. There are specific foods that help strengthen a certain organ system including the kidney, metal, liver, spleen, and heart systems. Each of these systems has an express role in the functioning of the body. The nutritional requirements of the kidney organ system will be the topic of this article.

In Chinese medicine, the kidney organ system’s main function is to maintain the strength of a person’s willpower, control urine flow, optimize the function of the brain, preserve bone health, regulate growth and reproduction, and house life essence. Every other organ systems are affected by the kidneys. When kidney function is out of balance, symptoms such as ear disease or infections, loss of hearing, dental problems, lower back pain, weakening of the knees may occur. Another sign of a kidney imbalance is hair problems including premature graying, split ends, and hair loss. Any reproductive, sexual, or urinary health issues are also kidney-related issues and so too are excessive insecurity and fear, poor development and growth, and premature ovarian failure.

We can drink or eat various foods to help strengthen the kidney organ system. Of these, drinking water is perhaps, the most important thing to do. Water is the element associated with water and so to keep yourself well-hydrated, remind yourself to drink water throughout the day.

The kidney system can also benefit from salty flavored foods such as kimchi (a Korean dish), sauerkraut, miso, tamari, seaweed, and sea salt.

It’s important that you balance your salt intake. Switch to sea salt from table salt and do not consume too much salt.

Believe it or not, the kidney system can also benefit by eating foods shaped like a kidney. These include most beans but especially kidney beans, and black beans. This is called the doctrine of signatures, which states that herbs and foods that look like certain parts of the body can be utilized to resolve issues of that part of the body. The doctrine of signatures is a philosophy usually followed by most herbalists.

Black and blue foods such as figs, black beans, mulberries, blackberries, and blueberries can support the function of the kidney. The blue and black color is affiliated to the kidney element of water.

Eating certain seafoods can also be good for the kidney. These can include seaweeds, shrimp, fish, oysters, mussels, fresh water clams, and crab. Meat products such as duck, duck eggs, chicken and chicken eggs as well as pork are also good for the kidneys.

Seeds that reinforce the kidneys include black sesame, sunflower, flax, and pumpkin seeds. They all help regulate fertility and growth, which are physiological functions that the kidneys govern.

When a certain organ system is out of balance, you can help restore it to normal function by choosing the right foods to eat. With acupuncture treatment administered by a licensed acupuncturist in Orlando, you can get your body working at optimal levels and help your system feel great!

Foods That Can Help Improve The Function Of Your Kidneys

In Chinese medicine, nutrition plays a huge role in creating health within a person. In this type of medicine there are specific foods that can help reinforce the organs systems of the spleen, heart, liver, kidneys, and metal. Each of these systems plays a specific role in the functioning of the body. We will discuss the nutritional requirements of the kidney organ system.

The kidney organ system’s primary responsibilities are to maintain the willpower strength of a person, regulate urine function, optimize the function of the brain, maintain bone health, govern growth and reproduction, and to store jing or life essence. This organ system is also very important to the other organs in the body. When the Kidneys are out of balance ear disease and infections, hearing loss, and bone issues affecting the teeth, lower back, and knees can all set in. An imbalance in the kidney may also lead to hair problems such as premature graying, split ends, and hair loss. Kidney problems may also play a role in any reproductive, sexual or urinary health problems as well as in excessive insecurity and fear, poor growth, premature ovarian failure, premature graying, and premature aging.

Drink Lots of Water – One of the most important things to do to reinforce the kidney organ system is to drink lots of water and to eat various kinds of foods. The element that is related to the kidneys is water so you need to keep your body well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.

Salty Tasting Foods – The kidneys can also benefit when you eat a diet of salty tasting foods like sauerkraut, miso, tamari, seaweeds, sea salt, and kimchee, a Korean dish made up of cultured vegetables.

Salt – You need to balance your intake of salt. This means do not take in too much salt. Using sea salt instead of table salt is more preferable.

Seeds – Eating seeds such as black sesame, sunflower, flax, or pumping seeds has been known to help strengthen the kidneys. All these seeds are associated with fertility and growth, both which are controlled by the kidneys.

Seafood – Seafood such as seaweed, shrimp, fish, oysters, mussels, fresh water clams, and crab as well as duck and chicken eggs, duck, and pork can all support the kidneys.

Black and Blue Foods – Figs, black beans, mulberries, blackberries, blueberries all support the function of the kidney. The blue and black color is associated with water which is the element related to the kidneys. By selecting these two colors, we then can help strengthen the elements.

Kidney Shaped Foods – According to Chinese food therapy, foods that are shaped like a kidney can actually help strengthen the kidneys. This belief is called the doctrine of signatures and is a principle that herbalists abide in. According to this doctrine, herbs and plants that mimic the shape of specific parts of the body can be utilized to treat conditions affecting those parts of the body.

You’ll be able to improve the function of an organ system that is out of balance by selecting the right foods to eat. This helps improve its function getting your body to work at optimal levels!

Ivelisse DeJongh is a Miami acupuncturist and the medical director at DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic.

The Effects Of Cupping Therapy Can Help Eliminate A Lot Of Physical Illnesses

One aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine that’s rising in popularity in the US is cupping. You may not have heard of the treatment before but rest assured, it can provide with you tons of benefits – from relieving acute and chronic pain to curing certain respiratory diseases.

What is Cupping Therapy?

An ancient form of Chinese medicine, cupping is a procedure that uses a cup or cups that are applied to the skin with the pressure in the cup reduced (either by suction or heat) in order to hold and draw the skin and superficial muscles into the cup to produce a therapeutic effect. The practitioner moves the cup while the suction is active which causes the muscle and skin to be pulled. This procedure is known as gliding cupping.

Cupping therapy focuses on certain acupuncture points and areas of the body that are experiencing pain, where the pain is more profound deeper than the tissues to be pulled. Greater emphasis is placed on acupuncture points located on the back because this treatment is most easily performed when done on the back. Most practitioners utilize the da shui, bladder meridian, and back shu acupoints. Cupping is usually used after plum blossom treatment, bloodletting, or acupuncture.

The meridian theory of the body is where cupping treatment is based. Cupping opens up the meridians and eliminates stagnation in the body so that energy can move without hindrance. Cupping also aids in the rejuvenation of organs and certain energy channels that are not functioning optimally. From the viewpoint of science, cupping has been proven to repair deep tissue injury, enhance blood and energy flow, and activate the lymphatic system.

How Cupping Therapy is Done

Cupping treatment oftentimes uses glass cups although sometimes, bamboo cups are also used. The cups used come with a valve that connects to a small manual pump, enabling the healer to pump out air without having to use fire to first depressurize the cup. This also allows them to have better control over the amount of suction. Cupping is also referred to as suction cup therapy or ba guan fa.

Oil infused with medicinal herb extracts is applied to the skin in order to allow the cups to move smoothly over the skin. The cups are used at room temperature. The moving cups generate a little friction which produces a small amount of heat that adds to the potency of the therapy.

For about 10 to 15 minutes, the cups are left in place. Due to the congestion of blood and the suction’s effect on the capillaries, the skin will bruise and redden and turn purplish. Afterwards, the cup is then removed from the skin. This is done by pressing the skin on one side causing outside air to enter the cup and equalize the pressure.

Conditions Cupping Therapy Can Address

Cupping is usually performed to address paralysis, lung conditions (asthma and chronic coughing), gastrointestinal disorders, and pain, although it can also be useful for other illnesses. It should not be used on inflamed skin and should be only performed over fleshy parts of the body. It should not be used on people, who are easily bruised, suffer from convulsions or those with a high fever. In pregnant women, cupping should not be performed on their lower back region.

The effects of cupping therapy can be felt deep within the body, actually, as deep as four inches into the tissues, causing these tissues to release toxins. Cupping can also enhance the appearance of varicose veins, eliminate stretch marks, activate the skin, clear and energize the capillaries, arteries, and veins, clear colon blockages, and stimulate the lymphatic system.

Jamie Catlett is an acupuncturist in Jacksonville, FL and the founder of Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic.

The Difference Between Chinese Medicine And Western Medicine

While Chinese medicine is deemed in the West as alternative medicine, it is still used as a primary form of treatment by a lot of people in China, which it has been so for thousands of years. However, more and more people in the West are now turning to this type of medicine because they prefer a natural approach to healing rather than using synthetically manufactured drugs that come with really bad side effects.

How Chinese medicine began is not really known although it is believed its practice dates back more than 5,000 years ago. The first documented history mentioning Chinese medicine come from the Canon of Internal Medicine (Hung-Di Nei-Jing) which is believed to be more than 2,000 years old and is ascribed to the Yellow Emperor, although there is still debate over the authors and dates.

Most of us know about the basic forms of Chinese medicine like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in Bellingham. Some may know that Chinese medicine also includes food therapy, qi gong, and massage therapy. However, only a few people are aware that Chinese medicine and all types of ancient therapies focus more on the restoration of balance and harmony to prevent the rise of conditions instead of treatment of a disease.

The main reason for illness is the lack or absence of balance or harmony in the body. While modern Western medicine uses vaccines and antibiotics to destroy viruses and bacteria, Chinese medicine uses a holistic approach and addresses imbalance to build the body and make it strong enough to resist all types of diseases and illnesses.

These days, more and more medical schools in the West are including alternative medicine subjects in their curricula. However the relationship between Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine is still contentious. Compared to their Chinese counterparts, older Western physicians tend to view Chinese medicine as a form of pseudo medicine.

However, far from being seen as useless in the West, Chinese medicine is slowly being acknowledged by scientists, doctors, and researchers as effective for certain conditions that cannot be treated by Western medicine. Moreover, a growing number of Western hospitals are now offering Qi Gong and Tai Chi classes as part of their health and inpatient programs.

Although Chinese Medicine is still tagged as alternative medicine in the West, more than 75 percent of the world’s population uses it as a primary form of treatment and it is in the fields of prevention and dealing with emotional or physical conditions that it excels. Chinese medicine is free of risks and is a therapeutic and non-invasive form of treatment.

The views about Chinese medicine are rapidly changing by the day and more and more people are willing to try it especially after Western medicine has failed to address their problem or because they are just so sick and tired of taking prescription and OTC medications that do not work and give them nasty side effects. More people are taking a proactive approach to their health and well being by maintaining their health through Chinese medicine and by exercising and eating the right foods. This is really the best way to avoid falling into illness and disease.

The Gynecological and Obstetrical Benefits Of Moxibustion

In traditional Chinese medicine, Moxibustion is a technique that entails the burning of a spongy herb small herb called mugwort, also known as “moxa,” to promote healing. For thousands of years, people in Asia have used moxibustion to treat a variety of ailments and maladies. In fact, acupuncture has a Chinese character that literally means “acupuncture-moxibustion,” when translated. As with almost all types of types of Chinese medicine, moxibustion is mainly used to facilitate the smooth flow of blood and qi, resolve inflammation, and keep the body in good health and wellbeing.

If needed, many practitioners include moxibustion into their acupuncture treatment protocol. Moxibustion can also be used as a standalone therapy. Some patients are provided with a stick of moxa to continue treatment at home. To safely self-treat themselves at home, patients are given instructions by their acupuncturist on how to properly administer treatment.

Direct and Indirect Moxibustion

These are the two types of moxibustion. In the first type, direct moxibustion, a small moxa in the shape of a cone is placed on top of a protective balm set over a pressure point and lit. The patient experiences a sensation that warm and pleasant that goes through the skin and deep into the body.

In the other type of moxibustion, indirect moxibustion, a cigar-sized and shaped moxa stick, is burnt and placed close to the treatment site for a number of minutes. There is also one other form of indirect moxibustion in which both moxa and acupuncture needles are used. In this technique, the acupuncturist first sticks a needle into an acupoint. Then a moxa cone is placed on the head of the needle and burned producing heat to the surrounding area and the point. After achieving the desired effect, the moxa flame is put off and the needle removed.

The Uses of Moxibustion Therapy

Moxibustion in Orlando is used on people suffering from a stagnant or internal cold condition. The heat from a lit moxa warms the energy channels and dispels cold resulting in smoother flow of qi (energy) and blood. Nowadays, patients have become less susceptible to internal cold, and moxibustion is usually now used to enhance qi, alleviate tendonitis and other forms of inflammation, and boost circulation.

Breech babies can be successfully turned to their proper head-down position just before to childbirth with the help of moxibustion. In fact, in 1998 the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) published a landmark study showing that after being treated with moxibustion at an acupoint on the little toe up to three quarters of women with breech presentation issues prior to childbirth were able to rotate their fetuses to the normal position. And as gleaned from other studies, moxibustion increases the fetus’s movement in pregnant women, and can help relieve menstrual cramping when used as an adjunct to traditional acupuncture.

Why Acupuncturists Use Mugwort and Not Any Other Kind of Herb

Ai Ye or Artemesia vulgaris which is respectively the Chinese and scientific name of Mugwort, has been used for thousands of years in Asia. In herbal medicine it is internally used and used as well in moxibustion therapy. This plant is believed to posses warming and blood-invigorating attributes. Studies have revealed that mugwort acts as an agent that boosts blood flow to the uterus and pelvic region and, when taken internally, stimulates menstruation.

Chinese Medicine And Western Medical Research Issues

Even though Chinese medicine has been used as a qualified approach for more than five millennia, Western science continues to doubt whether this is a valid approach to assist with treatment. Nonetheless, a great number medical experts of Western medicine would not discover improbable proofs that that Chinese herbal remedies may probably contain efficacious biochemical agents, that acupuncture alleviates pain by spurring the production of neurotransmitters, and that qigong maintains health by promoting movement and relaxation.

You can review the myriad of studies that have helped others to reach conclusions about the influence of Chinese medicine if yet are not sure of its effectiveness or if you are interested in it. Believed by many to be extremely effective, Chinese medicine practices may from time to time provide palliative efficacy where Western medicine’s best practices fail. This is especially true for typical conditions like allergies and flu, and for neutralizing or eliminating the toxicity of synthetic medications.

The use of acupuncture as a medicine is perhaps the most debated issue between West and East. Acupuncture in Miami is generally considered to be safe based on conclusions from clinical trials and medical studies. The studies up to this point have not led to any conclusions as to whether acupuncture can be deemed a science. Research in acupuncture, at the same time, suggests that the use of energy channels or meridians is successful in treatment. Moreover, scientists believe that since the treatment is safe, it should be used, and may just need to have further studies dealing with it. Further investigation is required to discover additional fields in which acupuncture interventions can be used efficiently and effectively.

The traditional Chinese medicine treatment known as herbal medicine is one more topic that has been widely discussed in Western medicine. While there are just a few herbs that have not been researched, many of the herbs used by Chinese medicine practitioners are now being integrated into pharmaceutical drugs that doctors prescribed to patients. Artemisinin, ephedra, and Chinese wormwood are just few of the ancient Chinese herbs that are now being used in Western medicine.

In Chinese herbal medicine, a lot of compounds are not used by Western medicine; however, pharmaceutical corporations are now discovering their efficacy and medicinal value for a wide range of conditions. Since Chinese medicine has gradually evolved for thousands of years, it is possible that some herbs were initially selected on misguided grounds, and the ones that are still being used today have been proven to truly work.

Within the countless ideas of Chinese medicine, one thing that all Western research shows is that all Chinese medicine treatments are safe. In all medical researches it is seen that even if the treatments have no scientific basis, they still do not adversely affect a person’s wellbeing and very few have little side effects. As this is an axiomatic fact for holistic therapies, most researchers will also conclude that a simple lack of research of Chinese medicine is to blame for the skepticism about the effectiveness of this healing system.

Some Of The Techniques Used In Feng Shui

One of the most ancient forms of geomancy in the world is the multi-millennial practice known as Feng shui which originated in China and dates as far back as 3500 years ago.

You should be able to determine the interaction between the person and the environment he dwells in to properly apply this method. Important to this practice is finding where the essential qi is located rearranging objects outdoors or indoors of your household or even in the place where you work in order for qi to flow freely and endlessly in the space so that positive energy can affect the various aspects of your life.

The Wu Hsing or the five phases of Feng Shui depend on the five elements of wood, water, metal, earth, and fire.

The manner this technique is implemented depends on the balance on every one of these elements in the space and room you live that will bring about the best qi. If a balance of even just one element is not attained, it will bring in negative qi into the person’s environment and can affect the person in various ways.

The flying star technique is perhaps the most difficult Feng Shui method to apply. This technique needs to consider the outdoor environment of your home or place of work, a detailed plan of your floor architecture, and the date your place of work or home was assembled.

Being the most difficult Feng Shui technique, it is the most accurate and typically requires the skill and experience of Feng Shui master.

The Ba Shai or eight mansions technique is Feng Shui’s most used application. In this style, the directions that need to be avoided and those that are effective need to be determined in order to attract positive qi in your environment. From ancient times to the present, the benefits of Feng Shui have been reported and extolled by countless number of people which is the reason why it is still widely popular today as it was thousands of years ago.

Jamie Catlett is an acupuncturist in Jacksonville, FL and the founder of Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic.

The Many Uses And Benefits Of Auricular Therapy

One of the several many reflex systems that comprise the body is the ear. A reflex system is where the entire body is encapsulated in a certain part of the body. They are occasionally referred to as “microsystems” and are considered two-way communication systems. They mirror the problem occurring in a specific part of the body and can also treat it. Foot and hand reflexology are the two most familiar reflex systems. Auricular therapy is the examination and activation of the auricle (outer ear) for the diagnosis and resolution of health problems occurring in other parts of the body.

Auricular therapy also called auriculotherapy or ear acupuncture has been used by early Chinese doctors for over two thousand years. They used the ear in diagnosis and treatment. For sciatica and impotence, Hippocrates bled points behind the ears. Medical texts during the Middle Ages in Europe report the use of the ear for the treatment of sciatic pain. In France, Dr. Paul Nogier developed a comprehensive map of the ear as a reflex system in 1956. He designed a model using the basic image of an inverted fetus. Physicians around the world have validated his work. In 1973, Dr. Michael Smith developed in New York a standard procedure for substance abuse withdrawal by addressing five acupuncture points on the ear. He established the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) which is the most commonly used detox procedure in the US for the treatment of chemical addiction.

Auricular therapy is one of the lesser known treatments used by psychologists, massage therapists, chiropractors, doctors, acupuncturists, and other health care providers despite being one of the more extremely effective alternative healing modalities around. Acupoints on the ear can be stimulated using ear acupressure pellets, magnets, lasers, needles, or manual pressure. Auricular therapy implemented minus needles can be as effective as traditional body acupuncture. The World Health Organization in 1990, said “Auricular therapy is perhaps the best scientifically documented and most developed of all acupuncture’s microsystems and is the most widely used because of its practicality.”

Perhaps, auricular therapy’s most surprising aspect is that can be used for practically almost any type of condition. The inclusion of this treatment can enhance the treatment of menopause, headaches, arthritis, anxiety, addictions, insomnia, stress, pain, and many other conditions. It is often used as an adjunct to other types of therapy and is not meant to replace other appropriate forms of medical care.

Auricular therapy research done in China has discovered that it works well in 85 percent of cases and can address over 200 disorders and diseases. The Pain Management Center of UCLA in 1980 performed a double blind study to validate the scientific veracity of auricular diagnosis. It discovered a 75 percent rate of accuracy in diagnosing musculoskeletal pain conditions through palpation and observation of the ear. In South Australia, a study done at the Adelaide University examined the effectiveness of auricular therapy in Bellingham in weight loss. It saw that auricular therapy can inhibit appetite. The amount of weight lost and the number of individuals who lost weight was markedly higher in the group treated with auricular therapy.

All of these indicate one amazing wellness health healing modality that is directed to the ears.

Maternity Acupressure Is An Excellent Way To Induce Labor

If you are pregnant, past your due date, and are achy and tired, you may need to schedule yourself for a medical induction. Perhaps, you thought about getting maternity acupressure therapy but still have some questions about its efficacy and safety. This article will help answer some burning questions you may have regarding maternity acupressure as it will furnish you with information, which you may need to finally meet your baby safely and naturally.

What is Acupressure?

A holistic type of therapy, acupressure can complement the natural self healing processes of your body. It is a multi-millennial Chinese healing modality that uses energetic points on the body called acupressure points. Acupressure therapists believe that these points are connected to energy channels that extend from the skin to the body’s various internal organ systems. Acupressure involves the application of pressure on certain points on the body using devices, elbows, or hands to generate a specific response.

How quickly do the pain relieving benefits of acupressure kick in? For mothers-to-be, maternity acupressure works almost immediately, usually within one or a couple of contractions. It will be apparent to you if the treatment is working if you start to experience a sense of relief, an easing of the severity of the contractions, and a growing sense of serenity and calm.

Applying the Proper Pressure

The vehicle to apply pressure on the points includes your knuckles, thumbs, fingers, etc. and the amount of pressure will vary from pressure point to pressure point and from woman to woman. Based on the reaction of the woman receiving the therapy, you will know whether the right amount of pressure is being applied. The woman should feel an intense but tingly and warm pressure. If she feels pain, then you are putting pressure on the wrong point.

There are certainly proper pressure points that should be used at different stages of labor. Certain indicated pressure points will need to be used as labor progresses through its various stages in order to attain the desired benefits. These points are clearly outlined in the guide to maternity acupressure therapy.

Anyone can perform maternity acupressure, even those without previous experience in performing acupressure so long as they follow the instructions listed in the guide to maternity acupressure therapy.

The only tools you need to perform maternity acupressure are your elbows, thumbs, fingers, etc.

Is there a danger when pressing the wrong points? There is no such thing as pressing the wrong points if you intend to induce pressure since the only points you need to press are those women find helpful in the induction of labor.

When is the best time to begin using Maternity Acupressure to encourage labor? Never attempt to induce labor before your due date through any means. Three to four days prior to a medical induction is the best time to avail of maternity acupressure.

Thrive Wellness Center is an acupuncture clinic in Fort Lauderdale, FL with licensed acupuncturists, physicians and therapists.

The Taoist-Inspired Styles Of Oriental Healing

Practitioners of Oriental medicine do certainly benefit a lot from the regular activity of meditation, Tai Chi, or Chi Kung (Qigong). Any of these practices can beef up and increase the circulation of your life energy (chi) as well as give your body additional defense to ward off disease and pain. According to a lot of the masters of these healing arts, selecting an acupuncturist who has the ability and skill to extend chi through his hands and the needles is one of the most important considerations a person seeking Oriental medicine treatment can make. This ability amplifies both the patient’s diagnostic and healing responsiveness. The use of Tai Chi weapons in practice, particularly the Tai Chi Ruler on the sword form and other higher chi fostering techniques may augment the healing potential of chi of the acupuncturist as well as enhance his style of needle insertion. Unfortunately, there are very few who tread this path.

It was believed that about 8,000 years ago, the Nei Kung Chi Liao (NKCL) was rediscovered by the legendary creator of the 8 Trigrams/Ba Gua and Path of Nature-Way of Tao, Fu She. Many would argue that this predated acupuncture by over three millennia and was probably China’s first ever healing art form. It was only around 200 B.C., during the Han Dynasty did Taoism start to become an institutionalized religion established by Chang Tao-ling. This tradition was a tightly kept secret which rarely, if ever, was disseminated outside of family style traditions or Taoist monasteries. Over hundreds of years, this tradition was passed down through generations until it was learned by one of the eight immortals, Lu Tung Bin, around 800 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty. A legendary Chinese Chi Kung-Nei Chia master and healer, Lu Tung Bin is also considered to be a major contributor in the creation of Tai Chi Chuan. Being a widely known Tai Chi master in China, his teachings were integrated by the Yellow Dragon Monastery established over seven centuries before. He was the one who developed the Taoist Elixir Style which contains the NKCL and other various healing arts.

It has been well-known for millennia that Oriental Medicine has a lot of excellent health advantages that a person can enjoy. In the Eight Branches Style of Chinese Medicine, the practitioner and patient can derive certain amazing benefits.

1. The Taoist style of meditation is known to increase chi, which metaphorically is known as “the light”
2. The battery that creates chi is Chi Kung
3. The fuel that moves chi is the Tai Chi Chuan/Nei Chia
4. The lubricant is the reeling spiral activities of Chan Su Jin-silk
5. The light bulb that receives and uses chi for enlightenment is the shen (spirit/mind/heart).

While acupuncture in Tarzana activates the physical energies, the spirit and body are influenced by Tui Na, intellect is augmented by herbal medicine, and the heart shen is excited by touch. More often than not, these elements of the Eight System of the Healing Practices of Taoism overlap.

To allow yourself to easily experience spontaneity, you need to learn the self-cultivating arts of softness, looseness, and openness. Your body has the Shen, Chi, and Jing which play an indispensible role in your alchemical metamorphosis development and self cultivation. They are comparable to the wave, vapor-gas, and liquid states of matter and so are essential in the balancing, reinvigorating, and restoring of wellbeing and state of health of your body and mind. In other words, based on the quality and quantity of your vital bio-magneto-electrical energy (chi) that affects your states of consciousness and nervous system, your body and mind can either be in a state of imbalance or balance.

You can experience consistent changes in states of matter and energy from the base to more graduated levels when practicing Shen Kung practices especially when you are in the Alpha state. The term Tzu Ran is used by Taoists to describe a beautiful image reflecting the meditative state of self spontaneity. Instead of cracking your being or outer shell, soften it and by that you avoid pre-conditioning. Another term used by Taoists is Wu Wei that depicts a flexible body and mind, spontaneity in harmony with nature, and effortless movement that goes with the flow.

Some of the Taoist philosophies that reflect this idea are as follows:

• “The Tao is just nearby, but everyone looks far away.”
• “Work out things by yourself, and don’t depend on any kind of expert.”
• “The truth gets more and more distant of you look for it outside of yourself.”

You can start to experience an Alpha state of mind when you perform advanced chi cultivation techniques every day. It may be the first step of a greater balance in your body/ mind which leads to greater wisdom and knowledge. The advanced Taoist master believes that a person eventually starts to live more and more in Wu Wei and Tzu Ran until they eventually become an established way of life. Through practices like Shen Kung, all of these concepts, which are a part of the ancients’ natural life medicine, can be experienced first-hand.

Basically, chi kung has five major schools of thought: medical, martial arts, Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist. In the United States, spontaneous chi kung practices that have no set forms have become increasingly popular in recent years. Shen Kung, Nei Kung, Chi Kung, and Jing Kung are known as the four degrees of chi cultivation. The lying down, sitting, and standing positions carried out in both moving and stationary forms are the three styles of chi kung practice. The NKCL element of “healing thyself” is administered through Shen Kung which is the higher degrees of chi kung. You first need to learn the 31 foundation exercises of the Taoist Elixir Style if you have no idea what Tai Chi or chi kung is or if you’re just starting out.

The advanced exercises of the Shen Kung are made up of six seated methods and six standing methods, including the “quiet sitting” or Earth Meditation to balance and harmonize the body-mind via the eight psychic or extra energy channels (meridians). These energy channels are the repositories and deeper chi movements that carry the ancestral energy, jing chi that bring about and provide nourishment to the twelve organ energy channels. The jing chi is a regulating energy and plays a major role in the programming of the body-mind at the RNA, DNA, and cellular level.

There are several, more pervasive associations between the Eight Trigrams of the Mysterious Turtle (Ba Dua) and the eight extra energy channels, as gleaned by Fu She 8000 years ago. He was also responsible for enriching all of the Eight Branches, notably Feng Shui, Tui Na, hebal medicine, and acupuncture with the same universal principles that fuse the chi kung-nei chia and trigrams energy channels.

As reflected in the principles of yin-yang of natural harmony and balance, the life-nourishing and Taoist art of Shen Kung is performed to heal oneself. The practitioner uses Medical Chi Kung–NKCL to heal others. This healing without needles technique is a brilliant system deemed to be ancient China’s very first healing art. It is extremely simple to perform but very profound which is congruent to Taoist philosophy. If you have the drive and desire to learn and understand it, you’ll be able to apply it to others.