Traditional Chinese Medicine
In today’s world, even healthy children are vulnerable to common allergies, illnesses, and viruses, and, more often than not, antibiotics are used to treat them—a practice that can lead to overuse. Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics when they are over-prescribed, leaving these children susceptible to stronger, more resistant bugs.
Emotions, of themselves, are not a problem. Everyone experiences a range of emotional feeling throughout their lives: Sadness, anger, joy, worry and so forth. They are a natural part of our embodied experience and a normal response to our environment. They are neither positive nor negative. They only become problematic when they are notably intense and excessive and, especially, when prolonged over a long period of time, without expression or acknowledgment. Everyone feels anger at times, but it is normally a strong, but short-lived, response to a direct and immediate stimulus.
In a village in feudal Japan, a man falls from a rooftop, and the force of the landing causes him to stop breathing. A crowd gathers; they know the man is in trouble, but they are unsure what to do. Suddenly, a little old man pushes through the crowd, grabs the victim, gives a loud shout (kiai), and strikes him. The victim is instantly revived. Although the old man practices medicine, he is not a doctor. In fact, he is a person that few Westerners would expect to heal someone: a martial artist.
I had been a regular massage client of Katherine Kawana, a massage therapist and acupuncturist operating in Kaneohe, Hawaii. I was fairly active — swimming, running in excess of 20 miles a week and playing other sports. Then came the case of sciatica that was severe enough to sideline me. Visits to various practitioners, including medical doctors, were futile. Back traction, adjustments and medication brought no relief.
Surgery as a remedy for body ailments dates back to ancient times. But it has only been within the past 150 years that general anesthesia has been on the scene.1 The use of anesthesia has become a double-edged sword for the medical profession, contributing to a perplexing problem known as PONV, or post-operative nausea and vomiting. Although several factors may contribute to PONV, anesthesia is a major player and its effects on the patient continue to thwart attempts for a pharmacologic panacea.
When you think about protection, what do you think? Car insurance, health insurance, home insurance? Being physically strong and well-trained? Regular check-ups, vitamins, herbal preparations?
Ping Lee’s training as an engineer comes in handy when he’s explaining the concept of energy. “Conceptualize the word air,” he says. “The Chinese have a lot of expressions with the word air. It sounds insignificant, so when you say something is air, what type of thing is it? Can you picture a steam locomotive, do you know how powerful that is? When we use the word steam we think of a cloud, but it is only a condensation of air — energy. What I teach in class, when we talk about energy, is seeing the word air as energy. You can feel a person’s presence, that’s energy.
I am lying face down on a massage table. My ears are tightly covered, so that I’m deep inside a loud silence of rushing blood and muffled room tones. Explosions of pressure twang against the back of my skull and reverberate through my brain and being, over and over. I feel at first shaken apart, and then, oddly enough, powerfully relaxed — safe.
Millions of people have suffered from their own or someone else’s addiction. I’m not talking about craving a few brownies. I’m talking about gambling, cocaine, the Internet, heroin, alcohol, nicotine, crack cocaine, marijuana, caffeine, pornography, food, sugar and prescription drug addiction. Addiction takes a huge emotional toll on everyone, has profound financial and legal consequences, and dashes the hopes and dreams of families everywhere.