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TCM TIME – Keep that Liver Happy!

5phasesTraditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees the human body quite differently from Western Medicine. Instead of viewing ourselves as a collection of systems that work together, the Chinese view our being as a reflection of nature and it’s rhythmic cycles- each major body organ is related to one of the 5 major elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element is also associated with a season, and can be altered and affected by a variety of other correlations, including: color, flavor (food & drink), an emotional state, and one of the five sensory organs. For example, if you have an issue going on with your eye or sight, it is usually an imbalance that has incurred in the Liver qi.

Spring corresponds to the “Wood” element, and is related to the liver and gallbladder organs. According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. It is also said to contribute to our body’s resistance to external pathogenic influences, and is also believed to weigh our ability to plan our lives. The gallbladder provides the Qi to the sinews, effects the quality and length of sleep, and gives us drive and the passion to excel; to take the action necessary for our intentions to come to fruition. Dealing with adversity also comes under the role of the Gallbladder.

You can do things on your own to keep that liver happy, Qi flowing smoothly, and enjoy being in balance with this time of year, by observing:

Color: Green – Wear this color, eat young plants- fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, etc. Go outside and sit in a nice patch of grass, enjoy the return of the leaves on the trees.

Flavor: Sour – Try naturally sour foods like yogurt, raw sauerkraut, or fresh lemon juice in water. Use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing. Garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle.

Emotion: Anger – find and use healthy ways of communicating and releasing pent up emotion. give yourself permission to be angry, but do not dwell in it- learn to let things go.

Sense organ: the Eyes – Rest your eyes occasionally by covering them with the palms of your hands. Do this a few times a day, for 5 minutes if you work a lot on the computer. Also munch on some Goji berries everyday- the Wolfberry is proven to have a huge effect on the way the eye functions. (ancient Chinese secret!)

These suggestions may sound simple, but little things will go a long way in helping you feel grounded and healthy. Overall, the best thing you can do during this change of season is get outside and move- stretch the body; the sinews, muscles, tendons, the areas most effected by this time of year want some fresh air and energy to come in, rejuvenating the liver, keeping your overall energy vibrant and working for you. Tai chi, qi gong, yoga, etc. are great activities to do at least a little bit daily. Enjoy moving that body! Love your body. I know this is not always an easy thing, but the more we love and accept ourselves just the way we are, the more we automatically heal, get better, and feel in balance with all of life.

If you have further questions, would like to schedule an appointment for a Shiatsu massage or counseling session, please use the contact info for me on the right side of this page- I’d love to hear from you!

I’m Going to Fast

June 3rd, 2010 2 comments


This article was written on June 1st.

I am currently studying QiGong, which is the chinese are of manipulating life energy and using it for healing. Many so called miraculous stories surround the use of life force, prana, Qi, Chee from healing the body and mind to fasting for many days.

I don’t have much experience with complete fasting (i.e. not drinking or eating anything) for many hours or days. I have tried partial fasts (i.e. eating one item and drinking water only) on a few occasions but these partial fasts never lasted more than 8 hours.

Over the last couple months, on multiple occasions, I’ve come across the mention of multi-day fasting practiced by yogis, QiGong masters and Native Americans during Sun-dancing.

On my most recent QiGong class, a couple days ago, the teacher talked about fasting and how one could breath through the skin or feed on light. He did not go into details since this teaching is for a more advanced class than the one I am attending. I was quite surprised that he mentioned this, since the idea of fasting has been on my mind. I’ve had a gut feeling/urge or feeling that I should fast for quite some time now.

This was the last mention of fasting I needed to hear, I am now intrigued enough that I am planning on fasting. I will start slow and easy and see where this will take me.

A couple weeks ago I came across a few videos on Youtube of an Indian man who claimed to have not eaten or drank anything for decades. His name is Prahlad Jani Mataji.

I will gather more info on this man and write another article soon. I will also update you on my fasting experiments.

Qigong or Taoist Yoga per Gurdjieff

March 27th, 2010 No comments

Here is an article being shared here with you. I do not know enough about the topic to make a meaningful comment, for now.

Posted here to be shared:

How Qigong or Taoist Yoga Explains Gurdjieff

by drew hempel, MA

(anti-copyright, free distribution).

THE FOUNDATION OF THE LAW OF THREEGurdjieff

“‘Before examining these influences,’ began G., ‘and the laws of transformation of Unity in Plurality, we must examine thefundamental lawthat creates all phenomena in all the diversity or unity of all universes.’” – In Search of the Miraculous (p. 78, emphasis in original, and source for below Gurdjieff quotes).

I continue to see a lot of serious confusion about the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, a very influential source for people exploring paranormal healing powers.  First of all there was Gurdjieff’s focus on the truth of his teaching, not on the kundalini energy effects.  This is one reason people reject Gurdjieff.  For example a famous person, Katherine Mansfield, came to Gurdjieff shortly before her death from tuberculosis.  Some people think that Gurdjieff just accelerated her death because he focused on the truth instead of on healing.   Secondly there’s the problem of Gurdjieff’s lineage.  Some state Gurdjieff was a Sufi but since he didn’t have a particular Sufi master he’s not credible.  Gurdjieff does name a very important Sufi teacher who doles out amazing secrets in Gurdjieff’s excellent book Meetings with Remarkable Men.

Most importantly Gurdjieff didn’t pass on and develop his powers in someone else — i.e. create another energy master.  Gurdjieff doesn’t have a replacement yet many people think that Ouspensky was necessary to help Gurdjieff or that Bennett or Orage or others can better continue Gurdjieff’s teachings.  For example, because of this conflict, the famous NYC literary critic Edmund Wilson made fun of Gurdjieff based on Orage’s attempts to teach Gurdjieff.  The best book on Gurdjieff’s teachings, In Search of the Miraculous, is only hindered by Ouspensky’s extended yet confused commentaries while Gurdjieff’s longest book was the cause for Gurdjieff considering suicide.  Beelzebub’s Tales is not a reliable source since his publishers forced Gurdjieff to change the meaning of his teaching, as Bennett reports.

What is clear is that Gurdjieff’s teaching is based on harmonics or what some term “psychic music,” the central secret of my 2001 U of MN masters thesis, linked at http://nonduality.com/hempel.htm and focus of my subsequent research, including my previous articles here.  I discovered that the Pythagorean Perfect 5th or 2:3 music interval, C to G, and the Perfect 4th or 3:4, G to C, are the same as yang and yin in Taoism.  Gurdjieff also relies on the Pythagorean teachings based on harmonics or what Gurdjieff called the Law of Three, the fundamental law.   (as quoted above)

Western science converted complimentary opposites, yin and yang, or the Pythagorean Tetrad of 1:2:3:4, into a symmetrical system through the same diatonic scale that Gurdjieff presents in his teaching, thereby forever confusing the West’s understanding of Gurdjieff.

For example the major third diatonic music interval of Gurdjieff, 4:5, was converted into 5:4 as the cube root of two while the Pythagorean diatonic minor sixth, 5:8, was converted into 8:5 as the Golden Ratio.  In fact the extension of the Tetrad, 1:2:3:4 (Perfect 5th/Perfect 4th complimentary opposite harmonics as the Law of Pythagoras) into symmetric-based ratios (i.e. Gurdjieff’s 4:5 into 5:4 as the cube root of two) was the product not of Pythagoras but of Platonic math from Archytas’ creation of the geometric mean (a “one-to-one correspondence of letter and number”).  I give the technical details in chapter four of my blogbook, http://mothershiplanding.blogspot.com.  Math professor Joe Mazur recently stated that my compilation of this information is “very valuable” and he recommended that I have it published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Westerners do not clearly see that the point of Gurdjieff’s “Law of Octaves” is based on the complimentary opposites or his “Law of Three” known as the Pythagorean Tetrad, 1:2:3:4. Instead we find various other interpretations of Gurdjieff’s diatonic Pythagorean scale — that the interval of the 7th is somehow the secret of Gurdjieff or that since it’s the same diatonic scale used by the early Christian church this is why Gurdjieff’s system works, etc. The most famous symbol of Gurdjieff, the enneagram, was also converted into symmetrical decimals, forever damning it’s foundation in the Law of Three complimentary opposites. The current mainstream understanding of Gurdjieff is wrong but qigong or Taoist yoga clearly explains how to solve this problem.

The third force beyond yin and yang, the source of the I-thought or the source of the Pythagorean One, known as the Goddess Harmonia, is what I call “female formless awareness.” Gurdjieff has this to state about it: “Contemporary thought realizes the existence of two phenomenon: force and resistance, positive and negative magnetism, positive and negative electricity, male and female cells, and so on. But it does not observe even these two forces always and everywhere. No question has ever been raised as to the third, or if it has been raised it has scarcely been heard.”

THE SECRET OF THE SCALE SHOCKS

Read more…

Eye-Relaxing Breathing Technique

September 25th, 2009 1 comment

Title: Breathing
by William H. Bates, M.D.

MANY patients with imperfect sight are benefited by breathing. One of the best methods is to separate the teeth while keeping the lips closed, breathe deeply as though one were yawning. When done properly one can feel the air cold as it passes through the nose and down the throat. This method of breathing secures a great amount of relaxation of the nose, throat, the body generally including the eyes and ears.

A man aged sixty-five, had imperfect sight for distance and was unable to read fine print without the aid of strong glasses. After practicing deep breathing in the manner described he became able at once to, read diamond type quite perfectly, as close as six inches from the eyes. The benefit was temporary but by repetition the improvement became more permanent.

At one time I experimented with a number of patients, first having them hold their breath and test their vision, which was usually lower when they did not breathe. They became able to demonstrate that holding their breath was a strain and caused imperfect sight, double vision, dizziness and fatigue, while the deep breathing at once gave them relief.

There is a wrong way of breathing in which when the air is drawn into the lungs the nostrils contract. This is quite conspicuous among many cases of tuberculosis.

Some teachers of physical culture in their classes while encouraging deep breathing close their nostrils when drawing in a long breath. This is wrong because it produces a strain and imperfect sight. By consciously doing the wrong thing, breathing with a strain one becomes better able to practice the right way and obtain relaxation and better sight.

The habit of practicing frequently deep breathing one obtains a more permanent relaxation of the eyes with more constant good vision.

Learn Full Yogic Breathing

October 28th, 2008 No comments

This article shows you in simple words how to practice yogic breathing (or yoga breathing).

Full yoga breathing combines both yoga chest (thoracic) breathing and yoga abdominal breathing.

Get Ready

  • Wear something comfortable, nothing tight or restrictive. Take off your shows and socks
  • Lay down on your back, sit in a meditative posture, or a relaxed posture
  • Be relaxed
  • Hands and legs outstretched (alternatively with both hands on your abdomen)
  • First start with your eyes looking up at the ceiling
  • Gently close your eyes and relax more

Start:

Read more…

Thoracic (Chest) Breathing

October 12th, 2008 No comments

This article shows you in simple words how to practice thoracic or chest breathing.

Get Ready

  • Wear something comfortable, nothing tight or restrictive. Take off your shows and socks
  • Lay down on your back, sit in a meditative posture, or a relaxed posture
  • Be relaxed
  • Hands and legs outstretched (alternatively with both hands on your abdomen)
  • First start with your eyes looking up at the ceiling
  • Gently close your eyes and relax more

Start:

Read more…

Abdominal Breathing

October 12th, 2008 No comments

This article shows you in simple words how to practice abdominal breathing.

Get Ready

  • Wear something comfortable, nothing tight or restrictive. Take off your shows and socks
  • Lay down on your back, sit in a meditative posture, or a relaxed posture
  • Be relaxed
  • Hands and legs outstretched (alternatively with both hands on your abdomen)
  • First start with your eyes looking up at the ceiling
  • Gently close your eyes and relax more

Start:

Read more…