That we are born into existence is a miracle. That we survive and thrive is both nurture and nature. Each of us a unique imprint in and on the universe. Our existence has potential consequences both good and bad. Your child may go on to inventions that change the world as we know it like an Einstein or Edison. He or she might become a doctor, nurse or other type of caregiver. They may also be a criminal, addict, or just mean and angry. They may well be both.
Our survival requires resources. Much of this is physically extracted from our environment. The Earth. Our nurture requires love, patience and listening. Our nature is our unique blueprint. Each of us has innate talents. Some of us will be lucky enough to do what we love, be it for a living or just for fun. Skills can be learned thru practice and reflection. Awareness can be learned but is mostly innate, like a mother listening for her child’s cry in the night.
We are born, unable to take care of ourselves, but full of potential. As we grow we gain wisdom from our experiences, from our peers and parents. We also share this wisdom along the way. As we age, our potential declines, the strength of our youth declines but our knowledge base continues to expand and influence new generations.
Our senses; touch, sight, taste, sounds and odors are the keys to this majestic kingdom. Our hearts and minds the emperors of the domain. As we engage with the universe around us we take in and respond appropriately hopefully for our survival. If we smell smoke we learn there will be fire. This could endanger our lives or be cooking our dinner and bringing us lip smacking anticipation of a great meal to come.
We take in substances; air, water, food. We take in sounds, birds signing, our favorite band playing. We take in light and images. We feel heat and cold. We smell perfumes and skunks, sautéing onions and garbage. We see our friends, our neighborhoods and places we visit.
We ingest all of this information, what becomes of it? We do! We are influenced by our environments. We eat fruits and vegetables, fish and meats and transform them in our digestion into strong healthy bodies. We sing songs and read poetry, we can delve into their meanings. We can be touched by words, by feelings, by emotions imparted in a phrase, in a delivery, maybe more than anything else, our emotions influence our psychology.
Likewise a meal can be simple or a complete symphony to our senses. From its preparation to the final swoon of a warm chocolate brownie. We can eat with pleasure or with guilt, these will become us more than the meal itself. guilt has been shown to cause people to gain weight, while pleasure caused people to maintain or lose weight, eating the same meal.
This gets us to a very important saying ‘you are what you don’t excrete.’ Whether it is digestion of substance or thought the response is the same. Inability to digest leads to disfunction in the organs and our minds. Worry, fear, guilt and anxiety out of balance will eventually eat us. I think of cancer as an auto immune disorder. Your body does not recognize itself and like other auto immune disorders seeks to wall off and destroy that which it fails to recognize. What it fails to recognize is itself!
Emotions have appropriate responses. When we are three, it is appropriate to have a temper tantrum. At sixteen, twenty, forty-five it is no longer an appropriate response. If we have worries and appropriate response is to talk to a peer, a family member, a counselor or an acupuncturist to gain the appropriate insight above how to reconcile the situation. When we keep these emotions bottled inside, they begin to become embodied. At first they may affect our organs causing indigestion, heart palpitations. They may effect our sleep and therefore our waning energy. Our awareness will become diminished as we tire and try to maintain our daily schedule of work and family. Left unchecked they will eventually become cancer and other diseases.
So what are we to do when there is reason for worry, anxiety, frustration? Be calm and meditate? But your monkey mind goes right back to the worry, anxiety, frustration you say.
Our autonomic nervous system is charged with resting and digesting. If we are under attack, the appropriate response is to run or fight. In our stressful world it seems we are always beset by the fight or flight response. Being in pain (in our weekend warrior world) is equally damaging to our autonomic nervous system. Pain is screaming at us – Run!
As we slip, not into a peaceful slumber, but an agitated, uncomfortable, ruminating and unrestful event, we awake not rested but run down. If we do not take appropriate steps to heal the pain and counsel the emotions we begin to weaken our immune system. We catch colds easier, we take longer to recover, eventually we get adrenal fatigue and are on the path to cancer.
So back to being calm and meditating! How do we get there? We see Louis Bornstein for acupuncture.
An acupuncture appointment starts with a dialogue. Often we start with the physical pain and find an appropriate response to heal. This may also be an invitation to explore the emotions trapped inside that flummox a good nights sleep. Stressors come in from so many angles, money, our kids, our employment, pain. A dialogue can offer different perspectives. Living someone else’s expectation of us and not our own.
A typical response to acupuncture is a feeling of calm and restfulness. Acupuncture pins are placed in points along the meridians to balance out any condition. As Archimedes said in Greek Mythology ‘Give me a big enough lever and I can move the world.’
Each of the twelve main acupuncture meridians have points associated with the five elements. Metal, water, wood, fire and earth. Each point also has a name and a ‘spirit’. One of my most frequent points include Liver 3, Happy Calm for people who are under a lot of stress. For balance, I look to appropriate pairing with points in the feet. Again with a big energy lever, I can move the world. Whole books have been written on the subject of point selections.
The meridian lines also associate with the organs, so for problems with indigestion I might look to points on the Spleen and Stomach Channels. In morning or sea sickness, marketers have come up with Sea-Bands placed over Pericardium 6, this Inner Frontier Gate calms the shen/spirit and downbeats the energy, allowing the diaphragm to settle.
Acupuncture is a system of miracles. Being born was the first miracle of our lives. Acupuncture allows a rebirthing as we come back to balance and youth restored. Stress has a huge effect on aging. As cells in our bodies die off, new ones are made. These copies contain what are known as telomeres. In youth they are like new shoelace caps, with age and stress they become worn and frayed. As we make copies of copies of copies our genes and cells become blurry versions of their original selves. Acupuncture relieves stress, calms the mind, heals pains and allows us to regain youth by making better copies. No where is this more evident than in a cancer patient, those who receive acupuncture look and feel a thousand times better than those who don’t. It is not uncommon to heal the nerves and doctors ask their patients what they are taking because they look so much better than everyone else. When they respond acupuncture, doctors would often say, “No, no what are you taking?” Acupuncture has become common place in many of these settings.