When we talk about Chinese medicine in regards to mental-emotional health, how exactly do we define health? Health is defined our ability to remain “in the center.” This means that our human spirit is able to remain aligned between heaven above and earth below. Said another way, our awareness is able to remain aligned between the immaterial nature of our thoughts and emotions (heaven above) and material experience of our body/physiology (earth below).
The nature of our mind and body involves movement; our thoughts and emotions are constantly changing, flowing and transducing while our body is always circulating fluid, replicating new cells and signaling to other parts of itself. While all of this change occurs, something needs to remain constant in order to prevent us from being swept away as complete slave to our body, mind and emotions. That constant is our awareness, our spirit.
In regards to this definition of health, we must determine how it is that we can achieve more optimal states of well being. As a fellow human being, we can first offer help by simply validating this person’s experience of life in such as a way that supports their own complete acceptance of their self and their life. It is by minimizing resistance to what is and optimizing acceptance to life as it is that full acceptance occurs.
Along these same lines, we can encourage the incorporation of a regular meditation practice into the person’s life. This can be any sort of practice, as long as it is regularly performed with a strong intention or awareness throughout the practice.
As a health care practitioner, we can use acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help guide someone in this same process. Because there is not a single part of another person that does not reflect the essence of their present condition, we can use our own refined perception to pin point a particular opportunity in the person’s dynamic (of which there are more than one) to shift the dynamic with the assist of herbs or needles.
These are the ways in which we can support another being’s experience of life. Ultimately what most people want is not to eliminate the polar experiences of the mind-body-emotion complex in such a way that we live like a stoic monk who meditates for a lifetime. Instead, we want balance of stoic awareness with the roller coaster tendencies of the human experience. The trick however, is to harmonize the two. Food for thought…