Thursday, 21 November 2013

destiny becomes you

are you on a path, a trip with a destination, or are you travelling through life meeting whatever comes your way, wherever you may be, with whatever comes to hand? in other words, how much of your life seems to be down to you and how much seems to be random?

the chinese view on this matter gives us an alternative to Shakespeare's famous line on our lives, "all the world's a stage, ours is not to reason why, ours is just to do and die". if Shakespeare had been chinese that famous line would have read "all the world's a movie, we are it's star, acting out who we are".

for the chinese, this analogy with life being a movie starts before we were born. apparently, we helped to script the storyline and create the scenes that go to make up our own personal life movie before we were born. why? for the chance to become 'bigger & better'!

and because, basically, you are the star and co-director of your own life movie, what you choose to think and say and do either increases or decreases your chances of living a life that,  a) has a positive meaning to it and b) has a happy ending to it!

the royal families of ancient china - kings and emperors and their kin - mainly used acupuncture as a way to achieve their destiny. back then the understanding was that the four dimensions of life were represented in us i.e. as the body/mind/spirit/soul aspects of a human, according to the principle of macrocosm/microcosm ('as above/so below'). these four aspects of living were named 'the four pillars of destiny'. the nature of each pillar of destiny could be discovered by examining the quality and quantity of organic energy composing it. adjustments could then be made, using acupuncture techniques, which would allow the opportunity for one's destiny to be realised.

when you go to see a master acupuncturist he/she will be able to see your four pillars of destiny. they will resemble a four dimensional holographic chess board, the chess pieces being the organic energies for each level of being. the base, foundational pillar is known as the constitutional pillar that rules the body. it will show, upon analysis, the strengths & weaknesses of the physical body. balancing this pillar leads to a healthier constitution and more likelihood of being around for those climatic scenes when destiny is realised! similarly with the other three pillars - the mental pillar that rules thinking...the spiritual pillar that rules consciousness...and the soul pillar that rules balancing adjustments lead to an increase in the potential for health & harmony and ultimately, of course, for realising one's destiny. when it comes to balance, well we are all born out of balance. it is the price we pay for being individuals, separate from the one yet united by the one!

 or, as that master of poetry and philosophy, Goethe, put it:

"when you to the world were born, the sun stood still, greeting every star, 
and ever since you have striven to grow by the laws that rule who you are.
and in all of time no power can undo the living form that life created of you."

each of the four pillars of energy created at the moment of your birth are set to determine 
your physical, mental, spirit and soul make up and also determine how you will grow as an individual.

the master acupuncturist can use this knowledge to make sense of your past history, 
discover how you are doing on your path to mastering your destiny, and help you to achieve this ultimate goal. 

if the role of the shaman is to assist in mastering destiny then all master acupuncturists are shamans!

visit to realise your destiny

may we all become what we came to do...may we all become our destiny!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

mastering meditation for health & harmony

meditation is a proven method for 'growing younger and living longer'. the press often highlight (e.g. daily express  Sept. 17th 2013) the beneficial effects of meditation. my last blog  mentioned how most ill health is created from the stress that leads to distress, disharmony and then on to dis-ease. so, wouldn't it be wise to put a little meditation into our lives, a bit of back up to all the other ways we try to relieve the twists and turns of modern living? i know what you're thinking..."i don't have the time/patience/ sit around doing nothing" and that's fair comment. but what if you could meditate anytime, anywhere, without having to put precious time and beliefs on hold? that's what the rest of this blog is about. 

i have been privileged to have been taught meditation by many masters over the past 30 years, and there are two key meditation techniques that they all use, and that can be practiced anytime, anywhere! 

'place the tip of the tonge to the roof of the mouth' 

this is the most simple meditation technique there is, and paradoxically, the most profound! why, because it shuts up the internal dialogue (to an extent!) that prevents a peaceful mind.

this is how it goes: stick your tongue straight out of your mouth so that the tip is pointed...then retract your tongue back into your mouth, placing the pointed tip as far back as possible 
to the roof of the mouth...close the mouth and focus on the sensation at the tip of the tongue...
continue to keep the tip of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth...what do you notice?..
can you keep the tip of the tongue gently touching the roof of the mouth or does pressure build up 
against the roof of the mouth?..does the tongue become rigid, even 'poker' rigid?..
does the root of the tongue become sore or tired? other words, maintain awareness 
of the meditation practice by observing the sensation of the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth...
the tongue is a muscle, so use the thoughtform "soften, relax, release tension" whilst in this practice. 

how simple is that?

so, if that is the practice, what is going on and why do it?

well, the master acupuncturist knows that every sensory organ is connected to a specific visceral organ. 
in the case of the tongue, the connection is to the heart (the nose/lung; the eyes/liver; the ears/kidneys; the skin/spleen). 
each of the visceral organs are connected to a specific energy. in the case of the heart it is the fire elemental energy. 
by touching the tip of the tongue, and by correspondence the tip of the shen/spirit, upwards towards the seat of consciousness, 
a bridge is established between the lower consciousness and the higher consciousness, between the mental plane and the spiritual plane. 
meditation is about going beyond the mental universe and meeting up with the conscious universe. 
going beyond the mind (which is where all our issues lay), going beyond the pursuit of happiness to a state of bliss.

touching the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth creates another bridge, an energy bridge in the main orbit of energy 
that fuels all the living processes in us. this energy orbit is known as the 'microcosmic orbit'


the master acupuncturist recognises this orbit as being composed of the two main energy meridians of a person - 
the Ren Mai (Sea of Yin) and the Du Mai (Sea of Yang). improving the smooth flow of energy between these polarised 
energy meridians results in a healthier, harmonised organism. bridging the gap in the energy orbit by placing the tip of the tongue 
to the roof of the mouth is probably the easiest and most efficient act that anyone could do in order to increase their health and happiness! 

it doesn't take much practice of this key meditation technique to find that the mouth begins to fill with a sweet fluid. 
we call this saliva, the yogis call it the sweet nectar of the soul, and master acupuncturists call this a 'pure fluid' (as opposed to the 'impure fluids' of the body such as urine). 
so, this is a good sign, a sign that the practice is going well.

the other automatic change that becomes very noticeable after a little practice is the rhythm of the breath...
it begins to slow down, becomes long and deep, and after reaching just 8  breaths per minute, this slowing in internal resonance has an effect on the glandular system, most noticeably stimulating  pituitary gland secretion...after reaching just 4 breaths per minute pineal glandular function is affected.  

this leads us nicely on to the second key meditation technique ...

'the breath itself!'

there are many schools of meditation, and when it comes to breathing there are a multitude 
of different breathing techniques that are recommended. but they are all unanimous in one respect...
they all emphasis how important it is to become aware of breathing!
breathing is something that is 'not of the mind' (we breathe when we are unconcious etc). 
like the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, it acts as a bridge; 
between the material and energy dimensions, between the lower self and the higher self, between the mind and the spirit.
if all stress is 'of the mind' and is the major player in causing ill health, then being able to retreat from stress (mind) 
and enter a state of calm (no mind) can only be good for our health & happiness

here's how the breath goes:

with the tip of the tongue at the roof of the mouth (of course!), place a hand just below the navel, breathe in through the nose and feel the belly you breath out you naturally feel the belly contract beneath your hand...after a while you can take the hand away and focus on this 'belly breathing', slow your breathing in so that the first part of the in breath expands the belly, the second pary expands the sides of the ribs and the final part of breathing in raises the chest...breathe out through the nose in exactly the same order 
e.g. relaxing the belly, then ribs, then chest. that's full yogic breathing! now, all that is needed is the awareness of that microcosmic with the tongue acting as a bridge, allow the breath to circulate your awareness around the orbit thus: from the belly moving down to the perineum and then up the spine to the top of the head as you breathe in, only to fall down the spine and back to the belly as you breathe out.

how simple is that?

so, if that is the practice, what is going on and why do it?

well, the master acupuncturist knows that alchemy is the mother of physics and the father of chemistry, and that the quality and quantity of energy circulating in the  microcosmic orbit  affects the healthy functioning of the organs and glands. the twists and turns of life are reflected in the misalignments and blocks that occur along the microcosmic orbit. these resistances create tension where there was calm; affecting the mind/body/spirit/soul being. giving the microcosmic orbit a workout is like any other exercise regime. the more you practice the more you benefit!
putting these two simple but key meditation techniques together and practicing on a daily basis brings about 
immediate rewards in terms of healthy living. and these techniques can be practiced without the need for any 
ritual or even setting aside any precious time.  they can be done anytime, anywhere...and no one else need know or notice what you are doing...this is meditation in action!

Friday, 20 September 2013

"prevention is better than cure"

welcome everybody,

it's an old saying but it still rings true. surely everyone will agree, preventing ill health is smarter than waiting for ill health to strike. and it's saying that has never been more appropriate with all the bad press about hospitals not being fit for purpose, as well as the side effects of modern day cures. in the uk the irony of the national health service (NHS) is that it only pays lip service to health; it's vast resources are almost entirely directed at coming up with illness treatments!

well, that's just the way it is, and don't get me wrong, I've worked for the NHS (both as a health professional and as an acupuncturist). and I've been an NHS patient! there's plenty to admire about the work they do to keep the nation on it's feet. but do the NHS treat people when they are healthy, so that people can get the best and avoid the worst out of life when it comes to health matters? not in my experience and I suspect not in yours. perhaps the NHS, and western medicine generally, could take a leaf out of eastern medical practice, and master acupuncture in particular, by directing  more resources at preventing the causes of ill health.

the aim of the master acupuncturist is to see his/her clients only four times a year and to treat them to promote continuing health & harmony. of course, most of my acupuncture clients do not initially contact me because they want to stay healthy. understandably, in our culture we wait until we have a health problem and then resolve to do something about it. so, working in my uk clinical practice, I treat people for their varied symptoms of ill health. but once the symptoms have cleared up (and a recent study showed that 85% of clients receiving master acupuncture courses of treatment had their symptoms resolved), that's when I get the opportunity to invite clients on to the 'change of season' healthy treatment programme.

now let me say right now, there is no medical system that can guarantee 'health, wealth and happiness' for anyone. but in theory, it ought to be possible to reduce the chances of becoming ill and increase the chances of becoming healthier; and in practice, there is, with master acupuncture!

to do this there needs to be an examination of the main causes of ill health. the master acupuncturist will say there is only one cause i.e. an imbalance of organic energy (qi) that, by degrees, increases to the point that symptoms of illness manifest. so qi imbalance creates a state or pattern of disharmony.

in our modern western culture we understand this as conflict creating stress, and we know that stress leads to system distress and can eventually lead to illness.

it's not surprising, the way we live these days, how quickly stress can build up in us. the modern pace of life is very demanding, and even though we know enough about how we can stay healthy e.g. the work, rest, relaxation balance etc., well life just seems to intervene and all too often we end up with ill health if we are not prepared.

the objective in the 'change of season' treatment programme is, in master acupuncture jargon, a) rebalancing five element qi and b) harmonising guest/host qi for the new season. or, in modern understanding, the prevention of stress build up that can lead to symptoms of illness manifesting. there are two parts in this approach a) reducing current stress levels and b) protection from future stress antagonists.

getting the best out of each season and avoiding the worst from each season, in terms of health, wealth and happiness is a smart approach when it comes to "prevention is better than cure". master acupuncturists know that each person has their own unique 'personal energy signature'*, created at the time of their birth. they also know the energy signature of each unique season. armed with this knowledge, the master acupuncturist will assess the client using the traditional four methods of diagnosis and, crucially, take into account the client's plans and needs for the coming season. then it's on to the acupuncture treatment and quite often advice/suggestions for getting the best out of the next three months.

master acupuncture energy signature chart

*'personal energy signatures' when analysed reveal the predispositions that each of us have to contracting specific
conditions, much the same as genetic scanning achieves in western medicine. our constitutional strengths & weaknesses can be identified and balanced to promote health & harmony

at one time in our history a lifespan of 120 years was considered normal and almost expected. back then people were able to live virtually stress free e.g. there were fewer people living on the planet, plenty of resources, little pollution and an emphasis on natural means of production. the vast majority of us can't go back to this way of living. we have to deal with the twists and turns, the stress and the pace of modern living. we need every help we can get if we want to live long, healthy, happy lives. that's where the master acupuncturist can help, with the 'change of season' healthy treatment programme.

"prevention is better than cure" is a theme that I will be returning to in upcoming blogs on 'specific conditions and what you can do (as well as the master acupuncturist) to reduce the likelihood of these conditions occurring.'

Sunday, 8 September 2013

beginning at the beginning - with the secret of life!

welcome everybody to my first post as a blogger, to coincide with the launch of the website.

and what better subject to start my blogging life with than one that goes back to where it - life itself - all started. and not only that, a subject that explains why those that know are considered to be master acupuncturists. yes, you guessed it (did the title give it away?), it's the very secret of life itself.

ok, I could be elitist, esoteric and occultish by saying that the secret of life is 'li qi xu'.

or I could be a bit disingenous and say that the secret of life is not the same as the secret of the meaning of life (which of course we all know is 'the meaning you give to your own life')!

or, I could do the unthinkable and just say it as it is, in as plain as english as can be said.

well, it's you the reader that will decide which of the above to vote for after all is said and done, but my intention is to pitch this blog along the lines of common sense, although a bit of mystery and intrigue is likely to surface from time to time considering that I was taught this version of the 'secret' by my master, a man who some said was at one time in his life the high priest of the freemasons in the UK.

be that as it may, I will start by demystifying 'li qi xu' - in modern english this means 'the right rythm, the right proportion, the right number'. so, the secret of life is evocative of vibration - you don't exactly see it, but you can work out that it exists from looking at the patterns that it creates.

it's pure form is symbolised by the sine wave

it's conceptual form is symbolised by the spiral

the former becomes the tai ji symbol

and the latter becomes the five element symbol

in master acupuncture jargon.

now if all this sounds a bit like we're entering wave particle theory territory in quantum physics, think on. the concept of energy creating, controlling and nourishing the particles of form was thought up 5000 years ago by one Fu Hsi (c.3322bc), the first of the three legendary emperors of China, and it is said that he was the first freemason (the set square and compass symbol date back to his time and place!). Fu Hsi described the Universe in perfect rythm with his now famous trigram arrangement


along came Shen Nung, legendary emperor number two, and one of his achievements was classifying all things in terms of yin/yang, or as we think of these days, in terms of proportionality. this led the way for the third legendary emperor of China, Huang Di (2697-2574bc) to come to a complete understanding of the secret of life...a mastery of vibration in the organic universe. one of the first written books known to man was entitled 'Huang Di Nei Jing' ('the yellow emperor's classic on internal medicine'), and within it's pages lies the secret of life and how to use it for health & harmony!

what Huang Di had done was work out the vibrational patterns of the forces determining movement in time and space. he called these patterns 'the cycles of life'. we know them better as circadian rythms. he had also worked out that the external patterns of the universe and the internal patterns of a human were like reflections of each other in their construction, generally, and that if one looked more closely at these patterns it would be possible to identify, isolate and regulate individual characteristics.

so, to summarize the secret of life thus far, we could say that what started out as an understanding of the energetics of life (and vibrational medicine) back in the times of the legendary emperors has now come to an understanding of the particles of life (and genetic medicine) in the present day.

it seems that the secret of life operates in the seen and the unseen, the subtle and the gross,  alike!

now, as a clinical acupuncturist, I am more interested in and excited in blogging about all things acupuncture.
so expect plenty of this in my future blogs. however, if I get enough positive feedback from this blog on the secret of life then it could become a regular rolling feature of future blogs. let me know guys. thanks.