Musings: Higher Learning

A wise teacher once told me, “Study what you love and the learning will follow.” I have found this to be true in my life. The things I’m most interested in are easy for me to learn because I enjoy doing them and eagerly want to learn more.

I am fortunate to have taken such an interest in holistic health and how the body can heal itself. The benefits of being able to enjoy good health are precious. However, the aches and pains of everyday life, plus the fear of a painful death or lingering illness have also contributed to my keen interest. This focus has prompted me to pursue many healing paths over the past 25 years, gathering information and experiences about how and why the body heals itself.

This summer, I enrolled in an 8-week qigong class and learned a series of exercises to strengthen and balance the chi — life force — of my body. Life force is the flow of energy inside our bodies that determines whether we are sick, healthy, or even whether our heartbeat continues to the next moment or not. Over 5000 years ago, Chinese doctors described and mapped out pathways in the body, called meridians, through which this energy travels. When life force is blocked or stagnates anywhere in the energy system, disease eventually develops. Acupuncture is like laser surgery to clear these energy blockages for immediate and long term relief. Qigong, if practiced everyday, exercises all these channels of energy regularly, keeping them clear to prevent disease, and reverse damage already in progress. Tai chi, yoga, plus many other forms of energy healing and medicine also provide these valuable health benefits which can be used daily, weekly or whenever the need arises.

Qigong also refocuses your breathing into your belly, rather than stopping your breath short at the lungs, which is our usual “hurry up” way of breathing every day. Located in your abdominal area, dan tien is like a little furnace, churning out chi and sending it throughout your entire system. With each slow in-breath during qigong, you feed the furnace with your prana (life force in breath form), and this stokes the fire to make more chi, send out more energy and create more good health. Eventually, at its appointed time, your chi fire goes out and you return to the spirit world, no longer in the physical body.

When I consider the exquisite design of the human body, emotions, mind and soul, it seems most likely that a self-healing tool would have to be included somewhere in that design. And so it is. There is no chemical or synthetic drug we can create which can reverse the poisoning we’ve already contaminated our lives with, without doing further harm to the body in some way. A purer, more natural form of medicine is needed.

While the idea of energy and holistic medicine is just beginning to receive acceptance in the West, well over half of the world’s population understands that health springs from one’s life energy. In an interview this issue with Chinese Taiji Master Liu Chengde, Master Liu remarked that for his students in China, “it’s much easier to accept Traditional Chinese Medicine. They don’t really need to study it, understand it and then believe it. They just believe it. They are taught that they have to do it if they want to be healthy.”

I am optimistic that it’s only a matter of time before this form of internal medicine is practiced routinely alongside our advanced trauma and emergency care. Then we truly will have the best medical care in the world! In the meantime, discover if there’s anything you’d love to learn more about. And then do it. If you are interested in learning more about healing, our calendar is filled with many classes and events. Stay tuned for details about our 20th anniversary celebration and expo next Fall 2007. With this issue of Spirit of Change, we are entering our 20th year of publishing and higher learning. Please stay in touch.

Carol Bedrosian is the founder, publisher and editor of Spirit of Change Magazine.