Happy Halloween!!!

If you know me, than you know how much I love Halloween! It can be a fun time to expand out of your comfort zone, or, a spooky time to explore the darker side of who you think you are?   What I enjoy most about Halloween is that it makes no qualms about being something that it’s not, because that what it is all about, being something that your not!

So, I was at my acupuncturist office getting a treatment (yes, of course I have an acupuncturist). AND, I had a thought, “can vampires feel?” (He was doing some aggressive needling), that is, do they actually have physical sensation?  After all, they are considered undead, dead but animate.  So, they can move, think, hunt, have emotions and feed. BUT, one of the key physical descriptions of Vampires is that they are cold to the touch, and, they are also pale.  The other key description is that they must consume blood constantly!

This is very intriguing, from the perspective of Chinese Medicine. When we look at a patient, we don’t categorize them by disease or illness, rather, we look at them from the perspective of a “patterns of disharmony”. By using this terminology, we are framing the patient’s health in such a way we are seeking what is out of harmony, out balance. Which requires looking at all the organs that are in a constant dynamic with one another, because it’s a rare moment in Chinese Medicine that it’s about just one organ.  If the stomach is not functioning, then, it could be because of the it’s dynamic with the liver, or kidneys, or both. 

Now, blood is a special substance in the body because it is both physical and spiritual by nature.  You see, blood and qi are considered married.  As the saying goes, Qi governs blood, and Blood is the mother of Qi.  Which means, that blood houses the qi (amongst a number other places in the body), being one of the vehicles for qi to get around the body.  Qi governing the blood means it is directing the blood where to go, where they are most needed.  But, I digress…….

Vampires need blood, a LOT OF BLOOD! OR, are they actually in need of Qi?  YEEESSSSSSS, now the conversation is getting interesting!   You see, that as blood is pumped through out the body, the Hearth stamps consciousness into the blood, or, as we call it “Shen”.  This is how we theorize the ability of a person being able to feel their toes, because their consciousness or awareness is in their blood even though there maybe nerve damage.  So, there is not only qi/energy in the blood, but consciousness/shen as well! 

If Vampires are the “undead”, then it would stand to reason that it’s not just blood that they need, it’s ENERGY, SHEER LIFE, that they need.  That qi/energy which is infused with Shen/consciousness is more precious than the actual blood.  It is what keeps us (and them) alive.  Qi is necessary for warming and transforming substances in the body.  Qi keeps the bodily functions in motion.  

BUT, one has to wonder, when consuming all that qi and blood what affect will it have on the Vampire’s consciousness?  Will it make them happy, sad, angry, all the above?  I venture to say that each time a Vampire consumes the blood and qi of a person a little part of the consciousness becomes infused. One could speculate they become almost schizophrenic.  How else could we explain a Vampire’s melancholy ways! Their emotions are all over place because they have too many of them from numerous victims!  But, it is fair to assume that their physiology is designed to absorb the shen of others, to some degree.  And, I am also sure there are a few who are allergic to different types of personalities, thus having a difficult time assimilating the shen of that “type” of person.  But, alas, that is a subject for another time.   

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

 

Reflections from 50yrs of Summer!!!!

Another fun filled amazing summer has passed.  This year was rather auspicious for me because I turned 50!  I waited till now to write about it, to allow some time of reflection  upon what a half century of living has meant for me.  My life has been a gift, good and bad with villains and heroes, drama/trauma and serenity/healing.  What I have learned that matters most are family/friends, your health and time, and none, NONE of it should be taken for granted!

All three of these treasures can disappear in a blink of an eye!  In our youth it is easy to believe that we have plenty of time, our quality of health will endure and that our family and or friends will always be around.  I have been most fortunate to have wonderful people in my life, a good quality of health, and taken time to enjoy life.  

At the half century mark, I feel that these treasures are truly more important than ever.  I suffered a bout of “tennis elbow” in late May (sans the tennis).  THE     MOST    PAINFUL experience of my life (and I have broken several bones).  Not only was my recovery painful (lots of acupuncture, some call it dry needling, but it is also known as the correct terminology direct needling), but, I was not able to keep up with my regular  gym routine  of cardio and weight lifting, yoga class, and my big passion of mountain biking (thank goodness I was still able to keep up with my Tai Chi and Qi Gong practice!).  

After about two months of rehabilitation, I am back in the saddle again (literally, back on my bike that is!), cautiously lifting weights and getting bendy in yoga class.  BUT, what a difference a two month hiatus makes.  I have gained some pounds, lost a lot of my muscle tone and strength! Not to mention the muscle soreness and fatigue from recovery seems a bit more pronounced!

That age old adage is so very true! YOU DON’T USE IT, YOU LOOSE IT!!!

Let’s be clear, I made a commitment at 48 to make sure that when I arrived at 50 I would be in the most excellent of shape! Meaning, I was staying active six days of the week! I can’t imagine  how bad of shape I would be in if I had not fortified my workout routines!    

There is an old saying,”the two major causes of becoming decrepit in old age is the inflexibility of the spine and the clotting of the intestinal track”. A very succinct perspective on the pillars of  physical health in which I agree.  

In Asheville, acupuncture, yoga, and eating farm to table is a fundamental part of life. Living in a community that values such principles is a true gift and delight when working with patients that are in tune with such values.  As well as having friends living a common life style which makes gatherings even more so enjoyable!

Another insight I have gained is that even though I have lived a healthy life style, that does not mean bumps in the road of life don’t come up.  We need to keep a perspective that as we get older, vitality diminishes, we must be diligent in refining diet, exercises (routines, types, and intensity), and life style in general.    And, we must be diligent with self care, routine trips for acupuncture and massage can go a long way when it comes to preventive care.  As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.  

Finally, I would like to address the Morpheus in the room, “time is always against us”, as he once said.  How often have you heard your self say, “wow, the summer just flew by!” “Where does the time go?” I’ll tell you where it goes, the wind! Lost to the ages, off to the land where lost socks and buttons go!  Ever fleeting, time moves on, and quicker as we get older and busier with our lives.  I have found that daily meditation helps clear my mind to slow things down, to be mindful of where I am, what I am doing, and how I am doing it, which allows for me to appreciate any all moments of life.  

With all that said, I am starting a new tradition by reclaiming the concept of the “new years resolution”, with a slight reinvention, the NEW New Years resolution.  The idea is take the new year, my new year, and see how I can make my life better, how it may improve.  SO, my New New Years resolution is to entertain more, have people over to strengthen and deepen my relationships.  I would love to hear how you take on the New New Years Resolution.  Come in and lets have a chat!  

P.S. My mother made the Spider-Man cake!!

To Let Your Life Blossom, Let your love Blossom

Asheville Acupuncture

I saw a beer commercial the other week from the 50’s. It was about John, who works hard all week long, at the end of that week he gets to enjoy his well earned leisure time. Fast forward 60 years, such perspective has not changed, if anything the pursuit of leisure time is more prevalent. A definition by Thorsten Veblen states, “leisure, a non-productive consumption of time,”ever so the mind set in these days.

So many of us dream of the “good life,” laying on beaches, toes in the sand, with tiny umbrella cocktails, all the while holding our beloved’s hand (can’t deny that it sounds real nice). The reality of the situation is humans need a purpose, need a passion or goal of some sort (well, most) to get up in morning. There are many studies that show having a purpose in life leads to a healthier, longer life. The barrage of messages from so many avenues selling the idea of leisure time, doing nothing, is paradise.

Even the idea of Heaven has the underlining notion that you get to hangout and do nothing for eternity. I’m not advocating that we all need to be working to our last breath. However, I do believe it is in our nature to cultivate a passion, profession, a cause, or something that makes us better, helps one to evolve to a better version of ourselves.

The irony these days is, even with technological advancements, it is harder and harder to find the time, money and energy to cultivate the self. The focus of life in our culture is to make money, to have things, to go out and have fun (if your fortunate enough, since there are so many just getting by these days). Societal focus on monetary/material possessions will not move society forward.

For humanity to thrive, let alone survive, our focus must shift on personal development. If the economic moral compass remains on the prizing of leisure time and objects of status, strife and resentment towards one another will grow, as well as environmental decline.

To ensure a thriving economy is to invest in people. The true embodiment of yin and yang is about how we develop the self and then share it with the world. The yin is going to school, learning a trade or a profession. The yang is using that skill. When we learn something new, and practice it we grow. Our little world of a box becomes a little smaller. Growing, changing, evolving can be uncomfortable at first. This is how a country grows, by each individual growing, learning, developing. Not by depending on the how well companies turn a profit.

The illusion that the harder I work, the more money I make, the more leisure time I get with the latest toys I can play with during that time will not make anyone happy for long. The proverbial carrot that one day “I too can have a life of leisure” is touted by the idea through reality TV , YouTube, Instagram stars becoming rich for being attractive, or acting like fools. Until that magical day comes, too many of us remain ensnared in this mirage.

We have become captivated into an illusion that there is “A LIFE OF LEISURE” to live. A life that we are living easy, with awesome fabric cleaners, $1 lunch menus, cookouts at the beech full of smiles, smiles, and more smiles. But, this illusion comes with a price tag of working long hours, at a job that is barely tolerable and exhausts our very soul.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
H. Thoreau.

The gift of life and the burden of having a life are often at odds. I am reminded of the The Talking Heads song;

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may say to your self, “My G-d! What have I done?”

If any of us are fortunate enough to stop in the middle of our daily craziness and reflect upon the what and why of our actions we can break the chains of the illusion of “a life of leisure.” Peering past the illusion that this is how I am suppose to live, and begin to live a life you want. Instead of working long hours at an office job that will only reward you with a warriors weekend at the beach, find your passion. Be a photographer or a baker and share it with the world.

Yes, it will be challenging to transition, but that is what will make you a better person. Not only learning about taking pictures, but how to market your self and network, aspects to this job that you had no idea, will help you grow. You will be breaking the sides of your box, hell, GET RID OF THE BOX ALL TOGETHER!

Stop! Take a look around for some perspective. Take time to reflect for a little self inventory. Then you can see how your life is a gift, and like any gift we must show gratitude. This is what it means to stop and smell the proverbial roses. To take in inspiration, to cultivate the gifts and passions you were blessed with. That rose is your Love. Harvest your love allow your self to blossom. We need more love to blossom in these times

DON’T MISS YOUR LIFE!

Asheville Acupuncture