ILLNESS, INJURY AND LACK OF VITALITY
I have had an energy imbalance for many years, and I've tried many types of treatment without much success. My acupuncturist tells me that I have deficient kidney chi and liver stagnation, and though the treatments help me to relax and feel more life energy, there is no lasting change.
— Sarah, USA
I am sorry to hear about your condition but the good news is that practicing high-level genuine chi kung will not only overcome your problems but also make you realize that living is a joy.
To understand your problem better, it would be helpful to note the crucial difference among the following :
- Lack of vitality.
As a working definition, we may refer to an illness as the result of our body (and mind) not functioning naturally, an injury as a distortion of our normal functioning by an outside intrusion, and a lack of vitality as a slowing down of our body functioning because of insufficient energy.
Yours is not an illness nor an injury but a lack of vitality. Acupunture and all other forms of medical practices are targeted at overcoming illness. As yours is not an illness, acupuncture and other medical practices are not so useful.
Technically, treating an injury is quite different from treating an illness. As Western medical thought does not differentiate an injury from an illness the way traditional Chinese medical thought does, applying Western medicine on injury is often not as satisfactory as we wish it to be. If you sprained your leg from falling, sustained internal injury from an accidental blow, twisted your back muscles due to bad posture, or impaired your internal organs with prolonged repressed emotions, conventional Western medicine, lacking a conceptual framework of injury, may treat these problems as illness.
But as they are injuries and not illness, Western doctors may be at a loss as what to treat. Often they would resort to relieving systoms. The most obvious symptom of injury is pain. Hence pain-killers are given to relieve physical pain, and tranquilizers to relieve emotional pain. The pain is suppressed but the injury remains.
But your case is netiher illness nor injury. Yours is a lack of vitality. Therefore, what you should seek is not medicine to overcome illness nor healing to overcome injury but ways to improve your vitality. Many people may suggest playing games or taking food supplement. They believe that if you play games or take rich food, you will become strong and regain your vitality. This is shallow thinking, and is actually harmful.
Your body is already weak. Playing games will further weaken your body. Your body functioning is too weak to digest and absorb rich food. Taking rich food will therefore be a liability.
The best solution is to practice genuine chi kung. This will both overcome the root cause of your lack of vitality as well as increase your vitality. It is useful to note the two aspects — overcoming the cause and increasing the effect. If you were sick or had an injury, medicine or healing may overcome your illness or injury but may not make your healthier or more resistant to injury. But if you suffer from a lack of vitality, practicing chi kung will overcome your lack of vitality and also inrease your vitality. To top it all, if you had illness or injury too, practicing chi kung will also overcome them!
What is the root cause of your lack of vitality? It is a blockage of energy flow. In other words, as you said, you have an energy imbalance. When you practice chi kung, you will clear the blockage and restore your energy balance. As your continue your practice, your smooth energy flow will become more vigorous, thus giving your increased vitality.
How does chi kung overcome illness and injury, besides restoring vitality? It is also concerned with energy flow. When energy flow is blocked, it can be manifested as illness, injury or lack of vitality. When viruses enter your body, if your energy flow, which in this case is described in Western terms as antibodies in your blood system, is blocked, you would have a viral infection. If your energy flow is blocked when you fall down, it will result in pain and swelling. Even if the viruses in your body are not making trouble for you, and you don't fall, if your energy flow is blocked, you will not have sufficient energy to carry on with your normal life activitiies, resulting in a lack of vitality.
If illness, injury and lack of vitality are all due to energy blockage, then why do medicine and healing not overcome all these three different problems like chi kung does. The answer is actually straight-forward, though it is not realized by most people. Chi kung operates at the most basic level — the level of energy — whereas medicine and healing operate at levels higher of the hierachy — the levels of organs and systems. As an analogy, if you learn how to write short stories, you may not know how to write feature articles. But if you work at the most basic level, i.e. you learn how to write, then you can write short stories, feature articles, poetry, drama and other forms of writing.
The above is taken from Question 1 of April 2008 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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