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Health in Your Hands

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Early in my bodywork education I decided to focus on Eastern philosophies of healing.  In retrospect, you could even say I made this decision way back in High School, when I began practicing Iyengar Yoga. This methodical, precise yoga school (developed by the brilliant B.K.S. Iyengar) spoke to me. It extolled total integration of body and mind; it offered a special kind of peace that I could find within myself and through the fine movements of my body. Iyengar Yoga showed me that I needed to accept where I am now to achieve the full potential of my progress. In my very cerebral and task-oriented western Wisconsin environment this was refreshing!  I finally felt like I 'fit'. 

I spent a fair amount of time in the hospital in my teen years due to chronic sinusitis and a few episodes of spontaneous collapsed lungs (a symptom of my rapid growth spurt and slight figure). I loathed the place. It smelled bad, it felt sick, and the healing was very superficial for the most part. Although western medicine and surgery saved my life on two occasions, I see now that those emergency situations could have been prevented if seen from a more holistic angle. At the time I didn't fully understand and simply accepted this Western system of healing as the beginning and the end of my options. 

As I matured and my insatiable curiosity drew me further into the realm of Eastern thought, I realized what was missing: the person and environment as a whole. This is quite easy to understand and I'm joyful to see most of society is embracing this concept. Many Eastern philosophies are closely related, and through my personal and professional development I found that Yoga was just the beginning. I was also very attracted to Buddhist thought and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has taken me a few years to fully grasp the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I had questions that are echoed here by Ted J. Kaptchuk, O.M.D., author of The Web That Has No Weaver :

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'Traditional medicine can be considered an art, and it can claim to be a science. But the important question to ask about a medical practice is: Does it work? Is Chinese medicine just an interesting philosophical curiosity or is it a viable system of healing? Can it treat what the West defines as real diseases? And can Western science measure its results and appreciate its value?'  

The answer to all of those questions in short is Yes! But it's a subtle and intricate yes. For now, I'll leave you with this thought, because it is very important for understanding holistic healing.

Sometimes there is not a beginning, a middle and an end. Sometimes we simply are where we are and must seek balance. It doesn't matter if the balance we find is symmetrical or asymmetrical, as long as it is the right balance for us. If there is homeostasis and peace, then that is where we should be.

Love and Light

 

Emily PetersComment