"You don't diagnose. You don't treat."
Those words still ring in my head. They were repeated often by my Polarity Therapy teacher, John Beaulieu. I had the good fortune of studying with him for several years and wrote about his recent book release, Human Tuning, in May.
John's point was that our job as energy healers was not to treat the symptoms presented by our clients, but to empower people to heal themselves. This approach is very different from the model promoted by allopathic (conventional Western) medicine, which is heavily invested in biochemical interventions for even minor problems. You only need to hear the litany of adverse side-effects on any drug commercial to see that the overall health of the person is trumped by focus on symptomatic relief. And this approach has been largely embraced by our society as correct. One client complained to me of "restless leg syndrome". I explained that it was just one indicator of his overall condition. His insomnia digestive problems and low sex-drive all indicated an autonomic nervous system imbalance that could be handled with a few life-style adjustments. He didn't want to hear about that. "No," he said,"it's a real disease. They even have a drug for it."
Sometimes we need to address the symptoms immediately and sometimes it's expedient to go to the chemistry lab. If the symptom is a gushing artery, a shattered femur, or dose of the clap, you are a fool not to address it with all due haste. But once you've stopped the bleeding, set the leg, or handled the infection you might want to address the underlying energy patterns that got you into such a fix in the first place.
Healing is much more than freedom from symptoms. It is a return to wholeness, where energy is abundant and unobstructed within the body/mind and in resonance with its environment. Energy patterns that disrupt its wholeness can manifest as poor health--physically, emotionally, and mentally.
You can address these energy patterns directly through a variety of methods and sometimes it is appropriate to do so. However, I have found it more effective in the long run to help my clients raise their energy level and empower them to heal themselves. The body/mind is much smarter about restoring its internal homeostasis than any physician. All healing is self-healing. In even the most dysfunctional of us there is an innate urge toward wholeness. In my sessions, I help my clients experience a heightened state of coherence where their body/minds can untangle and release energy patterns that no longer serve them. Equally important, they learn how to exchange more energy with the world they occupy.
When we have more energy available and it is flowing correctly, we have better resources to handle the challenges of life. Many problems disappear. The rising tide lifts all boats.
For example, I have written about the importance of establishing central equilibrium. Not just in your taiji form, but everywhere. We establish energy patterns when we first learn to walk that serve us well as toddlers, but actually block our energy as we age. Numerous health problems can result, as well as diminished vitality. Those patterns are so old and so familiar that any change actually threatens our sense of homeostasis. It feels "wrong". My approach is to adjust a client's posture until they find that sweet spot and allow the body/mind to feel the potential advantages. Standing in central equilibrium for just a minute can dramatically increase the qi flow, something that most people we be able to sense from its physiological effects, even if they haven't yet developed their ability to sense energy. The increase can be so significant (and unfamiliar) that the body/mind can interpret that as a "threat". My job is to create a safe space to allow it to try out this new energy pattern and adopt it if deemed desirable.
When the client adopts this new pattern there is an increase in vitality, as well as reduction in some problems that may have plagued her for a while. Back, neck, and shoulder pain; sciatica; headaches...just a few. She is moving toward true healing, not just a reduction of symptoms.
The rising tide lifts all boats.