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Chinese Medicine Revolution: Ancient Healing Art Hits Mainstream


My mentor once told our class that no drug or surgery should ever be administered until an appropriate course of treatment using Chinese Medicine has been tried, except in cases of life-saving intervention. There was a definitive rippling of energy in the room when he uttered this statement because we knew it was a calling. With one sentence he had raised all of our belief in ourselves and this ancient medicine into a higher dimension. Since that moment, I have not erred from the calling of that vibration: everything I have done since has been a pushing forward of my own training and understanding of this medicine so that I may serve people in the highest regards of healing. Ultimately, I don't see myself as an alternative medicine practitioner who merely compliments the authoritative dictum of Western medicine, nor a tinkerer of subtle energy destined to move from spa to spa offering majestic states of relaxation and transcendental 'highs'. I see myself as a Chinese Medicine practitioner who wishes to accompany patients throughout their lives much as a Western MD, offering support, healing and guidance on how to fulfill our destiny as human beings.

Unfortunately, Canada still has some work to do if such sentiments are going to reverberate with the intensity they do with our brethren across the border due South. In America, Chinese Medicine is a veritable medicine not only as an alternative to Western Medicine but a stern competitor that is becoming commonly instituted in hospitals. There's a massive teetering of the balances and Western Medicine is not the one with momentum in its favour. There are numerous reasons how we got here, to the point of a revolution in our healthcare but the immense scope of that is not suitable for this article. I will say that, especially in America where health care is not public, there is a vehement call for a preventative medicine to be established so that trips to the doctor and hospital can be reduced and so that individuals can be empowered to make their health primarily their responsibility. In this regard, Chinese Medicine is an absolute goldmine. Not only is it a tradition steeped in preventative medicine but it offers a wealth of meditation techniques, martial arts, nutritional guidance and even philosophical wisdom to empower individuals to take their healing in their own hands and cultivate lives of vitality and ever-evolving consciousness. 5 000 years of working with the healing of the human being and burrowing into the workings of nature itself has led to a massive accumulation of wisdom that can help with everything from menstrual problems to psychological breakdowns to engendering youthful visage to even 'demonic' possession and cancer. And this is what I always enjoy telling people when they hear I practice Chinese Medicine and acupuncture and they ask, 'Well, what kind of things do you treat?'. Everything, I reply, adding that Chinese Medicine in itself is a complete and ever-growing tradition of medicine, more ancient than our modern Western incarnate, and with knowledge to serve the full magnitude of ailments.

I stated at my graduation ceremony from Chinese Medicine school that I feel in order for this revolution of health to truly be carried forward for the benefit of all, those who are practicing ancient healing arts and alternatives to Western Medicine need to realize that they are ambassadors for their respective medicines. This means that we are not simply to treat patients but to educate them and the public at large about what our traditions offer. Chinese Medicine, for instance, offers wholly different perspectives on reality than the rational-materialist worldview our cultural conditioning is honed by (a worldview I might add that is fast becoming antiquated as we integrate the knowledge of the East with our own scientific forays into the ethereal and enigmatic dimensions of modern physics). Ultimately, it is these unique perspectives that Chinese Medicine offers that may be one of its most considerable tools of healing. By offering our historically suppressed imaginations expansion into realms such as subtle energy (as offered by the Chinese concept of qi) and the whole gamut of Taoist discourse on the ontology of being, with its salving sense of mysticism wholly grounded in dynamic study of the way of nature itself, our very spirit becomes liberated, yielding ease of being and a passion for life that nourishes the foundation of what we are. This is the essence of health, for we are not here to become immortal, nor to go through life without incurring wear and tear to the vessel for the spirit which is the human body. We are here for the great adventure of our evolution and we are bound inevitably to one day transform through the initiation of death. This is where freedom, especially of self-expression, becomes vital to one's well-being; a powerful paradigm shift that will change forever how we view healthcare.


Chinese Medicine offers a way not only to make sure the physical vessel of the body is always finely tuned to maximize our potential to explore and evolve but it also can nurture our evolution directly by offering a path of virtue, extraordinary tools for cultivation of consciousness and energy and a reverence for the great mystery, the gargantuan void of existence which science has historically been alarmingly hostile to in its attempt to be of supreme authority. In this sense, Chinese Medicine grounds us in millennia of explorations into the deepest questions of life, a seeking and refinement that has elicited some of the most remarkable discoveries known to humankind. It is fitting now in this great time of transition that we find these ancient ways becoming renewed again in the mainstream.

With this new paradigm, health no longer needs to be the modern nightmare it slowly has for many: a struggle with forces we do not understand, related to us by the exclusive vocabulary of science, a pathway of healing endorsed by drugs and surgeries that ultimately see the body as a machine to be aggressively manipulated and the ultimate horror of dying, a subject still treated with much reticence. In the new paradigm, health is seen as the expression of our spirit (the evolving being within us) and to this order we can work in multifarious ways with the gifts of the Earth (herbal medicines, observation and following natural laws) and the cultivation of virtue (an essential tenet of Chinese Medicine imbued by Taoism) to make sure that our bodies flow with energy rather than stagnating the currents of life with fear, anxiety and repression. Chinese Medicine ultimately offers not only a healing of the body but of the spirit; a healing of the quality of our lives and alignment
with purpose. To the revolution indeed!

Darren Austin Hall (Dipl. Ac. Ba Hons) is an integrated health practitioner who specializes in Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Sound Healing and inspired living. He is a graduate from the esteemed Institute of Traditional Medicine where he received his Diploma in Acupuncture. He also has a certificate in Creative Transformation Therapy that he received after completing a two-year intensive with eminent psychotherapist and 'American Shaman', Bradford Keeney, who imparted to him the powerful tradition of Shaking Medicine used by the Bushmen of the Kalahari, perhaps the most ancient healing practice in human history. Darren is passionate to serve all people in the realm of health and help them create lives of artful beauty. As he constantly decries: 'You are what you are searching for!' www.innertraditionshealing.com


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