What Acupuncture Taught Me about the Tao

I went to a centre of oriental medicine today to get a Tui Na deep tissue massage.  I was experiencing muscle stiffness, especially in my neck and shoulders due to the amount I type or play the piano.  I thought that the rough kneading, slapping, and chopping that comprise the Tui Na massage would loosen me up.  I had experienced some relaxation from a Tui Na massage I got at booth at a city fair in summertime.  So I went to the centre to get another one.

They ushered me into a room with an oriental doctor and he asked me some questions about my lifestyle and symptoms.  He said something really interesting, “First you relax the mind, then the muscles relax.”  Then doc had me lie on a table.  Next thing I knew, doc started putting acupuncture needles in me–feet, legs, abdomen, arms, cheeks, and interestingly, a needle at the top of my head–right where the last chakra is, and another needle where the “third eye” is, as doc said.  Then doc attached an electric pulse to the two needles in my head and third eye.  Then doc dimmed the lights, put on some soothing music with ocean waves, and left me there for 20 minutes.  At first it was really hard for me to lie there.  My mind was restless; my body was restless; I got bored.  I felt a disjunct between my muscles and my inner self/feelings.  After a while, my mind/body were all one.  Calm was coming over me.  After acupuncture, doc put some suction cups on my neck, shoulders, and back.  I felt much, much better.  Doc told me to come back in a week.

I wanted a force external to me to manipulate my muscles and relax them.  But by leaving me on a table to relax, with the few acupuncture needles in me, my mind relaxed and my body relaxed itself from within.  My mind/body healed itself from within.  Taoism teaches us to be natural and spontaneous.  In Taoism you don’t force things–either in social manners, or in ethics.  You yield to “the way of water,” “the breath of the valley spirit” and return to “the uncarved block.”  I think that’s what happened to me at the oriental medicine centre.  I began my healing process and my body taught me about the Taoism I learned in school.

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Audrey Brooks
    Feb 17, 2017 @ 18:22:14

    I certainly appreciate your account of the benefits of acupuncture and meditation, David. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1991, I tried a variety of medications, none that worked without significant side effects like blurred vision and loss of balance. When the Taoist Tai Chi people came to the Hy’s Centre where I was doing hot tub, and other exercises, and did a demonstration, I thought I would try it, because I had nothing to lose. The only time I was free from pain was in the hot tub. At the same time I tried acupuncture with Mary Wood, which helped. I started Tai Chi in September of 1995, with a severe walking problem, and a pain level of 10 out 0f 10. Tai chi is a “walking meditation.” By March of 1996, my pain level reduced to a 3 or 4, and I was walking erect. I have kept up the practice ever since. It stays there as long as I keep doing Tai Chi. It was so hard to let go of trying to control everything and let my body do what it is meant to do; entering the silence within, and moving slowly through the routine of 108 moves which has literally given me my life back, both physically and spiritually. Hugs, Audrey

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