Apart from the Heart the source of compassion and love the throat, and the cervical chakra, the hands are the main source of healing energies.
What is healing (effective healing, defined as a lasting and essential removal of illness) as opposed to the mere easing of symptoms? Energy healing stands in the centre of Chinese and of Indian medicine – although not very many people use the word ‘healing’ in medicine nowadays. Even after five years, only a few patients speak of cancer that has been healed.
In Western medicine today, the abdomen is examined with the hands, mostly only with the fingers. Nowadays the use of ultrasound is preferred to visualize and examine the inner organs. As a result, many additional signs and information are not noticed. This is unfortunate, as the life forces can be perceived easily with the hands, and there are so much more diagnostic means with regards to them.
Putting a hand on the shoulder of a child conveys support and encouragement: even moreso if it is done by a parent. In general, the hands feel life forces, warmth, coolness or cold, tension, when something is limp or doughy. However there are a dozen more qualities that can be felt, if one has developed a better perception.
The hands also connect patient and therapist. A handshake full of warmth and energy gives confidence and facilitates a warm and friendly relationship.
Hands give warmth, they nurture and they hold, they support the energies of the life-forces, which are stored in the body, the Yin, the substance of the body. This energy can be charged. When this happens patients usually say, “The battery is recharged.”
We talk of making energy flow, supporting the flow, conducting it. Slow, stroking movements towards the periphery of the body help to conduct states of fullness. Dissolving energy blockages is the daily bread of those using their hands to heal. Energy blockages are the basic reason for pain. Acupuncture, but especially healing hands that are using the tools of the needles or moxabustion, are able to dissolve deep blockages lastingly. Here the principle is slowness rather than blockages….., or massaging deeply into the pain.
Qi - or prana, the breath, the ‘breath of life’, the inner wind - is the source of our life functions such as body heat, digesting food, emotions, joy, aggression, motivation.
“In essence they are the same” – qi and prana as well as a further 100 names for ‘life-energy’. 200 years ago qi was also referred to as spirit, later electricity and 100 years ago energy.
In everyday life people still talk of energy, when they mean the life-forces e.g. when doing sport people tend to say: “You have lots of energy!”
Lasting improvement is no longer a subject of investigation in today’s medicine, because the results are often very poor.
What does healing in Chinese medicine mean? Healing in Chinese medicine means to harmonize the forces of the body, when they are in a state of imbalance. It further means strengthening what is weak, conducting surplus energies (e.g. in the head) or fullness and heat of inflammation down to the lower part of the body. ‘Harmonizing yin and yang’ summarises the essence of what the practitioner is trying to do with treatment.
However this is rarely understood and practised. Acupuncture as a means to treat only the symptoms is the daily business in the age of a mere health insurance induced medicine. Health has become a product: something that can be bought in the “stores of medical businesses” as one likes or something that can be demanded from medical insurance companies seemingly for free.
There are different levels of balancing the life forces yin and yang, the polar energies of the body. The four or five other sources and qualities of the life energy have to be harmonized, too. Because this takes even more effort and time, it is rarely found in the practice of medicine.
We have developed a method – similar to the relaxation through self-awareness – to harmonize and strengthen the functions of the organs. This method has been named “organ flow meditation”. During six weekly seminars of one hour each, patients practice the organ flow meditation, thus learning to harmonize their life-force.
In the US, the “promotion of health” has become a headline in the current discussion about health, which is gaining significance. We have given the topic of healing a lot of consideration. The main question here is: What is it that really heals?
The open heart of the therapist has a healing effect. The warm, compassionate heart during the treatment is the essential part. Qigong for the Heart helps the patients to open their hearts and revive them with emotional warmth. This requires a therapist whose heart is warm, compassionate and active. Many doctors have a warm heart, yet others are icy-cold.
Chinese medicine is by definition a healing medicine, e.g. because it can lastingly remove weaknesses of organs, thus dissolving or balancing disharmony. Stable health and a strong immune response depend on the strength of the five inner organs, that is to say their basic functions such as breathing and digesting food.
Qi is the essence, the centre. With a free flowing and balanced qi – not too much, not too little – we are healthy and resistant against pathogenic influences.