“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Medical Research is remarkably unreliable

“Oh dear,,,” I looked at the links headings collected for us to view as students in oriental medicine research class. I read the first article: “Science has lost its way,” and began the second: “No longer possible to believe much of clinical research published” By the Editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. Before getting very far I am already swept up in the tide of validation for my personal decision making process and since I frequently have to defend that against exhortations from Acupuncturists here at Emperor’s I want to respond thoughtfully. Perhaps I can cause others to consider carefully how they treat and teach as health care practitioners.

1. It does no good to simply become cynical. Cynicsim is a way of numbing us to the fears created by our stories of past and future. Fear reveals that we are entranced by the stories we tell ourselves and so not awake in the present moment. What gives us numbness also causes the accumulation of “Phlegm,” the most persistent endogenous pathogen in TCM.
2. The situation will inevitably change, but we can help make that change favorable for us and all things by following certain guidelines.
3. Focus on the positive. Attention is what creates, naturally what we pay attention to is what we experience and cultivate and bring to us. This requires persistence and then when it happens we must forego the inclination to quit and let it ride but continue to apply effort.
4. What could be positive about this? We have the opportunity to unite as a species and elevate our collective intention to one of valuing impeccable behavior and the achievements that brings. Each one of us is capable of frightful, awesome, glorious accomplishments that could rival nature, but most of us cannot conceive of such a thing, much less even bear witness to nature.
It is our worthy challenge to awaken to existence, and often waking takes a splash of cold water.
5. The proof is irrefutable that we have no reason to send patients to western bioscience for health care. If an individual has an inclination, an intuition, any idea of what they need then it should be our job to help them clarify that and pursue it. Such clarification cannot be made with analysis, discipline or any “left brain” attempts. This sort of discernment comes about through meditation, dropping stories, disengaging attachments. It is not accomplished in a fifteen minute office visit.
6. Greed is at the root of a great deal of corruption in all walks of life. How can we alter this? Only by counteracting it in ourselves. As we cultivate generosity, compassion and discernment greed gradually drops away. As we lose it those around us lose it too and those around them and so on in an ever spreading ripple.
7. Anger is a common response to stories of corruption and betrayal of trust. Anger is defended and clung to by those who engage in it. Anger is recognized as a pathogenic factor in TCM, causing heat and therefore wind, interfering with bodily processes and wreaking destruction. How can anger be obliterated? By first making the choice to obliterate it. That is the biggest step for so many. Thereafter cultivating compassion, substituting a compassionate thought for a harsh one, uprooting unkindness beginning with how one treats one self.
8. Delusion is prevalent among most humans. We fail to discern what is true happiness and replace it with shallow, short lived or harmful pleasures. We live in fear and speak and act from fear of what is not real at all, just stories we have made up about either the past or the future. How can we correct delusion? By acknowledging what is real, by cultivating awareness of the present moment. Yes, we all die. Yes, change is the one thing that can be truly guaranteed. Yes, change is what it is. Let it come and let it go is the process we must choose either to enjoy or endure.
9. The discernment that corrects delusion provides correct understanding of the source of illness and also forms the basis for selecting elegant solutions.
10. Once we start thinking outside the box we are no longer confined by it. Stop responding to the bullies and keep on going and soon they will be trying to catch up. Its all good.

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