Chinese medicine, at its heart, is rooted in philosophy—the philosophy of a balanced life. So this approach to healing is about how to live life; completely balanced, in peace and in true harmony with everything around us.
One of the foundations of Chinese medicine is called channels. Channels are where blood and Qi (life force) circulate and travel throughout the entire body, connecting to organs and making the body whole while creating a self-contained existence.
The body is filled with these channels and in Chinese Medicine although there are many channels, there are 12 specific ones called primary channels. These have a specific rhythm and a specific flow and help us live life. They start at the lungs, go through the organs, run through the body and end in the liver.
A truly balanced life
If we are truly balanced and live according to nature and in harmony with the world, go with the flow, then I guess we got it. We’re zen, healthy and in balance and there is no sickness.
But if the channels encounter challenges and can’t resolve them, then we face imbalances in the functions of the body. Resist is met, but not dealt with.
Their function is to flow smoothly, almost like rivers that flow into the ocean and circulate yet never get stuck. Imagine a swamp, stagnant behind a dam.
On one side of the dam, the flow is stopped and it looks like there’s a lot of force and a lot of potential, but it’s not actually moving. So we call that excess.
On the other side of the dam, there’s really nothing, there’s a lot missing, no water and no flow. We call that deficiency. So if something disrupts the flow of energy into your channels, we might have excess energy on one hand and a deficiency on the other. When something stops the flow we will experience some kind of stagnation in our lives. We might feel stuck or as if something is not moving in our life.
As you lean into the inner connection and wisdom of your body and the philosophy of a balanced life, you gain a sense of what life is about and how to flow within that dynamic of channels and organs in your body.
If we are truly balanced and live according to nature and in harmony with what needs to happen, “go with the flow,” if you will, then we’re doing something right. We’re zen. We’re healthy. We’re in balance and there’s no sickness. But if somehow along the way, these channels encounter challenges and we don’t work to move past them, we will create resistance, which then causes us to face imbalances in the function of the body.
When you take the philosophy of a balanced life in Chinese medicine and apply it to the body, you then realize the body is here to show us how to live within ourselves. Therefore, we must listen to our bodies and move forward with the understanding that we are already equipped with the ability to live a life of tranquility and meaning.