The headline above is a famous sentence from a legendary Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor named Sun Si Miao, who was stating that what happens inside the body will manifest in its exterior. In TCM our diagnosis consists of observing the tongue, the pulses, changes of color and irregularities. If there is an imbalance in your health, a pattern will manifest in the exterior layers of the body, allowing us to recognize the source of that imbalance and to come up with a treatment protocol that is determined for that specific imbalance.
Since my early years as a TCM student, I have heard many times that TCM is not just a medicine, but a way of living. Its source comes from the Tao, which means “the way.” And only now have I begun to understand what that means.
TCM sees the human body as if it is a poem. The way we describe the dynamics of the human body is artistic, with metaphors. For example, “the water puts down the fire,” and “the yang has lost his anchor due to the lack of yin.”
And through these metaphors, we see the human body behaving just like nature does. Our body is a reflex of nature dynamics. We can do our diagnosis through a very simple pentagram where the elements of nature (fire, water, metal, earth and wood) are included; each system of organs is associated with the behavior of those elements in nature.
TCM has said for more than 5,000 years that the human body is a microcosm inside of a macrocosm, and now I am beginning to understand what that really means. We think consciousness lies only in our mind, but now understand that our body has a consciousness of its own, and disease is the body’s way of communicating to us that our mind is not following a good path.
Mind and body are two separate entities, each with a consciousness of its own, and the better the communication is between them, the more balanced our health will be. And the funny thing I have noticed is that the body communicates through metaphors, as well.
I first started noticing this with a patient who had a terrible sciatica for six months. He was in a wheel chair, and when he stood up he would scream in agony. I did the typical acupuncture points for sciatica (on the leg and lower back). He had three treatments with me and the results were very disappointing. At that time I was reading a book, “The Healers Manual” by Ted Andrews, and the author mentioned how disease is just a metaphor for the mind to interpret.
So I tried that approach with this particular patient. During the fourth treatment I asked him, “What do you use your legs for?”
“For walking!?” he replied.
“Yes, to walk towards your goals and desires,” I said. “Now, is there anyone in your life — a situation, or a even a value that you hold — that is restraining you from achieving what you want?”
He said, “You know what, you may be right about something.”
“So,” I said, “during this treatment, I want you to think about that, and try to be at peace with it.” During that treatment, I only applied points to calm the mind so he could process his thoughts in a more clear way — three acupuncture points in the wrist. The next day, to my surprise, he showed up walking! Completely cured! He had solved the mental pattern that was generating the physical pattern of the sciatica!
I started treating all my patients with this approach, and later on I even took a Neuro Linguistics Programing course, which allowed me to better understand the mental patterns. The results I have had were stupendous. Some people called it a miracle, but I called it science properly applied.
But this is not all. After the NLP course, I started to notice that not only does our body behave as a metaphor, but it has a reality of its own. This is a concept that may be a little hard to grasp, so I’ll try to be as clear as I can.
Reality is like going to the cinema. Often we think that the movie comes from the screen, but it actually comes from the projector (our mind). Likewise, we often find ourselves falling into life patterns, as well, and then we ask, “Why does this always happen to me?” That’s because we are not listening to our body, but just to our mind. The more effective the connection between our body and mind is, the better our connection to the exterior world will be, because it’s all one single organism. With that better connection, we can access another level of consciousness.
Consciousness is all one, although I find it somehow to be divided by levels, or layers, dimensions. Those so-called signs or synchronicities of the universe actually are moments when the body, mind and soul are all connected. The soul is the fabric of this big dream we call reality, and we can access its source and receive its guidance.
In any situation in life — even if you lost the keys to your house — you can interpret it as “there is something that’s making me lose the access to my inner self.” If you have a car accident, maybe it is time to slow down, or to stop doing something that is harming you physically or emotionally.
Regarding health and reality metaphors, only the person who’s experiencing it can give it a meaning. I can only give you guidelines, a way to see things, but only you can give its true interpretation. When you start to see life through this lens, it becomes so much more exciting to live. Every day you look for meaning in whatever is happening around you, and every day is a lesson.
What happens inside of you will reflect outside of you, as well — not only regarding your health. Your thoughts will generate a behavior that will steer you through reality with an equal quality of your body and mind patterns. The body communicates through metaphors, and so does reality. None of them has a physical mouth to directly communicate with you, so metaphors are the way those levels of consciousness have found to establish contact with us.
Understand that the microcosm inside the macrocosm doesn’t exist only between your mind and body. It is a never-ending spiral that goes both ways, from the atom to the moon, and it carries a level of intelligence that is present in all realms. As a little blood cell, it’s a living organism living in a world called “human body,” and humans are nothing more than little cells living in a world called “planet Earth,” and so on.
Reality is just one big infinite living organism that we’ll never truly understand, but by being aware of it, we can change our lives at cosmic proportions.
I’ll leave you with this perspective. The concept of meditation is when you close your eyes and look inside yourself. But Buddha once said that the ultimate meditation is when you meditate with your eyes wide open. When you look outside to the exterior world, you realize everything is happening according to what’s happening inside of yourself.
That’s when you realize the Traditional Chinese Medicine way of living, when you realize the Tao, the “Way” — and only you can interpret that.