The will to change

In the previous post I mention how acupuncture and herbs spark the process of change by bringing awareness of the root of one’s struggles. This awareness is a linking of our hearts with our kidneys (the storage house of our essence) to provide the impetus to change.

Often, without this connection/knowledge, we linger in samsara, creating an endless vicious cycle of making poor lifestyle decisions, or lack of good decisions. We struggle to find our way and lose perspective of the path. This taxes the liver and gallbladder, our planner and decision-maker. The liver and gallbladder sit between the heart and kidneys and is a mediator between our consciousness and our innate primordial self. When the connection is blocked, stagnation develops creating the sequelae of health problems that stem from stress, irritability, frustration, anger, and the like. Enhancing this connection is crucial to establishing a healthy bodymind. One of the many benefits of acupuncture and herbs is to regulate the smooth flow of qi and blood, a function typically under the auspices of the liver and gallbladder.

But there are many of us who despite this knowledge/awareness resulting from our linked heart and kidneys cannot make a fire of this spark. Why? The ability to tap into our essence depends on the health of our kidneys. In Chinese medicine, all of the organ systems have an inherent spirit motivating/animating it. For the kidneys, it is the zhi — the willpower. Often what is required is to nourish the kidneys, thus bolstering the will to enact the changes that one seeks to make. This can be done in a multitude of ways, some of the best including: acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicines, qigong and taiji, proper rest and lifestyle modifications to prevent further depletion, etc.

What one is essentially looking to do is to provide the fuel for the alchemical process that must take place. Alchemy takes place in the kidneys and relies on the yang-fire to catalyze it. Stoking the fire of kidney yang provides the will with the power to see change through.

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