When the solution becomes part of the problem
When a car breaks down, it needs to be repaired. Once you have fixed or replaced the broken part, you are good to to. This is sensible when we are talking about cars. When the same approach is directed toward the body, however, we run into problems.
This “mechanistic view” leads to a fragmented understanding of health, where each aspect of a human being – and each part of the body – are looked upon and treated in islotion. When we become obsessed with fixing symptoms, we tend to ignore the root cause. While providing temporary relief, it creates dependence on the fix. Treating symptoms in isolation often leads to unintended consequences that undermine the body’s natural capacity to heal in the long term.
From hole to whole – Holistic health
A holistic approach to health acknowledges the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit. Rather than viewing the body as a machine, it is seen as a complex organism that is inseparable from its environment. This approach acknowledges that the body has an inherent ability to heal and is constantly working toward balance and harmony. The aim of any intervention is to support the body’s natural journey towards balance; homeostasis.
From this perspective, symptoms are seen as signs that some aspect of life is out of balance. We are invited to take a step back and look at our entire life situation. For example, an emotional imbalance may lead to a certain behavior pattern, which may cause physical disease (“dis-ease”). A holistic approach to health shifts the focus from “fixing” to “preventing”. It encourages a harmonic lifestyle that takes all aspects of life into account – physical, mental, environmental, energetic and spiritual.
Health is based in qi
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sees the human being as a system of interconnected parts that must maintain balance for optimal health. Health is achieved when there is harmony between the individual (“microcosm”) and its environment (“macrocosm”). The internal life of a human being needs to be in harmony with the rhythms of nature and the patterns of the universe.
“No cure that fails to engage the spirit can make us well”
– Viktor Frankl
Health is not simply the absence of disease but a state of balance and harmony that makes room for our higher potential as human beings. Daoists see a healthy body as a consequence of a balanced energy body. Qi is the vital life force that flows through the body and regulates its functions. Blockages in the energy body manifests as disease on the physical and mental levels. It is therefore said that health is based in qi. This is the fundamental insight behind the practice of qigong (“energy work”).
Program for the internal arts
Physical health is the starting point for qigong practice.
In the first module of this program, we will focus on foundational practices to stretch and open the energy pathways of the body so the qi can flow more naturally. Later on, we will learn how to gather and build qi in the body. This provides the foundation for later stages of activating and refining qi for spiritual growth.
6 month program for balance and wellbeing in body, mind and spirit:
Enter the world of qi