Chronic illness can be used as a tool of enlightenment to discover the lessons of soul journeys.
Often times, our physical bodies reflect the spiritual, psychological and biological imprints of our experiences.
When we engage a process of healing, often practitioners address the physical or biological aspects of health challenges, yet the psychological and emotional aspects are often neglected.
Thus, it is important to look at our emotional and spiritual patterns to discover the lessons in specific health conditions.
In the Chinese system of medicine, there is a mapping of personality archetypes that correlate with specific internal organ imbalances. These correlations can give insight to emotional and spiritual aspects of health challenges.
For example, someone with a kidney imbalance or adrenal fatigue or urinary bladder issues might lean toward excessive fears such that energy becomes stagnant to create kidney stones. We would call this personality type a “water” type. They might tend to be very introspective and inward, suppressing feelings as opposed to expressing them. Also, water personalities may be challenged with exhibiting discipline.
On a spiritual level, water aspects are about spiritual essence, so lessons that have to do with our jing-our spiritual DNA or heritage, cyclic patterns of energy that are associated with our spiritual ancestors and our spiritual blueprint.
So, when we have issues involving a kidney pattern, either in the form of weak kidneys (sluggish energy), kidney stones, weak bones, or cancer, we need to ask ourselves, “On a spiritual level, what energies am I holding around heritage and ancestors that may be depleting my kidney energy? What fears am I holding?”
On the other hand, a person with high blood pressure, dizziness, and tendency towards insomnia or anger might have more of a wood personality, manifesting imbalances with the liver. The partner of the liver is the gallbladder, another wood element organ. A personality archetype of a person with imbalances of the gallbladder would be one who has difficulty making decisions and defining themselves and their path in the world. There is often a sense of angst or wavering about what to do or who to be in the world.
Spiritually wood is about creativity and the most benevolent aspects of spirit. So, when we have health challenges that are more of a wood issue, we can ask, “What issues or energies am I holding around blooming compassion or dealing with suppressed anger?” How am I allowing my spirit and personality to manifest creativity?”
Metal personalities often are more prone to lung challenges, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory and auto-immune issues that may express more on the skin or through the large intestine. Metal out of balance can represent a person who tends to be righteous in fighting injustices but perhaps at a level that depletes their energy such that the immunity and the lungs suffer. Irritable bowel syndrome can also be a tendency for people who have a strong metal element, as there may be issues with holding onto experience and feelings that no longer serve the body, creating inflammation in the organ itself that is responsible for elimination of toxins. Perfectionists often fit into this metal category as trying to achieve very lofty goals-part of the righteous aspect of the self that is trying to attain the highest level of achievement.
Spiritually, metal is associated with our “wei qi”, external immunity that protects spiritually. “Wei qi” can be compared to an energetic shield. So, we might ask ourselves, “What issues or energies am I holding around protection, perfection or the need to right injustices on a spirit level?”
Earth personalities tend to manifest spleen/stomach and digestive issues. They may also exhibit challenge with boundaries (setting appropriate boundaries so as to regulate activities and relationships such that one does not become overwhelmed). Thus, anxiety may arise. Also, the earth personality may tend to ruminate on thoughts and ideas which can also add to anxiety and the health challenges that may accompany stress, such as acid reflux, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Earth personalities can be natural nurturers but may have a tendency to over-nurture and not make time for themselves. Thus, nourishing the self becomes an important healing tool for earth personalities. Challenges with grounding and centering energy may also emerge for earth personality person as often their energies are stretched in so many directions in the attempt to care-take others.
On a spirit level, earth represents the spiritual intelligence. So, we might introspect earth related health challenges by asking, “What energies or issues am I holding around allowing my intuitive and spiritual intelligence to guide my path versus my cognitive, intellectual self? In what ways am nourishing my ability to let spirit lead?”
Sometimes our spirit journeys may involve patterns or lessons around these elemental aspects of being such that we may carry the imbalance of earlier spirit journeys in our bodies as patterns that reflect our elemental patterns of those times.
This is often the case with health conditions that do not respond to traditional western or traditional eastern protocols. These conditions often reflect deeper rooted soul lessons that need to be resolved. Thus, the process for resolution often takes time. Yet sometimes people want a quick fix and only want to invest in their health with a few sessions or herbal formulations. Yet, the condition may have taken several lifetimes form-so the work of healing needs to be consistent, steady and regular to gain optimal resolution.
Understanding this longer cycle of healing and supporting the journey with self-empowerment tools such as self-acupressure, dietary and exercise guidance and spiritual mentoring is a hallmark of the type of Chinese medicine that I practice. Thus, clients are given a palette of tools from which they can pick and choose what resonates for them. Then, they can decide at which level that wish to implement strategies and tools in their lives. Thus, the client is the driver in the healing experience with the practitioner merely facilitating a deeper road on which to travel.