It has taken me a long time to resolve what I would write about, as I was expecting to do more something in fiction. However, I have been writing these blog entries in my head for years now. I am done being a I'll-get-around-to-it writer, and now it's time to put pen to paper...
Acupuncture is my main healing modality, though I would argue helping others and guiding them to healing has been something I did naturally even as a kid. I was really good at reading body language, and even hearing tone properly in text!
I started out in university in psychology with a thought of being a therapist. After a bit of disillusionment and seeing that perhaps allopathic medicine wasn't for me, I went with a more true-to-my-interests degree in neuroscience and minored in English. The thing is though, one can't do much with a bachelor's in neuro. Grad school, working in industrial research in Montreal - pretty much that was it. I ran away to Asia, as an ESL teacher in Korea, for a way to travel, make some money for paying loans, and to figure out just what I was going to do.
One of the most interesting classes I took in my neuroscience degree was cell biology. There is so much more to a cell than we are led to understand in Biology 9 in high school. Among other things, that class told a story of an entire system that functioned microscopically in each cell of my body. Like a trillion whole worlds. My mind was broken open. I saw that we (scientists) tended to focus outward on the skies, into the heavens, for our answers. But here, in this bio class, I felt the Truth, big-T Truth, was discoverable from within. Thinking about this personal insight years later, it was certainly foreshadowing for the direction my life would take.
Korea was awesome. So awesome, in fact, I stayed there two and a half years. I travelled extensively, met interesting people, immersed myself in a vastly different culture and language than my own, and got some space away from the pressures I'd left back in Canada. I also started getting Chinese medicine and learning about Qi (energy). I will get back to Qi later. It turns out, Chinese medicine was a perfect blend of several of my interests - Chinese culture, working with my hands, using my brain, flexible work schedule, and constant self-improvement. I would later come to understand even more things it would be suitable for me, but for now, even in the outset it was good signs all around.
While still in Korea, I dabbled a lot in Buddhist philosophy. I attended temple stays, and practiced tai-chi and meditation. During university, I had maintained a strict atheist belief, but, I had become frustrated with the answers I was giving myself. The purpose of life, what I wanted to do with myself - they all got washed away in the pointlessness of biology-driven self-perpetuation. It wasn't enough to believe I existed to have sex to propagate myself. I was not happy with just the one life I could experience now, then suddenly dying in pointlessness. Daoism and Zen Buddhism were great spring-boarding points for me. They were the first philosophies other than science that could satisfy me. (Western philosophy was a no-go. Just not enough. Too mental.) The effects of the meditation and temple-stays would not be apparent right away. It would take years for the full impact of those experiences to come to light.
Acupuncture school was my next biggest point of growth. Chinese medicine philosophy is independent of Western medicine theory. They have their own anatomy, physiology, and diagnosis. This post is not going to go into that now, but the result on my knowledge-hungry mind was amazing. It fit, it answered many of my deep, yearning questions. When it didn't answer them outright, it had the framework for me to keep looking on my own. I accelerated far beyond the Daoism that I had read in Korea, for Chinese medicine is founded on Daoist principles.
I also was gaining more on the subtleties of Qi. Mostly, Qi is vital energy, what the universe is made of. I usually just refer to it as "energy", as people in the West know it better that way. Back in Korea, I had, in tandem to my acupuncture experiences, also been introduced to energy work. Mostly by reading Carlos Castaneda, participating in Korean shaman rituals, and observing this one person's abilities. I also had a few weird experiences that more-or-less fall in the category of "spiritual" or "energy-work" - strange dreams, or sensations during meditations, etc. I had actively decided to try to believe in this far-out stuff, and let myself be open-minded to seeing things other than through a scientific lens. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have discounted those experiences as total garbage. I was holding myself on suspension of disbelief until further notice.
Once back in Canada in Victoria, I expanded on energy by actually trying to do it myself. Trying out the basics of Healing Touch with Daniel, and then, finding a teacher. It started out more as getting energy treatment, but then, I would go to her to learn techniques and practice energy principles. As a nice bonus, it made my acupuncture practice in clinical work amazing. I could really feel the Qi in my fingers when I manipulated the needles.
Graduation came and went, and Daniel and I moved to NB to settle in Shediac. With the clinic up and running, I really started to see the Chinese medicine theory in action. Now I was gaining first-hand experience on what exactly acupuncture was doing to our complex bodies. Watching energy changes, seeing what affected what and how, I started to link the Chinese medicine explanations to Western. Chinese medicine looks at a lot of symptoms and makes assumptions of what is going on internally based on them. In school, it was a lot of rote memorization. In the clinic, these patterns of imbalance started to stand out more easily, and I felt like I was having a conversation with the body imbalances. It was like the unconscious body had a voice through these symptoms, be it body pain, hot flashes, or variations in the tongue and pulse. I started calling it "the unconscious body talking to me." My energy training made this attunement more vivid.
Gradually, I was getting better at "talking" to the unconscious body, and I started seeing instead of just feeling. It was like a picture slowly coming in to focus. It was hard to make sense of it at first, but I got better at sharpening the image and using it in my treatments. I started getting "energy" clients, where we would look at aspects of themselves more on the energetic level, using images I would see. My energy training from Victoria was getting developed as well. The suspension of disbelief was also shifting to just a solid belief structure. It seemed less strange and just more or less how it worked for me now. I stopped identifying as a "scientist", but kept the need to examine things with the scientific method. There is a lot of junk in the new-age field, and everyone one who works in it will acknowledge it. It is important to tread carefully.
Then I took another energy course - Theta Healing. It was an absolutely wonderful framework for me. I had kind of started it from watching a few treatments with friends, and just feel in love with how easy it made doing energy work. It was a huge jump forward on getting a number of techniques working that I had been struggling with - things like communicating with other entities, past life trauma, etc. The whole energy work thing is not for everyone - and that's ok. What I do doesn't work on belief, it works on the person's willingness to heal. If someone isn't into energy work, we don't go there. It doesn't apply for all treatments either. Depending on what presents with on the day, we could be doing anything from a physical-level treatment, work on personal beliefs or habits, or go right into energy trauma.
Looking forward, I can see my next step emerging. I am calling these "soul-level" healings. Where the soul, rather than individual lives, is coming up as the focus for the treatment. This is probably also the destiny-level that is talked about in levels of Chinese medicine practitioners: the low, middle and high. Where the low-level practitioner heals things that are broken, the middle maintains balance and health, and the high leads the individual to their higher path. Destiny healing is not easy, as you aren't always "healing". Sometimes there is a period of upheaval, and it can be painful or frustrating, before things get better. I would argue this style of healing is being needed more and more as we get fed-up with the status quo and our souls crave more.