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To be contemplative is to be carefully
and gently present to ourselves, not in
unconscious self absorption, but in
quiet and loving observation. One of
the labors of adulthood is to befriend
in ourselves those handicapped and
underdeveloped parts of our nature
which we have set aside.


Treating Emotional Retention

Why do we feel the way we feel?  How do our thoughts and emotions affect our health?  How can what happened to me 40 years ago affect my health  today? Are our bodies and minds distinct from each other or are they part of a whole interconnected system? Each discipline in its own way acknowledges the relationship of mind and emotion to physical disharmony.  While modern psychology and Western science have struggled for a century to formulate this connection, classical Asian medicine has precise correspondence between the two for over 5000 years.  According to knowledge, a principle of Asian medicine holds that symptomatic illness is always the product of multiple etiology.  Passed down from the sages; stress is the principal issue in all disease and that more than one stressor is usually necessary to produce symptoms and signs; “You can not make a sound with one ball.”

Asian medicine and psychology are congenial therapeutic partners in healing Emotional Retention. They are closer in concept and practice to each other than either is to the principles of Western science and medicine, with the exception of science in the realm of theoretical physics.  Both Asian medicine and psychology focus primarily on the root sources of imbalances.  The relief of symptoms alone is not the first consideration in the superior Asian physician and never supersedes the goal of balancing internal function. Both psychology and Asian medicine regard a symptom as a signal of unattended, underlying issues and not a disagreeable phenomenon to be eliminated.  Symptoms are opportunities to examine one’s life, to reconsider one’s values and habits, to reevaluate one’s personality and relationships, to expand awareness and to change.  The goal of a humanistic psychology is growth; and the goal of Asian medicine is prevention of illness to the knowledge of the natural law, which includes altering one’s self so as to live in greater harmony with that natural law.

Another area of coincidence between these two disciplines is the mutual realization that growth and healing frequently involve a “healing crisis.”  Change involves discomfort or in Asian terms, “aggravation.” In the beginning of acupuncture or therapy, the illness for which the patient has come to be treated may temporarily worsen, or symptoms of previous illnesses may temporarily return. This is a positive sign that the suppressive measures to which he or she has been exposed are now being eliminated. Period “healing crisis” is such as these are short-lived and are strongly favorable signs. It is also an integral part of the mythology that “metanoia,” the “change of mind,” is the result of a dangerous journey into the “inner self.”  Progress in healing is measured, in Asian medicine, primarily by the patient’s mental state. If the patient is physically better but mentally worse, the treatment is considered a failure.  As long as the mental state is improving, the course of treatment is considered favorable. Please visit the acupuncture link for more insight.

For both disciplines, health and disease are ultimately the responsibility of the patient. Values and behavior, as well as the honest confrontation with self, are basic to health in both the Asian and the psychoanalytic tradition.  The doctor helps, nature cures, and each person is responsible for his relationship to nature and to himself.  Whatever the rationalizations, disease will follow significant deviations from the laws governing the rhythmic movement of the natural cosmic energy. Only man, among all the manifestations of energy in the universe, collectively and consistently has a choice to follow or defy these laws. Each individual is ultimately responsible for his thoughts, behavior, values, eating habits, sleep, work and exercise patterns. Each individual is responsible for his illness, with knowledge and awareness each individual can prevent it.

Resistance > Tension> Inflexibility> Vulnerability

Resistance magnifies!  The more we resist the more we draw to us exactly what we are trying to resist.  In a wind storm, the heavy oak tree resists and the willow yields.  The willow, which doesn’t stand solidly in the path of the wind but rather allows it to whip through its branches, clearly has the better chance of surviving.

When you feel yourself resisting, become aware of what or whom you are resisting.  What circumstances, memories, attitudes, or relationships are threatening you with pain?  Are you magnifying the pain by resisting it?  Acknowledge what you discover about your patterns of resistance.  Then except that the source of pain exists and that you are feeling resistant toward it.  Finally, choose to let it be and to act appropriately.  Resistance is blind reaction, not free choice.  Freedom is created by your ability to choose how you will act.

Resistance can also signal the presence of a power struggle; a desire to be right, to prove a point, to be in control. The only way to win a power struggle is to give it up.  Resistance to other people’s opinions and feelings is just as useless as resistance to our own. Our pain or discomfort is magnified in direct proportions to our resistance.

If you cannot find happiness in yourself, it will be impossible to find it elsewhere. Your life is no one’s responsibility but your own.  There are many things in your life over which you have no control and for which you are not responsible; but you are responsible for how you respond to any circumstance. Your response alone determines whether the circumstance is resolved positively.  When we become responsible, we learn to choose responses freely and consciously, we are then free to build a life of continued growth and increasing happiness.  For those circumstances in life over which we have had no control, such as emotional hurts received in early childhood or adulthood, we can learn to take responsibility for our need to grieve and make creative choices regarding how we will do so.  Every change fuels a crisis.  The Chinese character for crisis is a combination of the characters for danger and opportunity.  Risking change creates danger to the status quo, but opens up new, freeing opportunities for ourselves.  So let’s dare to be ourselves, for we do that better than anyone else can. Fear is created not by the world around us, but in the mind, by what we think is going to happen. And remember,” Your mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except with your permission.”

So share with me, “What is it you plan to do with this precious life of yours?


Nutritional Counseling & The Evil Twins of Aging | Weight Loss Solutions | Healing Digestive Disorders | Stress "Silent Killer"
Emotional Layer of Stuttering | Emotional Memory | Hormonal Imbalances | Detoxing | Facial Rejuvenation | Saving Your Face

Copyright 2008 Veronika Voss. All Rights Reserved.