“Quick, Look at her elbows!”

Acupunture points
Some Acupunture points

Today we travel to PDX to go to the Hai Shan clinic for more TCM mojo and acupuncture.  I love acupuncture.  If you have never had it, know that it is not super painful- though there are definitely sensations.  I can’t begin to explain what is happening.  It is in the realm of energy medicine, which makes it hard to quantify.  I watched a BBC documentary about it which showed someone getting open heart surgery using acupuncture instead of a general anesthetic. Whoa.

So today I go to Portland. (Not for open heart surgery!)  I need to wear clothes that give access to my elbows and knees for needle placement.  Mostly however the reason I go to this particular clinic is the TCM herbal formula that they will mix up just for me.  Ironically Chinese culture, which is very “WE” based, created medicine that is very individual based.  Medicine is given to address the underlying root cause of the symptoms within the person.  In contrast Western culture, which is so “I” centered, has medicine that is very “WE” based.  Double blind studies come up with the right medicine for the symptom- regardless of who has it.  Today I get treated as a unique organism – with the expectation that I am an active part of my healing journey.

I have been reading a good book, “Traditional Chinese Medicine, a woman’s guide to healing from breast cancer” and I am excited to ask new questions today.  Questions to understand better how my particular situation is seen within the TCM world view.  Kidney chi deficiency?  Cold wind?   The doctor will take my pulses, ask about my digestion, look at my tongue and eyes and fingernails.  TCM diagnosis is very different from what you gain looking at MRI or pathology reports.  It is more poetic, more personal.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I have access to the MRI and pathology report world. Western Medicine is an essential component of my healing.  Both my naturopath and TCM practitioner agree.  All these pieces of sky are working together to bring about health.

Walking Qigong
Walking Qigong

In December, when last I went in to the Hai Shan Clinic, Dr. Fruehauf gave me a Qigong exercise to do twice a day. Qigong is like medicinal healing movement yoga.  I know next to nothing about it- Though I have tried a routine out of the book, and a YouTube class.  I have just learned about a QiGong form specific to cancer- Guo Lin, or Walking Qigong – and I am hoping to get some folks together to try it up a Shively park sometime soon.  I am working on a friend who is trained in Qigong to teach me, and/or others to do it.  Apparently there are clubs in Toronto and San Francisco that get together weekly to practice.  Imagine a more dignified version of a Monty Python’s Silly Walk- that cures cancer.  It is hugely popular in China.  It is recommended that you practice it amongst trees, or next to flowing water.  The goal is to create such balance and harmony within your body, that you are not compatible with cancer-ing.  Anyone game to try?

More Walking Qigong
More Walking Qigong

6 Comments Add yours

  1. julia says:

    yes, i’m game to try. sounds fun.

  2. Sharyn says:

    Oh yessssss, I’ll try it. Have a healing, calming weekend.

  3. Jane Rosenau says:

    I’m so glad to hear you are using acupuncture and qigong on your healing journey. I have had great results from acupuncture and read such great things about qigong. Have you considered Reiki. I have just had my first session and would highly recommend that too. Sending you healing energy.

  4. margaret sullivan says:

    Keep up the good work Iris. You can show me the crazy shakes when you visit would love to do it.
    love you much

  5. claire mcintyre says:

    Hi Iris, this is claire from the chemo spa. I would love to join your meditative walking group.

  6. Nancy Spaan says:

    Hi Iris! Thankyou for sharing so much through your wonderful writings- you are such an artist- in every aspect of your life. I’ve been taking a Chi Gong class at the Waves of Change Wellness Center (above Baked Alaska) on tues and thurs. from 8:30 -9:30, and I love it. It’s part guided meditation as well, and it helps us to feel and move our Chi energy around. I would love to treat you to a class when/if you feel like it- Joe too! I could even just show you a few of the moves if you want (although I can’t say I remember them all because part of the joy of this class for me is checking out from my brain- I just mirror the teacher and breathe…. I know you’re overflowing already, but- more LOVE to you!

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