CHI Energy Transformation

Chi Energy transformation within the Five Phases or Elements is central to Chinese tradition.

Five tastes of pungent, salty, sour, bitter and sweet are used in everyday cooking to affect the flavour of food, and five tones in music make music sound truly Chinese.

Melting and mixing of colours white, dark blue or black, green, red and yellow are used in chi energy transformation if something disagreeable is sensed in the environment.

The Five Phases or Elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth are regarded as five features inherent in all living things and should be understood as processes or tendencies in chi energy transformation rather than concrete physical manifestations.

The processes express the interdependence and restraint that is evident even in tiniest particles of life. The Five Phases are one with the natural progression toward balancing Yin and Yang, while each phase simultaneously represents its own related functions and qualities.

Nature is intelligent beyond our comprehension through its constant chi energy transformations. We can only fathom that within every cell of each living organism is a ‘Tao code’, which determines the form, function and quality of the cell’s unique expression of life.

And that expression, when not interfered with from its alignment with Tao, is always life-giving and harmonious, even in time of decay as the beauty ‘burns’ to ashes and nourishing continues in a new way.

The Interaction of Five Phases within the Body

The cyclic interaction within the body mirrors that of the Five Phases in greater nature. In the practice of Chinese Medicine, they are used in diagnosis and treatment.

  • Metal – Lung/Large intestine – represents autumn, decline but also substance, strength and structure. The colour is white, the flavour pungent and the negative emotions are grief and sadness; positive courage, dignity, appropriateness.

  • Water – Kidney/Urinary bladder. The associated season is Winter when nature is at rest before starting another cycle of growth. The colour is black or dark blue, the flavour is salty and the emotion fear or fright, which through the chi energy transformation becomes alert stillness and gentleness.

  • Wood – Liver/Gall Bladder – is associated with spring and activity, constantly growing and rapidly changing. The colour is green, the flavour sour and the negative emotions, when Chi is not flowing naturally, are anger, resentment, jealousy; positive are kindness, forgiveness and assertiveness.

  • Fire – Heart/Small Intestine and Pericardium/Triple Warmer – is associated with summer. It represents a function which has reached its maximum stage before it begins to decline – Fire is dynamic and moving, brilliant in its activity. The colour is red, the flavour bitter and the negative emotions are hate, impatience; when transformed they are love, joy, gratitude, creative enthusiasm, honour, etc.

Earth – Spleen-Pancreas/Stomach – is associated with the harvest time. It is the patient and nourishing mediator, it represents balance and neutrality. The colour is yellow, the flavour bland or sweet and the negative emotions are worry and over thinking; positive is fairness and openness – and singing is associated with the free flow of spleen Chi. You can learn more by watching the following short video. The Five Phases correspond to each other through nourishing and controlling cycles. Metal nourishes Water, Water nourishes Wood, Wood nourishes Fire, Fire nourishes Earth, Earth nourishes Metal.

In the controlling or destructing cycle Metal shapes Wood, Water quells Fire, Wood controls Earth, Fire forms Metal and Earth controls Water.

Each element within the phases relates to the functioning and chi energy transformation of the internal organs. It promotes the following element and controls the element across the cycle.

However, if the organ function is unbalanced, that organ, not being able to complete the chi energy transformation within the natural meridian circuit, may act adversely across the cycle.

For instance, if Chi within the heart is unbalanced it may overact on the lung (since fire controls metal) causing congestion. This results in a lack of oxygen, which can lead to congestive heart failure.

The law for nourishment and control is an important consideration in any treatment plan. “In order to bring the body into harmony, one observes and keeps constant the standard of the Five Phases of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal.” – Neijing.

In this constant chi energy transformation, we could describe Chi as matter OR matter as Chi. Divisions dissolve . . . AHA! Could we correlate this to the ongoing quandary about quantum objects which Einstein described as being light waves OR particles?

“The cosmos itself is an integral whole, a web of inter-related things and events . . . Within this web of relationships and change, any entity can be defined only by its function and has significance only as a part of the whole pattern.” – ‘The Web That Has No Weaver’ by Ted Kapchuk.

When we habitually attune to the unseen, unified dynamics of life we learn to understand the interrelationships or patterns within the web of our wonderful creation.

By doing this we can knowingly assist Mother Nature in her constant chi energy transformations, and balancing Yin and Yang, not only within our own being but also within the greater cosmos.

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About TCM

Individual Experiences

Before writing about ancient Chinese Medicine and its comprehensive knowledge, I like to share with you some of my own thoughts related to it.

To me working with it is like drawing water from a deep well, I have to prime it every time in order to bring up its clear water.

This means that working with an individual with a disharmony, a connection must be made to his/her Original Source Chi as well as to that of the greater cosmos. The goal is to fit into the workings of the great Vital Energy – Wu Chi. Only then can we truly help and be helped.

My sincere hope is that you can experience the balanced awareness that is necessary for complete healing of yourself and those you love.

In order to do this a silent and receptive state of mind is required. Without this receptivity, understanding the intricate patterns of dis-harmonies cannot become clear.

Intellectually we can gather information and apply it, we can even experience temporary relief, but ultimately our intuitive channel must become clear for lasting healing and wellness.

Therefore I’m asking you to open up your consciousness to the kind of knowledge which I searched for (and still do), through my studies of the ancient Chinese Medicine in the eighties.

And in addition to having been trained as a Healing Tao instructor by Mantak Chia, I have explored many teachings, been with Sufi masters and studied spiritual texts including writings of Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu and the Chinese classic ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower’ and most recently ‘In the Light of Truth’ by Abd-ru-shin.

All of them require a shift in consciousness every time I read them.

When I decided to study ancient Chinese Medicine in depth after reading the Huang Di Neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine), I realized that here is a health system through which I can bring some of my spiritual understanding into a usable format.

Later, when I began to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), I found that with each individual with whom I worked, we sought for ‘the main thread of the fabric’ that connects us to the ‘tone vibration’ present in all and everything.

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Medicine Tao. The comprehensive and profound knowledge gathered and presented in the books on ancient Chinese Medicine carry a unifying message of the micro-macro cosmic universe.

The question of effective acupuncture and specific herbs for health and healing were important to the ancient acupuncture doctor.

But equally important was how to guide the individual toward ‘Tao of Health’, a harmonious lifestyle by daily use of natural healing foods and remedies found in his environment.

Instructions were given how to clear the energy system of the body in order to unify its function with the laws of nature and the greater cosmos.

Helping the person understand this goal of unity, even to inspire him to work toward longevity and the glorious destiny of Enlightenment, a birthright of every human being, was an important aspect of acupuncture doctor’s work.

In the light of our modern knowledge, writing these pages is a modest but sincere attempt toward this noble goal.

Without the desire to understand the whole, the treatments we learn to give ourselves and those we love will be patchwork. They cannot last without this deep commitment to the comprehensive physical-emotional-spiritual well-being.

 Unifying Logic of TCM

As you read about the ancient Chinese Medicine you’ll discover that although it is less analytical than our Western medicine, it is brilliant in its unifying logic. And I believe that by fully understanding this we can work toward permanently satisfying results.

Like most of its counterparts in other countries, Traditional Chinese Medicine evolved through the millenniums as a reflection of the culture and the philosophical-religious outlook of its people.

Tao, the Way of Harmony, is the directive and foundation of the mysterious intermingling of ‘heaven, earth and man’. Chinese Medicine describes health and illness as phenomena in relation to Tao’s natural laws operating in all Creation.

Constantly Forming Vital Energy or Chi

Central to TCM is the concept of Vital Energy or Chi, which constantly creates itself anew in a myriad of forms, – yet in its essence is one – therein lies its paradox. However, when correctly understood it also reveals its beautiful and simple logic.

Huang Di Neijing is a summary of the medical practices and theoretical knowledge up to 500 to 300 BC when it was compiled by unknown authors.

Confidence to Conquer Illness

The book says that in order to completely heal a person, acupuncture, herbs and the other modalities are only one aspect of the treatment. There must also be integrated within the patient in other ways.

“When people lack the confidence to conquer illness, they allow the Spirit to scatter and wither away. They let their emotions take control of their lives. They spend their days drowned in desires and worries, exhausting their Jing essence, their Chi and Shen spirit. Of course then, even with these other modalities, the disease will not be cured.”

As a product of a long process of synthesizing one discovery with another, one region with another and one dynasty with another, Neijing provides the basis for the massive medical knowledge compiled through the later centuries.

Adaptability of TCM

Because of this Chinese Medicine’s ability to adapt, it’s principles based on the Law of Yin and Yang – and all that it contains – are applicable even in our changeable conditions and discoveries of the Western Medicine.

In my over twenty-five year practice of TCM, I did not discover even once any contradiction between Chinese Medicine and its Western counterpart. Instead, I found that they can complement each other in a supportive way when the principles are understood and practices properly applied.

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