Be aware when things are out of balance. –Tao Te Ching
This is the first of a series of blogs and newsletters that will take us deeper into the understanding of vital energy. This topic will focus on the role of emotions that can so deeply affect our state of well-being, the quality of our relationships, and enhance our understanding of who we are and also of how we function.
Our readers have been exposed to a fair amount of information regarding the concept of vital energy common to all energy medicines, particularly according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Unique to TCM is the 5-Element Theory that explains the five aspects or phases of the invisible energy that affects all of us and our entire environment.
The 5-element model provides a logical and systematic way to classify and analyze just about everything about and around us–from the macrocosm to the microcosm. It is a way to understand how we function, physically and psychologically. It can teach us how to achieve a degree of control over what affects us positively or not, internally or externally, to attain the goal of achieving and maintaining balance.
So far, we have talked about vital energy simply as chi with the understanding that chi needs to flow and avoid imbalance or blockage. But, there are other aspects to consider.
We have often used two of our favorite quotes:
- “The physical body is actually a complex network of interwoven energy fields.” —Richard Gerber, M.D., Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-energy Therapies
- “Your body is a field of energy, information, and intelligence capable of perpetual healing, renewal, and transformation.” –Deepak Chopra, M.D., Grow Younger, Live Longer: 10 Steps to Reverse Aging.
The energy fields the two authors refer to are both internal and external to our physical body. We use the general term aura for the external fields, and the vital energy that protects the aura is called Wei Chi. Its specific function is to guard and protect our external energy field and the outer physical envelop of our body, including the skin.
The seminal Chinese text, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic, gives the following information about the sources of Wei Chi power and the nature of its natural ennemies.
Sources of Wei Chi power:
- Ancestral energy (from the mother)
- What we eat and drink
- The air we breathe
- The relationships we have with friends and family
While we have no control over the first source, we have some degree of control over the second and third sources. It requires both awareness, and willingness to maintain a nourishing and balancing way of life.
The fourth source of wei chi strength may be surprising. It means that we are fed by the emotional qualities of our human relationships and by the (positive) emotions we derive from them.
Wei Chi is under attack from two different fronts:
- The 5 “devils”
- The 5 (negative) emotions
The 5 devils are the cosmic energies that translate in:
- Wind during the Wood/Spring season
- Heat during the Fire/Summer season
- Dampness during the inter-season of Earth
- Dryness during the Metal/Fall season
- Cold during the Water/Winter season
We can escape from these climatic conditions when they get extreme by moving someplace else, but that is not often possible. Therefore, by and large, we have little to no control over their aggressive effects.
In our next blog post, we'll explore the positive and negative aspects of the emotions corresponding to the 5 elements and how deeply they affect all aspects of our lives including the physical and the pssychological. Stay tuned.
We are inspired by many authors when writing on the vital energy subject but, in particular, by these authors and their books:
- Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with the Seasons. Celestial Arts, 2003. Print.
- Beinfield, Harriet, and Efrem Korngold. Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine. New York: Ballantine, 1992. Print.
- Elias, Jason, and Katherine Ketcham. The Five Elements of Self-healing: Using Chinese Medicine for Maximum Immunity, Wellness, and Health. New York: Harmony, 1998. Print.
- Gerber, Richard. Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-energy Therapies. Rochester, VT: Bear &, 2001. Print.
- The abundant writings of Deepak Chopra, M.D. including Chopra, Deepak, and David Simon. Grow Younger, Live Longer: Ten Steps to Reverse Aging. New York: Three Rivers, 2003. Print.