The idea of addiction has been a long-term topic on many levels. The past several years I have seen patients who are addicted to cigarettes, food and there own mental restlessness. This state of constant craving is never satisfied and affects the Heart and scatters the Qi. Craving also affects the Pericardium that surrounds the Heart and stirs up the fire in the Heart. In disease, the Minister Fire refers to a pathological, excessive Empty-Fire rising from the Kidneys. The emotion of the Kidneys is fear and as this energy rises from the lower Dan Tien it begins to affect the Mind. If the Mind is settled, calm and content, the Pericardium and the Heart energy will follow and the person will lead a happy and balanced life. If the Mind is weak and dissatisfied, the Pericardium and the Heart will demand cravings and the person will constantly desire food, cigarettes and other objects but when attained they will never receive satisfaction and will be left frustrated and aroused.
Craving will cause Heart-Fire and Empty-Fire depending on the underlying condition of the patient. It seems to me that there are many emotional states such as resentment, anger, agitation, animosity, bitterness and hatred which all seem to play a large roll in the body not being balanced and for cravings to constantly occur. I believe this to be a temporary relief since the cravings seems to run the person involved with never any satisfaction. All of this bottled up emotion helps to create excessive consumptions of many things that seem to sabotage one’s spiritual growth. The positive counterpart to all of these emotions is flexibility, hope and a quiet endurance of hardship. The Heart meridian is made up of blood or substance and when this blood is deficient and there is not enough substance then the Heart and the Shen will not rest peacefully. It is important to build up this substance and open the Heart so that the cravings can longer have a hold on the patient.
Irregular eating and excessive consumption of fats, sweets, dairy foods and cold-raw foods can injure the Spleen and also create Blood and Qi stagnation. The Blood Sugar diet seems to balance out the body and make it more neutral. I have also found that deep breathing helps to shift the patient’s space and allows them to inhale deeply and oxygenate their Heart area. Over the past couple years there has been a great deal of stress on many people and they have resorted to some compulsive behaviors that take them completely out of their bodies. Sometimes I have seen the Lung play a major role in this type of addiction since the Lungs emotion in Chinese Medicine is grief and sorrow. It is important that people know that any organ can be responsible for disharmony and that my role as a practitioner is to create harmony and fullness in each patient. I do believe it is a time of Heart for many people and in opening up the Heart and pulling people back into their bodies so they can begin to experience peace.
My patient that I have been working with to stop smoking has just recently turned a corner since I have gone into deeper treatments of both His Heart and his Lung energies. He is now able to take a deep breath without craving a cigarette and feels more full and relaxed. There are many deeper issues that need to be looked at in order to get true healings. I believe all of these illnesses are an invitation to make healings within us and gain the spiritual benefits of health. We all have a right to feel good and a right to be happy and free of old patterns and of pain. The more we work on ourselves and honor ourselves the more we can move forward into true freedom.
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