Oriental Medicine Journal Winter/Water 2012
One of the missions of OMJ is to provide a forum for the exchange of information about Oriental Medicine and its interface with other medicines. In this issue, we bring you an interesting twist on how the ideas of Oriental Medicine can interface with other disciplines beyond medicine.
One of the branches of OM is exercise, as typified by qi gong. This issue is devoted to the first installment of a major work by Nana Shineflug, a mathematician, dancer, choreographer, and teacher, who applies the ideas of qi gong to movement, whether that movement be dance, exercise, qi gong itself, or walking down the street. She has taken concepts with which we are familiar, such as yin and yang, and interpreted them in a way that is not familiar to us, though it would be if we were to think beyond organ systems and meridians. Our focus is on turning dis-ease into well-ness. Her focus in on turning well-ness into something even better, which is exactly what we, as practitioners, are doing in our own qi gong practices.
In this first installment of Shineflug’s work, she focuses on the Energy Body, setting the stage for us by making links across cultures that work with the Energy Body and by showing us how and why the Energy Body and the Physical Body coexist. She talks about Chakras and what many call the Central Channel, or Chakra Pole, through the center of the body, and why it is important to bring these ideas into Western thought, beyond the practice of yoga or reiki. Those of our readers who teach qi gong and Tai Qi, or who teach beginning acupuncture students, will find this issue to be helpful in explaining the elementary concepts of OM to people for whom these concepts are new. You may even want to use this issue as a text for your classes. Shineflug has 40 years of experience teaching these concepts to young people. Her enthusiasm, passion, and energy come through in her writing and draw the reader on from one section to the next.
However, her work is not just a rehash of the material with which we are familiar from acupuncture and OM school. Shineflug is preparing us to use our bodies in an entirely integrated way that even long-time practitioners of qi gong and Tai Qi are not likely to do, at least not consciously. In later installments, Shineflug will look at how the Physical Body moves, how the Energy Body and Physical Body move as one through space, how we injure ourselves by incorrect movement, and how we can be more effective in our qi gong and body work practices and in teaching our students and patients how to move, how to use our muscles properly, and how to use gravity and breath effectively.
Former OMJ editor Frank Yurasek has reviewed another book for us. Over the years, we have published an interesting array of articles on sound and vibration. Indeed, the current issue is an example, as you will see when you read it. In this issue, Yurasek reviews The Tao of Sound, by Fabien Maman, with Terres Unsoeld. This book might alternatively have been titled “The Music of Medicine,” for its notions about how to use musical sounds to heal. Needless to say, our reviewer liked the book!
So, I invite you on a journey through space and time, on the waves of vibration and sound, to another dimension in which the concepts of qi and yin and yang apply both to our medicine and to the fabric of our lives.