|Nei Kung Chi Liao-Tao Internal Energy Diagnosis & Healing
(Medical Chi Kung Acupuncture Without Needles)
An Introduction to Healing Ourselves and Others
by Jeff Nagel, MA, L.Ac.
As a practitioner of acupuncture, Oriental Medicine or massage therapy, what would you/could you do if it were not feasible to use needles, herbs or physical touch with a patient? The 8 Branches of Chinese Medicine (meditation, chi kung/nei chia, 5 phases nutrition, Tui Na/chi healing, Tao philosophy/cosmology, Feng Shui/fine arts, herbal medicine, acupuncture) can provide some insight and possibilities. Perhaps the following will inspire you in new directions.
According to the oral tradition of the ancients, Nei Kung Chi Liao (NKCL) was rediscovered by Fu She, founder of the Taoist Tradition-Way of Nature and the Ba Gua/8 Trigrams about 8,000 years ago. This was perhaps the first healing art of China predating acupuncture by more than 3,000 years. Taoism as an organized religion founded by Chang Tao-ling did not begin until the Han Dynasty during the second century A.D. Until recently this art was a closely guarded secret, rarely taught outside of Taoist monasteries or family style traditions. Through the centuries the art was handed down to Lu Tung Bin (Tang Dynasty 8th century A.D.), one of the eight immortals. He was one of China’s most prominent healers and Chi Kung-Nei Chia masters, also believed by some to be one of the founders of Tai Chi Chuan. As one of China’s most famous masters, his teachings were embodied by the Yellow Dragon Monastery founded more than 700 years ago. His practices, which became known as the Taoist Elixir Style, comprise many different healing arts including NKCL.
For centuries the monastery provided free Chinese Medicine treatments, including NKCL, to the public. The monks supported themselves by cultivating and gathering herbs which they then sold to both the healthy and sick in the village market at modest prices. Grand Master Share K. Lew is perhaps the first to openly teach many of the Taoist Healing Arts to the American public since the late 1960s, including the secrets of chi kung and NKCL. He is now the last of this tradition from the Yellow Dragon Temple’s-Taoist Elixir Style, as transmitted from Lu Tung Bin, and resides in San Diego, CA. The temple was forced to close down in 1948 and was completely destroyed during the Communist cultural revolution in 1965. After many years it was finally rebuilt and celebrated its grand opening in April of 1998.
First and foremost let us take a look at "healing ourselves" through the self cultivation methods known as Shen Kung (cultivating the heart-mind-spirit), which is the foundation and prerequisite of Taoist Medical Chi Kung, "acupuncture without needles."
The first to speak of Tao as the Way of Nature, Lao Tzu (circa 500 B.C.) taught the following: "To be clear and calm while knowing one's true nature transcends technique." His ideas were poetically recorded in a book entitled the Tao Teh Ching/The Way and Its Power, which also gives insight into the art of chi cultivation. The Shen practices not only provide keys to self empowerment and balancing of all the various organs and meridians, but also offers a means of direct cognition of universal knowledge. The Tai Chi Tu/Ba Gua principles of harmonizing, regenerating and healing the mind/body are thereby brought to life through daily experience.
Shen Kung expands both the inner and outer vision enabling one to "see" rather than to look. For me, one of the secret keys to knowing anything is to use the Tai Chi Tu principle.
The following proverbs shed light on this idea. "If you look for the truth outside of yourself it gets further and further away." (Internal Kung Fu). "Don’t rely on experts of any sort, figure things out for yourself." (Buddha). "The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away." (Taoist Sage 200 B.C.)
So what does this have to do with Chinese Medicine? Following the time-tested concepts of giving cooling herbs for a hot condition and acupuncturing the healthy areas of the body rather than the painful and diseased ones, so it may be with perceiving knowledge using the polarity principle of opposites or yin-yang.
Perhaps equal to or better than studying any subject directly, in this case Oriental Medicine, whether through classes, books, clinical observation or under a master, is the indirect more subtle approach. After all, how and where did many of the great master-doctors of antiquity acquire their high level of skills? By and large it was believed to be through direct cognition as in many instances there were no schools, no books, no teachers, and no written language, depending on the times. One understanding is that all knowledge already exists in one form or another as subtle energy as do all cures for disease. You need only allow the knowledge to flow freely to you so you can receive and transmit it to others, for example, patients and students. Through infusing yourself with nature, like steeping tea in a pot, both internal and external chi can mix and combine merging into one.
Let's also not forget how important one's surroundings are as well, particularly the consideration of the 3 Perfections of Feng Shui (harmonious people, perfect place, right timing), especially for self cultivation and health concerns. Many of the ancient physicians found meditation, chi kung and Tai Chi Chuan most helpful in their alchemical transformation and cultivation of spiritual consciousness, enlivening their knowledge and skill in the healing arts. The 3 Treasures, which include Jing-Essence, Chi-Energy, Shen-Heart Mind Spirit, are one of the cornerstones of Taoist Style Chinese Medicine and are cultivated through the above internal chi practices, important for both patients and practitioners alike. To help the sick it is best that the doctor be "stronger" than the patient. Remember, "physician heal thyself!"
© 1999 by Jeff Nagel, MA, L.Ac.
Biography of the author:
Jeff Nagel, MA, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., (CA., HI.), trained in the 8 Branches of Chinese Taoist Healing and Internal Martial Arts since 1969, is an experienced practitioner/accomplished teacher of acupuncture-Oriental Medicine and a Feng Shui consultant. Jeff is a respected senior student of several well-known masters and doctors, including Taoist Grand Master Share K. Lew, Nobu Asano and Richard Tan. He has taught in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, South America and Bali. At present, he teaches a professional study group on acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, as well as Taoist Medical Chi Kung and CEU classes in various cities.
His articles have appeared in various professional journals of acupuncture-Oriental Medicine and Natural Healing Arts magazines. See AAOM journals for his article series. Jeff will also be teaching at the NW Regional Oriental Medicine and American Assoc. of Oriental Medicine conferences.
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