During my time at TAI Sophia Institute, now the Maryland University of Integrative Health, the name and driving force behind my acupuncture practice came to me time and time again, till I could not ignore it. That is often the way we humans learn. A message like a business name, a body symptom, or even a life changing need come to us repeatedly like waves crashing on a beach. The waves can get bigger and bigger, practically screaming at us till we listen, not with our ears but with our hearts and from there take action.
In naming my acupuncture practice, the message was gentle and very insistent. I want to share with you my readers a bit of what is behind Compassionate Healing Acupuncture.
I have spoken about my education in Five Element Acupuncture on my website which is easy to navigate from the blog. In brief, if 2000 years of acupuncture can be summarized in a couple of line… Acupuncture works with the energy of the body, we call qi. The body is energetic. The organs of the body hold specific energetic functions as well as physical functions. For me, compassion is rooted in the Heart. The Heart is the Supreme Controller of the person. We have all heard the old adages; speaking straight from the heart, get to the heart of the matter, and others. In acupuncture, the Heart is seen as regal, warm, inviting, protected and fragile as well as strong. It is the shining light we see in another person’s eyes. The Heart is protected by the Heart Protector also called the Pericardium, a term the West is more familiar with by it’s physical function to protect the Heart. The Pericardium also has an energetic function to protect the Heart within Eastern medicine.
“The ancient texts say that the heart protector is the envoy for the heart and in charge of the heart’s residence, and that elation and joy stem from it. The heart protector manifests the joy, calm, and radiance of the Heart through its movement. It does this by sending that warmth through the blood and secretions to every cell in the body. It stands at the gateways allowing this radiance to flow where it is needed and keeps the hurts and bruises from entering in.” (Debra Kaatz, “Characters of Wisom”)
This is just a couple of sentences from one of my favorite authors, Debra Kaatz, on why the Heart Protector is so very important. It protects the heart but it also allows the radiance of the heart to shine into the world and to the body which houses it. Thus the body is filled not only with blood but with love. No one organ is more important than the other with the exception of the heart. The heart is our supreme and it is both presented to the world and protected from the world by the actions of the Heart Protector or Pericardium.
In my Heart as well as in my Mind, I hold that my role as an acupuncturist is to be the Heart Protector for my patients. I provide them a secure and open environment to experience healing. That healing may be from a life time of depression to a broken ankle or torn muscle. My function is energetic as well as physical.
This is why acupuncture is not just about needles. It’s about compassion and why my practice is called Compassionate Healing Acupuncture.