Good Luck – Bad Luck, who can say?


Horse (detail), Tang dynasty (approx. 618-906 CE)

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We will see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses. The man and his son corralled all 21 horses.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We will see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We will see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said.. “We will see.”

Posted by Wendy in analytical

Tree Energy and Cultivating Qi

Taoists observe that trees are tremendously powerful plants. Not only do they absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into oxygen, but they can also absorb negative forces and transform them into good Qi. Trees strongly root within Earth, and the more rooted the tree, the higher it can extend toward Heaven. Trees stand in stillness, absorbing the Earth’s energy and the Universal essence from the Heavens all at once. Trees and all plants have the ability to absorb light and transform it into food; in fact, they depend upon light for most of their nourishment, while water and earth minerals make up about 30% of their nutritional intake. 

Trees as Friends • Trees are able to live very long lives. Trees are the largest and most spiritually advanced of the plants on Earth. They are continuously in meditation and subtle energy is their innate language. As one’s understanding of this language grows, we begin to develop a relationship with these life forms. They can help us to open energetic channels and to cultivate calm presence, wisdom, and vitality. We can reciprocate with trees by helping them with their own blockages and devitalized areas. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that needs cultivation. 

Choosing a Tree to Work With • Throughout history human beings have used all parts of trees for healing and medicine. The best trees for healing are big trees, especially pines. Pine trees radiate Qi, nourish blood, strengthen nervous system, and contribute to long life. They also nurture Soul and Spirit. Pines are the “Immortal Tree.” Early Chinese poetry and painting is full of admiration for pines. Although pine trees are often the best choice, many other trees or plants can be used. The larger trees contain the most energy. Among the most powerful are trees growing near running water. Some trees feel warmer or hotter than others; some feel cooler or colder than others. Practice distinguishing the varying properties of different trees. One does not need to go far out into the forest to find a tree to work with. Trees that are accustomed to having people around understand our Energy and are actually more accessible and friendly than those far out in the wilderness. There is a certain size range within which trees are most accessible to human beings. When a tree is too small, it does not have enough energy to make much of an impression on you. When the tree is too big, you have the opposite problem, so it takes more persistence to get large trees to take an interest in you. As a source of healing energy, it is best to choose a large, robust tree from within the accessible size range. 
Establishing Communion with a Tree • There are certain methods to approaching, interacting with, retreating from, and taking leave of a tree. By following specific steps you create a ritual of silent communion that both the tree and oneself can understand, and so increase the potential for harmonious interaction. The steps were derived from observation of the natural course of events in subtle energy communion, and apply to communion with just about anything: tree, rock, human, or animal, although the following is concerned specifically with trees. First of all, each tree, like each person, has a way of being, desires, and a Life of its own. Trees differ widely in their taste for human contact. Some are very generous and want to give you all the energy you can take. Others are weak or ill and need your comforting and healing energy. Some are just friendly Souls who enjoy human company. You can learn and grow by working with all of them. Trees operate on a longer time scale than do human beings. You can help to bridge this gap by returning again and again to the same tree, so that a relationship develops. Visit regularly so that the tree knows when to expect you and can look forward to seeing you. Spiritual communion with trees resembles love more than any other human activity. Let the tree lead you into the wonders of its own inner life. 

Cultivate Well-Being &

Wellness for All Beings!

Posted by Wendy in analytical

The Spirit of Heart-Shen

Shen is the ebullient spirit of the Heart. Shen embodies mind and thought and is reflected in our higher consciousness. Shen was first discussed in the Huangdi Neijing medical classic in the chapter called the Root of Spirit:


‘Heaven abides so that we have virtue;

Earth abides so that we have Qi;

When virtue flows and Qi is blended there is life.’ 


Sentient beings synchronize to the energy of their environs. The capacity for synchronization is fundamental. Electromagnetic fields encompass ‘information’ and once synchronized there is a rapid flow that is energetically exchanged. A person uses part of the healthy patterns of the places and people with whom we share resonance to solve concerns and health conditions, and to form connection and a compassionate context. The fundamental nature of Heart resonance allows a person who is ill a pathway to cultivate truth and healing. In clinical practice of Chinese medicine this puts focus on the practitioner to embody the essence of Chinese medicine including its spiritual context.

The Heart creates unity through connection. The brain, different from the all-knowing of the Heart’s compassionate nature, can help us to understand but it can also separate us from the essence of true knowing with its causal/scientific/analytical process of creating distinctions and its drive to deny there is anything outside analytical sense. The mind and its collection of facts vies to become master although it is indeed the servant of the sovereign  Heart’s heavenly status as ruler. Heart is like an aperture that allows us a state of resonance, rapport, and connection with everything else. Harmonious resonance with one’s place in the Universe is the ultimate expression of the state of one’s Shen.


Posted by Wendy in analytical

Tang or Decoction of Chinese Herbs

A decocted Tang, literally “soup”, is by far the most common form of Chinese herbal medicine administration in China. Decoctions are solutions and suspensions that are readily absorbed, thus expediting their therapeutic effects. They are prime in this way in the treatment of acute disorders. Decoctions, being liquid in form, are easily ingested and digested and so are excellent to tonify long-standing deficiencies, as well.

Tangs are comprised of the raw herbal constituents of roots, tubers, seeds, fruit, and leaves but shells and minerals, and sometimes animal ingredients, are also used for their medicinal value. Dense substances require longer cooking time, while fragrant herbs such as chrysanthemum flowers and peppermint leaves, for example, require brief decocting. Decocted formulas require preparation time and can deter some patients’ interest, however, the attributes of decocting medicinals in contrast to other forms of administration such as pills, granular concentrates, herbal wines, and elixirs to administer the compounds and energetic essence far outweigh objections to convenience or strong taste, in my opinion.

Decoctions should usually be ingested at room temperature. Traditionally, medicinals intended to treat lower burner issues would be taken prior to meals, while those treating upper jiao disorders whould be taken 30 minutes after, however, I tell my patients that they should take them at the recommended dosage and frequency, but when it works best for their constitution and/or daily routine, because the formula can not have its healing effect if the person does not have the time or interest to take it.

Wellness-Wishes to You


Posted by Wendy in analytical

Qigong Self-Massage

Cultivation by Chinese internal and Qigong exercises helps to improve and develop internal energy – true Qi. Self-massage is a simple yet important aspect of practice. Qigong self-massage is an excellent health practice that stimulates acupoints to bring quiet to the mind and awaken and refresh the body with renewed vital energy.

Posted by Wendy in analytical

Winter Solstice QI Node · Dōng Zhì 冬至

Winter Solstice · Dong Zhi · 冬至 · Qi Node begins on December 21st

This is the point in the year where the extreme of Yin energy is upon us and hence, in the Universal balancing of Yin-Yang, Yang begins its return. In so, we enjoy the increasing presence of light. Warmth, rest and reflection puts us in harmony with the contractive, Yin nature of Winter. Keep Yang Qi strong by avoiding prolonged exposure to cold. Eat warming, nourishing foods. Sleep but not too long as too much sleep produces too much Yin. Move, but in a gentle manner as with T’ai Chi Chuan and yoga. Preserve Kidney Essence and keep a conservative perspective with regard to bedroom activity. Introspection is called for. Contemplate your forthcoming year while reveling in the austere beauty of this season.

Heaven engenders water to make Earth fertile.

Water dwells in the North, is the season of Winter, and among viscera pertains to Kidney.

Water represents the elemental trigram of Kǎn☵ in the iChing Book of Changes.

Water flows onward, uninterrupted, reaching its destination.

“Being sincere, one has purity and thus meets with success.”

Well-Wishes, Health and Light to All.

Posted by Wendy in analytical

Handmade Moxa

A colleague in my office recently gave me some pure, aged, Japanese moxa from MoonGate Moxa Source.

I immediately used the Homare on two cases of arthritic pain and am happy to recommend it.

The incense is lovely, also! Pure Moxa

 Please share these photos with accurate credit siting to: ELEMENTAL CHANGES •

 Please share these photos with accurate credit siting to: ELEMENTAL CHANGES •

 Please share these photos with accurate credit siting to: ELEMENTAL CHANGES •

 Please share these photos with accurate credit siting to: ELEMENTAL CHANGES •

Please only share these photos with accurate credit siting to: ELEMENTAL CHANGES •

thread moxa, direct moxa, moxibustion,

okyu, japan, incense, chinese medicine, moxa floss,

tcm, acupuncture, japanese incense, mugwort,

acupuncture treatment, moxa, artemisia vulgaris,

miyabi, homare, matsu

Elemental Changes - Asheville Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

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Understanding Qi and QiGong

We are part of nature and its cycles. If we go against natural cycles sickness results, so it is in our best interest to follow the way of nature. This is the meaning of Tao. This is an excellent video discourse and demonstration overviewing principles of Qi, Tao, Qigong, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Cultivating understanding and practice in the way Qi flows, and knowing how to regulate it correctly, one should be able to live a healthy, long life.

Posted by Wendy in analytical

Cupping Therapy in TCM

Cupping, Báguàn 拔罐, is a traditional technique that uses specialized glass or bamboo cups on particular surface areas of the body. A vacuum seal is created by using a small flame as a source to suction out air, although suction can be created using a hand-held pump device and a slightly different type of glass cup that it attaches to. The suction that is created within any of these types of cups releases the flow of QI in the muscle layers, helping to alleviate wind headache, colds and flu with body aching, ‘Bi’ or painful syndromes, as well as useful for detoxification, and asthma. Reddish or purple circular markings may remain at the local area for several days following a cupping treatment as stagnation is drawn from deeper layers of tissue up to the surface. This is a completely natural result.

This practitioner has excellent technique in the application of fire into the cups and getting good suction.


Wendy's Chop

Posted by Wendy in analytical

Wu Wei 无为 Action Through Non-Action

Do not burden yourself with depressing thoughts, do not get anxious about future events that may never happen, do not dwell on things that are well in the past. All of these emotions dissipate the brightness of Shen (Heart Spirit). If we over-extend our Heart we will harm its Qi. If this happens, Jing (Kidney Essence) will also suffer damage, and the Shen, consequently, will lose its residence.

Doctrines of both Confucius and his student Mencius taught to refrain from striving, inflexibility, egotism, self-righteousness, expectation, and the use of force at any level. Even though both masters never said much about medicine, the art of nourishing the Spirit and Essence was understood. Wu Wei is a common truth in Taoist Chinese practices that can help to preserve this interdependent relationship between the Heart and the Kidney and show the path of Tao.

An understanding of Eastern philosophy benefits us today as much as ever. The ‘causality’ approach to life is very often an anathema to the timeless Tao (or Way) of the Universe. Countless scenarios play out before us that we become compelled to change. Do we engage in interactions through which we intend to prevent, prepare, or secure an outcome? Any force-of-will moves to create specified responses to our desires. Whatever must be asserted and managed is necessarily skewed to a particular perspective and liable to subsequent folly.

Taoism values balance, receptivity and emptiness. Many problems arise from too much re-acting, striving and controlling.

‘Tao is eternally inactive, and yet it leaves nothing undone.”

A Taoist pivot is active in cultivating a sense of awareness of the ways of the universe and one’s part herein. Cultivating a state of being that flows and responds with minimal action for our efforts reflects Wu Wei. This is not an expression of laziness or a lack of interest, but rather effortless efficiency. Guided by elemental rhythms of the natural world as well as supernatural and alchemical influence, a classical Taoist finds an earthly pivot in Wu Wei. Letting all things play out, not engaged by will and ego, but keenly observant of an authentic progression of every moment is Wu Wei. We are neither caring nor uncaring and yet Wu Wei does not imply overlooking those who are afflicted. Wu Wei may be considered an experience of one’s life path that is clear of wrote emotional reactions favoring a pivot where one acts rather than reacts and one allows rather than resists changes.

Action by non-action thereby allows an evolution to take place

instead of revolution and conditions that might further extremes.

The Taoist path of Wu Wei is neither difficult, nor easy. By observing and simply ‘being’ we come to sense the natural and the super natural and align with the way or Tao. Mirroring the universe we become whole. Our experiences & interests in the outside world become synergistic and complete. “Cherish the people and order the kingdom, and you can do without meddlesome action.” “If kings and nobles could but hold fast to this principle, all things would work.” Remember, these ideas are most valuable when they are absorbed slowly and applied loosely to everyday life.Inline image 1

“The Tao that Can Be Named Is Not The Eternal Tao.” Yin_Yang

Posted by Wendy in analytical
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