I recently had the privilege of attending a retreat given by a foremost Taoist master, Dr. Nan Lu, director of the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation in New York City. Always intrigued by how ancient cultures look at bone health, I jumped right in asking questions.
According to the 5,000-year-old Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, the physical body is energized and informed by “rivers” of energy and information known as meridians. The meridians are named for the organs of the body. For example, there is a lung meridian, a heart meridian, a kidney meridian, and so on. These meridians refer to a particular field of energy and information that flows through the entire body, not just the named organ. A healthy, balanced flow of energy through the meridians is the key to good health.
Here are some highlights from my conversation with Dr. Lu:
- Meridian energy flow is disrupted most notably by emotional and mental distress.
- Bone health is controlled by the energy and information of the kidney meridian.
- Most of all, the emotion of fear disrupts the kidney meridian energy, and thus fear damages bone.
Dr. Lu’s answer to my question about what most affects bone was immediate and clear: fear. He explained that our culture is rather fear-based, and because of this we have a special challenge in building and maintaining bone health.
Later I’ll be writing more about traditional Chinese medical perspectives, but for now, and just for the fun of it, you might reflect on your “fear index.” Do you have faith in your body’s ability to heal? Do you believe things will turn out okay? Do you believe things happen for a reason?
It seems the ancient Chinese agree with the Ancient Indian Vedic scholars in that “Nothing holds more power over the body than thoughts held in the mind.”
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