Thursday, March 20, 2014

TAOISM and Shiatsu Anma Therapy: Introduction

Taoism is the traditional religion of the Chinese people but also the core Philosophy that has guided Chinese culture, development and Medicine for centuries. In this booklet I discuss its basic concepts in my own understanding. 

“Tao” in Chinese means: way. It refers to the way of nature. The way things are. The way nature works. The great sages of Tao looked upon Mother Nature in all living things and all life phenomena. The essence of Oriental healing, as well, is to harmonize the patient with the nature of his/her body. The goal is to promote what already exists in the body: the natural healing power, so recovery occurs and any damaged tissues/cells can be replenished. If man is in harmony with his body and with the universe around him than functioning is optimized and there will be no misery. The root of misery, sickness and disability lies in lack of harmony and balance and leads to abusage and friction (even between cells, tissues or organs). 

The Philosophy of the Tao was shaped over China’s history mainly by a few noted legendary figures such as the great “Lao Tsu” who was concerned with cosmic/universal order and Confucius (“Cong tsu”) who was mainly responsible of shaping the ideal order of the Human society under moral characteristics. 

The formal way to draw the symbol of Tao was done by artists and describes the creation of the universe: At first there was a big empty circle that is filled with dark color (YIN). Than the artist starts filling the red color (YANG) that symbolizes life from the bottom point, throughout the left side up to the top part, where life is at maximum occurrence, living a small “empty” dot in it, as the “seed” for fading stage of life. This drawing emphasizes the dynamic and ever-lasting interaction between two poles of life (YIN & YANG) and will be explained throughout the following chapters of this article. 

The contribution of this amazing & simple Philosophy to Asian bodywork medicinal practice and to Mankind in general is in its simplicity & sophistication. It helps us look at the “big picture” around all phenomena and not isolate objectives for analysis as in modern thinking (a more complicate thinking). Taoist understanding can help “connecting dots” and grasps everything as it is so one does not miss a fraction! 

“If you know the Tao you know everything that is needed to be known!”.

The following chapter will cover the understanding of the first element in the “TAO”: The empty circle that symbolizes Emptiness.

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