Thursday, March 20, 2014

TAOISM and Shiatsu Anma Therapy: Emptiness

The first stage in the drawing the Tao is the empty circle named “The great Abyss” (Chinese: “Wu Chi”, Japanese: “Mukyoku”). By drawing the universal creation the artist started by drawing an “empty” (or dark) circle. Next that circle was filled with black paint (YIN). This symbolizes the emptiness that precedes creation. This void is the actual divine spirit that embraces all living things. We all strive to go back to emptiness in order to feel complete. 

A very common example for emptiness is being in the toilette room and “emptying ourselves”. It feels so great! So wonderful after we actually get reed of all waste we do not need… Another good example is cleaning our home very thoroughly, getting reed of old stuff we no longer need. After the hard work we feel “fresh” or “renewed”.

Perhaps the best and most relevant example I could mention is the breathing cycle. While most untrained people are “holding” their breath as a form of fear of losing it (and thus causing all sorts of problems such as pain, tightness, etc.) it actually feels better releasing it totally. Our body feels warmer and lighter when we exhale in full. At this level we may feel “united” with the space around us. This principle is well taught in martial arts and other modalities dealing with mind-body balancing.

In fact being able to fully exhale increases the power of the body and activates out full “aerobic” energetic potential. In Meditation when we exhale we can experience a”divine” warm feeling that embraces our body and unify it with the universe around us. Of course, soon after a natural period of time we instinctively start to inhale (otherwise we may die). This is the first step in creating the life cycle (creation of YANG). And will be discussed in the next chapter.

In Shiatsu-Anma bodywork (and, in fact, any modality that deals with energy) we listen to the patient’s body condition by stimulating pressure and expecting a “full breathing exhalation” that will express an ideal “empty” state. Meaning the stimulated point/area is fully energetic and completed. The patient, when “emptied” may feel deep relaxation, warmth (blood circulation) and detoxification (release) from pain, tiredness, negative emotions or any other form of toxins previously locked inside. In case emptiness cannot be achieved, blockage may be suggested and we must strive to find its source. Searching for emptiness is the ideal principle of healing modalities such as Shiatsu and Anma.

The empty cycle serves as a ground for the next stage when life is created by: Yin & Yang. This will be covered in the next chapter.

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