On the road to healing

Words by Casey Parsons
Photos by Paige Owen

The importance of introspection.


 


 

Our world is busy. We invite stress and then wonder why our bodies fail us. We refuse to listen, but expect immediate resolve when sick or injured. One of the most profound outcomes of walking the healing path is that the process of seeking out a holistic cure for illness often requires a deeply personal and transformative journey. This is especially true for chronic conditions. To obtain relief, those suffering with chronic pain or illness are often required to look deeply into all aspects of their lives to understand the root of their symptoms. Introspection allows one to see these as an expression of a deeper underlying imbalance brought on by lifestyle, diet, and exercise choices, and can provide a great deal of valuable information as to what needs to be addressed in order to achieve balance and ultimately, exceptional health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the journey into wellness lies in properly balancing our internal and external environment. By understanding our individual body constitutions, we can learn which underlying factors may predominate, and implement practices to support our unique internal environment. As we develop our internal atmosphere, it’s wise to examine our external environment (locality, diet, seasons, stress levels, etc.) to establish whether or not these elements are in accordance with our internal world. Through deep introspection, one can gain the necessary wisdom to address imbalances, and to create an internal blueprint for flourishing in life. A deep wisdom that is relatively simple to implement with proper understanding and intention.

As an acupuncturist, I have the special privilege of bearing witness to and assisting with the healing journey my clients are walking everyday. My role on their path is to serve as a guide, facilitating and supporting growth by helping them move through areas where they are feeling stuck. This can manifest physically, mentally, or spiritually. Their role is to understand how their health is a result of their internal constitution and personal choices, and that in addition to seeking my assistance in the clinic, they are willing to actively pursue practices that bring about lasting balance. This type of introspection can produce a deeper assimilation of the healing experience into all aspects of their lives. They can then move beyond focusing on one specific problem, to establishing total equilibrium that will nourish exceptional health, a quiet mind, and spiritual growth.

If the unexamined life isn’t worth living then the opposite must also be true. Deep exploration imparts more meaning to life, and is often necessary to understand why we become unwell. In this way, healing an illness becomes a journey that can positively impact all other aspects of one’s life.