Chinese Medicine, Spirituality and Religion
I’ve encountered the occasional worry that Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine would be against their religion. Let me first state that I’ve treated many religious patients who respond very well to treatment including Pastors/Priests. It seems the more a patient welcomes God into their life, the more opportunity there is for them to improve from a session.
It’s hard for me to believe that God would consider it a sin to seek Acupuncture to feel better. However, it’s understandable to have concerns. Let’s look at the origins of Chinese Medicine to see if we can allay those worries.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine were founded well over 2000 years ago. At it’s core, it is founded on the principles of Daoism. This is why Catholics/Christians might worry. Indeed, Jesus is not mentioned anywhere in the ancient Daoist texts. In fact, no specific Deity is mentioned at all! There is only the Dao, which is considered to be the great unknown mystery. We know there is something much bigger than us, but naming it only takes us further from feeling it.
The Dao is not meant to be understood, only felt. The goal of Daoism is to feel in tune with the Dao, to be less ego/self focused and more in tune with oneness (which I identify as in tune with God). The idea is that we suffer because we are stuck inside our own desires and conflicts. This keeps us from feeling the greater calling of spirit. When we aim to free ourselves from suffering, unhealthy attachment and pain we open ourselves to be more in tune with the immaterial beauty of the Dao (again, I sometimes refer to this as God).
In addition, Daoism emphasizes the practice of non judgement. In that vein, it doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are if you seek Acupuncture for help. The influence of Daoism would accept your beliefs, and only help alleviate your suffering so you can be more in tune with God.
Chinese Medicine, when studied from a Daoist perspective, is full of methods to help us feel more connected with the Dao. There are many different points (and herbs) that contain the word “Tian”, which is loosely translated as heaven. By working with these Acupuncture points we can help connect more to the way spirit moves us, while helping to remove any blockages that prevent us from feeling heavenly influences.
Chinese Medicine can help with Physical, Physiological, Emotional and Spiritual disorders. Often, a physical problem can have some emotional or spiritual basis to it. I personally feel when at my best, my treatments are guided by God, or “the Dao”. I find it’s best for me to just feel this energy flow through me without trying to understand it. I find that the more I can trust, the more effective my treatments become. It makes no sense to me personally to label this feeling as Daoist, Catholic or any other religion. The most important thing is that it helps others heal.
On a final note, I grew up Catholic. I have also studied since 2007 with a Daoist Priest by the name of Jeffrey Yuen. I have learned so much about Chinese Medicine from him. In addition, his guidance has opened me to a deeper, more spiritual life in so many ways.
I hope this helps inform you in some way. Many blessings to you.