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None of us is spared pain in our lives, whether it be the pain of being born, the pain of losing a loved one, the pain that comes from illness, injury, old age and eventual death, or the pain from a deep discontentment in our lives. Many of my patients will come suffering from at least one, if not more, type of pain, and as my job requires, I strive to figure out the major source of that pain.

All too often we see the pain rooted in improper (based on what causes imbalance/pain/suffering/illness, not a judgment) lifestyles, traumatic events, conditioned emotional responses and wrongviews. Without going into the particulars of these causes, the thrust of true healing begins with bringing awareness of these issues to those suffering from them. Of course, this is not as easy as it would seem as most of us don’t want to be informed that our belief systems or thought processes are causing us pain. Acupuncture and herbal medicines have a unique capacity to break through those barriers and give us a glimpse of our true nature, a connection between our hearts and minds with our truest essence.

So trying to bring that awareness is step one. In so doing, one moves past the appearances and recognizes the deeper truths. For example, one recognizes that despite the facade of anger and hostility, one is masking a deeper sadness; or one is feigning aggressiveness to cover insecurity and fear. This understanding is key to the second step of motivating people to make changes. Otherwise, one simply controls the anger or aggressiveness, but never is able to correct the sadness or insecurities.

The outward manifestation is the yang expression. The inner catalyst for the emotion is the yin state. Trying to change the yin state is the more difficult challenge. To do this requires more than just self-control, it requires adopting a new paradigm. Swapping one state for another. One needs another option. One that is appealing. One that offers a better future. Acupuncture and herbal medicines, by giving one the awareness, sparks the search for a new paradigm and gives one the capacity to make the necessary changes. It provides a deeper perspective and allows one to make choices based on our internal knowledge and helps guide us along our path in life to achieve what we are meant to: our destiny.

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