In ancient China, most doctors had an art form in which they were proficient—calligraphy, painting, poetry, playing a musical instrument, martial arts or others. It is important to exercise the part of the brain that is intuitive, creative, non-linear, and irrational when using the skill of Chinese medicine in supporting others to heal.
Balancing healing work and art is another skill in itself. As most of you reading this know, a good part of my week is being spent writing. In the morning, this is easy but come three in the afternoon, I need support. I often go to a neighborhood café where other writers are working. Together, we form a silent community, each working on our own individual projects. We listen to the music being played and enjoy our drink of choice (mine is mathca green tea at the moment) knowing that we are not alone. Sometimes it is hard to imagine that our words may some day inspire others but our faith in ourselves keeps us going. This is a “shout out” to all artists who believe in their work no matter their mood, what others say, or the reality that they may not experience success. The work is its own reward. At the end of the day, after I have had the discipline to put in a few hours without a given structure, a boss telling me what to do, or pay to validate my work, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
And when someone called me last week with an emergency because she was experiencing acute pain in her mid-back, I was happy to help and felt energized from my hours of artistic pursuit. How this works, that is, balancing the use of different parts of the mind to enhance one’s skills for healing, would probably require a dissertation. But for me, I just know it works.