WESTERN MEDICINE AND ORIENTAL MEDICINE
In many ways, Western and Oriental medicine are totally opposite, in both theory and practice. Their basic philosophies are very different. This is not intended as criticism! All I want is to make the world happy and contribute to the evolution of the consciousness of the universe.
When you have a terrible headache and go to a western doctor, he usually gives you "medicine" which is really only a pain killer made out of chemicals. You take the "medicine" and after a while the headache is gone. How wonderful - now you can enjoy your day again! You can appreciate the chemicals of modern science and western medicine, and you are thankful to your doctor.
But let us examine this closer. Pain killers only stop the pain by deadening the nerves so that you cannot feel pain. This does not mean you are healed. Your headache is still there, you just no longer feel it. You are numbed by chemicals so that you do not feel the headache and so you think you have recovered from it, but the cause of the headache remains untreated.
Unfortunately, if you get a more serious condition like cancer, the approach of Western medicine will be no different from "curing" the headache. They apply chemical poisons to the human body to try to kill the cancer cells. At the same time this poison kills other parts of your body. When the chemical doesn't work, they try to apply radiation to your body. Finally, they cut your body with a knife and try to remove the cancer from your body. Once again, they ignore the cause.
Everything has cause and effect. If there is no cause there will be no effect; this is the law of the universe. In order to receive a good effect your behavior must be good. This is your karma. So there must be a cause for the headache and cancer, too. Headache and cancer are effects. There is something causing these symptoms of illness. The approach of Western medicine is to deal with the symptoms (effects) by trying to simply eliminate the headache or the cancer. Unfortunately, if you don't stop the cause the effect will keep coming back again. It works something like this: if you have a lung problem caused by smoking, then no matter what you do (i.e., take pills, have an operation, receive treatments of radiation or massage, chant a mantra, etc.) your lung problem will never be cured. However, if you simply stop smoking you can allow your body to heal.
The approach of oriental medicine is to deal with the cause rather than the symptoms (effect). In addition, there are many techniques of oriental wisdom, such as herbs, that do deal with the symptoms, without injuring or numbing the body.
When I examine a patient with a terrible headache I often find that his neck and shoulders are very stiff. This indicates poor circulation. When the neck and shoulders are tight, the blood does not circulate to the head and may cause a headache. The tightness may be the result of fear, stress, bad posture, etc. For emergency treatment, Shiatsu (accupressure) or Hari (accupuncture) may be applied to eliminate the cause of the headache. These techniques are both safer and less expensive than western drug therapy.
One day, one of my yoga students brought her friend from work to have a healing session with me. She claimed that her fingertips were cold and numb. She had had this problem for several months and had been to various western doctors, but nobody seemed able to solve the problem. In oriental medicine, it is considered common sense that numbness or cold on the fingertips are caused by poor circulation around the neck, shoulders and arms. Beginning oriental medical students and even children know this simple fact.
When she first cam to see me, she came with a bandage around her hand, which had been applied by a doctor. It was kind of shocking to me that any doctor would do such a thing. Now we are talking about circulation - and a bandage cuts the circulation even more. On top of that, he had scheduled her for an operation on her right palm at a local hospital. Perhaps he thought that something was growing in her palm, but the explanation was not very clear.
"The hospital called me yesterday to confirm the appointment," she said with a worried face.
"How are your neck and shoulders?" I asked her.
"Very tight", she said.
When I touched her neck and shoulders they felt extremely tight, but I began to smile because I felt quite confident that I could help her to feel better without a painful and costly operation. I thought it would take a few treatments and some yoga exercises to cure her, but after giving her less than an hour of massage and accupressure treatment, her numbness was completely gone!
Causes of Disease
The best way to cure a disease is to treat the cause. The best way to be healthy is to prevent the causes of disease from entering our lives in the first place. Where does disease come from? Most diseases including serious ones like cancer are caused by the same three things:
1. Chemicals (poisons)
There are poisons everywhere. We have poisons in our tap water, poisons in our so-called "medicine", poisons on vegetables and fruit and almost everything we eat. It is impossible to obtain pure food in our society. Take an apple for example: it is grown in a chemical soil with chemical treated water, chemical fertilizer, and finally sprayed with poisonous chemicals to kill bugs.
I have heard that there is not one living thing in the grape fields of California except grape plants and humans. All other living things such as bugs and insects are killed by chemicals, and these poisoned grapes are going into your body. We may eat this fruit, full of poison and say, "I don't feel anything bad", and you may not. However, slowly but surely you will feel the effects.
Although it is impossible to eliminate all the poisons from our daily lives when we find them even in the air we breathe, there are a few simple ways to help reduce the amount of them that we ask our bodies to deal with.
To totally correct these evil matters on the planet we may need to reconsider the whole system of our society, and perhaps our understanding towards life. Be a spiritual being rather than a material being.
Cancer and many other illnesses are caused by the food we eat. Almost everyone is familiar with the dangerous chemicals contained in many foods, but most people are not aware of the danger in eating animal products. And it is actually rather difficult to get foods free from animal products in our society.
It is scientifically proven that many animal products will create disease and sickness. The human body is not designed to eat dead animals. By eating meat, you invite disease into your body and create the karma of killing. Nobody has the right to kill anything. Ideally, we should all be vegetarians, or at least more aware and careful of what we eat. Animals are not aware of what they eat and commercial food-animals are filled with chemicals and hormones given to them by greedy growers. Many are given mega doses of antibiotics, to which the bacteria in their bodies become completely resistant. Then these super bacteria are eaten by humans, who will take more antibiotics to get rid of them.
Even without these added chemicals, the meat itself is difficult to digest and may remain in the intestines for weeks, months or years, rotting. By eating vegetables, nuts, grains, rice, etc. (a vegetarian, non-killing diet) you can never fall into deadly illness. By eating non-vegetarian food (meat, killed animals) people generally get sick. This is not just a moral judgment - Western science agrees that meat is very hard on the human body.
You must not eat in the morning. It is considered "common sense" in our society that everyone should eat breakfast, and eat three times a day. This understanding is totally wrong! I'm sorry, doctors, but it is wrong. Morning is not a time for digestion, it is a time for cleansing. Therefore, it is not appropriate to eat in the morning. Yogis who devote their lives to body health will eat only once or twice a day at the most.
There are many people bothered by stomach and intestinal problems for years who have become completely healthy and able to enjoy life after changing their diet to eating twice a day from three times a day. Western medicine fails to recognize this simple point and is therefore unable to help these people. In fact, it is still recommending that they eat breakfast. From my own experience, I feel much better since I stopped breakfast.
Do not eat too much! We can live up to 125 years easily by eating proper food and not eating too much. Physical problems caused by eating too much lead to problems in society. Many diseases (including deadly ones) have been cured by fasting (not eating for many days). Many people have experienced the technique of fasting and have received almost unbelievable benefits from it. The wisdom of fasting has existed on this planet for thousands of years. Both religious leaders and practitioners have used this technique over the years, including Buddha and Jesus. Look at dogs and cats: when they are sick they do not eat. They lie around all day and rest, because their natural instinct tells them not to eat while they are sick. Nurses tell patients in the hospital, "You must eat this!" but patients do not want to eat. They have no appetite. Natural instinct tells them not to eat.
Do not be brainwashed by the so-called authorities in our society. Our instincts are very accurate, but modern science kills our instinct by telling us not to trust our natural body intelligence. They want us to deaden our bodies with pain killers and too much heavy food instead of changing our habits and lifestyles. Now people do not know what to eat, what to do, what is right or wrong. Never go to the hospital, especially if you are sick. The hospital is full of sick people and sick "ki" (prana). There is sick energy all around, plus the vibrations of worry and fear of the patients. You must be with healthy people, especially when you are sick. Healthy people give off healthy "ki" and healing energy from their bodies and minds.
A positive attitude towards life is the first step towards being healthy. Without a positve attitude, there is no cure for disease.With complete positivity, your body is immune to all illness. Of course, if your attitude towards life is negative, you will attract various negative forces into your life and body, such as cancer and breakdown of the immune system. The effects of the mind and body on health cannot be separated.
Simple is best.Our life in society becomes more and more complicated and we receive too much information. Therefore we fall into very complicated ills and problems. Remember every phenomenon we perceive is based on cause and effect. Therefore, oriental techniques are based on cause and effect. Healing techniques of Oriental Medicine are very simple - almost too simple and therefore inexpensive.
Healers who try to make big business out of these sacred techniques are increasing - so watch out!
Few people in the West believe in these simple techniques, and even many Orientals no longer practice them. This is a laughing matter for Oriental people because this wisdom has existed in our culture for thousands of years, but because of lack of respect for the wisdom of our ancestors, we have forgotten these basic truths.
The cure is not only simple, it is simplicity. Remove complexity and you remove anxiety - the main cause of bad attitude and disease.
What is spiritual? The opposite of spiritual is material. The spiritual life involves leaving the material life for a simple life. Many people try to find happiness in material things ...Happiness is not in having a so called good job; happiness if not in being good-looking or having an expensive car, a house with a swimming pool, or looking for a rich and good looking mate. These are material values and will only bring you a momentary happiness. This is known as illusion.
I know a lot of people who have everything materially but are still not happy. They even seem to suffer from what they own. People are not content with what is "here" but always seem to want what is "there". When they actually get "there" it becomes "here" and no longer satisfies them, because now they want what is "there". Human nature is never satisfied and keeps wanting more. (see "Spiritual 1")
Real happiness is within, and you can only find happiness in the non-material dimension. Non-material means things that you cannot see, things that you cannot buy or put a price on.
Modern science has invented a lot of wonderful(?), comfortable(?) material things. The automobile for example. Such a great invention - we have received a lot of benefit! At least this is what we think, but instead we end up walking less and less. So the body becomes very weak and more prone to disease. Large amounts of driving also creates pollution which becomes a danger to the whole planet.
"What is the name of your best friend?" I asked a little child and he answered, "Color Television!" Certainly television will not give you happiness, but watching TV will give you the following results:
It wastes your time and keeps you from doing anything of value.
It damages your eyes and other parts of your body with harmful radiation and poor posture.
It fills your mind with unnecessary information and causes it to be very busy instead of at peace.
It creates unnecessary desires.
You will become brainwashed.
Watching TV is a bad habit which you should try to stop immediately. After a while, you may find your life has become more creative and realize that many ills come from watching television.
So please try to maintain a positive attitude and avoid all things which work against your efforts.
CURES FOR DISEASE (Healing Yourself)
From the health point of view people are torturing themselves. Most of you would agree with me on the causes of disease I have just described, but many of these things are hard to control.
At the moment, I'm living at the Kanzeonji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, but it is very difficult to obtain pure food. There are chemicals in vegetables, chemicals in rice, chemicals everywhere. Even with a lot of effort, it is very difficult to get everything organic. The system of our society does not allow us to eat pure food. In other words, living in this society is like living in the hell of poisons. Because we cannot avoid all these poisons it is important to know techniques for healing. (This article was written in the 1980's)
Blood Circulation and Healing
All the impurities from bad environment, bad diet and bad attitude.
All of the impurities from bad environment, bad diet and bad attitude end up in the blood. It is a simple fact that if you eat good food you create good blood.
Pure food = pure blood
Junk food = junk blood = get sick
Every single problem in the body will show up as impurities in the blood. If you had perfectly pure blood, you would never get sick! So, if you are sick, improve your blood quality and you will be healed. If you do not, the blood will circulate your problem to all parts of your body.
Poor Blood Ciruculation
You cannot expect clean water if the river is not flowing well. It is the same with blood. Poor circulation creates poor blood quality.
Poor Breathing Technique
A perfect nutritional diet is useless if you do not breathe properly. It is like an automobile: you put the best quality gasoline (perfect food) in your car but if it does not get enough oxygen the fuel does not burn completely. In order to create good quality blood (not too rich, not too thin - fuel mixture) the food has to burn completely. Therefore breathing technique is one of the most important techniques for good blood quality.
What Does Blood Do?
Blood carries energy (nutrition and oxygen) to the billions and billions of cells in your body. Those cells which do not receive enough energy will starve and become dead cells. Therefore poor blood circulation creates dead cells. On top of that, blood cannot wash out and carry away those dead cells if the circulation is poor. This is the reality of every sickness. If you have absolutely no dead cells in your body, you could drink a glass full of cancer viruses or even AIDS virus and you would never get sick from it; it would all eventually wash out.
If you have no internal bleeding in your intestines, disease, bacteria, and viruses can never harm you! People should not be afraid of disease at all. Internal wounds are the most scary things in the human body because they allow disease to enter. Zen Yoga healing methods starts by correcting blood circulation and good blood quality.
So all diseases can be washed out of your body by the blood circulation system. This method does not contain any violence at all even towards deadly viruses. Western drug therapy is based on killing (violence). Doctors try to kill disease with medicine (poison). This is no different from dropping bombs! Diseases also want to live and they do not want to get killed. So they fight back. Sooner or later, they will get stronger so you have to apply stronger poison to kill them. In this process you are poisoning other parts of your body and creating more internal wounds at the same time, as well as creating more and more impure blood quality.This method reflects the attitude of our society (or is it the other way around?) We try to gain peace (money) by violence (war).
The cause of sickness is not in disease - the cause of sickness is in your poor health. Scientists say that viruses are everywhere in the air. If the cause of sickness were disease, then everybody would be sick. The cause of sickness is in your dead cells and internal wounds - not in disease. It is better not to kills anything including viruses.
Here is a simple but very effective method to create blood circulation:
Asanas (yoga posture/exercise)
Hot Water Bath
Air Bath (remember we are breathing from our skin too)
Natural Herbs (for very sick people and emergency use)
Never use so called "medicine" chemicals
Air Bath and Blood Circulation
When you take a look at the human body from the health point of view, it is not really designed to wear clothes. In fact the skin gets weaker and weaker when you wear clothing all the time. The body is always breathing from the skin. Even when you consciously stop brething, your skin is breathing. And our skin functions like a kidney and a liver. The function of the kidneys and the liver is to excrete poisons from the body. So when the kidneys and liver get weak, the blood becomes impure. This is one of the most important reasons to avoid using chemicals. Taking chemicals damages your kidneys and liver. When the kidneys and liver get weak, your skin starts to function like a kidney and liver trying to excrete toxins from the body. 99% of the time any skin problems or skin diseases, including pimples and dirty skin, are a sign of weakness of the liver and/or the kidneys.
Doctors give a skin cream made out of chemicals to patients who have skin problems. But this only covers the problem and prevents healing. Ladies apply chemical skin creams all over their beautiful bodies to try to make their skin look beautiful, but instead it keeps the skin from breathing. It makes me cry every time I see these things. So if you want to have beautiful healthy skin, simply clean out your kidneys and liver. An air bath with no clothes on is one of the most simple but effective healing techniques.
Clothes and Blood Circulation
I'm not trying to be anti-social. The intention of this discussion is to contribute health and happiness to our world, but our society requires us to wear some very unhealthy clothing. Neckties for example. Now we are talking about blood circulation. Most men are required to wear neckties in order to keep their jobs. Everybody is choking themselves by wearing neckties which do not allow the neck area to breathe. The neck is the most important part for blood circulation. Remember the body and the mind are totally related to each other. If everyone stopped wearing neckties, I think that there would be a tremendous decrease in automobile accidents and divorce in our society.
If you want to kill somebody, simply choke his neck with rope or something for a few minutes. He will easily die. It seems to me that many people are committing suicide a little bit everyday by hanging themselves with ties.
Do not wear tight clothes. Modern clothes use a lot of elastic for convenience: stockings, shirts, socks, shoes, underwear, etc, and people do not know what is "too tight". I consider clothes that leave a mark on the skin too tight, because they cut off blood circulation. I see the deep elastic marks on my patient's after taking off socks, underpants, wrist watch, bra. (I recommend not wearing a bra.) No wonder they are sick.....
Another thing that I have observed through my healing work is that most westerners have abnormally shaped feet because their feet are in hard shoes for so much of the time. The foot tends to become shaped like the shoes. It would be better if the shoes were the shape of the foot, rather than the foot shaped like the shoe. A foot should be shaped like a foot! Especially the little toe. Check your little toe. Is this a little toe? Oh yes, it is a little toe! It is amazing how the shape of the body changes by applying force over a period of time. By applying braces to your teeth for a few years, your teeth get straight. By having bad posture for many years your back will become bent. In other words, you can change your body any way you like. This is the teaching of yoga. In every part of your body there are reflexive zones and meridians that refer to other areas of your body and the internal organs. Therefore, an abnormally shaped foot will create problems in other parts of your body. Let your feet breathe, too.
High heels - You can imagine the harm of high heels! The human body is not designed to walk that way.
Make-Up - Another word for make-up is "fake-up" (excuse me!), painting your beautiful face with poisons (chemicals).Your face should breathe! From the simple, natural and spiritual point of view, make-up is not recommended. This is not just a matter of personal taste. It is quite unhealthy for both body and mind.
One student asked me "Why is make-up not natural?" I explained that she was trying to make a shadow on her face, but the sun is shining from the other side.....
Standards of beauty are different in each person, so absolute beauty does not really exist. Real beauty comes from the inside. When you start to use make-up regularly, your face will adjust to make-up, and you begin to look funny without it. When you stop using make-up, your face will adjust to being without it, and you stat to look funny with it on. Without make-up, the face can more easily express your inner beauty.
Abdominal Breathing (Tanden Breathing)
In a sense, most of us breathe incorrectly. Even when someone tells you to take a deep breath, you probably only inhale into the upper part of your lungs. This does not allow your body to get the maximum amount of oxygen into your lungs. The basic breathing technique comes from abdominal breathing. Abdominal breathing is called "Tanden breathing" in Zen Yoga. The Tanden is a psychic center of the body and central to the secret techniques for all Oriental martial arts. When you develop your Tanden, you tap into a source of great power.
Remember that your mind and your breathing are always directly related to each other. Usually when you are calm and relaxed, your breathing is very deep and slow. When you are confused, "freaked out", or upset, your breath is shallow and fast.
Everyone actually breathes properly at certain times:
In deep sleep you are unconsciously doing deep abdominal breathing
In meditation and yoga we learn to breathe properly
Directions for Tanden breathing:
When you inhale, your stomach/abdomen goes out
When you exhale, your stomach/abdomen goes in
(This is the complete opposite of lung breathing, where you stomach has a tendency to go in when you breathe in)
Always try to make the exhale longer than the inhale for best results.
Abdominal breathing is easy to master and is the fundamental technique for all forms of meditation, yoga, martial arts, and spiritual practices. So everyone should make an effort to master this type of breathing.
By correcting your breath (making it deep and slow), you can make your mind steady and relaxed. You can practice this wherever you are, at any time except right after eating or in heavily polluted air. Just as blood removes impurities from the body, proper deep breathing removes impurities from the blood, mind and spirit. Regulating our breath balances our entire lives.
Proper circulation and breathing can cleanse impurities from the body, but we must also have a pure mind to be truly healthy. Everybody knows and talks about the happiness and peace within us. "God is within you." But where? Saying God is within us is the same as saying that a disease is within us - and it is a mistake. You are the disease, you are the God. It all depends on what the mind believes.
The actual location of the "God" (the real you: the body is only your body, the body is not you, you are the God) is realized through meditation on the ANAHATA CHAKRA (heart chakra). The "God" within is known as ATMAN by the Hindus, or the Buddha Nature by Buddhists.
Once you realize the eternal self ("God") within, you will realize that everything besides the ATMAN is merely illusion (momentary). Meditation on the God within is the most powerful healing technique because it is the ultimate spiritual goal of every human being, beyond the reach of illness in the material body.