You hold tremendous potential for vibrant health, right in your own body. Roger Jahnke, doctor of Chinese medicine, explains the four aspects of healing and suggests ways to integrate them into your life.
Omega: You believe that we produce our own internal medicine. Can you talk more about that?
Roger: One of my mantras is "The most profound medicine is produced within the human body, for free." An integrated human being is conscious of three aspects of themselves: the body, the mind, and the spirit. Each of those aspects has its own medicine.
The physical body produces immune cells, neurotransmitters, and coenzymes that sustain the capacity of the DNA. We can produce a medicine within the body that’s made up of the enhanced function of those aspects of the physiological self. For the mind and emotions, we produce a medicine that has to do with words like sincerity, enthusiasm, focus, intent, or intention.
With the spirit, we want to put ourselves at risk for inspiration. This means setting putting ourselves in the way of the miracle. When we align our actions with our vision we put ourselves in a position for the most positive outcome possible. With the body and mind we can produce certain results through action, but in the case of the spirit, it's likely that the spirit itself is a medicine and a healing resource.
With each of these areas, we have the ability to make choices that contribute to our well-being. In any moment, we're making choices—food choices, hydration choices, rest choices, choices about the people we surround ourselves with. When we make these choices in a way that contributes to well-being, the results are very different than when we choose foods, relationships, and mental pursuits that don’t contribute to our well-being.
Omega: What are some of the ways we can turn these medicines on?
Roger: There are four essential methods, also called the four baskets of practice. The first is the body and includes movement and postural adjustments. The second basket is breath practice, including noticing and modifying the breath. The third is self-applied massage—you can press or stroke the chi channels, like in Chinese medicine, or hold particular areas, like in Reiki, or tap to send a vibration into the body. The fourth basket is meditation and mindfulness. Mindfulness is being attentive as we go about our day, and meditation is taking mindfulness into an extended, quiet, focused practice.
It's up to each of us to figure out how to use these essential methods, or baskets of practice, in our day. Set aside time for things like tai chi, yoga, or meditation, or weave them into your day as you go. Make an adjustment to your posture or breath while driving or while answering emails. Use one hand to massage the other under the table while you're in a business meeting or watching television. Meditate when on a hike in nature.
Omega: What are some of the biggest blocks to the four baskets of practice that you see in our modern world?
Roger: Distraction is a big issue. We can get distracted because we're curious or afraid. One solution to this is to live from purpose. If we set a purpose, like, "I want to be part of making the world a better place," then we need to have a strong body and a clear mind to fulfill our purpose. To get a strong body and a clear mind, we need to have a lifestyle that contributes to this well-being, which includes enhancing our mental and physical capacity through rest, nourishment, hydration, movement, exercise, and meditation. If these practices are put aside because we are distracted by curiosity or fear, then we're unprepared and the extent to which we can actually fulfill our purpose is compromised.
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