What is Spirit in Chinese Medicine?

January 04, 2019 - by enrica - in acupuncture melbourne, Acupuncture Points, Chinese Medicine Classics

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The word “Spirit” is translated from the word, ? “Shen” and in Chinese Medicine it is a fundamental part of being human and unique to human life. It is thought that whilst humans and animals have instinctive drives such, reactivities and “emotions”, humans are the only ones who have Spirit.

  • Spirit recognises and pursues ultimate goals such as “self-transformation”, “seeking the Tao” and “ceaseless cultivation of virtue”
  • Spirit allows for the dedication and commitment of physicians, teachers, plumbers and other vocations one can be devoted to. It is also involved in more ordinary aspects of life with activities such as pursing a hobby with passion, honouring cultural traditions, the expansiveness of holiday travel or even feeling “connected” whilst moseying around the house.
  • Spirit is felt whenever human consciousness forges compelling bonds or special relationships
  • Spirit is invoked by imagination, will, intention, awe, enchantment and wonder
  • Spirit is self-awareness that fosters the human experience of authenticity and personal meaning
  • Spirit allows self-reflection, art, morality, purpose and values
  • Spirit depends on self-relationship
  • Spirit is the capacity of a human to be an “initiator, participant and a guardian of the universe

In Chinese Medicine, Spirit allows a person’s “authentic self” to walk on their own chosen path and shape their future.

At the start of the year when a lot of people are reflecting on the year past and the year ahead, this is a very poignant concept to consider – whether we are living with Spirit or living Spiritedly!

Kaptchuk, T. (2000) Chinese medicine: the web that has no weaver, Rider, United Kingdom.

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