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Treating the Mind

All of these conditions may be improved treating the mind.

Chinese medicine treats the mind, the spirit, and the body as one. This holistic style of treatment is catching on throughout all styles of healing arts.

The mind has many functions. The "ITS" principle is that the mind has the function of intelligence, thinking, and sleep. With the intelligence comes memory and consciousness. With thinking comes ideas and cognition. Cognition is that link which connects our senses with our actions via our thinking. Cognition is an entry point of the senses into the mind. The senses take root and formulate actions with thought. Did you ever sleep on an idea or problem and know exactly what to do in the morning? So it is that sleep brings wisdom and insight. So there we have the major functions of the mind which include the responsibility for the senses (vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling.)

Functions of the Mind
Responsibility for senses

Our skin has the contact of feeling via touch. Our eyes transmit visual images, our ears transmit sounds, our nose transmits smells, and the mouth transmits tastes to the mind. Many of our senses transmit directly into the mind. Our mind has the input of emotional feelings as well.

Each sense and each emotion has a source within the body from the twelve meridians that flows through the body. Grief and sadness is held in the Lung meridian, joy in the Heart meridian, fear in the Kidney meridian, worry in the Spleen meridian, and anger in the Liver meridian.

As we look at the mind there is a framework that enables the Chinese practicioner to look through and find sources for problems with the mind, the emotions, the senses, and the cognitive functioning of our world.

The Magic Square Mind Functions
4 - intelligence9 - thinking2 - sleep
3 - memory5 - ideas7 - wisdom
8 - consciousness1 - cognition6 - insight
Entrance from senses

I like to relate the functions of the mind to the magic square, a popular way to move efficiently in Chinese martial arts. Night begins with yin rising until it reaches its greatest peak. Then yang begins to gain strength. So it is with yin and yang. They balance each other with mutual interdependence and mutual transformation. So it is that we see the journey through the magic square embodies our sleep.

Notice in the magic square how movement is balanced in space. It is an efficient way to circulate through the the mind. Below we start at the beginning, 1 - cognition, and wind our way through to the end, 9 - thinking. Thinking connects back to cognition as a daytime activity.

The Chinese believe that the clear yang energy of the body rises to the head. All of our senses are clearly activated in the brain. Many of our senses are directly on the head and are greatly influenced by the yang channels of the body. Notice the senses all lead to the brain.

As the (1) cognition of the body winds down at the end of a day, the yin energy becomes more active, and the body can (2) sleep. Modern research has revealed that during sleep the brain actively processes daily thoughts, compresses them for long term access, and connects to long term (3) memory. This effects our (4) intelligence directly as we wake refreshed, ready to take on a new day. Many times the (5) ideas awaken with us and this drives new (6) insight into our life. Over time this gives us (7) wisdom as we learn to let go and trust a deeper, inner voice to guide us. It leads us with a greater (8) conciousness of reality. Our (9) thinking then returns to our senses for another day. This return to (1) cognition starts the cycle all over again. Just as long term memory is activated in the daytime, so it is that all functions of the mind are activated in both day and night time. This magical journey through the functions illustrates its inherent reinforcement in the mind in a natural flow from night to day.

The beauty of meditation is that it lets one let go and tap into that thoughtless realm uncluttered by the senses where awareness approaches the now. Ten to twenty minutes of this quieting meditation will open the mind to new possibilites, and free us from the lack of free flow within our body, mind, and spirit.

The Chinese have protocols that have been tested for thousands of years for treating the mind, the emotions, and the senses. The mind can be weakened through physical, emotional, or sense problems. The inability to resolve these issues can leave the mind unsettled. As the mind is overwhelmed it may even become obstructed.

A weakened mind manifests as confused thinking, a clouding of the mind. In severe cases there is a complete loss of insight and the person's behaviour is inappropriate. It is generally a deficient condition. An unsettled mind undergoes agitation and anxiety. There is a restlessness in behaviour. Often heat is involved. It may be caused from a deficient condition or stagnation within the body. The person may experience mania or hysteria. The obstructed mind leads to depression and melancholy. The mind shuts down and the person experiences mental exhaustion. The substances of the mind are not moving.

Each of these conditions -- a weakened, unsettled, or obstructed mind have protocols of herbs, points, and / or physical exercises to help the mind regain its health.