If you give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."
Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) is whole person healing.
We all possess a divine spark called Shen / Consciousness.
When we awaken to this spark there is an experience of aliveness that pervades our entire consciousness. This experience of being alive extends to every cell in your body and beyond. This information or energy of Life is called Qi. It conducts and co-ordinates the extraordinary functioning of the body. Qi infuses the spark of life through every aspect of the physical body such as cells, enzymes, organs, nervous system, digestion, brain activity, hormones etc.
The holistic healing model is expressed elegantly as Shen - Qi - Jing. I prefer to express this as Mind-Information of Life-Physical body. The importance of these three components to your overall wellbeing & health is roughly in the ratio of 70-20-10. So if you only focus on the physical body whilst ignoring the rest then you only get a possible 10% of outcome. When you involve energy healing with physical methods, you get a possible 30%. When you involve your Shen / mind you can max out the potential for deepest level of healing.
I use this model to assess the capacity and extent of healing in all my patients.
It is from this premise that I start from with all my patients / clients. Through the process of impactful conversations I point you to what is already there so that you can arrive at your own insights. It is only really through insights can lasting change to your life and health occur.
Through expertly applying acupuncture we guide this awareness of Life to healing. Focussed instructions in qigong, dietetics, and guided meditation empowers you to make your own medicine. This is not a replacement for the advice and care of your family doctor or specialist. Most people seek my expertise when other systems have failed.
The Principle that Powers Life
Consciousness is the principle that underpins Life. It is all there is, the ground of Being if you will. We are alive because we are conscious. When we awaken to this fact, we begin to heal deeply when we start to live life from inside out.
When we take consciousness as the starting point, we will awaken to the fact that actually live inside the experience of our thoughts, not the experience of circumstances. Feeling is a barometer to thinking, it indicates the inner weather. It guides you back to the fact the it’s your thinking, not circumstances, that create the feelings.
The usual reaction to this is to control thinking, overlaying negative thinking with positive thinking. Yet this works for a while. Then you need to keep adding further thinking to prevent you slipping back into the negative thinking. This method is like moving around the furniture and only works up to a point.
The inside out way is simply to know that it’s just a thought. This thought arises from the boundlessly creative expanse of consciousness. And there are plenty of thoughts that are created.
So you do not need to control your thinking with further thinking - ie putting more thinking on top of thinking, aka overthinking. Just acknowledge it’s presence and wait for it to pass. It will. It always does.
Just knowing this you become aware of a space and immediately experience to peace in the presence of mind. Within this space is the possibility for fresh and new thinking, or insight. This insight changes everything. Just be present and wait for the apple to fall…it will…it always does.
As we deepen our awareness and marvel at this principle that directs Life, we shall discover other remarkable things about life and our experience of peace, satisfaction and contentment deepens. There ensues better health, heightened performance, and evolution.
Why we get sick
From this point of view, we get sick because we ignore the signs and symptoms of dis-ease. This dis-ease arises from the fact that we rarely truly experience a sense of coming home, being at peace. When we do we put it down to some other reason and we return to the usual habituated thinking and ways. These habituated and largely learned ways make us lost in the thinking that our feelings are caused by external circumstances, by our limitations. They cut us off from being present to and marvelling at the “plenum of space” within and all around us, consciousness itself.
That despite everything, we have always been and will always be part of the divine and limitless spark of consciousness that powers Life. At any moment we can awaken from the sleep of habituation. We can choose to look beyond the thinking into the creator or thoughts and feelings, into the limitless space of consciousness itself.
Implications to Health & Healing
Classical Chinese Medicine know this intimately and has mapped out in detail how the divine spark of consciousness, Shen, plays out in our physical body. The relationship between divinity and humanity creates a dynamic relationship that has a quality of movement called Qi. This Qi animates all the physical processes. Qi is transmitted through channels of energetic flow throughout the body as part of the sacred geometry of the body.
When this dynamic is functioning well, there is a state of homeostasis or normal physiological functioning. The channels that govern moment by moment normal functioning are called the Primary Channels or Meridians. You see these channels depicted in all the charts associated with acupuncture. These primary channels govern the transformation of food & drink into the creation of fluids, blood, hormones. They are responsible for the maintenance of normal function of the organs and circulation of these substances to nourish and sustain life.
However the creative intelligence needs to maintain the primacy of life, or the beating of the heart / Heart / Sovereign, from toxins or pathology. For this other channel systems, not normally depicted in the charts, come into play.
The Channels of Humanity
The channel system that protects the primacy of life, supporting the essential function of the primary channels, are called complement channels.
They consist of the Sinew, Lou, Divergent and 8 Extraordinary Channels.
These channels function to keep pathology away from the primary channels.
These complement channels therefore function to maintain humanity.
The Threats to Humanity / Pathogenic Factors
There are numerous pathogenic factors (PF’s) that can threaten our humanity.
These can be classified according to how the body reacts to the pathogens
Lifestyle - Food, drink, poor sleep, stress etc, ie modern life -> depletion of body’s resources and weakening immune function
Internal - Overthinking, Unprocessed emotions, Genetics
Layers of Qi in the Human Body
Qi is a subtle form or energy which flows throughout the channels fo the body and integrates all the mental activity with physical processes.
The Qi that is protective or guard us from external pathogens is called Wei / protective Qi
The Qi that nourishes and contains the medium for feelings / emotions in the body is called Ying / nutritive Qi
The Qi that conducts the unfolding of our genetic code is called Yuan / Source Qi.
Complement Channels function to maintain humanity
Invasions from external pathogens are met by the Sinew channels which conduct Wei qi. We commonly know this to be the immune system. Yet Wei qi is also involved in the sleep wake (circadian rhythm), the functioning of smooth muscles (digestive tract, urinary and reproductive functions), and all autonomic process, that is processes that are not under normal conscious control.
Normal immunity is maintained through observing the foundations of health - maintaining a peaceful loving heart, food, exercise, rest and sleep.
When the immune system malfunctions the pathogens invade deeper. So in order to protect the body’s function, the pathogens are held in a state of latency. This means that they are stored away in spaces that neutralises their effects on health.
To make the pathogen latent, the body can create new space - such as new blood vessels, or lumps and bumps, to contain the pathogen and take them out of normal circulation. This creates Luo channels.
Pathogens can also be pushed into the synovial fluids (joints) and gums. This creates Divergent Channels.
Even the genetic material has space to store the pathogens. This can only be accessed by tapping into the Yuan Qi layer via the Eight Extraordinary Vessels (8EVs).
Maintaining Latency to Preserve Humanity
The creation of latency often gives rise signs and symptoms of dis-ease, but doesn’t usually disrupt the normal physiology. This is the reasons why laboratory tests and imaging techniques such as X-rays, ultrasound and MRI scans can often appear normal, yet the person can feel that something’s not right inside. This is the amazing role of the channel systems which keep everything functioning despite years of unaware living and often downright abuse of the body. Such is the benevolence of the divine spark that powers our life.
When latency is lost in the Divergent channels and the pathogen begins to leak out, it gives rise to signs and symptoms of arthritis, chronic relapsing and recurring conditions, autoimmunity.
When latency is lost in the 8EV’s this gives rise to signs and symptoms of chronic degenerative sickness such as dementia, Parkinson’s, cancer, severe autoimmunity etc…
How I diagnose your condition
So everything that you present with indicates the likelihood of how deeply the pathogen has penetrated. This can range from physical signs and mental symptoms, pulse, tongue, quality of speech etc. All these factors give us the probability of where the pathogen could be in your energy system.
What it would look like to work with me
Here's what it would look like when we work together :
Why I chose the bespoke approach
As a medical doctor, trained to serve the sick within the NHS, I adopted a stress based system of tending to the ill and sick. It was to see the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time. It was really a fire fighting model, and whilst this was suitable for life threatening emergencies or life saving operations, it was not conducive for the vast majority of sickness that patients often presented with. Not to mention the impact on the health and wellbeing of the physician themselves. I observed so much fall out in the health, broken relationships, and addictions to cope with these constant and high pressure demands in both own and that of my friends and colleagues' lives.
So it was that I undertook training in Classical Chinese Medicine. This worked so much better since I got to spend more time with patients. I saw a lot less patients but the quality of the interactions and medicine that could be administered was a real game changer.
After 20 years as a medical doctor and advanced acupuncturist, I have discovered that people only ever truly heal when effective treatment is accompanied by a shift in mindset. Sovereign Health is a bespoke consultancy service for those with persistent or long-term health concerns, designed to get to the root of the problem and bring about real change.
Since each person is different, the level of care and attention required is going to vary from person to person. When someone becomes very unwell through chronic sickness it is different from someone with an acute problem.
If we compare to a building project, then treating those with acute issues are like repainting a room in a large house. However those with chronic degenerative sickness is often like a renovation project as the building has been neglected by long years of living hard, playing hard, or living a less than full life. These people require a lot more input and focussed attention to repair.
Yet if you are motivated to become well and deeply heal then there is a possibility that you will transform your sickness either to become fully healed or to discover a vast resource of inner peace, contentment and and wellbeing despite the sickness.
If this is you and you'd like to discover a way to heal from the inside out, then book in for a 20 minute conversation to see how we can work together.
Western medicine is underpinned by the philosophical principle of materialism - that the basis of all creation is matter. This gives the science upon which this medicine is built a place to stand upon and come from. I have a great deal of respect for this medicine since I’m also trained in this method. Yet treating the body like a machine works up to a point. Yet with all the well meaning in the world and huge investment, it breaks down when it comes to chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer.
There are a number of paradoxes - to do with consciousness - that cannot be explained with materialism - such as placebo, no-cebo, hands on healing, prayer, faith, spontaneous remission, laughter cure, as well as the established alternative and complementary medicines etc…
The fact that these paradoxes are not random occurrences makes it rather irritating when one tries to find a consistent and reproducible explanation and therefore a cure to chronic illnesses predicated on materialism.
The problem is actually resolved when one takes on the fact that consciousness is the ground of being from which all energy and matter arises. This would be an all inclusive basis upon which every type of phenomenon can be understood and more importantly, in the field of health and healing, would bring enormous benefits. One would still need the input and expertise of the Western medical professionals and surgeons, yet one would not be limited to just this outcome - often rather bleak when it comes to healing from chronic illnesses, if at all.
The medicine which I practice is grounded within the Classics of Chinese Medicine (circa 2nd Century BCE). This medicine is very much about healing the Heart - the Sovereign - both in the literal and metaphysical sense. This is often referred to as energy medicine.
As a man of science and a seeker of Truth, I’ve also looked to the modern science which grapples with the paradox between matter & consciousness. This science is backed by extensive research, and for some, a compelling explanation for the possibility of consciousness as the basis, ground of being, of all other phenomena. This science isn’t even new - having it’s origins in the early part of the 20th Century. It’s applications have been successfully applied to the astounding progress in all the fields of human endeavour, but hitherto has yet to impact the progress and practice of both conventional and alternative medicines.
No claim is being made to replace current medical or alternative medicine practices. Indeed if one is sick and has access to excellent care and attention, one must continue to listen to and follow the particular doctor or practitioner's guidelines. This is simply my impression and idea of what I've observed and as fertile soil for continued research and integration for the betterment of ourselves and our patients.
Biocentricism, Bob Berman, Robert Lanza
Vibrational Medicine. Richard Geber, MD
The Quantum Doctor, Amit Goswami, PhD
Radical Remission, Kelly Turner, PhD
Proof of Heaven, Dr Eben Alexander, MD
Spontaneous Healing, Dr Andrew Weill, MD
I’ve devoted most of my life exploring the inner science of meditation. It initially began as a pastime and hobby, as a way to help me cope and understand my circumstances. Over the years it has helped me arrive to a deeper awareness and appreciation of the human condition. Though each person’s experience is unique, important, and worthy of respect and compassion, the underlying truths for how and why we all suffer and how we can transcend it, is thankfully universal. In my professional life, I’ve devoted the past 20 years to the practice of Western and Far Eastern medicines.
What is an emerging and consistent pattern is that no matter what people are seeking a cure, advice, or counsel for - the real reason is always the same. Each of us is seeking to become whole, healed, and thus to feel complete and at peace. I’m probably very late in arriving at this insight and I won’t be the last. However this is a real game changer to everyone at any stage of life.
So what I’ve come to know, and continue to deepen appreciation for, is that a human being is composed of a physical body and a non physical, formless, consciousness or mind. What I also know is that it’s not matter vs consciousness split, but actually it’s that consciousness is the ground being of all of creation. This is not a religious or philosophical assertion but a personal, spiritual truth that I’ve come to understand. For me it’s the underlying, basic, principle that underpins how life works. It is inclusive of all the knowledge and discoveries in the material and spiritual dimensions of being.
At this level there are no contradictions, and everything that appears is infused with this quality of vibrancy and aliveness. We are never separate from the awareness of the appearance of things. It seems so obvious that it's not even something that needs so much attention or perhaps to be stated. Yet this simple insight will revolutionise your life when we learn to live from this space.
Also that there are limitless depths of mind. Each level includes the previous levels, and also reveals another dimension of consciousness. At each of these levels, mind functions to know, create and experience, mainly through thoughts and feelings. Every moment of our life is pervaded by our mind. It’s certain that, as Michael Neill puts it, we live inside the feeling of our thinking.
The Inner Space of Knowing
Whenever we leave the fixation of thinking for a moment, and pay attention to the space beyond thoughts, we notice and experience that mind is naturally peaceful.
Take for instance this moment as you’re reading this blog.
What are you aware of?
Are you aware of what the words are written upon?
In this case the white background…it's the backdrop upon which the words are written.
If you shift your attention beyond the words and into the space behind, you’ll notice that there is a lot more space than written words.
Similarly, the contents of our mind - thoughts, feelings, images, memories - arise within the space of our mind.
Most of the time our attention is fixated on the contents of the mind. Now and then, when we’re not caught up, we experience a moment of freedom. A lightness, even peace of mind that arises from within. This can occur even in the midst of very difficult circumstances.
A Simple Practice
Try this for a moment…
So what do you notice when you shift your attention from thoughts to the space beyond the thoughts?
So you don’t need to try to control the thinking, just let them come and go, simply choose to shift your awareness and pay attention to the space behind the thoughts.
Play with this and feel what you feel…
At certain points you may experience a more settled sense of peace and stillness arising within…you’re actually glimpsing the inner space of knowing that is your mind - the knower and creator of your thoughts and feelings.
Eventually with gentle and relaxed practice, not pushing for any outcomes, you’ll begin to notice more and more of this space... Your mind’s activity won’t necessarily cease, yet your attention isn’t so fixated on the contents and is actually resting in the space beyond thoughts - awareness itself.
At some point you’ll start to feel that you’re arriving to the home you’ve been seeking for so long. This is the boundless and limitless potential of the space of knowing within you.
You’ll begin to feel more alive, more sense of possibility, peace…
The Presence of Mind and Restoration of Health
You’ll begin to awaken to the present moment as complete and perfectly whole. Your sense of wellbeing improves and is less determined by the ebb and flow of external circumstances nor your emotions. You’ll notice that beneath all of this is a constant, steady and boundless dimension, a deeper resource - the peace of mind - ever present. In short you’ll simply function better and just be more comfortable with being yourself.
Your physical body will begin to restore itself and begin to heal.
The sympathetic nervous system (fight and flight) eases and the parasympathetic system (rest and restore) will kick in. This has a rejuvenating effect on the rest of your body.
The more aware you become of this space within, the greater the impact you’ll notice
Of course you’ll need to do the things to maintain physical health such as exercise, eat well, and take the medicines, supplements and so forth that you’ve been prescribed or you find helpful.
However you’ll no longer have to do these things out of a fear of not getting sick. Your reason will shift to doing these things because you enjoy maintaining your health. You’ll notice that it will not be so much of a chore to enjoy maintaining your health, rather than the pressure of not getting sick.
You'll want to do things that remind you of your innate wellbeing. Aside from the restorative effects of being in this space, your mind becomes so spacious that fresh and new thinking can arise, your innately abundant creativity and resilience will become more evident. What's more there's no need to adopt an other kind of life than the very one you already have. You'll begin to know how truly wonderful it actually is. It's a place of limitless possibilities, in fact where miracles can occur, and with greater frequency.
How To Solve Our Human Problems, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
The Space Within, Michael Neill
The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
Life is frankly not easy...don’t you find?
Phew! I thought it was just me who sees this 😊
Yet when we come to know the underlying principle that underpins how life works, it makes the navigation much easier, and with practice, the penny will drop, we’ll just ‘get it’....our confidence will increase, and we shall move through life with great ease.
Of course when we discover this principle the consciousness, we still need to face what we face, yet we know exactly where it comes from and what to do about it. We end up not needing to escape from life, but actually thrive.
So instead of shifting the furniture of thinking around, we simply know that thinking is a part of the creative potential of mind. When we come to know this, we can simply choose to stop paying attention to the thinking that makes us feel unhappy, and in doing so, we are returned to the spaciousness and peace of our mind.
This level of change is vertical rather than horizontal....transformation see levels of change article
At the heart of transformation are insights - a vision from within.
We often shift around what and how we think. Yet it’s just thinking - we don’t need to do anything or add anything to it. When we see beyond the thinking, we drop back into the abundantly peaceful, and boundlessly creative space within. From this space, fresh new thinking or insights can arise. This vision from within changes everything!
So we never need to push or seek for new insights, they will arise from the limitless creative potential of mind itself.
The field of the finite is all that we can see, hear, touch, remember, and describe. This field is basically that which is manifest, tangible.
What is a principle?
Our basic understanding of anything in life is built upon a few basic building blocks, elements or principles. Once we get a handle on those principles then we unlock what that thing is and harness it to our benefit.
Before the apple fell upon Newton’s head, gravity was already functioning. After it was discovered, gravity continued to function, yet human material development rocked when we learned how to apply it. The same goes to the discovery of the other principles in the material world, such as electricity and magnetism.
So a principle here refers to a district and unique characteristic of something which determines how it behaves.
Consciousness is the underlying, basic principle of life
The principle of consciousness is a basic fact of life. Once we unlock what this is, we can harness it’s power to vastly improve upon our experience of life.
This is a fresh and new perspective on mind. It’s not related to the current trend in material science that consciousness is a byproduct of brain. To my mind I’ve never seen a lump of protein with chemical and electrical impulses create a thought or imagine anything.
My understanding is that mind/consciousness is the basis of life. Consciousness is the formless, foundational aspect of life and which can be known through how it works.
What we call life is actually the experience within our limitless, boundlessly creating, formless mind. Everything we experience is created and perceived by our mind. Our mind is not a pea sized thing but a limitless, formless continuum and has no material form. In fact the evidence is stacking up both experimentally and experientially, that consciousness is the compelling reason for life and all that manifests for us.
Our personal mind is in the same nature continuum as boundless consciousness - an underlying, pervasive intelligence which is aware, creates and has a quality of aliveness in which we live. Consciousness has a vital, alive. vibrant energy. There really isn't an actual split between our own and that of infinite consciousness.
What is consciousness?
Consciousness is pure awareness. This has infinite levels. The quality of our experience depends upon the level of awareness in any moment. When we transcend the everyday level of experience, we also include the other levels. The difference is that we are no longer taken in by the previously solid, fixed, 'real', unchanging reality. We actually begin to experience that mind itself is actually peaceful, some may even describe it as blissful.
On the surface levels things appear as very solid, real, literal, unchanging. At a deeper level things that appear to mind are less solid, yet no less real, illusory, and very fluid.
At the deepest level, ground zero, things appear just as they are formless, illusory, fluid. At this stage one is said to be fully awakened to the way things are.
Consciousness creates thoughts which create our individual experience of reality. There is never an experience that is not created by a thought. We each of us live inside the experience of our thinking, our personal reality.
A part of a greater whole
Who hasn't ever looked up to the stars and to the magnificence of nature and not marvelled at how it all works? How do the stars stay in orbit, how do the seasons know how to turn? What is the creative force behind conception? Why should we be alive at all?
No matter what we believe, what we all have experience of is that we’re a part of a greater whole and that we’re definitely not in charge of how things unfold.
There are various names for this larger aspect of our experience.
Whatever we call it, we all know that we’re not the ones who ultimately run the show. It is also unfused with limitless creative potential, aliveness, and boundless creativity. This turns out this is a good thing and it can deeply transform us when we learn to life from this space. We no longer need to be in control (we never actually were anyway), and life, far from being chaotic, turns out to be effortless, peaceful, creative and productive and always infused with meaning. This is not even close to the inner experience and the outer application of this simple and universal truth. What's actually astounding is that no more people have awoken to this fact that we live in an abundantly creative, benevolent and limitless universe of our consciousness.
All these things point to the observation that there is something that’s far greater than our personal human sized reference point, and it's inclusive for everything and everyone. I’m certain that anyone has at least some awareness of a part of themselves that exists beyond whatever personal circumstances they’ve had to face. When we learn to spend more time there, our life becomes more peaceful, beautiful, and impactful.
Awakening to and living from this principle that we are always inside the limitless, aware and creative potential of consciousness changes everything.
Of course awakening to this ground of being is actually simple as it's all around us - we're like fish who are blind to the water that they swim in - it's all around us - we're within and a product of it. There are many entry points to this - this knowledge is inclusive and nobody holds exclusive rights to this. The best that each person can do is simply to awaken to this marvellous thing that animates life and spark up this insight in others just by living and acting from this place.
The Inside Out Revolution, Michael Neil
Mind to Matter, Dawson Church
The Missing Link, Syd Banks