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Traditional Chinese Medicine Case: Healing a Troubled Heart

Wise people don’t fight against life, reason, and the law.  (Image:  Ed Ivanushkin via  flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0)
Wise people don’t fight against life, reason, and the law. (Image: Ed Ivanushkin via flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0)

In my traditional Chinese medicine practice, one of my patients is a 53-year-old female physician. Her ex-husband is also a physician and they have two sons. Every year, their whole family often goes vacationing abroad. In many people’s eyes, their marriage was made in Heaven.

However, one day she discovered all the money in the bank account was gone. Her husband took all the savings, ran off with a nurse, and opened another clinic. She was left with two sons. When her husband wanted a divorce, she refused. She wanted help from me for her insomnia and depression.

Since my clinic is not a place to judge the right and wrong of ordinary people’s affairs, I could only offer her my empathy. I listened to her, and tried to find some clues in order to help her. In the beginning, I thought she was emotionally disturbed, and just wanted an outlet to vent her anger. Unfortunately, it turned into a 5-year journey.

I thought that she was a physician, a well-educated person. Perhaps she was wiser than I. All I could do was temporarily relieve some of her physical symptoms. It seemed that after five years, she still could not walk out of the shadows of her misfortune. One day, she said that she had a splitting headache that was so severe that she could not sleep at night; even painkillers were useless.

She suspected that the nurse was a witch and was trying to get her. Most recently, she experienced excruciating pain in her shoulders. She said that the woman was playing a dirty trick on her again. She also went to a fortune teller and had her suspicions confirmed. She asked me what could be done about her plight. I was shocked, and did not answer.

Traditional Chinese medicine goes beyond surface symptoms

I believed that something went wrong with her psychologically. According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, anger damages the liver, fear damages the kidneys, hatred hurts the spleen, and sorrow hurts the lungs. Her injuries were severe.

I asked her in all sincerity: “You are a physician; are there patients who you cannot help?”

With her eyes wide open, she said: “How could that be? I am very good to my patients. I am very careful in treating my patients.”

I said: “If you could not help them, they would not come back. What do the records show? Do you have more patients or fewer?”

She replied: “The economic downturn has a lot to do with the volume of my patients. I have done my best.”

I then told her: “With hatred and suspicion in your heart, your field is contaminated. When one comes into of a field like yours, how can one stay clean?”

She frowned, and did not answer. From the expression on her face, I knew she was not convinced.

I said: “The reality may reflect your intent. Your mind can affect your environment.” She asked: “I am very willing, but I cannot get out of this. What can I do?”

“Your home is not a place for reasoning,” I told her. “If you use the principles in medicine to manage your family, you may run into a blind spot. The best thing to do is to bless them.” She was so angry that she almost punched me.

traditional chinese medicine tcm migraine Headache

One day she discovered all the money in the bank account was gone. Her husband took all the savings, ran off with a nurse, and opened another clinic. She was left with two sons. (Sasha Wolff viaWikipedia/ CC BY 2.0 )

I said: “Severe headaches and severe shoulder pains are perhaps the Buddha’s enlightenment for you to let go of your sentimentality. After five years, he did not turn around. That means the predestined relationship for you two is over. However, your love has turned into hatred.

Release hatred for love

Her face started to relax, while she lowered her head. At the end, I told her: “Wise people don’t fight against life, reason, and the law. In reality, your sufferings have resulted from your acquired notions that have misled you. What you loved may change.

Can your beloved become your friend? Should the value of your life be defined by only a handful of people? Who says that a woman cannot have happiness unless she has a man’s love?”

She nodded her head, and promised me that she would try harder. One day she rang and told me that she was much happier than before.

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