From A To Better…. or not (in English)


When we “western people” think of any kind of healing, we think of a diagnosis. What is the diagnosis ??? If we are bothered by something ourselves, we want to know what is “wrong” with us so that we know how to make ourselves “better”. If we want to give someone a treatment, we first want to know what is “wrong” with the other person, so that we can make it “right” again …. That is the Western view of illness and health. That is the Western view of life. From A to Better. From what is wrong to less wrong.

In Chinese Medicine all kinds of “diagnoses” are used. Yin shortage. Yang shortage. That and that meridian is weak. That and that organ is too hot. That and that energy goes the wrong way. Seen and read with Western eyes, it seems like it is about something that is wrong and that has to be made right again. An imbalance that must be brought to balance. Heat that needs to be cooled. Cold that needs to be warmed up, energy that needs to be sent the other way …


Stop! Stop! That is not how it is intended !!!! Not of origin. Chinese medicine is a holistic, Taoist medicine that is about “making room for what there is”. It is not about something that is wrong and has to be made right again. There is no imbalance that needs to be balanced. No shortage that needs to be supplemented. No energy that needs to be sent in the other direction. It is not meant to be that way. Not really! It is a Western misconception to see it like this. A misinterpretation.

When it comes to a holistic, Taoist healing method, such as Chinese Medicine, it is radically, radically different. If you are concerned with what is wrong with yourself or with someone else, you deny the value of That What Is. And That What Is, is what it’s all about: paying attention and respecting That What Is. So a holistic, Taoist “diagnosis” can never be about something that is “wrong.” It is always about what there is. Without judgment. Because there is nothing wrong with what there is.


Really!!!!! It really is like that. If you say “I am Yin deficient” (one of the diagnoses of Chinese medicine). Then it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you! It does not mean that you have too little of anything. It is just a name for the situation today. Like it is. No more or less than that.

Nothing needs to be repaired! You don’t have to “get better”. Your Yin does not need to be supplemented …. I understand that it is difficult to understand. We are so used to think differently.


In general, we Western, affluent people, have been taught to spend our entire lives trying to “improve” ourselves. Most of us are constantly trying to get somewhere. And we think that if we ever got there once, then life will really begin.

For example, you can sacrifice your entire life to loose weight. And think: once I have lost weight, then life begins. Then I can do everything that I want to do. Or you can sacrifice your entire life to be less tired, have less headache, be less sad, be stronger, be less Yin deficient, be happier. And you can think: once I have arrived there where I want to arrive, then life begins. Then I can do whatever I want, then I can be who I want to be.


Or …. you can just live. Just do what you want, adjust to your options. Live the life you have been given. Complete. Listening to your own body and your own heart. Have respect for yourself as you are. For your life as it is.

You can take care that you get enough rest, not because you become fitter but because your body needs rest. You can start working less, not because you have fewer headaches as a result, but because it is nice for you to work less. You can eat healthy, not because you want to become “healthier” or lose weight, but because your body requires it. You can exercise, not to become fitter (or to lose weight…. What do we not do to lose weight?), but because you like it. You can take your physical condition into account and not do more than you can handle, not because you will be able to handle more in the future, but because you want to treat your body with respect.


It is not about what you do, but why you do it. What kind of message do you give yourself? If you eat healthy because you want to become healthier (or thinner), the message is: you are not healthy (or thin) enough. If you eat healthy because it is healthy for yourself, the message is: I take good care of myself. You can say: it makes no difference! But it makes a huge difference! It is a difference of day and night! Surely as a practioner who is making a “diagnoses”.


If we make a Chinese medical “diagnosis”, for example “Yin deficient”. And then do things that are good for Yin deficiency. Then we do not do it because we have to become less Yin deficient. But because it’s good for us. The diagnosis is not there to point the way to better. The diagnosis is there to help find out what’s good for us in the moment, how we can make room for That What Is. The actions can be almost the same. The result is perhaps also about the same. The approach is completely different. The message you give to the body and the mind is completely different.

The first is from rejection of what is. The second is to give space to what there is.

If we do or do not do something as a result of a diagnosis of “Yin deficiency”, it is not our goal to make ourselves or the other person less Yin deficient. Nothing needs to be improved or supplemented. That is not the motivation of our actions. We are not moving towards a result. It is only and solely about giving space to what there is. Falling in love with what there is, exactly as it is. Falling in love with Yin deficiency. Making love with Yin deficiency. That is how a holistic, Taoist healing method is intended.

When it comes to the result, it continues to be hard work. When it comes to seeing and respecting what there is, it just happens what needs to happen. That’s Wu Wei. Doing From Not Doing. The Taoist principle of life.


To prevent my students from “misusing” the Chinese medical diagnoses to bring themselves or others from A to Better, and thus to actually reject themselves or others, I always reverse the process during my training. First there is a treatment, in which you find out together with the other person what is good for them at the moment. From the treatment you state a diagnosis. The diagnosis helps you understand why what you did was good for the other person at the time. The diagnosis does not determine the treatment, but the other way round.

This is the way of studying at Hands On Tao. You learn from your experience afterwards… What did you do and why? What went well? What could you have done differently? By writing down the “diagnosis” afterwards, you remember what you have done when you read your notes. And you can think back to it again. At the same time you automatically learn the theory of Chinese Medicine. Even though it is not theory that determines what you do or not do, it is good to know the theory to have some framework for your thinking.

Thank you for your attention!

If you want to notice or point out something, you can leave a comment below. I like toe hear from you!!!!


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