Resolving trauma with chi
Another good reason to take up a chi practice, if you don’t have enough already, is its therapeutic benefit. You can eventually build such emotional and metaphysical strength that you can look your most painful memories in the eye, both the things people did to you and the things you did to other people, and think ‘so what’.
According to Chinese medicine, traumas are stored in your body in the form of toxic energy. Drugs suppress this, but when you quit it will come forward. Your life might suddenly seem to turn to crap, and you feel as if ‘ trouble follows you’ (I hear this all the time from clients). If you don’t understand why this is happening, it is very tempting to go back to drugs to handle it – but this will just make everything worse.
Despite what I said earlier about unhappy childhoods and addiction not necessarily being connected, I do treat people who became addicted as a result of self-medicating for emotional or physical trauma, usually experienced in their early years (it’s just not the majority of drug users who start this way). It’s not unusual for me to see people in their thirties or forties who may have only had seven or eight non-medicated years; usually their first seven or eight years of life.
Plenty of people have terrible experiences in their childhood, but they don’t take drugs. They might suppress these memories or develop some other coping mechanism, but they are still ‘here’ in ordinary reality. If you used recreational drugs to self-medicate for pain and trauma, you have chosen a different option. Talk and mind therapies work within the framework of being here, but your recovery has to include a method to process trauma within the framework of disassociation, of being ‘elsewhere’.
Chi practice puts you into an altered state; it takes you into the realm of ‘elsewhere’. The chi postures clear blockages in the pathways in the body where the toxic energy of past traumas is stored – mainly the thighs, legs and lower back – allowing it to release. It’s no coincidence that activating these muscle groups is a core component of both taichi and yoga. The idea is to tune into the painful memories or feelings as you do your practice and you will slowly release and transform them.
So, if sitting on a therapist’s couch feeling like a loser, or sobbing as you revisit every terrible incident from your past, isn’t your style of therapy, or you can’t face doing this yet, the chi practices are a great alternative. People spent thousands of years working these systems out, and they are extremely effective. I have been doing chi practices daily for more than 30 years now and I can’t emphasise enough the power of chi to change everything – to resolve painful memories and to heal.
Even if you didn’t start using drugs to deal with pain, recreational drugs often end up being used for this purpose as, regardless of how happy and cheery you were when you began. Once your intake reaches a certain level you are creating major imbalances. At some point you switch from using drugs for fun to using them to suppress symptoms. This pain will be stored as toxic energy in your body and when you quit, it will come forward.
The path after drugs is the liberation of the soul, the processing of trauma or karma, the merging of yin and yang. So make chi your priority and your lifestyle becomes an ongoing therapy, processing not only your past but also the ongoing physical, emotional or spiritual hurdles that are a natural part of life on this interesting planet.
Make your lifestyle therapeutic
Born in Germany in 1958, and living in Australia since 1981, Jost is an ex speed addict, dealer and deserter, turned drug and alcohol counsellor who then became an acupuncturist. After lecturing in traditional Chinese medicine for a decade and running numerous health centres, he developed his revolutionary recovery programs and his rehab program is now available on the Sunshine Coast, Australia.
Further information can be found on www.reconnecttohealing.com.au
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