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A Chinese Possession Story

October 2010

As Halloween is approaching, many skeletons are now out of closets and roaming on people’s front lawns. Movies about ghosts, vampires, goblins, possessions and exorcisms are on the program. In this issue of newsletter, let me take you to a land of “possession”, where the forces of evil and good, darkness and light are fighting, where you are the chosen one who has a secret power and who will ultimately defend your own health, sanity, and happiness.

Let the journey begin…


Possession, in Chinese Medicine means a condition that happens when a person’s system is controlled by an internal or external energetic force and not able to function normally due to compromised “Upright Qi” (immunity) or trauma and shock that has shaken one’s core.

Darkness and Light, good and evil in Chinese Medicine are two polarities of the energy. Neither of them is good or bad, and they are in a dynamic relationship constantly. Suppose that you go for a hike in an extremely cold place. The coldness is just there, and it’s not bad. However, if your “Upright Qi” (Chinese medicine term somewhat equivalent to immunity) is not strong enough, you will be affected by it. And if consequently, your Qi is not able to get rid of this influence, and this influence starts to take hold in your internal environment, and disrupt your system’s normal function, you will become sick. I have seen people who were exposed to extreme weather conditions or to viruses and bacteria and who failed to respond to regular medical treatments. Often, this is because the “possession”, — a condition where an influence controls the body’s function, which prevents the body from returning to the normal functions. Chinese Medicine calls extreme weather conditions and other bacteria or viruses “External Demons” and excessive emotions arising from trauma or shock “Internal Demons”. When someone’s immunity is compromised, they are vulnerable to External Demons; and when their core is shaken by trauma or shock, the Internal Demons may take possession. During the experience of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or shock, a person’s psyche is often shaken by the intrusive and violent force. Strong emotions arise and these emotional forces don’t usually disappear without conscious healing. Later in life, they may become the main motivational forces that drive the person’s choices and behaviors without their conscious awareness. These emotions possess the psyche and often lead to mental illnesses, emotional disorders, and other physical illnesses. Clearing these influences is an important first step before the true healing can occur.

In movies, a possessed person tends to do weird things despite his or her own will because whatever “demon” is controlling him or her decides what he or she will act. The person seems to have no choice. In our life, possession also happens — in more subtle ways. Look at your own life: can you see evidence of your “possession”?

At a workshop that I recently attended, a woman said “I always believed that a good wife has to act certain way. I never thought that it was ok to tell my husband straightforwardly about what I want.” The belief that as a wife she has to put her husband’s needs before her own has been possessing her and determining her behavior until the moment the “demon” was brought into the light. We hear about teenage girls who believe that being skinny is beautiful. They starve themselves by not eating, by inducing vomiting, or by excessively exercising. We see people who drive themselves to exhaustion and poor health because they believe that they are no good if they don’t work hard to achieve fame and money. We see people who suffer from loneliness and depression, yet keep isolating themselves out of fear of being hurt. The emotional conditioning that we receive throughout our lives is a kind of possession that clouds our true nature and prevents us from becoming self-possessed human beings. This conditioning becomes the way we interpret who we are and what life is. It is often not accurate; It is a distorted view of our life and ourselves. Because our conditioning has been there for so long, we believe that it is who we are. Just like sneaky viruses using all the resources we have and usurping the functions of our system to serve their own purpose because our body is not able to detect them and mistakes them for “self”, these beliefs are so deeply rooted that they are often mistaken for who we really are. We then become an accomplice by being infatuated with these thoughts and beliefs, telling ourselves that we are the victims and are not in charge of our lives. People often say, “What else can I do? I don’t have any choice.” These conditionings take energy away from you, prevent you from connecting with your true nature and often lead to mental illnesses, anxiety, depression and other physical illnesses.

I believe that if a person is chronically ill, mentally or physically, if he or she is not in possession of himself or herself, treatments will not resolve the root issues but only merely deal with symptoms. For example, if you suffer from chronic digestive problems, acupuncture can relieve your symptoms. However, if you believe that you are the victim of your habit, and continue to eat irregularly and abuse alcohol, your condition will relapse, because your “Upright Qi” is not in charge and you are still the victim of the belief. In acupuncture, we have protocols that can effectively clear possession so that a person’s own “Upright Qi” can start to take control to restore optimal function of the body and mind.

In many stories, heroes or heroines need to go through a long journey to find the secret weapon that empowers them to eventually kill the powerful demon. Once acupuncture helps to clear away the negative influences, you will connect with your “Upright Qi”. This “Upright Qi” is the secret weapon that will continue to support you to become more self-possessed. When you are connected with the “Upright Qi”, you are connected with the light that illuminates the “land of possession”. Darkness will recede. You will see that you are not your beliefs, not your conditionings, not your habits. You are not the victim of the circumstances and you do have choice. You are, in the end, the one who is in charge of your own health, sanity and happiness.