Part 10 – Processing Change: Journey as Practice
By Dr. Dana Leigh Lyons, DOM, AP
This is Part 10 in an Alchemist’s Notebook blog series exploring places of resonance, merger and synergy between neuroplasticity and Taoist-inspired Chinese Medicine practice.
Three focal points frame the series: Change, Relationship and Process.
For an introduction and overview, see Part 1 – Parallels & Possibilities.
For the three installments on Change, see Part 2 – On the Edge: Introducing Neuroplasticity, Part 3 – On the Path: Introducing Taoism and Part 4 – Past Meets Present: Plasticity in Practice.
For the three installments on Relationship, see Part 5 – Nature Plus Nurture: Mind in Context, Part 6 – Relationship Plus Resonance: Self in Concert and Part 7 – Practitioner Meets Patient: Achieving Influence.
Today we bring our final focal point to a close, once more merging neuroscience and Taoism within the context of clinical practice.
As a Chinese Medicine practitioner, awareness that transformation occurs not only in relationship but also in time offers the healing partnership space to evolve.
Helping patients move toward body-mind balance and make neuroplastic shifts is an un-ended process—a journey rather than a destination.
This is not to say that treatment should lack focus or direction. But while tending to what is immediate and working with “today’s treatment principle,” the Taoism-inspired practitioner watches wider cycles.
And, as neuroscience research and application have shown, involving the patient in this process optimizes outcomes.
Supporting consistent, repetitive effort and cultivating attention, curiosity and acceptance on the part of the patient can, over time, manifest major shifts.
Within this context, the practitioner can offer techniques with proven neuroplastic effects. These may include simple practices, such as qi gong or mindfulness exercises, or more “sophisticated” brain-training tools, such as computer-based programs developed by neuroscience centers.
Knowing what fosters neurogenesis and neural development (i.e., paying close attention, embracing novelty, engaging in physical exercise and existing in an enriched environment), the practitioner can determine appropriate and accessible supports.
Ultimately, the aim of therapeutic process is to facilitate fuller expression of the patient’s potential.
Taoist wisdom about the nature of self and transformation, coupled with awareness of neuroplasticity research and techniques, supports this endeavor.
Integrated within Chinese Medicine practice, these past and present insights encourage a more complete experience of self and world.
How does does the Alchemist Clinic embrace and embody this mission?
And since we too are ever in the process of changing in relationship, it will soon find expression in a regular schedule of group programs.
Meanwhile, our next installment will bring this series to a close…even as exploration and conversation continue.
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