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4. The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.
It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.
It is hidden but always present.
I don’t know who gave birth to it.
It is older than God.
Tao Te Ching, translated by Stephen Mitchell
The Neijing tells us that the healing process is not just mechanical–it is not simply the placing of a needle. The most important thing for healing is the relationship between the practitioner, the spirits, and the patient. This relationship begins with the personal attitude and inner behavior of the practitioner. Your own spirits and forces must be in a good concentration in order to be able to evaluate the patient and to be able to rectify what is wrong in the movement of his or her vitality. It is your spirit which enables you to make the diagnosis, choose the points, and give a feeling of rightness to the patient at a high level–without interfering with the patient’s freedom…When we needle a point or give herbs, we are doing a physical thing, but the goal is always to make a signal to reach the spirit of the patient.
Reestablishing the balance in any condition always depends on the spirit…The spirits are not wounded themselves, but they are affected, because they work at the highest level in the person and thus are present at the tiniest level of life. The classics say that life is conducted by the spirits–not just sometimes, but in all cases. from “The Practitioner-Patient Relationship: Wisdom from the Chinese Classics” Claude Larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee