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The Tai Ji symbol is the black and white circle within a circle. You have probably seen it in on line, in spas, in Chinese cuisine restaurants and numerous other locations. While I am familiar with the symbol and what it represents, having learned of it excessively in my education, I fail to give it much thought on a daily basis. It is however something I have paid more attention to over the last year.

The Tai Ji symbol represents some of the most basic beliefs and foundations in Chinese Medicine. It represents the very essentials from which all theory is comprised of. It begins with reference to Heaven, Earth and people. The symbol itself has Similar representation to Maase Bereishit- the creation of the world. It goes back to the origins from where everything else is derived from. It is a similar concept to ‘yesh myesh,’ something that is derived from the root of something else and ‘yesh mayin,’ something that is not derived from anything previously but is original on its own. The Tai Ji symbol and its meaning teaches us how we as individuals as well as a whole relate to our surroundings, and our entire world around us.

When you think of opposites, such as Yin and Yang, you may think of black and white, light and dark, tall and short, ugly and pretty, good and evil, integrity and fraudulence. The list goes on and on. The important thing to understand is that without one, the other would not exist. Without evil, we wouldn’t know what good is. Without true goodness, we would not be able to understand and comprehend the depth of true evil. We need one in order to have the other.

The Tai Ji symbol is round. It is in constant flux and constantly rotating. The round white eye within the black section, as well as the round black eye within the white section shows us this. It represents Yin within Yang, and Yang within Yin. This is what we can apply to anything, including good within evil and evil within good. Nothing is completely purely one substance, but has some of its opposite transposed within it. The flux and rotation of the symbol represent the evolving of these very substances and truths happening by the minute and by the day. The movement never ceases. It is a constant rotation and change. So too from this, we can learn that nothing remains a constant. Even pure evil can evolve into goodness. Even in our darkest of times, we can change and evolve and once again be rewarded with happiness and light.

We are living in challenging times. If Corona wasn’t enough, over the last year, the political developments and various opinions and beliefs have caused tremendous angst. They have and continue to put us under extreme tension. People within the same community may have completely opposing opinions be it in regard to wearing a mask, being vaccinated, or whether to live freely in returning to pre-covid social days, or to maintain a private bubble of solitude. People may appear to be on opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of their comfort level and strong beliefs on what is the right thing to do. We have all been guilty of getting into heated discussions and debates and even arguments with people including friends and neighbors over the last few months. Social media has certainly become an increasingly stressful presence in terms of what you believe, who you side with, and who you oppose.

Opposing sides have never been drawn as black and white and as visibly as they are now. We seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum. While this may be the case, remember you still need Yin within Yang and Yang within Yin. In our very core, we need the opposite party to exist in order for our beliefs to exist. Without one, we could not have the other. It also means that in our core, we may have certain common beliefs and wants we actually agree upon. Much of the anguish, COVID stress and fear of the last year is hopefully behind us. However, the result of these challenging times is that we have become too fast and too quick to argue and attack others. It is so important that we try to get back to a place of peace. It is imperative we recognize we all need each other. We need to be able to respect each other with our differences of opinions, and live-in harmony. We certainly need to be able to live in a day where truth is definite. We also need to secure a peaceful life today and every day.

My own personal mask and vaccine opinions are not of much relevance here. It is actually something I am exhausted trying NOT to speak about daily with patients. It is such a heightened topic for immediate drama that I believe it has no place in the treatment room. I will say this; it is a personal decision in terms of how Covid has impacted you and what your fears are. No individual should have the right to dictate what that means to you. What is most important is where we go from here. Especially within our own community. There is so much judgement and attacking of late that saddens me greatly. To mask or not to mask. To vaccinate or not, it has given us a feeling that it is right to judge and denigrate our neighbor. We must unify during these challenging times. We must agree to disagree, or at a minimum be respectful of each other.

Acupuncture point selection is an integral part of the treatment process. There are many points that when selected may lead to a similar outcome. However, understanding a person as a whole and making the best, most optimal point selection of Acupuncture point prescription is what will allow my patients to heal completely in both the physical and mental aspect of their well-being. Getting to know my patients and thereby being able to choose the best points that encompass both the Yin and Yang of their essence. This will allow true healing to be reached quickly and in a full mind: body experience.

It has never been more important to treat one’s stress and anxiety levels simultaneously along with their physical manifestations such as pain. To treat the pain without paying credence to the emotional stress and stagnation that caused it would simply be a band-aid and not get to the source. This approach would not prevent the symptom from recurring. By treating the Yin and Yang essence of the person, by recognizing their physical and mental wholeness, by understanding that supporting one aspect while extinguishing another may be the complete solution that allows you the patient to realize optimal peace and wellness.

We are readying ourselves in the final countdown of sefirat haomer getting ready to embark on the holiday of Shavuot. Our history tells us we experience the holiday as a united nation when we were blessed with the Torah. We must open our minds and accept the gifts that are bestowed upon us. Comparatively after wandering aimlessly in the desert, having endured an emotionally incomprehensible year of challenges, we must now look forward and welcome the emergent healing light that is hopefully coming our way.

I have no idea what God’s message was supposed to be to us this past year with the awful loss of life, financial hardships, political stresses, vaccinations, etc. I have no idea of the specifics of what is coming. The only thing I know for sure is that it is Yin within Yang, and Yang within Yin. Just as the Tai Ji symbol continues to rotate and change and exists in a co-habitative form, we must co-exist. We must unify and find a way to live together peacefully, respecting our differences of opinions. While none of us are sure just how we get there, we must always find a starting point. Let us welcome this convalescent beautiful holiday with warmth towards our friends and neighbors. Let us allow each other to grace our healing and wellness journey together.