Ghosts, Possession, and Acupuncture

As the Halloween approaches, I thought I'd share a Chinese medicine perspectives on the concepts of Ghosts and Possession. 

Both of these concepts are seen throughout the classic texts; and there are even a number of acupuncture point protocols designed for such paranormal states. The most common is called the Seven Dragons for Seven Devils protocol - and it is indicated for demonic possession. Contact me if you want to know what the points are. I digress...

Even though Halloween isn't celebrated in China, most Asian cultures acknowledge a time when the gates of the underworld open and hungry ghosts are free to wander the Earth - seeking food and maybe revenged. 

This is a time to remember the dead and pay tribute to them with offerings of food (or treats) in hopes of appeasing them.

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Taoist book Cultivation of Realization says “Ghosts are people who have already died; people are ghosts who have not yet died.” 

A “ghost” is a wandering spirit, often fixated on a particular desire in the future or memory in the past. They can be distracted, sad or malevolent - living outside of the present moment, and unable to move on.

I am sure we have all seen a few people like this while walking the streets of San Francisco - some of them even talking to 'ghosts.' 

It's fair to assume that, when referring to these possessed people, the ancient Chinese were actually talking about psychological delusions, obsessions, and addictions - as well as extreme psychological disorders - mania, schizophrenia, and psychosis. Epilepsy, coma, and loss of consciousness could also fall into this category. 

In Chinese diagnosis, these syndromes include Ghost Talk, Ghost Evil, Seeing Ghosts, and Floating Ghost Talk - All of which are rather vivid descriptions of mental unrest or disruption of the Spirit (Shen). There are specific acupuncture protocols and herbal remedies designed to effectively treat these disturbed mental states. 

Possession is that which obscures personality and the authentic self. When our normal barriers are broken down, we become susceptible to possession. 

Severe emotional trauma, shock or fear, living in poor environmental or emotional conditions, prolonged meditation, psychedelics, and even love can make us vulnerable to possession. 

We don't feel like ourselves. We become consumed by the voices in our heads, feeding us with doubt, anxiety, and fear.

Energetically, Fall is the season of the Lungs - our ability to breath in what we need to live and exhale what we don't. 

This is the perfect time of year for letting go of what we don't need as we prepare for the Winter ahead. 

I challenge you over the next few days - as we put on disguises and consume huge amounts of sugar - to acknowledge the ghosts around you, see what is possessing you, and set yourself free of the things that haunt you.

Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!