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Science & Spirit: Mitochondria, Qi and Quantum Physics

Saturday, January 29th 2022 10:00am 12 min read
Dr. Jessica Renfer drjessica.nd

Licensed naturopathic doctor with expertise in lifestyle transformation, healing from chronic disease and natural fertility & preconception.

In this article, we are going to explore the connection between the macrocosm and the microcosm, or in other words, universal energetics all the way to the cell and individual systems. We will discuss Quantum Physics/Dynamics, particularly the Unified Field Theory, the concept of Qi in Ancient systems of medicine, as well as mitochondrial function, as there are threads of connection between all of these that are quite interesting. I invite you to consider that there is a point where the systems of understanding and experiencing ourselves and our existence, unite. Consider the patterns in nature, the ubiquitous presence of the golden ratio, or Fibonacci sequence, in all living things. Consider the inherent healing and rebalancing mechanisms that exist on both the individual and collective levels. Consider also the thematic consistencies across cultures, from seemingly different spiritual traditions and within indigenous ways of relating to earth and life. It is very possible that what the mystics described as god, and physicists describe as energy, are truly, just a different way of describing the same thing. Furthermore, it is postulated that what is described as consciousness or rather the building blocks and carriers of what allows for consciousness, is what some may refer to as divine, spirit, God, Allah, Gaia, etc. It is also possible and probable, that what ancient systems of medicine described, is directly translatable into our modern scientific and biochemical approach to medicine and living systems as a whole. The purpose of this writing is to show the areas of consistency between the many ways of describing reality, so as to open up the realm of possibilities that we can tap into when working to heal ourselves. What comes from considering all of this, is opening to the idea that we can nourish and find healing from all of the avenues: physical and measurable medicines and therapies, esoteric concepts of energy and consciousness, and traditional systems and ways of connection to the elements and fellow beings. We can then bask in awe of the ever flowing alchemy of existence: the transformation of energy into form, and form back into energy, all the while knowing that we are a part of it all. We can find a means to understand ourselves through all and each of these lenses, satisfying the spiritual heart that yearns for deep connection, and brilliant analytical mind that yearns to understand and make sense of it all.

What is Qi and how does it relate to Healing?

Let us start with the most ancient concept of all of these, that which is described in ancient systems of medicine such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Egyptian and Tibetan Medicine, as Qi, Chi, Prana, Mana. All of which are words used to describe the energy contained within all forms of life (human, plant, earth, etc)— the animating force. Qi is responsible for all of the activities of life and living, it is the balancing force, it is what is contained within that which we nourish ourselves, and is also that which allows us to transform what we nourish ourselves with into usable nutrients, vitamins, amino acids etc. Qi keeps moving around the body to promote and regulate the metabolism maintaining overall life processes. Illness occurs when there is blockage in flow, which can be related to either a lack of necessary substance through one means or another (i.e. deficient Water & Earth, Feminine, Yin) or a lack of necessary energy to move (Fire, Air, Masculine, Yang).

Yin and Yang

Yin is akin to our parasympathetic activities: Rest, Digest, Heal, Receive. Yang is rather what is used to describe our sympathetic activities: Fight, Flight, Move, Do. Both of these different “qualities” are composed of Qi, Qi being the most basic component, which then forms into different substances–different parts of the whole. We need to both be able to receive Qi, as well as process it in order to maintain health and homeostasis. Whenever we do, when we give, we Qi is flowing out of us towards our chosen action or person. This is why so many are ill from patterns of overgiving, whether time, energy, worry, fear, as all of these are consumers of energy. Eventually, if you are trying to move or give from an empty bucket, Qi depletion & Yin depletion ensue, and you end up “burning out”, dry, fatigued, uninspired, unwell. This is also what happens with chronic inflammation/infections, it uses so much energy to maintain, that we end up quite depleted over time. In relationship to the flow of Qi, TCM holds that the Shen (the Mind/spirit), controls the flow of Qi (Energy) which governs the flow of Blood (Physical). Emotional blocks cause stagnation in the flow of Qi, each emotion being correlated with affecting different meridians, such as anger affecting the liver, or worry affecting the spleen. The concept of thought and emotion affecting the physical can be correlated with some of the findings in the field of consciousness studies. Through the efforts of organizations like the Institute of Noetic Sciences, it is becoming possible to measure the effects of thought/mental state on physical matter. It is here we find the energetic and physiologic basis for the mind-body connection, and can also find the mechanisms for how mental/emotional trauma translates into physical illness. Psychoneuroimmunology is the branch of science and medicine focused around this particular area of study, which I encourage you to explore and which we will go into in subsequent articles.

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