How Chinese Medicine is Queer Medicine
You might be wondering if this is just the musings of a Queer acupuncturist nerd hell-bent on serving her LGBTQ-2+ community. You’re not wrong, but also, this idea comes directly from Chinese Medicine School day one.
Chinese Medicine Is (built on a) Non-Binary Foundation
It’s my first class, first year: Foundations of Chinese Medicine with Dr. Kewu Hu. He walks in and writes “yin” 阴 and “yang” 阳 on the board. You may be thinking what I was thinking, "Ugh, yet another binary? I want a medicine that can meet me and my community in our gender splendor!”
It took me less than 29 seconds to realize that Dr. Hu was saying the exact opposite of what I had heard from other (straight) holistic providers about yin and yang. I needed to cool my jets and listen deeply.
Yin Doesn’t Exist Without Yang (aka Gender And Sexuality Is a Spectrum)
Yin is dark, the cool, the quiet, the receptive and nourishing basis for all activity. It's water. The vastness of oceans that can hold all life. We all have yin, it’s our deep nourishment. Thanks, yin.
Yang is the bright, the fiery-hot go-for-it energy that kicks-off cycles of transformation. Think about what a fire does -- it changes wood into smoke. Yang is that passion, that drive. It brings the spice to our lives, our relationships, our art, and our expression. Thanks, yang.
Here's the rub. Yin cannot exist without Yang. And vice versa. Water (yin) nourishes the trees that grow and are burned by that fire (yang). Fire needs fuel to burn. And fire needs water to grow the wood that makes that fire, a fire! There is literally nothing on this planet that is one or the other. But, you knew that already, right?
Yin Turns Into Yang and Vice Versa (aka Gender Is Ever-Changing, Fluid, and Dynamic)
Chinese medicine gets you, gets us. By the simple fact that all life experiences the transformation of yin into yang, and yang back into yin. In order for your body to stay warm and digest food (pretty important functions, wouldn’t you agree?) your Heart fire (yang) descends into your pelvis to heat your Kidney yin which in turn transforms into steam (Kidney yang). Here again we see heat (yang) transforming water (yin) back into (yang) and all the dynamic balances in-between.
Kidney yang is the seat of the Qi (energy) that propels desire, sexual function, digestion, growth, and on and on. Together with other substances, it animates your whole body/mind/spirit.
Chinese Medicine Works for Queers and LGBTQ-2+ families
In the hands of a competent practitioner, this medicine sees bodies based upon the ever-changing, non-binary, endless variations that yin and yang can manifest and combine to create. In other words, I’ve been trained (professionally and by being in this Queer body for a few decades now…) to see you in your entirety and to move with you and your family in your unfolding journeys around your gorgeous gender and sexualities. I look forward to knowing you.