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Learning from the Root

Healers Go to China for Some Lessons in Chi

Article from 'The Daily Camera' Newspaper (1999), Boulder
By Damaris Jarboux

Why did you leave nursing? "In a sense, I've never left it. I feel like I have a private practice in nursing." But Jarboux added that the question that brought her into medicine initially was, "What is behind the illness? Why does someone get this and someone else get that? Medicine answered that to a certain degree, but there are a lot of areas where it doesn't answer that."

Jarboux's interest in the energy body was piqued during her 1970's travels to Asia. When she returned, she worked some with acupressure and herbs. "I guess it was about 1980 when I was first introduced to therapeutic touch, and that's when I began in a concentrated form to study the energy body as a whole."

How did you get hooked? "It was great. I said, 'This really makes sense to me.' I started using it on my children." Jarboux said she asked Boulder Community Hospital, where she was working in recovery as a nurse, if she could teach a therapeutic-touch class. "But that just sounded too far out there at the time."

So, she began teaching privately and using her knowledge in her hospice nursing. "Even in technical nursing-the recovery room is where you're helping people wake up. I feel like that is what healing is all about. And hospice nursing is helping people deal with the cycle of life, with letting go when the time is right."

What convinced you of the effectiveness of energy healing? She said it was the response she saw from her then-young son and daughter, who are now 18 and 21 respectively. "They don't have any attachment to whether it's working or not. It was so helpful in bringing them through any illness. My son has never even had antibiotics," she said, adding she was always a careful watcher. "If they really need Western medicine, I'm 1,000 percent for it."

But Jarboux teaches parents and children how to take responsibility for their own healing.

Many do not believe that's possible. They attribute alternative-healing success stories to a placebo effect. "Maybe it is placebo, but placebo means your body has its own intelligence. If the mind kicks in, something happens in terms of your immunity." She said she taught her kids they had an internal process on which they could rely.

Explain the energy body. "Your energy body has many components. It has the actual field around you; they're called the chakras in one system. In chi kung, they're called cauldrons. Then there are the actual meridians that run through your body. Acupuncture usually uses 12 major meridians; chi kung uses all of the bigger meridians."

Explain the difference between the energy system and Western-medicine's view of the body's system. "Western medicine works a lot with the constitution, the physical body and the organs." Jarboux said the same physiology is the basis of chi kung, but energy healing is based on the primary unit-the energy body-and its working with the physical body.

"You affect the energy body, and you affect the physical body. Sometimes, we need to address both things. You're working with the meridians or the organs themselves, but it's the energy in the organ. The energy in the organs can be unbalanced long before a person has an organ disease," she said.

"I see people whose energy system is very messed up. They have a lack of motivation, depression, no energy, all kinds of things," Jarboux said. By aligning their energy body, organ problems can be prevented. "In energy-body healing, you look at the emotions, because that's an aspect of the energy body. You look at the mind and the spirit as well as the physical."

How did the China trip come about? "The National Chi Kung Association asked me if I would lead a trip to China," Jarboux said, explaining she was not that interested. "Usually, trips to China are kind of on a superficial level."

Then she met with heads of the World Academic Society of Medical Chi Kung in Europe and began planning a trip. "First I didn't agree. I said I wasn't going unless I could take people who already knew medical chi kung." Jarboux wanted to actually work in the hospitals with the Chinese doctors, making assessments and treating patients.

"Part of assessment uses the pendulum. That's not an Asian practice. That's a European practice. It's an incredible tool, one which Asia has never experienced," Jarboux said, explaining that the learning experience went both ways.

How beneficial was the trip? "We really thought they were superior. Once they got to know who we were and what level we were coming from, they opened up on a whole different level."

Jarboux said she and one of the Chinese doctors assessed a patient, she in her way he in his, with no knowledge of past history or lab work or x-rays. She first explained what she saw and how she would treat the patient. "Then he said the same thing. It was amazing how in sync it was. We both saw the same problems."

And the Chinese doctors were impressed with Jarboux's work, she said. "They said it was impressive, the approach I was using, and they understood the pendulum," she said, adding at the end of the day she gave each one a pendulum.

"I had said I would not go back to China for years because it's so much work. But right on the spot, I set up next year's training."

"Most of the trip was wonderful beyond our expectations. Nobody wanted to come home when the time came to go, much less when the state department told us to come home. Many signed up for next year."

What else is special about trips to China? "I would say it is that sense of the imprint that is in China-the imprint of understanding chi (energy) and its being part of that whole life. It's steeped in the culture. It's really helpful for people who are studying this on not just a casual level. We felt like we were going back to Mother China."



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