First Yoga Pose
Shen (nurturing) Cycle Explained
The Shen is described as the generating or nurturing cycle, likened to that of the relationship between a mother and her son. The energy flows from one element to the other in a cyclic fashion. Problems arise when the energy becomes stuck, stagnant, or weak in a particular element, therefore affecting the following element. For example, if the Fire element becomes stagnant, blocked; or the fire simply gets put out or dampened, it causes problems for the Earth element. Then we will get signs and symptoms of disease within the Earth element, and in the case of treatment, we will need to treat the Fire element alongside the Earth element so the Shen cycle can be re-established.
The Ko (controlling) Cycle Explained
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The Ko cycle is also described as the controlling cycle because it is likened to that of the relationship between a grandmother and a grandson; well, in traditional families anyway. The grandmother has a strong influence on the grandson’s life and choices. So if we use the same ideas as in the Shen example, where the Earth element has become weak and we have signs and symptoms of the Earth element’ problems, it could well be due to the Wood element controlling Earth. Wood can easily overpower the Earth element, as the liver tends to get hot and irritated easily. Or, the Wood element may simply be acting to cut the Earth element off by not giving it any energy and both of these examples would leave the Earth element in all sorts of problems. Therefore, sometimes we need to treat the Wood element to treat the Earth element and so on.
It’s not necessary to fully grasp these concepts; yet, they prove very helpful when treating any illness or any signs and symptoms of imbalance. If we become familiar with the inter-relationships between the elements, we can really work out where the initial problem may have arisen and therefore, treat the underlying cause and not just the symptoms, as is what happens in most cases.