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Samurai Chiropractic: Healing Secrets of the Samurai, Part One—The Sword

Miyamoto Musashi, self-portraitFor those who remember the early days of Saturday Night Live, the title of this article may trigger memories of John Belushi’s classic sketches, “Samurai Delicatessen,” “Samurai Optometrist” and others. No, I do not sport a kimono or wield a sword in my chiropractic practice, but as a student of the martial arts who lived in Japan for 5 years, I embrace the Samurai spirit as a guiding principle in my life and my practice as a holistic doctor.

The way of the Samurai stressed rigorous physical training and intense internal discipline to develop robust health, confidence, patience, concentration, fulfillment and even enlightenment. This article focuses on the Samurai sword as a metaphor for health and well-being.

For the Samurai, the sword and the human spirit were intricately interwoven. The sword was revered not just as a weapon, but even more so as an instrument of honor, life, purity and clarity.

Takuan S?h?, a venerated sword master and holy man in feudal Japan wrote, “All humans are equipped with the sharp Sword Taia, and in each it is perfectly complete.” The Sword Taia was a mythical Chinese sword that could cut anything, and had a blade which no other could parry. In Takuan’s words, “The person who obtains this mysterious ability will not be swayed by an enemy force of hundreds of thousands. Everyone, without exception, is equipped with it. This is a matter of the mind.” The healing lesson here is that an extraordinary healing wisdom is inside each and every one of us. The foundation of healing is to nurture this inner wisdom and bring it to light.

Miyamoto Musashi, considered by many to be the greatest samurai, teaches, “It is difficult to know the art of swordsmanship solely through the techniques of the sword.” This parallels any aspect of life that one wishes to master, including health.  Vibrant health and well-being can emerge only when one looks beyond physical health, develops a holistic mindset, and lives an all-encompassing lifestyle that nurtures body, mind, emotions and spirit.

I offer all of this to provide a clearer understanding of what chiropractic is all about. A common perception is that chiropractors “crack backs” to relieve pain. Although chiropractic is, indeed, very effective for treating symptoms throughout the body, the benefit goes much deeper. As a holistic chiropractor, I help you discover your own Sword Taia by adjusting your spine, pelvis and cranium to optimize the structural and neurological functioning of your body. I also guide you to a new holistic mindset and lifestyle that will help you realize your peak potential for healing, health, well-being and life.

Part Two of this article, next week, will address the Samurai spirit and the mind body.

Dr. Mark William Cochran is a holistic chiropractor in Sandpoint, and is an award winning author and speaker. You can contact him at 208-304-2330 or through his website at www.YourChiropractorInSandpoint.com.

Miyamoto Musashi, self-portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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