We had already met Dr. Liliana Atz in the interview available through this link, and we met with her again to talk about EnneaMediCina, which is an unconventional health discipline that combines two major strands of ancient medical-philosophical disciplines: the Enneagram and Chinese Medicine, revisited in the light of neuroscience.
Thus was born a new way of talking about wellness, a new method of integrating body, mind, and spirit that accommodates different disciplines, which unite and reinforce each other.
As Dr. Atz herself explains, the Enneagram is a symbol of representation of the whole of reality, a dynamic model that synthesizes the Universe at both the macrocosmic and microcosmic levels, grouping the different human types into three centers and nine types.
Chinese Medicine, on the other hand, finds its foundation in the ancient Chinese medical-philosophical culture, for which man is the result of the mixing of a “something” that, although not defined as genetic, includes the energy of the parents at the moment of conception of the new being, but not only, as the energo-astral movements are also included, as well as the situation in which the union takes place: whether in time of peace rather than war, between people in love, rather than following an act of violence, etc… gives rise to unique and unrepeatable subjects.
These starting substrates, in interaction with the environment, give rise to what is called “personality.”
Psychology has long explained how different psychological reactions are the result of specific genotypic traits in interaction with phenotypic traits.
PNEI (Psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology) also comes into play here, which is a scientific model of understanding the functioning of the human organism in its totality, that is, as it occurs in life.
For a long time, medicine has studied human beings by making refined dissections of systems, organs, and tissues, thus managing to obtain a harvest of extraordinary mechanical information, but losing sight of the whole.
PNEI’s scientific evidence of constant communication between biological systems has made it possible to bring together what had never been separated in life: the mind and the body.
This discipline gives us confirmation that human beings are integrated and not fragmented, that they are active participants in their own health and not helpless victims of the vagaries of chance or inescapable genetic inheritance.
Dear Dr. Liliana Atz, when was your first encounter with the disciplines that later helped create EnneaMediCina?
The mid-1980s and early 1990s saw my first encounters with the two major strands on which EnneaMediCina is based.
I am basically a scholar, a researcher, a person who is not satisfied with appearances and the ordinary, often the nonsense of things and situations.
And EnneaMediCina is the result of a long journey of study, of a great curiosity, conveyed by an existential malaise that sought answers and that guided me along a path that, now, finds increasing confirmation in the studies of Neuroscience and the most cutting-edge theories of human psyche-soma functioning.
What are the differences between the language of the Enneagram and that of Chinese Medicine?
Our Western cultural model leads us to compare, to seek the infinitely small, to separate, divide, sectorize. Our minds are forged according to the schema of right/wrong, good/evil, health/disease.
The Eastern cultural model, on the other hand, has a different, more holistic, global view of reality. Light, then, is not in contrast to darkness, just as health is not in contrast to disease, etc…..
These are just different aspects of the same phenomenon, since history has only divided the tasks: the West has been assigned that of research, experimentation, the risk of going beyond, of knowing and mastering matter, of exalting man’s power over nature (microcosm, the infinitely small).
To the East, the task of preserving dominion over energy, of maintaining spirituality and inner quest, repudiating the exaltation of the ego, of the ‘harmony of man in contact with nature and in respect of creation (macrocosm – the whole).
Macro and microcosm are then inseparably linked to each other, and in the infinitely large is contained in mirror version the infinitely small, just as in the infinitely small is contained the infinitely large.
How has the approach to these ancient healing practices changed with their “reinterpretation” in light of neuroscience?
The Enneagram, defines nine personality types from nine traps, passions or deadly sins.
These are the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust, to which are added two more sins: lying and fear, which block the infinite possibilities contained in power in the DNA of our cells.
Behind the interpretation of reality deformed from childhood by the subjective aspect behind which everyone learns to mask his or her individuality, in fact, lies the separation from the Self, but also from neighbor and the divine.
Sins are, then, character exacerbations, preventing energy from flowing freely.
For Taoist philosophy, with which TCM is imbued, the entire cosmos is the manifestation of the Tao, the sphere representing the continuous alternation of Yin/Yang, the first law on which TCM is based. And it is because of the two Yin Yang poles that the energy movement that gives life to existence is created.
In Chinese Medicine, which is a vibrational medicine, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood, express the different vibratory characteristics of Qi (energy), which appear in the Universe and in man and which, combining with each other, according to the principles of Yin/Yang, give rise to a plurality of psycho-physical-emotional responses, now scientifically explained by Western science.
Quantum physics and neuroscience agree, in fact, in stating how our level of consciousness causes the nervous system to move,creating one among an infinite number of possible realities, both on an individual and collective level.
We can then turn genes on or off, setting us in motion, experiencing life or blocking its flow in fear and the known that gives certainty, even if we are hurting.
All this is represented psycho-spiritually in the Enneagram symbol and in TCM by the Taijitu symbol.”
What are the Enneatypes?
Enneatypes are numerological archetypes, typical and recognizable patterns of human behavior.
Since Archetypes are located in deep areas of the collective unconscious, they influence man’s behavior without his awareness.
This archetypal genetic potential with which each of us comes into the world detemines the wealth of talents and innate abilities that each of us possesses.”
What is epigenetics?
Epigenetics is the science that studies how DNA functionality is modulated by information from the environment. Our choices in terms of diet, physical activity, and stress management have the ability to turn genes on or off and thus affect their functionality, without altering their sequence.”
Is it really possible to influence one’s DNA? What is meant by neuroplasticity?
For epigenetics, the branch of molecular biology that focuses on the changes that genetic material can undergo during life as a result of causal interactions between genes and their product, contrary to what was once believed, genetics is not an insurmountable obstacle to change.
According to the latest neuroscientific studies, we can determine to change the course of our existence by activating what is called neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world.
There seems to be increasing evidence of how DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and energetic frequencies-what ancient Eastern therapeutic practices have been claiming all along!”
When does the psyche influence our lives? What about when it is involved in the health aspects of an individual?
As both epigenetics and PNEI have long been showing, childhood experiences are consolidated into beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that mark the individual’s life course. If the child is supported to develop his or her personality in an empathetic environment, he or she will be facilitated to face life with more optimism and confidence.
As scientifically demonstrated by PNEI, the release of feel-good hormones rather than stress and discomfort hormones is related to personal outlook on life; it is the quality of thinking and confidence in one’s personal potential that helps human beings stay healthy.
How are the organs of the human body connected to the psyche?
It now seems clear even to Western science how the unity of body and mind are basic to the processes of treating and healing disease, and how the harmonization of the Five Emotions and Seven Feelings of Chinese Medicine are closely interconnected to what is called in epigenetics the healing of psychological wounds related to limiting patterns and beliefs.
According to PNEI, emotions are biochemical facts that result in cascades of molecular messages, which reach the body, including the immune system, establishing a continuous dialogue between the nervous, endocrine and immune systems, determining health or disease.
All this has been affirmed for millennia by ancient Chinese Medicine, according to which health is the result of balanced nutrition, breathing, defense against both external and internal pathogens, and the harmonious flow of the so-called Five Emotions and Seven Feelings.
Where an imbalance occurs, it will be the organ and viscera connected to the element, to the predominant structure characterizing the different enneasymbolic types, that will be the first to signal disharmony and become ill. Nel tempo, se il problema non trova soluzione, l’intera struttura psicofisica ne risentirà.
Can you explain what healing Qi consists of?
Ancient long-life practices of shamanic origin are lost in the mists of time in Chinese history.
Leading the tribes were shamans, often women, experts in herbal medicine, exorcism and spiritualism, who sought contact with the forces of nature-they were the first physicians in Chinese history.
Their healing techniques included physical movement and vocal emission protocols.
Through these sacred dances, they coordinated the body’s movements and breathing with the breaths of creation, driving away perverse energies from the body.”
According to the opinion of multiple scholars, these dances were but an anticipation of what is now Tai Chi Chi Kung, whose basic purpose is precisely to bring the body’s Qi back into resonance with the breaths of nature.
Proper practice of so-called medical gymnastics helps, in fact, as more and more studies are showing, to increase the production and flow of Qi (breaths, energy) in the body, stimulating, at the same time, the circulation of Blood and emotions.
Interestingly, in the protocols of the medicine of the future, the World Health Organization, still in 2004, included, alongside Western medicine, techniques such as acupuncture, manual therapies, Qigong, Taiji, and other physical, mental and spiritual therapies, such as, for example, shamanism, etc…
You are the author of various publications, and among them we find the Enneamedicine notebooks would you like to briefly explain the contents? Those interested where they can be purchased?
In EnneaMediCina, temperament and personality, encompassed in the various facets symbolically represented by the nine basic Enneatypes of the Enneagram, are united with the fundamental laws of Chinese Medicine to broaden the overall view of Man in the pursuit of comprehensive and conscious well-being.
Who am I?
What is the EnneaSymbol that most characterizes me?
What psycho-physical issues characterize it?
What psycho-spiritual dynamics are the matrix?
In this book, starting with these basic questions and the identification of one’s predominant psychological type, one can ascertain both the physical problems associated with it and the psycho-spiritual dynamics underlying it.
Psyche and soma speak one language, and taking as an example EnneaSymbol 9, whose themes relate to procrastination, difficulty in manifestation of the self and the transition to other levels of consciousness, we will see how the emotion, which in the undeveloped stage, characterizes it is Unrecognized and Expressed Anger.
This EnneaSymbol belongs to the triad of instinct, the reptilian brain, and thus to issues related to survival, reproduction, and territoriality.
Where the underlying issues of this basic emotion do not find a solution, this EnneaSymbol may manifest imbalances at both the physical and psychic levels, such as:
Physical: digestive functions, weak tendons and joints, testicular and prostate disorders, female genital inflammation, menstrual rhythm, tremors, spasms, tics, blockage of diaphragm and perlvi, paresthesia, vision problems, arthritis, obesity, psoriasis….
Psyche: excess dream activity, rambling, exaltation, emotional and energetic swings, depression, instability, lump in throat, shyness….
Quantum physics reveals to us that everything is interconnected, that the observer becomes part of the observed, that the probabilities of vibration (Qi) become matter only in the presence of an observer.
That our consciousness determines the reality we experience.
To get out of the dynamics underlying these issues, in an EnneaMediCina path, the individual may decide to embark on a path of awareness, knowledge and experimentation of self and one’s other potentials, the path of neuroplasticity that I have already discussed.
The EnneaMediCina Notebooks.
E-book and print versions are available for purchase at all online stores and on the publisher’s website.
E-book and print versions are available for purchase at all online stores and on the publisher’s website.