by Mary Gales, PT,
Registered JSD Acupressurist, Ketchikan AK
"The Tao, the undivided great one, gives rise to two opposite
the dark and the light, the Yin and Yang." 1
Daily, in relationships and throughout life, I am reminded of the
whole, the Tao and its opposing polaritiesthe Yin and not Yin, the Yang and not Yang. This
is the basis of Taoist philosophy, and of Iona's Bodymind Trancework class, which
integrates Taoist philosophy and Qigong with Ericksonian hynotherapy and bodymind focusing
Of the information presented in this wonderful class, what most
intrigued me were Taoist confusion tactics.2 Taoist masters used confusion
tactics to integrate the concept of the whole (the Tao) via an interplay of the Yin and
Yang, or the Yin and not Yin, the Yang and not Yang. This use of opposing reality
principles was a backdrop to introduce suggestions about life. Understanding these tactic
has improved communication with my clients, husband and dog!
An example of using this principle with a client is: "I don't know
if you know that stretching your hamstring muscle daily might not be the kind of thing
that you might not find helpful in increasing your flexibility." This multiple use of
negation has the feel of a long ping pong match; it confuses and mesmerizes with its use
of positive and negative. Using a suggestive form is more effective than advice because 1)
the client has a sense of control, and 2) the defenses are relaxed so the psyche is more
I have found this to also be an effective way to approach uncomfortable
situations with my husband or my dogi.e. carrying out garbage or retrieving newspapersand
I'm grateful for another way to suggest to my husband that flowers might be the kind of
thing I would like for that special day!
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