EnneaMediCina to “Reflection”. IEA European Enneagram Conference 2017

An excerpt from the EnneaMediCina conference presentation, held by Liliana Atz in Helsinki on 24.9.2017.

IEA EUROPEAN ENNEAGRAM CONFERENCE

General theme:Personal and spiritual growth, mental and physical health.

The workshop is open to anyone interested in this theme.

In EnneaMediCina, temperament and personality, represented by the nine basic types of the Enneagram, are brought together with the fundamental laws of Chinese medicine to broaden the vision of humankind on a quest for global and conscious well-being.”

EnneaMediCina offers a new approach to well-being and to the integration of body, mind and spirit involving various disciplines that join with – and reinforce – each other. The Enneagram is a symbol representing reality in its entirety, a dynamic model that encapsulates the Universe at macrocosmic and microcosmic levels, and which groups human beings under three centres and nine types.
Chinese medicine, on the other hand, is based on an ancient medical-philosophical culture in which a human is considered a combination of ‘something’ that – although not defined as ‘genetic’ – includes a couple’s energy at the moment they conceive a new being. Other factors include the movements and energy of the stars, and the circumstances that brought the couple together at that moment – does their union take place in time of peace or war; is it an act of love or an act of aggression? These diverse elements form the initial substratum that give rise to a unique and unrepeatable individual that – interacting with the environment – breathes life into what we call ‘personality’.
Who am I?
Which of the Enneagram types characterises me best?
What are the mental and physical problems that characterise that Enneagram type?
Which psycho-spiritual dynamics form its matrix?

During the workshop, simple ways to test the presence and awareness of the EnneaSymbols will be explored using different methods such as video screenings, lectures, group work, etc.

Detailed description

The ancients handed down their knowledge encapsulated in archetypes, in Symbols (such as the Enneagram and the Chinese symbol of the Tao), that are nothing more than diagrams representing growth, awareness and transformation.

All of these languages have the same objective: to return to the Whole, to the completeness of being.

By systematically following a path, the approach to psychology of the Enneagram and the foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are brought together and, at the same time, validated by the innovations of western science. In this way, EnneaMediCina becomes a journey of awareness and a path to Well-Being.

“What is the meaning of life? What does ‘being healthy’ mean?”

For Traditional Chinese Medicine, long recognized by the World Health Organization as one of the therapeutic systems that can work alongside western medicine, there is no difference between psychological, energy-related, physiological and spiritual manifestations. The observation and classification of the correspondences between these aspects led to the creation of a complex system of interrelations between the physical, emotional and psychological health of the microcosm Man within the macrocosm in which he exists.

The roots of psychology based on the Enneagram go back more than 2000 years. The Enneagram is a symbol in which two geometric figures, a triangle and a hexagon, touch the circle in which they are enclosed at nine points. These nine points represent the nine basic archetypes of human psychology.

The premise on which this ancient form of psychology is based is that the Self of an individual – the aspect of his/her true inner nature – is present at birth but is lost as the individual grows, and must be recovered in order for the individual to lead a full life.

Depending on the temperament of the person and the type of experiences they will face, a survival strategy is formed that will be unwittingly preserved for a lifetime: the personality mask summarised in the nine Enneagram types.

In Psychology, differing psychological reactions have long been explained as the result of the interaction between specific genotypes and phenotypes.

In fact, the affection expressed between a child and his or her role models acts as the first source of behavioural stimuli; later it will become the base on which his/her interior world is structured. This ability seems to be deeply conditioned by the type of emotional response the individual could draw on during childhood.

According to ancient Chinese theories, the universe is made up of five primordial elements, wood, fire, metal and water, which express the diverse vibrational characteristics of Qi (energy). These energy characteristics allow the relationships between organs, tissue, constitutional and physiological characteristics, emotions and functional imbalances of the body to be established.

In this form of medicine – as there is no organ function that does not contribute a specific ‘emotive colour’, and there is no state of mind that does not affect an organ – it is the interrelationship between Man and his internal/external environment that gives rise to either health or illness.

In the west, Psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology (PNEI) is the science that has now widely confirmed how, in the mammalian brain, positive emotions facilitate the activation of a series of reactions that can trigger the functions of the immune system, while states of depression cause inhibition of immune resistance.

Quantum physics also reveals how everything is interconnected, how the observer becomes part of what is observed, and how the fundamental vibration of the universe becomes matter only in the presence of an observer. This means that each of us, with our own idea of the world, determines the material experience of our own reality.

If we are in psycho-spiritual equilibrium, our view of reality will evoke certain experiences. The same is true if we are negative.

Our thoughts can make us free and healthy or imprison us in a windowless cell of discomfort and disease.

All of this was established by Traditional Chinese Medicine thousands of years ago!

During the workshop, the above concepts will be used to trace a path for the identification of the psychological type of each participant, providing a way to understand how our emotions are the foundations of our well-being or our ill-being.

 

Enneagram in Light of Neuroscience ON ENNEAGRAM MONTHLY

What messages have the symbols and models of the archetypes held steady throughout time, that are within the collective unconscious?
Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and an- thropologist stated that the archetype is like an invisible model that determines what structure an object will assume; for exam-ple, how a crystal will form. He considered numbers themselves to be numinous and sacred entities. He described them as “an archetype of the order that became conscious.”
Pythagoras believed that “the whole universe was harmony expressed in numbers” and that mathematics was the ultimate essence of reality. Similar to the Pythagoreans St. Augustine too believed that everything had numerical relationships and it was up to the mind to seek and investigate the secrets of these relationships or else have them revealed by divine power. St. Augustine wrote “Numbers are the universal language of-fered by the divine to humans as a method for the confirma-tion of what is truth.”
Archetypes as collective representations of the inherited unconscious, are the common heritage of humanity, found in the myths and legends of all civilizations. In life there can be as many archetypes as there are characteristic situations we can see in typical and recognizable patterns of human behavior, for example, as symbolized by the nine Ennea-gram types.
On the psychological level, the Enneagram sees human intelligence as expressed in three fundamental ways that are related to the Instinctive, Mental or Emotional centers.

These three centers correspond to three different ways of being. According to the evolutionary vision of MacLean, it’s as if we had three different brains, each characterized by behaviors and deep rooted connota-tions of character that are typical of the center itself.
Reptilian Brain

The first brain, reptilian (instinctive center), is connected to automatism, the spontaneous and unconscious acts, for example the heart and the di-gestive system. This center is working to ensure the physical and psychological survival of the individual, it is the source where energy, motivation and actions originate.
Enneagram types 1, 8 and 9 use primarily this center to adequately address the different situations of life. The digestive system and the area of the so-lar plexus are very involved here, hence we call them “belly types.”
At the level of mind, our memories, including those stored mostly unconsciously, are strongly related to this center. Nobel laureate Eric Richard Kandel describes the long-term memory system as two-fold: the explicit, autobiographic that can be expressed in words, and also the implicit underground memory, not remembered, as it cannot be verbalized, as it has been created by sensations and emotions, rather than words; a somatic memory, that are all connected to the reptilian brain.
In the first two years of infancy experiences are mostly recorded by this form of memory which is mostly managed in the center for instinctive emo-tions, the amygdala. Given that such memories were mostly not conscious, they can’t easily be remem-
bered, recorded or released, without precise psycho-body work.
This unconscious memory is in fact the base, the backbone, the “mother” of the individual’s personal-ity. It continues and endures over time, influencing the individuals emotional, cognitive and affective life.
I would say it is here where the enneagram archetypes and their functions are determined.

Limbic Brain

The feeling center, the limbic brain, is the place for emotions, affectivity, aspirations and relationships. It is mainly concerned with the present. Types 2, 3 and 4 use primarily this part of the brain as it’s centered around relationships with the people.
It is here that the heart and circula-tory system are mostly involved.
In neuroscience, psycho neuro en-docrino immunology (PNEI), investi-gates the relationship between the psyche, the nervous system, the en-docrine and the immune system. It is through neuropeptides, the small protein-like molecules (peptides) used by neurons to communicate via pathways with each other and to transmit the signals needed between the brain and the body. The neuro-peptides are signaling molecules as they convey emo-tions and psychological as well as physical stimuli that elicit and maintain the unconscious responses in every part of the body.
It is well established now that emotions are, first of all, primarily physiological event, closely related to the unconscious, to the experiences, although not remem-bered, that will affect all mind and body functions.

Neocortex

The neocortex, finally, is the seat of the higher-order brain functions that defines human possibili-ties concerned with making sense of the self and the world by using reasoning, imagination, and the study of different possibilities and perspectives.
The enneagram “head types” 5, 6, and 7, use pri-marily this center for information and rationalization.
This operative center consists of the central nervous system, the brain, and the spine.
According to the neuroscientist Goldberg Elk-honon, the right hemisphere of the human brain deals with what’s new, while the left hemisphere deals with the well-developed and established con-figurations and stereotyped concepts, so all new information is first processed in the right hemi-sphere and then sent to the left where a model is created.
Parts of the right brain, while mainly dealing with emotional processes, are also involved with reason-ing, decision-making and processing of thoughts. It appears that as the brain ages, the ability to learn new things decreases due to an emotional rigidity that dis-courages new discoveries and experiments as well as creating new models.
Coming back to the Enneagram, we find that types 2, 3 and 4 are positioned more in the right hemisphere connected to news, and analysis of the emotional content of experiences; whereas types 5, 6 and 7 occupy the left side of the model, assigned with the analysis and meaning of words and the creation of operational models. Above, the instinctive center with types 8, 9 and 1, takes in the dialogue between the left and right cerebral hemispheres and offers a visceral gut response.
The personality masks serve to protect the indi-vidual’s survival and are nothing more than a con-sequence of the interaction between the centers, be-tween genetics and epigenetics.
In conclusion, everything is in a state of constant vibration, including the human DNA. We can say that the rhythm and pace respond to different emo-tional states. Scholars speak of a closely woven net-work that is connecting all matter through vibration-al events.
DNA acts like an antenna, as an electric capacitor, an oscillating circuit able to receive and transmit elec-tromagnetic waves and therefore information.
The nine ‘traps’, or ‘passions’ of the Enneagram (pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony, lust, de-ception and fear) symbolize impediments of charac-ter that prevent energy to flow freely, by hampering the activation of genes within the DNA?
On the other hand, could it be that moving in the opposite direction of the Enneagram arrows, would be a way to activate the motion towards integration of psyche and soma?

Liliana Atz is the creator of EnneaMediCina. A psychologist, adept at Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a Tai Chi Chi Kung and Shiatsu trainer, Liliana has also authored EnneaMediCina as well as a num-ber of trade articles and publications.

www.enneamedicina.eu

info@enneamedicina.it

Bibliography

EnneaMediCina. Le Cinque Vie dell’Anima – Liliana Atz
In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind – Eric Kandel
The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Un-conscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present – Eric Kandel
The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex
World – Elkhonon Goldberg
The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow
Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older – Elkhonon Gold-berg
Sentieri verso la libertà – Arnaldo Pangrazzi

First part of the article
Second part of the article

Discovering… EnneaMediCina: a quick guide to knowing yourself and your body.

“Everyone has their own psycho-physical structure, their own unique background, and everyone needs a life path that takes all of this into account.” EnneaMediCina is exactly this: a path that allows us to activate the potential within our DNA, and to learn how to take control of our own destiny.

Published by Fontana Editore, EnneaMediCina presents a new model, a new way of understanding human beings and their internal, social and cultural surroundings.

The book brings together, in an enthralling combination, traditional Chinese medicine and the Enneagram. The author is Dr Liliana Atz – psychologist, expert in traditional Chinese medicine, and Enneagram teacher.

The book includes a historical overview that begins in the late 16th century – when the world was revolutionized by the split between mind and body initiated by the theses of Descartes – and continues to the present day with the rediscovery of the importance of a holistic approach to people’s lives.

The book focuses on two ancient disciplines: traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and the western doctrine of the Enneagram that, after centuries of being relatively unheard of, has recently regained prominence. These two diverse systems are brought together because, as is made clear in this clear and intuitive manual, east and west are two worlds that complement each other.

This is, perhaps, the challenge that awaits us: to overcome the western cultural-scientific model – which, for centuries, has divided and classified – in order to embrace a more holistic vision, typical of the Orient.

EnneaMediCina is a work that goes beyond the classic canons of positivistic society, offering the reader a wide range of ancient interpretations. A section of the book is dedicated to an in-depth examination of the meaning of numbers.

The author recounts a fascinating story. “Numerology is an ancient science, of which Pythagoras was one of the most distinguished scholars. Saint Augustine, too, believed that everything has a mathematical relationship, and wrote, “Numbers are the universal language given by the deities to humans as a reconfirmation of the truth”. Finally, Jung, the famous psychotherapist, considered numbers to be numinous, sacred entities.

Quantum physics explains how the observer becomes part of what is observed. The consequences that can be drawn from this are revolutionary, disconcerting, and fundamentally in concordance with what the great spiritual illuminati have always stated, that time is bidirectional; material is not reality. Reality is consciousness.”

Quantum physics and neuroscience now agree in stating that our level of consciousness stimulates the nervous system, creating one of an infinite number of possible realities, both at an individual and collective level. This was already known in ancient times and has been handed down to us by means of the symbolic language of numbers. Numerology, the author concludes, thus becomes an important gateway to the universe (macrocosm) and humankind (microcosm).

Although the book addresses quite complex themes – it is undoubtedly an instructive work – the style is clear and the language used is suitable for a non-specialised audience. It avoids convoluted turns of phrase, the ideas and teachings presented being aimed at a varied audience with an instinctive inclination to learning. Nonetheless, we asked the author how a young reader who might not be familiar with these themes might draw valuable insights from this book.

She replied, “In our western society, we can truly say that we are not lacking anything important at a material level. Food is not a priority and most of us can afford other things. Different needs are projected onto these induced necessities: the urgent needs for inner fulfilment that are left ‘voiceless’.”

“What is the meaning of life?” Liliana Atz asks herself, attempting to offer us an answer to a question that has tormented humanity for centuries. “According to the World Health Organisation, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not just the simple absence of illness or infirmity. However, in our image-centred society more and more people manifest their problems with destructive and self-destructive behaviour.

“Unfortunately, we have learnt to conceal our inner emptiness, out existential malaise: forgetting about ourselves, we adapt slavishly because ‘everybody else does’, losing touch with our inner selves. I believe it is important for everyone – and particularly for young people – to prepare for the future by knowing and practicing ‘EnneaMediCina’.”

A number of chapters are dedicated to our organism that, far from being ‘set in stone’, can be influenced by factors that, until a few decades ago, were not taken into consideration. In the chapter dedicated to the endocrine system, Atz writes, “An optimistic approach to life will lead to a good functioning, a pessimistic view will produce imbalance.”

The author continues: “Starting from childhood, various psychological studies have shown how the relationship with the mother (and/or other role models) is crucial in activating the behavioural traits manifested by the child from its first year of life. The psychologist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby put forward the ‘theory of attachment’ in the 1980s. Science has already proved how the positive emotions in the brains of mammals facilitate the activation of a series of reactions that trigger the functions of the immune system, while depressive states lead to a decrease in immune resistance. This has been stated for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine…”

What caused this cultural delay, and why are these themes not taken into consideration in school? “To answer these questions would require a broad socio-political-cultural analysis. Every change of paradigm needs time, and this is particularly true in a society accustomed to the language of western science, where the old model continues to be propped up, even when its shortcomings are revealed by scientific evidence. There are too many interests at stake… It is therefore up to each of us, as Gandhi said, to be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Oriental culture, then, offers us extraordinary points on which to reflect. The brain, for example, is tightly bound to the heart, the latter being the control centre for the entire body-mind structure. An increasing number of cardiologists are proposing a heart-brain system. Is this correct?

“Yes, it is correct”, confirms the author. “According to traditional Chinese medicine, the heart oversees emotions, awareness, thought, and spirit, and the coordination of emotional and cognitive aspects. It carries out the instructions sent by the five senses: interpreting, converting and assimilating them, and generating a reaction to the trials of life, adjusting the senses to our inner self.”

The heart and the brain are, therefore, centres of intelligence: the organs of consciousness and the spirit. “The heart,” continues Atz “is the support for emotional intelligence, immediate and instinctive consciousness, while the brain handles rational consciousness. Western medicine is also investigating this relationship between the brain and the heart. When the emotional brain is out of phase, the heart suffers and, in the long term, wears itself out. However, the most amazing aspect is that this relationship is bilateral: in every moment of our lives, the equilibrium of the heart influences the brain.

Neurocardiological research”, Atz concludes, “shows that the heart is a sensorial organ and a sophisticated centre for receiving and developing information. In practice, the heart encompasses the entire organism in the variations of its wide electromagnetic field; it is able to perceive and feel, and to influence the whole physiology, starting with the brain.”

Can this book lead us to a new way of viewing the world and ourselves? “It was my existential malaise that brought me to begin this personal research. My life has changed in that I now have new levels of awareness. My needs really are ‘what I need’: I no longer waste time with those who propose ‘ready-to-use’ solutions.

“Everyone has their own psycho-physical structure, their own unique background, and everyone needs a life path that takes all of this into account.”

EnneaMediCina is exactly this: a path that allows us to activate the potential within our DNA, and to learn how to take control of our own destiny.

Books by Liliana Atz are available from all online bookstores and on this website.

From:

«The five ways of the soul» – By Nadia Clementi

We interviewed Dr Liliana Atz on a previous occasion, and met her again to talk about EnneaMediCina, an alternative health discipline that brings together two ancient medical-philosophical systems, the Enneagram and Chinese medicine, revisited in the light of the neurosciences. EnneaMediCina offers a new approach to well-being and to the integration of body, mind and spirit involving various disciplines that join with – and reinforce – each other. As Dr Atz explains, the Enneagram is a symbol representing reality in its entirety, a dynamic model that encapsulates the Universe at macrocosmic and microcosmic levels, and which groups human beings under three centres and nine types.

Chinese medicine, on the other hand, is based on an ancient medical-philosophical culture in which a human is considered a combination of ‘something’ that – although not defined as ‘genetic’ – includes a couple’s energy at the moment they conceive a new being. Other factors include the movements and energy of the stars, and the circumstances that brought the couple together at that moment – does their union take place in time of peace or war; is it an act of love or an act of aggression? These diverse elements form the initial substratum that give rise to a unique and unrepeatable individual that – interacting with the environment – breathes life into what we call ‘personality’.

In psychology, differing psychological reactions have long been explained as the result of the interaction between specific genotypes and phenotypes. This is where PNEI (Psiconeuroendocrinoimmunology) comes into play. PNEI is a scientific model that considers the working of the human organism as it is in life: a totality. For a long time, medicine has studied human beings by carrying out detailed investigations of systems, organs, and tissues, thus obtaining a mass of extraordinary ‘mechanical’ information, but losing sight of the whole. The scientific evidence gathered by PNEI on the constant communication between biological systems has allowed a reconnection between what, in life, has never been separated: the mind and the body.

This discipline provides confirmation that human beings are not fragmented, that they play an active part in their health and are not helpless victims of the whims of chance or of an inescapable genetic inheritance.

Dr Atz, when did you first learn about the disciplines that led to the creation of EnneaMediCina?

I first encountered the two great strands of knowledge that lie at the core of EnneaMediCina between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s.

“I am, fundamentally, a studious, a researcher, a person who is never satisfied with outward appearances and the ordinary, or the non-sense of things and situations.

“EnneaMediCina is the result of a long period of study, and a curiosity driven by an existential unease that was searching for answers. This led me to a train of thought that has met increasingly with validation in the fields of neuroscience and in leading-edge theories on the workings of the human psychosoma.”

What are the differences between the language of the Enneagram and the language of Chinese medicine?

“Our Western cultural model leads us to compare, to search for the infinitely small, to separate, divide and categorise. Our mind is built on a framework of right/wrong, good/bad, and health/illness.

“The Eastern model, on the other hand, has a different vision of reality that is more holistic, more global. Thus, light is not in conflict with darkness, just as health is not in conflict with illness, etc.

“The two models are simply different approaches to the same phenomenon. History has divided the tasks: to the West it assigned research, experimentation, the risk of ‘pushing the boundaries’, of understanding and dominating matter, and the exaltation of the power of humankind over nature (microcosm, the infinitely small).

“To the East, history assigned the tasks of conserving dominance over energy, observing spirituality and understanding one’s inner self; denying the exaltation of ego, promoting the harmony of man in contact with nature and respect for the universe (macrocosm – the Oneness).

“Macrocosm and microcosm are thus inextricably bound to each other: the infinitely large contains – in a mirror version – the infinitely small, just as the infinitely small contains the infinitely large.”

How has the approach to these ancient healing practices changed following their re-evaluation in the light of the neurosciences?

“The Enneagram defines nine personality types arising from nine ‘traps’, ‘passions’ or ‘mortal vices’. These are the Seven Deadly Sins –

Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and Lust – plus two further vices, Deceit and Fear, which block the infinite possibilities enclosed in the DNA of our cells.

Hidden behind our interpretation of reality – deformed since infancy by our subjective point of view (behind which we all learn to mask our individuality) – is the separation from Self, but also from others and from the divine.

“The Sins are, therefore, exacerbations of personality that prevent energy from flowing freely.

“In Taoist philosophy, which runs through TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), the entire cosmos is the manifestation of Tao (the sphere representing the continual alternation of Yin/Yang), and is the primary law on which TCM is based. Moreover, it is thanks to the two poles – Yin and Yang – that the movement of energy is created, giving life to what exists.

“In TCM, which is a vibrational medicine, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood express the diverse vibratory characteristics of Qi (energy) present in the Universe and in humankind and which, combined in different ways according to the principles of Yin/Yang, give rise to a multitude of psycho-physical-emotional responses. Today these can be explained by western science.

“In fact, Quantum physics and neuroscience agree that our level of consciousness stimulates the nervous system, creating one of the infinite possible realities, both individually and collectively.

“We can, therefore, switch our genes on or off by starting to move: we can choose to actively experience life, or to block its flow because we are afraid or because we resort to habitual, consoling patterns of behaviour, even when this leads to malaise.

“All of this is represented psycho-spiritually in the symbol of the Enneagram and, in TCM, by the Taijitu symbol.”

What are Enneagram types?

“The Enneagram types are numerological archetypes of typical and recognisable models of human behaviour. Because these archetypes are situated in the depths of the collective subconscious, they influence behaviour without the individual being aware of it.

“This archetypical genetic potential, which we are all born with, determines which set of talents and innate abilities we are endowed with.”

What is epigenetics?

“Epigenetics is the science that studies how DNA functionality is modulated by information arriving from the environment. Our choices in terms of diet, physical activity and the ways we handle stress have the ability to switch genes on or off, thus influencing their functions without altering their sequence.”

Is it actually possible to influence one’s own DNA? What does ‘neuroplasticity’ mean?

“Epigenetics is the branch of molecular biology that focuses on the modifications that genetic material can undergo during the life of an organism as a result of the 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 modify our life path by activating what is defined as ‘neuroplasticity’: the brain’s capacity to modify the restrictive beliefs about ourselves and the world.

“It seems to be ever more a statement of fact that DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed through words and energy waves – a concept embraced by Eastern therapies right from the start!”

When does the psyche influence our life, and when does it affect our health?

“As both epigenetics and PNEI have demonstrated for some time, childhood experiences are consolidated in beliefs, thoughts and feelings that mark the life trajectory of an individual. If children are given a loving and protective environment that nurtures their growing personalities, they will be able to face difficulties with optimism and confidence.

“As proven scientifically by PNEI, this kind of environment stimulates hormones that promote well-being rather than stress and discomfort; it is the quality of our thoughts and belief in our own potential that helps us to stay healthy.”

How are the organs of the human body linked to the psyche?

“It is now clear, even to Western medicine, that unity of mind and body underlies the treatment and cure of illness, and that harmonising the five emotions and seven feelings of Chinese medicine are intimately connected to what PNEI calls ‘the healing of psychological scars linked to constricting beliefs and states of mind.

“According to PNEI, emotions are biochemical; they transform into cascades of molecular messages, and these messages reach the various parts of the body, including the immune system, establishing a continuous dialogue between the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system that can determine good health or illness.

“This had already been established thousands of years ago in Chinese medicine, according to which good health is the result of a balanced diet, correct breathing, a functioning system of defence against external and internal pathogens, and the harmonious flow of the ‘five emotions and seven feelings’.

“When an imbalance occurs, the organ and the viscera connected to the element (the structure most characterising of the particular Enneagram type) will be first to signal the disharmony and suffer a disorder. If the problem finds no solution, the entire psychophysical structure will eventually be affected.”

Could you explain what the ‘Qi of Healing’ consists of?

“The set of ancient Chinese practices used in the pursuit of long life were a form of shamanism and have been lost in the mists of time.

“The shamans were tribal leaders – often women – who were experts in herbal medicine, exorcism and spiritualism, and sought contact with the forces of nature. They were the first doctors in Chinese history.

“Their healing techniques included sequences of physical movement and vocal expression.

“By means of sacred dances, they coordinated the movements of the body and respiration with the breath of creation, eliminating negative energies from the body.

“Many academics believe that these dances were the precursor of present-day Tai Chi Chi Kung, whose basic purpose it to enable the body’s Qi to resonate with the breath of nature.

“In fact – as confirmed by an increasing number of studies – the correct practice of so-called ‘medical exercises’ helps to increase the production and flow of Qi (breaths, energy) in the body, while at the same time stimulating the circulation of blood and emotions.

“It is interesting that in 2004, for future medical protocols, the World Health Organisation had already included acupuncture, manual therapies, Qigong, Taiji and other physical, mental and spiritual therapies, such as shamanism, alongside western medicine.”

You are the author of various publications including books on EnneaMediCina. Could you tell us something about them? Where can they be bought?

“Temperament and personality, residing in various facets symbolised by the nine basic types of Enneagram, are united under EnneaMediCina with the fundamental laws of Chinese medicine to broaden the vision of humankind on a quest for global and conscious well-being.”

Who am I?
Which of the Enneagram types characterises me best?
What are the mental and physical problems that characterise that Enneagram type?
Which psycho-spiritual dynamics form its matrix?

“The book begins by asking these fundamental questions and by identifying the reader’s predominant psychological type. The physical problems connected to the type and the underlying psycho-spiritual dynamics can both be verified.

“Psyche and soma speak the same language and, taking for example Enneagram type 9 – whose themes are related to procrastination, the difficulty of self-expression, and to the passage to other levels of consciousness – we will see how the emotion that initially characterises it is unrecognised and unexpressed anger.

Type 9 belongs to the Instinctive Triad, to the reptilian brain – which means it relates to survival, reproduction and the control of territory. If the anger problems remain unresolved, type 9 may exhibit signs of physical and mental imbalance, as follows.

Body: digestive problems, weak tendons and joints, testicular and prostate disorders, inflammation of female genitals, irregularities of the menstrual cycle, tremors, spasms, tics, blockage of the diaphragm and pelvis, paresthesia, problems with eyesight, arthritis, obesity, psoriasis…

Psyche: excessive oneiric activity, ravings, exaltations, emotion and energy swings, depression, instability, the urge to cry, shyness.

“Quantum physics reveals that everything is interconnected: the observer becomes part of what is observed; that the probabilities of the vibration (Qi) become material only in the presence of an observer; and that our awareness determines the reality in which we live.

“To escape the dynamics at the root of these problems using EnneaMediCina, the reader may decide to follow a path leading to awareness and consciousness of – and experimentation with – their self and their other potential. This is the path of neuroplasticity, as described above.

Enneagram and Chinese medicine in the light of neuroscience.

I first encountered the two great strands of knowledge that lie at the core of EnneaMediCina between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s. Curiosity, propelled by an existential unease that was searching for answers, took me down a train of thought that has met increasingly with validation in the fields of neuroscience and psychosomatics.

The languages of the Enneagram system and Chinese medicine are quite different — how could they not be? One comes from the Western tradition and the other is based on an ancient Chinese medical-philosophical culture. ‘But if the Whole has a common matrix’, I kept saying to myself, ‘Then it is just a question of finding the common thread’. This conviction – together with years of study, reflection and finding links between the various components – resulted in EnneaMediCina: a universal message that resides in the body, soul and spirit of humankind.

I asked myself why some people’s reaction to a given event can lead to years of physical and psychological distress while others exposed to the same stimuli suffer no consequences. In psychology, differing reactions have long been explained as the result of the interaction between specific genotypes and phenotypes. In Chinese medicine, a human is also considered a combination of ‘something’ that – although not defined as genetic – includes a couple’s energy at the moment they conceive a new being. Other factors are the movements and energy of the stars, and the circumstances that brought the couple together at that moment – does their union take place in time of peace or war; is it an act of love or an act of aggression?

This initial substratum breathes life into what we call ‘personality’.

Both epigenetics and PNE have proved for some time that childhood experiences form the beliefs, thoughts and feelings that map out a life trajectory. If children are given a loving and protective environment that nurtures their growing personalities, they will be able to face difficulties with optimism and confidence. As proven scientifically by PNE, this kind of environment stimulates hormones that promote well-being rather than stress and discomfort; it is the quality of our thoughts, and belief in our own potential, that helps us to stay healthy. According to PNE, emotions are biochemical; they transform into cascades of molecular messages, and these messages reach the various parts of the body, including the immune system. In fact, in the most recent experiments, the brain can be considered a container full of hormones, and the psyche the regulator of neurotransmitters that establish a continuous dialogue between the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system.

Recent studies have found that suppressed emotions expand in the body, affecting its various systems. This had already been established thousands of years ago in Chinese medicine in which – along with a balanced diet, correct breathing, and a functioning system of defence against external and internal pathogens – the harmonious flow of the ‘five emotions and seven feelings’ is essential for good health.

When an imbalance occurs, the organ and the viscera connected to the element (the structure most characterising of the particular Enneagram type) will be first to signal the disharmony and suffer a disorder. If the problem finds no solution, the entire psychophysical structure will eventually be affected.

It is now clear even to Western medicine that unity of mind and body underlies the treating and curing of illness and that harmonising the five emotions and seven feelings are intimately connected to what PNE calls ‘the healing of psychological scars linked to constricting beliefs and states of mind’.

Contrary to previously held belief, epigenetics does not consider the genetic make-up of an organism to be a permanent obstacle to change. We can decide to modify our trajectory by activating what is now known as ‘neuroplasticity’ – in other words, the brain’s capacity to change beliefs that hold us back and limit our worlds. It seems to be ever more a statement of fact that DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed through words and energy waves – a concept embraced by Eastern therapies right from the start! EnneaMediCina calls it ‘following the direction of arrows that go against the flow’ – that is, activating atypical response strategies and utilising the resources of other Enneagrams in order to ‘close the circle’ of one’s own unification.

Chinese medicine and modern science are in agreement about the role of emotions in building a bridge between the conscious mind and the body. Temperament and personality, residing in various facets symbolised by the nine basic types of Enneagram, are united under EnneaMediCina with the fundamental laws of Chinese medicine to broaden the vision of humankind on a quest for global and conscious well-being.

Which of the Enneagrams characterises me best? What are the mental and physical problems that characterise that Enneagram? Which psycho-spiritual dynamics form its matrix?

A reader of this book, who begins with these fundamental questions and identifies their predominant type, will be able to verify both the physical problems that attach to it and the psycho-spiritual dynamics therein. Only by breaking bonds with our unconscious dynamics can we be free of burden.

Taking as an example Enneagram type 9, which is characterised by ‘decision-making ability, self-realisation and passage to other levels of consciousness’, we will see that in a non-evolved stage the emotion that characterises type 9 is ‘unrecognised and unexpressed anger’. Type 9 belongs to the Instinctive Triad, to the reptilian brain – which means it relates to survival, reproduction and the control of territory. If the anger problems remain unresolved, type 9 may exhibit signs of physical and mental imbalance, as follows.

Body: digestive problems, weak tendons and joints, testicular and prostate disorders, inflammation of female genitals, irregularities of the menstrual cycle, tremors, spasms, tics, blockage of the diaphragm and pelvis, paresthesia, problems with eyesight, arthritis, obesity, psoriasis…

Psyche: excessive dreaming, ravings, exaltations, emotion and energy swings, depression, instability, the urge to cry, shyness.

To escape the dynamics of these problems using EnneaMediCina, the reader may decide to follow a path leading to awareness of their ‘other’ potential (that is, neuroplasticity, as previously mentioned), eliciting models of response to the internal–external forces according to the laws that link them to other Enneagram types.

To activate the new path, type 9 can turn to type 3, whose dynamics tend towards the future and success. This will help a type 9 leave behind the ‘passivity’ of the comfort zone that blocks action.

From this first step, all the others will follow. In the words of one of my Masters, ‘This practice can change your destiny…’

Published in the Bulletin of Information A.I.E. n. 3/2015

EnneaMediCina: between the East and the West

Numbers – In ancient Western civilisations, numbers performed more than just a quantitative function. They also held a secret code for interpreting the universe and its laws.

One of the most famous and prominent experts on numbers was Pythagoras of Samos, a great philosopher and mathematical genius who lived in Greece in the 6th century BC.

According to Pythagoras, everything is related to numbers.

Every symbol, sound, letter of the alphabet, planet corresponds to a number. Numbers set the rhythm, trigger motion and allow the universe and matter to exist in an orderly fashion.

In his view, all the building blocks in the world were linked in a numerical chain that controlled their relationships to the surrounding objects, thus fully expressing the holistic approach, typical of antiquity, where Spirit and Matter are unified into Being, “the essence of things”.

Also for the Chinese culture there was no separation between macrocosm and microcosm.

All things shared a metaphorical language where the connection between phenomena affecting people was but an aspect of what was happening, on a larger scale, in the surrounding environment.

Their attitude towards numbers was extremely respectful as they symbolised daily life with a whole range of representations.

Numbers either possessed a great descriptive power or showed a hierarchical order and epitomised the close relationship between Man and the environment.

Ancient and modern sciences show that the wholeness of the cosmos is amenable to a mathematical allegory exemplifying the harmony between all living systems.

The whole perfection in nature, from snowflakes to genetic code, from leaf canopies to the fractalness of human liver, is tied to specific numerical sequences.

Drawing inspiration from the study and comparing symbols in these two cultures, a new model takes shape, a new way to look at mankind, called EnneaMediCina.