Mark R. Reinhart Uses Chinese Medicine to Heal Addiction
May 30, 2015 10:51AM
● By Julianne Hale
Mark R. Reinhart
Most people would not compare practicing Chinese medicine to mastering a musical instrument, but Mark R. Reinhart, an experienced musician and practitioner of qigong, Taiji (tai chi) and Chinese herbal medicine, is not the average person. The owner of Three Pure Rivers Studio for the Arts, in Drums, thinks the two closely parallel each other. “Chinese health practices, like music, are an art form,” says Reinhart. “To learn music, you have to learn timing, chord construction and theory and then you can play anything. The same applies to qigong and Taiji. Learn the principles of movement, timing and breath and you can master it.”
Reinhart advocates the ancient Chinese philosophy that the body, mind and spirit are inextricably connected and that any effective treatment of the body must involve the other two components. This is where his views sharply contrast with the majority of practitioners of Western medicine. “Most Americans want to take a pill to suppress their symptoms so they can get back to living the delusional lifestyle that brought the symptoms on in the first place. That is how most people view health care,” Reinhart explains.
“In Chinese medicine, we don’t treat words. Instead of saying you have a disease, we ask, ‘How are you out of balance?’” says Reinhart. “Grief, for instance, is housed in the lungs. So if someone comes to me with asthma or breathing problems, I ask them what is going on in their lives to find out if there is some unprocessed grief that needs to be addressed.”
He notes that other parts of the body are connected to emotions. Anger is housed in the liver, for example, and worry impacts the spleen. Anything that affects the mind or spirit also impacts the body. There is no separation of the three parts of a person.
Reinhart applies this principle to the work that he does, which includes helping people recover from addiction. “I refuse to refer to addiction and addiction disorders as diseases because inherent in that term is the ability to be a victim. If people can refer to it as an imbalance, they are acknowledging the fact that a state of balance exists,” he contends. “The first of the 12 steps is admitting you are powerless over the addiction. The fact that you are admitting something means that your higher self has disconnected from your addicted self and can see the dysfunction.”
In his 12 Steps: Qigong for Recovery program, Reinhart approaches addiction, recovery and addictive disorders from the classical and traditional Chinese medical, philosophical and spiritual perspectives, seeking to reintegrate the person’s mind, body and spirit, which have become fragmented as a result of the addiction.
The physical (jing) is addressed by reconnecting the person with their body using client-specific qigong exercises to retrain the posture, breath, body awareness and biomechanics. The energetic emotional aspect (qi) is addressed through application of the Five-Phase System of Chinese herbal, dietary and psycho/emotional correspondences, and the spiritual (shen) is dealt with using the 12 steps interwoven with the Chinese Spiritual traditions and understanding.
“All I’m doing is offering a different way to look at the 12 steps and sometimes that perspective is very empowering,” says Reinhart. “I’ll help anyone who is trying to make changes if they are willing to help themselves.”
For more information, call 570-359-3059 or visit ThreePureRivers.com. See ad, page 33 and page 47.