Sunday, Oct 22nd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 19 March 2017 00:00

Stretching the Mind and Heart

Written by  Fu Jia Lik & Chew Chiau Ping / KL & Selangor

Dr Shen Yi-Ying, Chief of Department of Chinese Medicine at Guanshan Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taiwan, shared insights on the heart meridian and how to build an equanimous mind. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]

On the last day of the 2017 TIMA Conference, there was a breakout session focusing on the topics of the “Mind”, “Body” and “Social and Environment”.


Every speaker on the topic of the mind were extremely engaging and humorous, making the sessions very enjoyable for the audience. There was high interaction with the audience through their excellent questioning techniques and approachable mannerisms, as well as pop-quizzes with gifts.

Equanimous mind in TCM

Dr Shen Yi-Ying, Chief of Department of Chinese Medicine at Guanshan Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taiwan, shared insights on the heart meridian and how to build an equanimous mind. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the heart meridian is connected to various parts of the body, including the chest, little finger, small intestine and other organs.

Dr Shen shared that there are many lessons from the heart meridian, which corresponds to Jing Si Aphorisms. For example, any food that passes through the mouth is accepted by the small intestine, regardless of whether they are good or bad. The accepting and tolerating nature of the small intestine is something that should be learnt by us all.

She also stressed on the ability of the mind to decide what one wants to see and said, “You create your world so you have the power to change it.” Her speech was concluded with an advice for everyone to keep smiling and laughing in order to maintain a balance of mind.

Let’s manage our stress

Dr Anne Yee, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychological Medicine, Universiti Malaya, shared an alarming statistic on how doctors have a suicide rate that is three times higher than of the normal population. She urged all doctors to not give in to the various stigma of seeking professional help when faced with depression and anxiety as the loss of a doctor, has an impact on the lives of patients and the public.

With a simply question of, “Who here was born laughing?” Dr Anne impressed on the audience that a positive mental attitude has to be learnt. Hence, we have to start accepting that we do not need a reason to laugh. When we laugh, we can trick our brain into thinking that we are happy and our body will become relaxed and soft. This is a form of a placebo effect. By increasing placebo suggestions, we are able to relax our body, which in turn, relaxes the mind.

New found life

Dr Lim Lian Cheoo, a Tzu Chi volunteer and TIMA member, shared with the audience on how his exposure to Tzu Chi has changed his life as a doctor, husband, father and a member of society. He described how his common sense and practical approach in his work has led to a successful career where other doctors, healthcare practitioners, even priests and religious leaders, referred patients to him for treatment.

However, his success and wealth did not bring him happiness. His relationship with his family was bad despite the materialistic wealth he was able to afford for them. He fell into depression and took comfort in the haze of alcohol. Thoughts of despair, divorce and suicide were constantly on his mind.

From a trip to Hualien, Taiwan, to attend the annual TIMA Convention in 2007, Dr Lim found a new life. He was awakened to how small his world was and how much more is there to do out there. He regained hope and became a changed man. Today, he is one of the most active TIMA members, always willing to serve and volunteer upon any news of disaster or need.

Mindfulness for stress reduction and wellness

Dr Phang Cheng Kar, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Mindfulness-based Therapist in Sunway Medical Centre, led an engaging session with the audience on “Mindfulness Gym”. He developed the programme to promote well-being and reduce stress among medical students and professionals.

Mindfulness to focus on the present will not only free oneself from the burden of the past or future, but also reduce mistakes in order to become more efficient. Lastly, it also helps in the appreciation of things, people and the beauty around us.

Dr Phang’s session was very educational for the audience. He taught some everyday mindfulness stretching and breathing exercises, along with tips on how to build rapport and connection with others by showing how much you care. There were also tips to quick, power sleeping along with approaches to cultivate gratitude and compassion.

I am not alone – Cancer Support Group

Mary Chua and Kuan Mun Jen are volunteers in the Tzu Chi KL & Selangor’s Cancer Support Group. They shared their work and aim with the audience, which is to accompany cancer patients and their families through the trying period and give them energy from the heart.

The Cancer Support Group sessions are a mutual platform for patients and their family members to give and receive support and care. The emotional strength from the Support Group enhances their coping skills. They will eventually develop resilience to face adversity and become empowered to believe that they have the capability and capacity to improve and manage their condition.

Wong Yoke Pin, a breast cancer patient, also came on stage to share her journey. She was diagnosed three years ago and after undertaking three surgeries, she fell into depression. She realized that if she did not recover, depression would kill her rather than the cancer. After struggling fruitlessly on her own, she finally managed to recover after a year as she started to attend the Cancer Support Group sessions.

Yoke Pin had a relapse last year and had to go through another two more surgeries. Although she did fall into depression once again, she recovered very fast and now faces life with energy and motivation. Personally experiencing the importance of emotional support, she now spends her free time volunteering to help other cancer patients like herself.

 

Dr Anne Yee, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychological Medicine, Universiti Malaya, enlightened the audience that a positive mental attitude has to be learnt. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]   TIMA member, Dr Lim Lian Cheoo, shared how his life has become more fulfilling and meaningful thanks to his encounter with Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]

Dr Anne Yee, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychological Medicine, Universiti Malaya, enlightened the audience that a positive mental attitude has to be learnt. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]
 
TIMA member, Dr Lim Lian Cheoo, shared how his life has become more fulfilling and meaningful thanks to his encounter with Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]
 
Dr Phang Cheng Kar taught the audience some everyday mindfulness stretching exercises. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]   Dr Phang Cheng Kar, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Mindfulness-based Therapist in Sunway Medical Centre, led an engaging session with the audience on “Mindfulness Gym”. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]

Dr Phang Cheng Kar taught the audience some everyday mindfulness stretching exercises. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]
 
 
Dr Phang Cheng Kar, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Mindfulness-based Therapist in Sunway Medical Centre, led an engaging session with the audience on “Mindfulness Gym”. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]
 
Cancer patient, Wong Yoke Pin (centre), shared her cancer battling journey in the company of Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]  

Cancer patient, Wong Yoke Pin (centre), shared her cancer battling journey in the company of Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Kar Guan]