Self Responsibility and Chinese Medicine

By: Dr Jason Chong (Traditional East Asian Medicine Physician)

In life we have the choice to accept that we are 100% responsible for our life. To do this requires elements of self awareness and fortitude. In this post I intend to explore what elements of our being are at play from the Zang Fu perspective of Chinese Medicine.

What does it mean to be 100% responsible for our life? Our experiences may be outside of our control, but we have the ability to be responsible for how we respond and act. I can’t change the way that someone may choose to talk to me when I am out at the shop. But what I can do is choose how that affects me.


I can choose whether I will take this as a personal attack, or as an expression of what is happening for that person. I can choose if I engage the protectiveness of my Pericardium and respond with a defensive approach. Or I can receive from a place of understanding and compassion, with the open flowing energy of my Stomach. With the energy of my Large Intestine I can choose to hold onto that experience or let it go.

Taking responsibility for our lives means we acknowledge the awesome things we do. We accept the deserving congratulation that comes with that. To do this means we open our Triple Heater to engage with the outside world. It also means that we own the crap actions we take. Acknowledging that we made that choice with the power of our Gall Bladder.

Taking responsibility means that we don’t blame others for the results we experience. It means we internalise and receive control with our Earth organs. Which leads to centering, grounding and stability.

To do this requires a level of self awareness, which requires the engagement of the Shen. This Shen resides in our Heart and is strongest when calm. Then like the surface of a pond it allows us to see clearly what lies below the surface of the water. Yet, our emotions can create disturbances and ripples in this pond. This causes our perception of ourselves to become distorted. Then our ensuing actions may only serve to create more waves. The trick is to be unattached to the emotions as they arise. Then the pond can return to stillness and peace once more.

It also requires a level of fortitude and determination. Resources that we find in our Kidney aspect called the Zhi. This is the instinctual drive that gives us determination and resilience in our path. It is our drive to survive, our will to live. It is the ability to be concentrated, determined, straight and true on our path. To persist with endurance and stability, bringing thought into action.

Taking responsibility for our actions, thoughts and emotions requires our whole being. This also manifests in how we take responsibility for our health, our family, our work.

Taking 100% responsibility empowers us with the ability to learn more about ourselves. This allows us to grow, and take control of our lives and our health.

Do you have any questions or comments? What are your thoughts on responsibility? How do you see responsibility playing out in your body?

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Dr Jason Chong (Traditional East Asian Medicine Physician)

Traditional East Asian Medicine Physician. Educator.

Jason is the owner and principal practitioner at Dantian Health, providing consultations for Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine and Japanese Acupuncture in Melbourne, Australia.

He is a qualified acupuncture physician, Classical Chinese herbal medicine clinician, shiatsu practitioner and tuina therapist, Oriental therapies educator and director at the Australian Shiatsu College.

Jason's qualifications include:

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