by Melinda Gallo

Un seminario sulla medicina cinese

This weekend I went to a seminario (seminar) near San Gimigniano that my acupuncturist Andrea was giving. It was called "Conoscersi per trovare la serenità Knowing oneself to find serenity." Because I benefitted from my sedute di agopuntura (acupuncture appointments), I thought it'd be interesting to hear more of what Andrea believes. He had mentioned a few things to me that I found interesting in medicina cinese (Chinese medicine), like the different body types and the flow of energy in the body.

At first I wasn't sure I was going to go because I would've had to take the train and catch a ride with my friend Francesca. I ended up getting a ride with two wonderful Italian women whom I hadn't met before. We met in San Domenico, which is between Florence and Fiesole, and we drove to San Gimigniano together. We talked the entire way to the location where the seminario was being held, and found that we all quite liked each other.

Andrea started the class by talking about il principio della vita (the principle of life) as defined by the Taoists. He said that life is governed by cicli (cycles), which is the yin and yang. He continued by explaining the cinque elementi (five elements), which are legno (wood), fuoco (fire), terra (earth), metallo (metal), and acqua (water). He talked to us about the qualities of each and how they all fit together.

At the end of the first day, I learned that it is important to make mistakes. It is a part of growing up, evolving, and following our hearts.

In the car ride back, all three of us were exhausted. Instead of driving around San Gimigniano, we drove through Certaldo. There was a light rain that highlighted the lush countryside in a varying colors of green.

On Sunday, we met at the same spot and drove to San Gimigniano. Andrea talked to us some ore about the cinque elementi and how they apply to our bodies and our lives.

One of the main things that stuck in my head was when he said, "Il passato si usa per fare la vittima nel futuro. The past is used to be a victim in the future."

I enjoyed the weekend seminario and learned a great deal, but was exhausted by the end of it. Today when I was thinking about the course another thing that Andrea said that stuck in my head was, "Vogliamo memorizzare cị che ci interesssa. We want to remember that which interests us." I hope that not only will I remember what I want, but also what I need for me to grow.

My two new friends and I want to go to Andrea's next seminario, which will hopefully be in a couple of months. In the meantime, I already went to the libreria (bookstore) to get a few books on the subject.

Andrea found it humorous that I have Chinese origins and said, "Sei venuta fino all'Italia per conoscere la tua parte cinese? You came all the way to Italy to know your Chinese side?" And after thinking about it, maybe I did come to Italy for that as well. Some have told me that maybe I came to know my Italian side better, but maybe I came to just know myself better.

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