Dr Shen’s Teachings

Dr John Shen

One of my teachers, Dr John Shen, formulated a framework that may assist in the understanding of the importance of our early experiences of life.  He maintained that the impact of influences was inversely proportional to our chronological age at the time they happened.


The first third along this line covers the period from conception to birth.  As we are developing our blue print at this time, anything that affects us or our mothers impacts upon us tremendously.  Awash in our hormonal sea in utero we are at the mercy of her every physiological or emotional response.  How she perceives the world is our unconscious template for normal.  One which we may find ourselves recreating “to come home to” for the rest of our lives.

The second third covers the time from birth to 10 years, with the midway mark of experiences that impact upon us for our entire life being at the age of 2 years.  This shows us the incredible input our early lives, especially our interface with our mothers have upon us.  All of baby and young child’s reality is framed through the lens of her perception.  If she is of calm demeanour, able to rise to the challenge of distressed babies and difficult life circumstances and if she is able to adapt to her new life as a parent, our early lives may be safe and stable.

The last third of the influence of situations on our lives covers the period onwards from 10 years of age.  Hence when a person seeks assistance for a “problem” in adult years, the entirety of the background may need to be uncovered.  If coming from a regular, safe happy and orderly background, the individual will probably strive to return to this in their adult life.

Thus the time in utero begins the template, the childhood years will enforce this and supposedly we recreate this in our adult years.

Ideal Situation:

28 for women (4 x 7)              49 (7 x 7)

32 for men (4 x 8)                   56 (7 x 8)

life stages.png


The same Chinese herbalist saw that a woman’s life can be marked by four life changing events.


       Onset of sexuality/social and sexual independence

        (Originally marriage – move away from family of origin)



At these times, our Kidney energy/hormonal repercussions create a window of instability.  We have, at these stages the capacity to undergo immense healing in resetting our inner calibrations to more harmonious levels, or to undergo massive upheavals and emerge relatively chaotic to ride through the remainder of our lives in turmoil. To honour self attending to our inner work at these times of initiation of life force changes would give lifelong benefits.

Life changes occurring within the internal Kidney energy structures at these times create far more disruption than at times outside these events.  For example a parental death or marriage break-up at puberty; a shock, betrayal or accident around the time of establishing self within being a couple, immense external stresses around child bearing and lactation and at menopause will all disproportionately disorder the woman for the rest of her life.  Conversely, each life marker is a time where incredible inner healing could occur if attention were paid to the inner mortgage, the inner opportunity for re-working self.


The first moment where the person starts breathing is when their ‘pericardium’ function begins.  This is seen as the heart‘s (Where the Shen resides) protector.  Anything that upsets this process irreparably harms the forming personality as the actual body guard is damaged. The shock of HAVING to be forced to take a breath – when the umbilical cord is clamped as an example – creates undue catastrophic patterns to be set in motion.

This has been noted by those who follow Lotus Birth principles and in work from both Dr Michel Odent and also Dr Sarah J Buckley.  Below are notes from the late Dr John Shen’s 60 years of observations.


Etiology & manifestations 

(From seminars attended early 1980’s in Sydney, Australia)

1 – Heart Qi Xu (Deficient)

From constitution or life experience

Signs and symptoms

Tends to be anxious with stress of both etiologies.

Anxious even without stress and pulse rate changes easily

Lots of change with movement

Primarily Heart Blood Xu and this is secondary

2 – ‘Heart tight’

From excess heat from Liver/Stomach- Pericardium or from deficient (static) heat from ‘Heart Overwork’ (i.e. attempting to overcome small stagnation from emotional shock).

Signs and symptoms

Constant worrying and tension

Racing mind

Inability to get to sleep

Occasional left hand side chest discomfort


3 – ‘Heart nervous’

Yin and Heart Deficient causing Qi and heat to be unstable, and a bit small.  Often constitutional dispositional from worry and heart tight over a long time.  Physical trauma (more often at birth) sometimes in utero.  May not have physical signs and symptoms as the body(i.e. the circulatory system) has absorb it.

Signs and symptoms

Easily fatigued especially in the morning on waling

Sloop restless marked by frequent waking

Occasional palpitations

Often and frequent disturbing mood swings (roller coaster mildly out of control)

Relatively mild nature, with increased irritability – look at them- they are usually thin and nervous.


Two types of ‘heart nervous’

1)     Prolonged worry and ‘heart tight’ feel nervous-most of the time.

2)    Pulse slightly rapid 80-84 due to shock – more serious rate change at rest with no missed beats.

4 – ‘Heart weak’

Blood of the ‘Heart weak’ with some subsequent ‘Heart Qi Xu’.

Prolonged Heart weakness can go on to serious heart disease.

From Heart Blood Xu , Kidney Jing Xu, Spleen Qi xu, excessive Blood loss over time and also from constitutional Heart deficiency.


Signs and symptoms

General feeling of weakness and numbness

Blood Xu and diminished circulation


Poor concentration and forgetfulness

Sleep pattern is OK for a few hour, then awake and can’t go back to sleep

Usually tired in the morning



5 – ‘Heart closed’

Qi can’t get in, trapped in the muscle.  Shock has blocked it up.

From emotional causes usually in childhood

Sudden loss of a parent or heartfelt connection.

Heart that is nervous over a long time.

Physical shock to the chest.

Signs and symptoms

Vengeful and spiteful

Chest pain.  Needle like and fixed is more serious than oppression.



6 – ‘Heart small’

From the umbilical cord around the neck, head outside and not breathing.  Shock – arteries constrict and deprive the heart itself of Qi and Blood = Blood stagnation to the arteries.

Heart is suffocating – due to shock.

This is true heart disease (coronary heart disease in western medicine).

Signs and symptoms

Unexplained and unexpressed fear

Night terrors

Easily startled

Shortness of breath

Hard to inhale

Chest pain usually needle like stabbing also radiating to the left shoulder and arm.

Palpitations and cold extremities

7 – ‘Heart full’

Qi unable to get into the heart.

Prolonged from birth head inside, more serious than very profound repression of emotions when very physically active.  Will result in an enlarged heart and hypertension.


Signs and symptoms

Always tired, regardless of rest

Little energy

Rather depressed

Emotionally labile and unstable

Hot tempered & easily angered (without provocation), more severe than heart weak /nervous.   Entire body is uncomfortable.

Difficulty breathing out, less problems breathing in.

Discomfort lying on the left hand side will eventually go to ‘Heart Large’.


8 – ‘Heart large’

From high forceps

Excessive sedation                            All have a profound effect on the nervous system

Caesarean section

Premature induction

Also constitutional Heart Qi Xu

Heart full prolonged

Rheumatic heart disease

Child labour, pre-adolescence with malnutrition

All worse with chronic repressed anger

Signs and symptoms

Extreme shortness of breath especially on exertion

Difficulty breathing flat or on the left hand side

Chronic chest discomfort

Easy and extensive fatigue

Maybe hypertension


9 – Heart disease

Approximates heart failure

From constitutional predisposition

Work beyond energy in pre-adolescence

Extreme abuse of drugs including alcohol and cigarettes

Sever emotional shock to the heart in early life

Repressed anger


Signs and symptoms

Same as ‘heart large’ and ‘heart full’, but more pain and fatigues

Coldness of limbs and body

Shortness of breath and spontaneous cold sweats

Pitting oedema

Poor concentration, forgetfulness and palpitations

Numb upper limbs

Suffocating heaviness in the upper chest





Try to assist the being as much as possible.  An inconsolable screaming baby HAS a problem – it is not into itself THE problem . . . . If mum is saying that there is a problem, there more than likely is one. Western medicine has no tools for this, as there is no disease state YET – the disorder is still in the energy levels.


The new being needs un-shocking – vibrational essences designed specifically for this (see www.roseofraphael.com.au ), which even placed on the heart chakra, rather than taken by mouth, may have instant calming results.


On the physical level, having gentle osteopathic work done also helps relieve the baby of its trauma.  Colic, night terror and unhappiness in general may all be assisted here.


Become active politically in trying to halt the damage (Dr Michel Odent has well covered this through looking at the statistics – see www.WombEcology.com




Become a birthing activist so the patients we see/children in law we have to deal with – are LESS of a problem as we as a culture have not broken them


Check out www.WombEcology.com and see how modern statistics of primal health validate Dr Shen’s life observations.


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