Anxiety and Chinese Medicine – continued

Last week I spoke about the effectiveness of Chinese Medicine when treating anxiety.
Acupressure and acupuncture help to balance the body’s vital energy which affects the body, mind, and spirit.  Each yin organ energy pathway is associated with an emotion.  When an acupressure practitioner takes pulses during a session she/he determines where the energy imbalances lie.  They then treat the imbalance which will also help to balance the emotions.  Over time the anxiety will usually improve.

Kidney health is extremely important when dealing with anxiety.  When the kidneys are run down it slows the healing process.  The kidneys are weakened by overexposure to toxins, overwork, stress, eating too much meat, excessive alcohol consumption, poor sleeping habits, and some medications.  The emotion of fear, which plays a large role in anxiety, is associated with kidney energy.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine the kidneys and adrenal glands are the same organs.  The kidneys are also associated with the bones and hair.
Foods which help to support kidney energy will also help with anxiety.

These foods include:

  • grapes
  • plums
  • boysenberries
  • turnips
  • asparagus
  • millet
  • endive
  • cabbage
  • celery
  • black beans
  • watercress
  • amaranth
  • rye
  • quinoa
  • oats
  • kelp
  • nori
  • tangerines
  • cinnamon
  • dill seed
  • yams
  • chives

For further information refer to www.consciouslifestylemag.com/ Foods For Anxiety

Treating Anxiety and Depression with Chinese Medicine

worry and anxietyAnxiety and depression are mood disorders that are extremely common in our present society.  The symptoms of anxiety can range from mild discomfort to debilitating fear.  Doctors will prescribe an array of medications to treat anxiety and depression but many of these meds have undesirable side effects.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can be quite effective in treating anxiety and depression.  Anxiety is related to our emotional mindset.  When we have our energy balanced it also balances our emotional body.

There are twelve energy pathways in TCM.  These Twelve pathways are composed of six yin (deeper, feminine) organs and six yang (superficial, masculine) organs.

The yin organs are associated with emotions. They are:

  • Lung meridian- grief, sadness
  • Spleen meridian- worry
  • Heart meridian-heart felt feelings
  • Kidney meridian- fear
  • Liver meridian- anger
  • Pericardium Meridian- heartfelt feelings

When you have an acupressure or acupuncture session, the practitioner takes your pulses to see where your imbalance lies.  They then treat the imbalance to bring the body back to homeostasis.

To help with anxiety and depression a series of 8-10 sessions is recommended initially to achieve the best result, after that the practitioner and client will decide on the need for a maintenance schedule.  Chinese herbs may also be helpful.

The Energy of Fall

fall colorsIn ancient China and Japan peopled structured their lives to live in harmony with nature; their practices and eating habits changed with the change of seasons. Living as part of the natural world, they maintained balance and optimal health.

The fall season is associated with the metal element “which governs organization, order, communication, the mind, setting limits and protecting boundaries.  It’s a good time to finish projects” that were begun in spring and summer. It’s also a time for self-introspection and releasing that which is no longer needed.

The organs associated with the fall are lung and large intestine.  The lungs are very sensitive to wind and cold, so it’s important to dress for the weather.  The lungs also control the wei-qi or protective energy which runs just under the skin and helps to warm the body.  When we catch a cold or flu the wei-qi has been weakened.  This also explains why we feel cold.

The energy of the large intestine helps us to release physical waste and old ideas or mindsets which no longer serve us.  Like spring, this is a perfect time to clean house to prepare for the change in weather.

Autumn brings shorter days, cooler weather and harvest time.  Some healthy tips for fall:

  • Eat the foods and vegetables that grow locally this time of year
  • Eat cooked food not raw.  This is a great time for soups and stews.
  • Get plenty of sleep.

Enjoy the Energy of Fall: Autumn and Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Psychological Aspect of Indian Summer in Chinese Medicine

The ancient Chinese believed that to be healthy we should align our energies with those of the current season. Indian Summer (late August till September) is harvest time in nature when there is great abundance. It is a time to gather and distribute the bounty of the earth.

The earth element, which is the most active energy at this time of year, encourages us to be balanced and grounded in our core and to nurture body, mind, and spirit. “Value and nourish yourself as the highest level of personal spiritual practice you can do, so that your love can then flow out to others.” Be careful not to overextend your energy.

The earth element governs the “digestion” of thoughts and reasoning on the mental-emotional level. It emphasizes our need to be rooted, harmonious and stabilized whether in family, community or work environment.

To promote inner calm and harmony avoid absorbing too much negative information. Spend time meditating, walking in nature, listening to positive and inspirational information and music. The beginning of each season is the perfect time to have your energy balanced. Spend time in introspection. Create the life you want.

wuweiwisdom.com-late summer health: The Chinese Medicine & Taoist way

Protecting Against Heat Exhaustion

The heat waves we’ve been experiencing these last few weeks can cause us problems unless we plan our outdoor activities carefully.  Heat exhaustion can drain your energy, create dehydration and physical exhaustion. Those most easily affected are people over 65, children under 4 years old, people who are ill, obese, or those taking medication.

Heat exhaustion is the result of prolonged exposure to high heat and insufficient intake of fluids.

The symptoms include:  heavy sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness, paleness, dizziness, weakness, nausea or vomiting, and headache.

To protect against heat exhaustion

  • Carry water with you and sip throughout the day
  • Pace yourself when working outside, exercising or playing
  • Replace minerals and salts with fluids such as Gatorade or other drinks with potassium. Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Wear light-colored lightweight clothing
  • If feeling ill, seek air conditioning, and cool shower
  • Plan your outdoor activities to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  • If you feel dizzy and/ or stop sweating, get out of the sun immediately. Drink cool water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. This will help replace electrolytes and minerals

Dehydration can stress the heart and impair the kidneys function of maintaining the balance of fluids and electrolytes.

www.pacificcollege.edu/SummerandTraditionalChineseMedicine

The 24-hour Organ Clock of Chinese Medicine

24-hour Organ Clock

Every so often I like to revisit the 24-hour meridian clock.  It has valuable information on how our energy cycles throughout our body during a day.
“In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that each organ has its point of highest energy and lowest energy.”

The 24-hour Meridian Clock shows the times when each meridian is most active and the best times for different activities.  For example: Gallbladder Meridian is most active between 11:00 pm and 1:00 am.  This meridian is responsible for decision making and everyday stress. The Body Clock shows the optimum bedtime to be between 10 and 11 pm.  Following the natural rhythm of our bodies enhances our health and wellbeing.

The summer meridians include: Heart, Small Intestine, pericardium and Triple Warmer.  These meridians are most active in the summer, so this time of year their 24- hour energy cycle times are heightened.

Heart Meridian – most active between 11 am and 1 pm. The activities are blood circulation, high energy, lunch

Small Intestine Meridian – most active between 1 pm and 3 pm. sort and absorb food, low energy, nap

Pericardium Meridian – most active between 7 pm and 9 pm. protection, light reading, sex, taking care of self

Triple Warmer Meridian – most active between 9 pm and 11 pm. Endocrine and metabolic balancing, sleep

Traditional Chinese Organ Body Clock/www.foreverconscious.com

Chinese Medicine and Sciatic Pain

The sciatic nerve originates from the lower spine and goes down the side of the leg to the foot. When inflamed or compressed it sends intense pain down the buttocks to the back of the leg and foot. It can also cause numbness or tingling and difficulty walking or standing.

Some causes of sciatica, aside from the structural issues of herniated discs, tight muscles or spinal stenosis, could be prolonged sitting on hard surfaces, keeping a wallet in your back pocket, sudden twisting or improper lifting of heavy objects.

Since many of us are traveling this time of year, it’s important not to overstuff suitcases and lift carefully. Acupressure and myofascial release are very effective in treating sciatic pain. They help to balance the energy, release tight muscles and increase circulation to alleviate discomfort.

Pal Dan Gum- a Way to Balance Energy and Increase Awareness

Pal Dan GumPal Dan Gum or the eight silken movements are a set of qigong exercises used in Korea and China for thousands of years to increase spiritual awareness and promote health and longevity. These 8 silken movements take only 10 minutes to perform and when done daily along with focused breathing strengthen the vital essence and balance the energy in the meridians.  They also increase circulation, promote flexibility and strength. Each movement stretches the energy in a specific meridian.

You can find a video of the Pal Dan Gum exercises on YouTube.

Pericardium Meridian – Heart Protector

Pericardium is the partner of Triple Warmer Meridian and like TW it is not a physical organ. Anatomically the pericardium is the protective sack around the heart. In Chinese Medicine, the Pericardium Meridian is defined as a fire -energy organ which protects the heart.

The Pericardium Meridian protects the heart both physically and emotionally. Physically it buffers the heart from trauma. Emotionally it protects the heart from damaging excessive emotions generated by other meridians. Extreme emotions of anger, grief, and fear over an extended period of time are regarded as causes of disease in Chinese Medicine. The pericardium also helps with the regulation of circulation in the major blood vessels of the heart.

Pericardium energy is related to the loving feelings associated with sex. It links the physical with the emotional: it moderates the sexual energy of the kidney with the loving energy of the heart.
Peak time for the pericardium is 7 pm -9 pm.

The Summer Meridians

summertime

Nature is most energetically active in summer and it is also the same within our bodies.

Summer is associated with the fire element which includes four meridians: heart, small intestine, pericardium and triple warmer.  This is two more meridians than all the other seasons, so it is important to be balanced.

The heart moves the blood through the vessels.
Heart imbalance may include,

  • insomnia
  • nightmares,
  • palpitations,
  • feverish feelings
  • restlessness.

The pericardium meridian protects the heart and “works with the emotions.”  Balancing the pericardium can help with hot flashes or heat in the upper torso.

The small intestine meridian separates the pure from the impure.  In this way, it helps with digestion and elimination.  Mentally small intestine meridian is active in prioritizing our lives.

The triple warmer (which like the pericardium meridian is not associated with an organ) helps to control the body’s temperature and coordinates all the water functions in the body.  It also governs the sympathetic nervous system, the flight-fight -freeze response.

Foods which support the fire element have a bitter taste. Some examples are: coffee, chocolate, vinegar, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, asparagus, and wine.

Essential oils can also be helpful to support the fire element.

For palpitations or fluttering of the heart:

  • lavender
  • melissa
  • chamomile
  • peppermint
  • rose

Irritable bowel can be helped by:

  • lavender
  • tea tree
  • chamomile
  • eucalyptus

For further information refer to:
www.acudebra.com/summer time-heart/small intestine
and
www.suebovenizer.com/summer-Heart/Small Intestine and Pericardium/Triple Warmer