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      Pain is due to
lack of free flow,
      and lack of free flow
causes pain.

– Yellow Emperor’s Classic
    of Internal Medicine

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For the past 2 days I was in a lot of pain – in my lower back, many different muscles. Marie Oliver evaluated my body alignment, which got completely messed up. She worked on me for over an hour, which helped immensely, and gave me advice on what to do to help myself. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel. She has helped me more than anyone.

Eugeniya HilzingerWholistic Young Living Consultant

I have been a client of Marie Oliver for over a year now. Her combination of myofascial release and acupressure therapies has worked wonders for my back pain. I recommended Marie to my wife and now she is a client.

John Manley

I began seeing Marie Oliver for acupressure and myofascial release in 2014 due to some physical pain in my hips, shoulders and neck, and around my ribcage.  She came very highly recommended to me from a few trusted sources – one who had a visible physical improvement due to her bodywork with Marie.

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Marie is committed to the well being of her clients and attends to their healing with compassion, knowledge, and kindness.  Combining both eastern and western healing modalities, Marie’s healing touch offers freedom from pain and hope for the future.  She supports her clients to become fully aware of the possibilities that will bring health and joy into their bodies, and their lives.

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The Emotional Aspect of Disease

the emotion of angerDoctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine considered a person in entirety when diagnosing an illness or disease. They noted presenting symptoms but looked for the cause of the problem in the person’s lifestyle, dietary habits, exercise, disposition, etc. They studied the pattern of the person’s life so they could advise them how to prevent or minimize re-occurrence of the problem.

The causes of disease in TCM are listed as:

  • Internal: emotions
  • External: weather/climate
  • Others: constitution, fatigue/ overexertion, excessive sexual activity, diet, trauma, epidemics, parasites, poisons, wrong treatment

I’ve already spoken of climatic causes of disease called the six pernicious influences. The climatic conditions create disease when they are excessive or endured over a long period of time. The same is true of the emotional aspect. Emotions only create disease when they are very intense and prolonged over a long period of time or suppressed and unacknowledged.

In TCM the body-mind is seen as a “circle of interaction between the internal organs and their emotional aspects.”

—Giovanni Maciocia

Emotions can be the cause of disease or they can be a symptom of organ imbalance.
The Chinese list seven emotions but today I want to talk about the effects of prolonged anger. The emotion of anger can also include: resentment, repressed anger, frustration, rage, indignation and bitterness. Anger causes chi (energy) to rise and will create symptoms such as headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, redness on the face and neck, thirst, red tongue and bitter taste in the mouth. It can also cause vomiting of blood and diarrhea. Repressed anger can present as depression or sadness.

The emotion of anger often affects the stomach and spleen as well as the liver. This can happen when there is turmoil during mealtime. Releasing long-standing emotions is essential to health. There are many ways to do so: talk therapy, bodywork, exercise and reading self-help books are just a few.

the emotional aspect of diseaseDoctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine when diagnosing illness or disease would evaluate the person in totality. The emotional wellbeing was considered as important as the physical condition along with dietary habits, lifestyle, and disposition. The interaction of the body, mind, and spirit and the pattern of the person’s life provided clues to the source of the illness.

In TCM emotions are listed as the internal cause of disease but only when they are very intense and prolonged over a long period of time, repressed or unacknowledged. Emotions can be the cause of imbalance or they can be a symptom of organ imbalance.

Last week I discussed anger; today I would like to talk about the emotion of sadness. Prolonged sadness weakens both the heart and the lungs. The emotion of sadness initiates in the heart and affects the lungs which are in close proximity. The lungs control the qi (energy) with the intake of breath and sadness depletes the qi. People experiencing intense grief are unable to take a deep breath. Other symptoms of sadness are breathlessness, depression, pressure on the chest, tiredness, and crying. “In women, deficiency of lung qi often leads to blood deficiency and amenorrhea.

Intense sadness or grief can be helped by counseling, acupressure, acupuncture, and exercise. Moving through intense emotions is critical to our overall well being.

emotional headacheTraditional Chinese Medicine considered the body, mind, and emotions as an interactive whole when diagnosing disease. The Chinese identify seven emotions as the internal cause of disease. These emotions are: anger, joy, sadness, worry, pensiveness, shock and fear. Human emotions are generally a healthy part of life; emotions become toxic when they are extremely intense for a prolonged period of time, repressed or denied.

Today I want to discuss the emotions of worry and pensiveness. “Each of the emotions has a particular effect on qi (energy) and affects a certain organ:

  • Anger makes qi rise and affects the liver
  • Worry and pensiveness knot qi and affect the spleen ( worry also affects the lungs)” Giovanni Macioci

Excessive thinking, studying or mental activity is the definition of pensiveness. This emotion creates exhaustion, loss of appetite, loose stools and weakens the spleen. The spleen is responsible for transforming food and drink into energy (qi) and transporting it to the organs and muscles of the body. The food qi creates energy and blood. The spleen functions also to separate the usable food from unusable, to maintain fluid balance in the body and to support the immune system and healthy blood cells. The emotion associated with the spleen is worry.

In our fast-paced society, worry and pensiveness are extremely common. Demanding studies or occupations can deplete both the spleen and lung energy causing stagnation and formation of phlegm. Symptoms of worry are: anxiety, tight shoulders and neck and breathlessness.

To improve spleen function and counteract worry and pensiveness

  • Eat regular meals, mostly cooked food
  • Don’t overeat
  • Drink room temperature or warmer beverages
  • Don’t multitask, be mindful and calm
  • Take breaks during your day: walk outside, turn off your phone, meditate, do yoga, tai chi, exercise, have energy work.

I would like to discuss the emotional impact of extreme shock and fear on the human bodymind. Fear depletes kidney energy and blocks the upper level of the triple warmer (which is located above the diaphragm and includes the lungs and heart). When this happens the energy descends to the lower body.

In children fear may cause bedwetting. In adults, fear and chronic anxiety create depletion of kidney energy and rising of heat in the heart and face, night sweats, palpitations, dry mouth, and throat.

Shock halts the energy flow and also affects the kidneys and heart. The symptoms of shock are breathlessness, palpitations, insomnia, night sweats, tinnitus or dizziness and dry mouth.

When these extreme emotions are present over an extended period of time they can affect the physical organs. Balancing the body’s energy with a licensed acupressurist or acupuncturist can manage fear along with proper diet, rest, exercise and talk therapy.

In Summation

Traditional Chinese Medicine regarded the human body as a totality of body, mind, and spirit. TCM considered emotions, diet, and patterns of a person’s lifestyle when diagnosing physical illness. Extreme emotions held over long periods of time were considered to be the internal causes of disease.

The Chinese list 7 emotions which, when extreme, can create disease. I have discussed all of these except joy. It seems strange that joy would be listed as a cause of disease, but the state of happiness and contentment we know as joy was not what the Chinese meant.

In Chinese Medicine, the emotion of joy is controlled by the heart. Therefore a state of excessive excitement (euphoria) over a long period of time can injure the heart. People who live life in the “fast lane”, living and playing hard can over time create heart conditions.

Emotions are a healthy part of our lives which make us more human. The emotions are meant to be felt fully and then released. When we get stuck in an emotion for an extended period it upsets our equilibrium. Health is created when we are in balance body, mind and spirit

Going with the Flow- The Bladder Meridian

The bladder meridian is the longest energy pathway going from the corner of the eye to the outside of the smallest toe.
ducks in the snowIt is represented by the water element and it crosses all the other meridians and greatly influences them. Physically it is responsible for storing and excreting the urinary waste fluids passed down from the kidneys but energetically it is closely related to the functions and balance of the autonomic nervous system. The bladder meridian runs the entire length of the back with two parallel branches on each side of the spine. These four branches of the bladder meridian greatly influence the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions of the autonomic nervous system. The peak hours for bladder meridian energy are between 3-5 pm. It is important to stay hydrated for optimum function of this meridian.

Imbalance in this system can create both physical and psychological symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • back pain
  • urinary problems including excessive urination and incontinence)
  • pain in the eyes
  • tearing and colds

Lack of energy, being inflexible and fearful, resisting change and negative attitude

Living In Harmony with the Season of Winter

“The wise nourish life by flowing with the four seasons and adapting to cold or heat by harmonizing joy and anger in a tranquil dwelling, by balancing yin and yang ….. So it is that dissolute evil cannot reach the man of wisdom, and he will be witness to a long life.”

–Huangdi Neijing Suwen

yin yangThis quote is taken from Traditional Chinese Medicine Classics. In the season of winter the associations are:

Element: water
Nature: yin (slow moving, inward energy)
Organs: kidney, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, ears, hair
Taste: salty
Emotion: fear and depression

Kidney energy is important for maintenance of vitality and to prevent premature aging. It also governs energy reserves which allow adaptation to life’s constant changes.

In our present-day world, multitasking and constant stress are common occurrences. These conditions break down kidney energy creating exhaustion and a predisposition to hypertension. A major life challenge for all of us is adapting to change and maintaining body-mind balance.

Things you can do to maintain balance are:

  • Manage your to-do list
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Find ways to relax on a daily basis,( i.e. deep breathing, yoga, meditation)
  • Eat warming foods (cooked) and local fruits and vegetables

Chinese Medicine during Winter

The winter solstice is fast approaching and with it the beginning of the winter season.  In nature, the trees and plants have pulled their energy back into their roots to survive the colder weather. The season of winter in nature is cold, damp, and inactive.  The ancient Chinese believed that in order to stay healthy humans should live in harmony with their natural surroundings.  The cold and shorter days of winter signal us to slow down, reflect on our health, conserve our strength and replenish our energy.

Winter is a time for rest and introspection.  We conserve our energy to be prepared for the burst of energy needed in the spring.  Winter is represented by the water element. The associated organs are kidney, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, ears, and hair. The emotion associated with kidney is fear.

Foods which help to support the kidney energy are:

  • Soups and Stews
  • Root vegetables
  • Beans
  • Miso and seaweed
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Black beans, black rice

Emphasize warming foods and avoid raw food as much as possible. Go to bed early, get plenty of rest, stay warm and minimize stress to stay healthy during winter.

The Metal Element and Grief

Autumn is when the metal element is most active.  The metal element is represented by the Lung and Large Intestine Meridians.  It is the perfect time of year to tonify lung energy which helps to protect the body from colds and illness.  The lungs also carry the emotion of grief.

Everyone experiences grief or loss in a lifetime.   Whether it is the death of a loved one, end of a relationship or loss of a pet; grief is a difficult emotion which is part of life.  If we allow ourselves to feel and express the pain, we can begin to let it go.  We don’t let go of the love and memories just the painful emotion.

When our grief is repressed, expressed without control or felt intensely over a long period of time it is harmful to lung energy.  In TCM the lung energy is associated with openness to new ideas, clear thinking, communication and our ability to relax and enjoy life.  When we are out of balance or are experiencing excessive grief it is difficult to cope with a loss.  We can also experience alienation which overtime can lead to depression.

Some healthy ways to deal with grief are:

  • Acknowledge your feelings without judgement.  Be kind to yourself.
  • Deep breathing exercises help to release grief. Practices such as yoga, tai chi, meditation and chi gong all utilize breathing exercises.
  • Walk in nature
  • Foods that nourish lung energy include: garlic, onion, cabbage, radish, walnuts, almonds, banana, sweet potato, and cinnamon.

www.chinesemedicineliving.com

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Jin Shin Do® Acupressure is not intended for the diagnosis, treatment or cure of disease. It is a relaxation therapy, and a useful adjunct to licensed, qualified medical or psychological care.For any persistent pain or symptom, even a seemingly minor one, the reader is strongly encouraged to consult a medical doctor. When used in conjunction with standard medical treatment, the Jin Shin Do® Acupressure technique can assist the healing process by releasing tension, decreasing stress and encouraging a sense of increased well-being.

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