The origins of disharmony in Chinese Medicine – Way of Life
3 main factors can impact on the body:
1. The Six Climatic factors
2. The Seven Emotions
3. Way of life
Last time I introduced the seven emotions: – Anger, joy, worry, anxiety, grief, fear and fright, and how emotions can impact on your body and mind leading to disharmony (i.e. illness and disease). Beverly Engel in her book ‘The key to learning about yourself through your emotions’, emphasises the value of experiencing your emotions without “inhibiting, judging or distracting yourself from them”, that is to say to be mindful (a very popular concept nowadays). Engel has a 3 step approach to help you to experience your emotions in a mindful way:
- Simply observe the emotion. Notice how it makes you feel and what you notice in your body as you feel the emotion.
- Do not judge the emotion as good or bad.
- Fully experience the emotion as a wave coming and going. Try not to suppress or push it away. But, do not hold on to it or amplify it. Be mindful of it. Perhaps, you can then ask yourself what the emotion is trying to teach you. Be patient and gentle with yourself, stick to the process and keep trying.
As Engel says “only by facing yourself, including your inner pain, can you achieve contemplation instead of boredom, wisdom instead of despair, and serenity instead of conflict.”
For more information on Beverly Engel visit her website www.beverlyengel.com
This week I will start to discuss how the way we live our lives affects our health and wellbeing.
What lifestyle factors impact on our health?
- Imbalance in work, rest and exercise
- Other external factors
Diet – has an important influence on our health. The Spleen and Stomach are the organ systems most affected by diet due to their function of changing the food and drink into nutritive Qi.
Insufficient food or lack of nutritious food can mean there is insufficient raw material and people become deficient in Qi and Blood.
Excess food obstructs the functioning of the Spleen and Stomach leading to symptoms such as bloating, belching and diarrhoea.
Too much raw food, from a Chinese medicine perspective, can strain the Yang energy of the Spleen leading to Cold/Dampness internally i.e. abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Fatty foods can produce Heat/Dampness.
Therefore, we need to:
- Eat good quality food.
- To enjoy our food and eat mindfully.
- Balance energetically hot and cold food.
- Eat regularly and allow time for food to digest.
- Listen to our body and become sensitive to which foods make us feel better and those which don’t!
- Be culturally sensitive. Food is intrinsically linked to a person’s culture,
customs and habits. What suits one person does not necessarily suit another.
Next time I will discuss how work, rest and exercise can impact on our health. In the meantime, if you wish to explore Chinese medicine nutrition therapy I would recommend the following books:
Flaws, Bob. Arisal of the Clear – A simple guide to healthy eating according to
Traditional Chinese Medicine, Blue Poppy Press
Leggett, Daverick. Helping Ourselves, Meridian Press
Leggett, Daverick. Recipes for Self-Healing, Meridian Press
Review of my week:
What did I do well?
Did my two small changes each day this week but it takes a month to change a habit so I will let you know in a month if I have succeeded.
What would I like to develop?
Still focusing on my Emotional Freedom Technique practice.
What did I learn?
It was international women’s day on the 7th March and a friend sent this to me:
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE by Pamela Redmond Satran
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE enough money within her control to move out and
rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to……
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE something perfect to wear if her employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour….
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a youth she’s content to leave behind….
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE one friend who always makes her laugh and one who lets her cry….
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems and a recipe for a meal that makes her guests feel honoured..
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE a feeling of control over her destiny….
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW how to fall in love without losing herself…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW how to quit a job, break up with a lover and confront a friend without ruining the friendship…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW when to try harder … and when to walk away…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips or the nature of her parents….
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW that her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW how to live alone, even if she doesn’t like it….
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW whom she can trust, whom she can’t and why
she should not take it personally….
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW where to go..be it to her best friend’s kitchen table or a charming inn in the woods…when her soul needs soothing….
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW what she can and can’t accomplish in a day…a month and a year….
Speak to you soon.