The practice of Chinese medicine is 2500 years old.
How old are our current medical practices? Let’s talk about something ancient, and surprisingly, not boring. Obviously, there’s no way I can give you a full lesson on Chinese medicine in a blog post, but for today let’s dip our toe in. Something called chi energy flow. Also known as qi. It’s a kind of life force.
For many eastern cultures, there is a life force which drives matter, and humans are manifested of that matter plus life force. For example, Indian religions may call it prana. It is what differentiates us from the still matter around us. It is movement. It is change. It is flow. For me, it is a metaphor. It symbolizes an ability to live in balance. Balance – what the fundamentals of Chinese medicine are based on.
Let Your Chi Energy Flow
From a scientific point of view, a form of chi would be blood. If one has healthy blood, that flows well and does its job, then they have balanced chi. With the concept of balance, we have two extremes. One would be too much flow of chi, which would be associated with weakness, less energy. We want to have hearty blood, not blood that flows through our body too fast without doing it’s full job. This is rarer of the two. An example would be anemia.
On the other hand, we have chi Stagnation. Which can be associated with clogged arteries or inflammation. These types of diseases will be laced with pain and irritation. This is a root of many diseases and the most common of the two, because chi stagnation is something we take so lightly in our society.
Causes of Chi energy flow issues
The cause of Chi stagnation in most scenarios is stress. Stress in terms of mental state. Getting stressed with work picking up, or in our relationships. Also, stress on certain physiological systems. Like your adrenal gland. Your pituitary gland, and something so crucial to our body’s chi energy flow- the liver. Let’s say your liver is the middle man.
For example, think about house hunters. There’s always that couple who wants their house to have every single detail. One might want a large garage, new appliances, an open floor plan, a large yard, blue and green tile flooring that covers exactly 2/3rd’s of the bathroom, 3 bedrooms. Their significant other might also want a detached garage, white kitchen cabinets, brown rustic handles on every single cabinet of the house that are made from antlers, hardwood floors, an office for their business, and to be close to the beach. That’s a lot of things for the real estate agent to consider, isn’t it? So much that they might miss some of the key elements, or compromise on certain ones.
That’s what happens when your liver is backed up, it gets so overloaded that it only does the base level filtering. The reason that’s dangerous is because, once it’s backed up, it doesn’t start going again until it is completely detoxed and even then, your body must learn how to communicate again.
Steps to make your Chi Energy Flow again
Chinese medicine looks at the body as thermal, because heat and energy are very closely related and your body heat has a lot to do with your health. Balanced Chi will be warm, healthy, and vitally flowing. Neither hot nor cold.
Cold foods are not good for blood flow, (or chi energy flow). The word “cold” means either cold by temperature or cold by how easy it is to digest, and how nurturing it is. Therefore these foods would be processed foods, sugars, nuts, ice water, raw cold vegetables. You should still eat these! But that there is a time to eat these. It’s measured by seasons and months. So for females, eating more digestible foods will increase chi flood flow and blood flow to the menstrual organs during menstruation. I’ll write on eating with the seasons later, but for now I’ll say that there’s a reason there are seasonal fruits and vegetables, that’s what the body needs in those environments.
If stress is a precursor and we are often stressed because we feel out of control, think of ways to be okay with that. Or put yourself in control. Power poses have been found to be one of the best things for a healthy chi flow, the same concept as making yourself smile when you know you are being grumpy. Be okay with it! Embrace the situation! Let go. We are often our own enemies.
“Life is regenerative”
There’s this new philosophy I have adopted, life is regenerative. For me, it’s a spiritual concept, rooted in forgiveness and love and always looking to be better. But even on a scientific level, the body is so smart. So finely tuned. Western Science sometimes tells us to think of it all on an unchangeable cellular level, like it’s out of our control (not disregarding cellular science). But, Chinese medicine doesn’t look at any disease as impossible to alleviate. That’s where this whole concept of chi is important, it’s something that ebbs and flows, not something that dries up. I’m challenging you to think of your body as something that is regenerative. Something that can reform.
Pssst. It was made to do this.
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