In the ancient days healers observed the patterns in the stars to better understand the patterns in their patients. One of the great classic texts (Yellow Emperor’s) says heaven is covered with constellations, earth with waterways, and us with channels. Cosmic elements are in play as we float in water in the womb and these influence us.
I love this holistic universe, but another thing I love about Chinese medicine is that regardless of the cosmic forces, ultimately our health and happiness is down to us. We don’t outsource our health, healing comes from within. The patient has more to do with their healing than the practitioner, because health is an action, it’s rhythm, nutrition, meditation and movement, and we’re the ones who have to do that. Lifestyle is the secret.
So, since we’ve just started another new year, the Chinese year of the Wood Dragon, it is an opportunity to do some new lifestyle resolutions. The dragon is the symbol of longevity, and wood is the element of growth and creativity, so my approach is edit out the little things that shorten life and make you feel stuck.
I’m suggesting a resolution of ‘worry less’!
Bite-size changes are always better than big general multi-factorial ones, like ‘lose weight’. I’m seeing worry getting out of control lately. It’s a spleen thing and your spleen transforms and moves everything, from food to thoughts. Spleen is a mother earth organ It makes you feel nourished, alive and taken care of (worry dreams are affiliated with your spleen).
Worry depletes spleen chi so you end up with less power to tackle life confidently and then worry even more. Overthinking begins, followed by a loss of spontaneity and no sense of adventure in life. Your spleen is also affiliated with obsession so you can end up obsessing about worrying and becoming a chronic worrier. Western medicine is calling this GAD – general anxiety disorder – but anxiety is a heart issue, worry is spleen.
Life is always uncertain so we can’t avoid worry.
The trick is to manage it. Worry is a symptom, and a symptom is a driver for change, it is a guide, a gift if you use it for growth.
In the interconnected holistic universe of Chinese medicine, spleen is associated with Saturn. It is connected with time, with sowing the seeds of something new. It’s also associated with wealth and a golden age, so care for your spleen to reduce worry and there’s lots of flow-on benefits! That’s a resolution worth sticking to!
WORRY MANAGEMENT PLAN
- Refuel daily (nutrients, chi, etc)
- Avoid the spleen-destroyers like sugar, highly processed, cold and raw foods, and bingeing
- Do some breathing techniques daily to enhance lung function to control worry
- Take up ‘thinking movements’ like yoga and tai-chi
- Spleen chi building foods – pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin
- Spleen chi tonic herbs: Cardamom formula for feeling weak, fatigued, tired and worried.
- Exercise daily because muscles control spleen
- The spleen sense organ is the mouth (need to speak your truth)
- The spleen sound is song (do mantras, sing)
- Spleen is ‘centre’ – balance yin and yang in your day with Chi cycle rhythm
WATCH THE DEMO VID of how to activate an acupuncture point with your fingers to calm your mind and alleviate worry in this week’s youtube Relieve Worry With Chi