Tagged: Chinese Medicine

What Is Wellness?

What is wellness?

What is wellness, exactly? What does wellness look like for you?

 

Wellness As A Commodity

 

Have you noticed a trend towards people consuming wellness? Objectifying it into a commodity that you can purchase to attain?

Instagram is rife with it. The building blocks of consumerist culture.

Aspirational living is so on trend – as though that is the only direction one should choose.

Isn’t the modern obsession with attaining wellness just sprung from the mythscape of “I’m not enough”?

 

Stop Your Perfectionism

 

In my opinion, the aggressive expansion in wellness marketing drives obsession, perfectionism, neurosis and the undermining of self-esteem.

In the quest for ultimate wellness we see unhealthy obsessions with:

 

These obsessions also flood the internet with unreliable resources, and an ongoing lack of representation of diversity (age, body type, class, colour, style, life stage, ability).

We are perpetuating a myth of what wellness looks like. 

 

What Is Wellness? What Is NOT Wellness?

 

Let’s not be manipulated by all this imagery and marketing.

Wellness is not something that you consume.

Wellness is a state of being, and not always relating to your physical state of health. 

I love what Dr. Gabor Maté said recently on healing being a subversive act:

 

“… our work with people is about subverting their self-image as isolated, simply biological or simply psychological creatures, and helping them see the connections among their existence, the nature of the culture we live in, and the functioning of all of humanity.”

 

On what wellness is not, Dr Mate` also said:

 

“[We need to challenge] the idea that someone’s value is dependent on how well they fit into an abnormal, unhealthy culture. Ideally, as healers in the broadest sense, that’s what we should be doing.”

 

What is wellness?

What Is Wellness from a Chinese Medical Perspective?

 

Chinese Medicine has a concept of Yang Sheng, commonly translated as ‘Nourishing Life.’ 

The Chinese word “Yang” means to nurture, take care of, and nourish. “Sheng” means life, birth, growth and vitality.

Together, “Yang Sheng” means to nurture life or to cultivate health and vitality.

Yang Sheng is the practice of health cultivation/preservation by nurturing body, mind, heart and nature.

Yang Sheng is an accessible practice for ordinary people to cultivate health and harmony through daily activities – the micro-moments in which you choose what benefits you, and then what benefits others.

​Chinese medicine has always considered both the internal landscape and the external environment of a patient – the ways in which the patient participates and interacts in the world.

The cultivation of health, rather than simply the treatment of disease, is a major characteristic of Chinese medicine, strongly differentiating it from modern biomedicine.

 

The Many Ways to Nourish Your Life

 

Nourishing life is about nurturing yourself. This can occur over many aspects of your life.

Nourishing life could look like:

  • Saying no
  • Having pyjama days
  • Chewing your food
  • Watching comedy
  • Giving up on shit that’s not working
  • Shopping for your food
  • Making your own food
  • Spending time with music or the arts
  • Connecting with a community to support a cause you’re passionate about
  • Calling your mum
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Spending time with your family and friends
  • Having fun
  • Watching a sunrise/sunset
  • Having conscious sex
  • Getting good sleep
  • Knowing your limits
  • Playing with animals
  • Financially living within your means.

 

Abandon Perfection, Focus on Balance

 

Seriously, it’s time to stop striving for perfection.

Instead, focus on maintaining balance through an awareness of our connection to nature, to our own bodies, to our heart and to society. Yang Sheng is a powerful practice that can preserve and improve health when engaged in daily.

 

So, What Does Wellness Look Like For You?

 

Maybe take a moment and draw your own little map, keep it simple.

I’m not enough is pandemic in our society. Maybe it’s about what not to do. Be mindful of the endless, unattainable self-improvement list that is stemmed in an inability to accept who you are, as you are.

 

Getting Support for Restoring Wellness Through Balance

 

In the beginning of a holistic treatment process, you may need to apply some discipline to change habits and the corresponding dynamic in your body or behaviour. A practitioner (or, if accessible to you, your community) can support you through that.

Ideally, through that process you glean what you need to do. Your plan of action (or inaction) should be appropriate to your lifestyle, your needs, your stage of life and your capacity, so that you stay well. (Most of the time.)

You will still get sick.

You will still feel pain.

You will still experience difficult emotions.

Your heart will break again.

You will have significant traumatic events happen.

Life will always challenge you.

 

Wellness resides in your adaptability in response to challenge and in your resilience to get through it. 

 

 

Transforming Anxiety with Chinese Medicine

Transforming anxiety with Chinese medicine

Anxiety can be such so insidious. You can feel fine and then you’re hijacked by these paralysing and overwhelming feelings.

You can start to feel like you’re separating from your body, detaching from reality. A veil seems to descend between you and the world. Your mind and heart no longer feel safe and grounded.

You might even feel like you’re going to have a heart attack, pass out or die.

You develop a whole system of checks and balances nuanced to your particular flavour of control, all to avoid being triggered.

You become afraid of your anxiety returning and this creates a type of cage that you comfortably inhabit, because however restrictive, you deem it better than that anxious feeling. And this can work – it does keep things manageable – but sometimes you get stuck there and think it’s a forever thing.

But how to open the door? How to step out of the cage? (more…)

Cultivating Spirit – The Shen or Heart-Mind in Chinese Medicine

Shen or Heart Mind - cultivating Spirit

 

“Life is transformation. There is no life that is not an unceasing transformation.”

– Élisabeth Rochat de la Vallée

 

It’s the final month of our Winter here in the Southern Hemisphere. As we approach Spring we get closer to emerging from our Yin state and the building of Yang will initiate.

Yang is light, activity, movement, initiation, action, the doing. On a metaphysical, spiritual and cosmological level the most Yang manifestation of a human, the purest Yang aspect of our consciousness, is the Spirit or ‘Shen’.

Shen is translated as something which is divine, marvellous, extraordinary or mysterious. In recent times we call it the Heart-Mind. (more…)

The Power of Yin

Power of Yin

What is Yin?

Yin is a term that comes from the classical Chinese concept of opposite yet complementary forces, Yin and Yang. Yin is described as the “shadow side of the mountain” in relation to the sunny side, which is Yang. Yin is dark, cool and quiet, and so we often neglect the importance of Yin in favour of the hot, bright and loud Yang elements in life.

It’s an elegantly simple concept, yet Yin Yang can describe mind-bending complexities of the mechanisms of the universe. Its essence is encapsulated in the Yin Yang symbol. No matter how you try to dissect this circle, every slice will contain both Yin and Yang. (more…)

Pre-conception Care – An Holistic Perspective

Pre-conception care with Chinese medicine

Thinking about having a baby? It can feel mega – emotionally, psychologically and physically. Add a trend to have babies later in life, feeling the tick-tock of the biological clock, stepping into the unknown, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Fertility is an arena in which Chinese Medicine gets a lot of notoriety.

In Chinese Medicine, the premise for pre-conception care is to be at your optimal vitality and balance. If you are planning to conceive, both parents should prepare their bodies prior to conception. This will increase your chances of:

  • A healthy and energetic pregnancy
  • Easy breast-feeding and recovery
  • Optimal vitality in your children.

In essence, we are preparing the soil to plant the seed, then nourishing the eco-system to sustain growth. (more…)

How to Detox: A Guide

How to detox

 

I use detox as a clinical tool. I find it makes a huge improvement in my patients, especially for (but not limited to) those suffering fatigue, endocrine issues, digestive disorders and adrenal burnout.

Detoxing is also fantastic for pre-conception care.

I always spend time chatting with my clients and really getting a sense of what is realistic and what they can manage. Aspirations can be admirable. But you must know what you’re getting in to, be invested in the benefits and be up for it.

It can either be pleasurable coming home to your optimal health or it can be a total struggle. Preparation is what makes the difference. (more…)

What Your Naturopath Didn’t Tell You About Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue help with Chinese medicine

Jing Essence in Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine takes seriously the importance of our relationship to the Earth. It is concerned with our broken connection to the Earth, and how we can re-connect to its natural rhythms. By doing this, we can begin to harmonize our body, breath and mind to capture, cultivate and nourish our in-built self-healing mechanisms.

Older civilisations, such as India and China, have developed naturalistic cultivation practices to maintain, deepen, and draw from our relationship with nature. Recently I have been learning about Ayurveda, which sits alongside Chinese Medicine as the oldest known living medical systems. They both clearly describe this nature-connection and cultivation process.

In Chinese Medicine it is described in the physiology and cultivation of our Pre and Post Natal Essence (Jing) and Qi.  The Ayurveda speaks of our Prakriti – our inherent individual nature. It also speaks of the Soma, the nectar of life and how the wise collect it and drink it in.

Below is the lowdown on Jing Essence, what it is, how and why to treasure it.

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Chinese Herbs for Your Bone Broth To Take It Next Level.

Bone broth with Chinese herbs

Bone broth bone broth bone broth… Sick of hearing about it already?

Thought you knew all there is to know about bone broth? Starting to think it could be a diet fad to rival green smoothies? Should kale and quinoa get nervous?

Things may be blowing up in the media and people might be touting all sorts of claims, but really, bone broth is a very normal part of diets across the globe. This nourishing elixir is especially present in cultures where they need to utilise as much as they can from their produce and livestock in an effort to have enough food to nourish and strengthen the tribe.

Not only that, it’s easy to make, nutrient dense, easily absorbed by the body, warming and welcome in the colder months, and suitable for all ages.

More specifically, adding medicinals to your soup stock is ancient grandmother’s medicine in China. The synergistic effect of combining both food and medicine in Chinese culture has been understood and utilised for a long time.

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Why I’m a Moxibustion Freak and I Think You Should Be Too

moxibustion treatment acupuncture chinese medicine

 

 

Sometimes I feel so passionate about Moxa (Moxibustion) that I feel I could pop.

Why? Well:
1. I’m a major Chinese med geek
2. Because of the untapped potential of this amazing technique. It’s a true gem.

Moxibustion is:

  • cheap
  • easy to use for most people
  • portable.

Let’s put it into context.

What Is Moxibustion?

To start, what is it?

Moxibustion is the burning/smouldering of the herb known as Mugwort (botanically known as artemisa agyii, princeps or montanta) that has been dried, processed and aged so that it is a punk (soft downy fluff made from the hairs and oil of the leaves) or rolled into cigar-like sticks (this uses more fibrous parts of the plant).

Moxa is burnt on or near acu-points in the body.

 

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