Traditional Chinese Medicine.While we know that coffee not only will not help us sleep, but will keep us awake, and that opening a window will not help keep us warm on a cold wintry day (if you have experienced such thing, which some of you have not), we most of us know nothing about the Chinese subtle energetic properties of foods. So I want to talk about the Eight Principles of
I’m a holistic therapist. It’s a fuzzy term for someone in the helping professions who addresses the whole person, taking into account the ‘presenting complaint’ and having a toolbox that may include nutrition, lifestyle change, subtle energy practice, and holistic counseling.
So, big deal? Well, the big deal relates to the fact that someone coming in with what seems like a psychological issue (my own experience, years ago) is often treated by first fixing up the physiology before addressing anything much else. Example: sad, angry, irritable – treat by cooling the liver first. Seriously? Seriously.
We damage our emotional and physical health by eating what are called unrighteous foods. Ha, silly sounding term, meaning we have a constitutional framework that we are mistreating. Oh boy, that sound complicated too. Put most simply, we are eating foods that exacerbate the condition. Like, I need to go to sleep, just hand me a cup of coffee. That one, we all know. But the larger picture is not common knowledge.
Chinese medicine is all about subtle energy, that we can think of in terms of vitality and what we also call energy in the West. If you are tired, the Chinese approach is absolutely not about handing you a cup of coffee, that we use as a picker-upper in the West. The Chinese approach is to figure out not so much what is making you tired as what is blocking the energy you can tap into normally. A different approach. It is about making the lungs more healthy, to grasp lung Qi (pronounced chee), or the stomach or spleen (pancreas) more healthy, to create stomach Qi.
What to do about this or that pattern of symptoms is based on something called The Eight Principles. The first two are quite simply stated as if hot, cool; if cold, warm. So we warm up when there are symptoms of cold, and cool down when there are symptoms of heat.
The minute I hear someone angry about something, I start thinking about what they are doing that increases their anger, and what they are not doing that could decrease the anger. You want to feel less angry? Most of us know by now that it is not about changing the other person. Our goal is something called the neutral reaction.
We can get there in several ways. One is by releasing old hurts, old memories; a second is about cooling the liver heat, so that we actually feel less angry. There are others… I talk a lot about releasing memories, but I do not always start there without providing some physiological help in the form of Chinese properties of foods to eat for calm emotions. No red meat, no complicated foods, no hot peppers, no coffee is the logical list. The not so logical list is the one developed over the centuries in the Chinese tradition.
For example, any kind of tremor in the limbs is a sign of something called deficient liver blood (do not panic, just a way of speaking about a condition where the action of tonifying is needed). For symptoms of deficient liver blood, then we learn to eat things like lamb, marrow bone soups, black beans, all cooked foods instead of salads, and to eat regularly without skipping meals. No cold foods, no ice cream. This will also help with other symptoms of the disharmony pattern connected with the liver such as blurred vision, numbness in the limbs, muscular weakness, muscle spasms, cramps, brittle nails, floaters in the eyes, insomnia. This is just some of the list of symptoms of the larger pattern of disharmony. So. Eat more lamb stews, then, like the Irish, with cooked carrots...
I’m just saying that Chinese medicine helps us stay vital and healthy so we can do all the things we want to in life. And I have to put in the disclaimer that this is for educational purposes. If you have access to a Chinese herbalist in your area, you can also get herbs for your health conditions. All this comes under the umbrella of natural remedies, holistic therapies: eating lamb and drinking herbal concoctions with names like Dang Gui Four (si wu tang)… Here's some of what goes into my herbs to keep me healthy.
A holistic therapist, then, will educate us about tonics, herbs and essential oils, while working on emotions, the memories of the past that contribute to the anger, the cords that hold the disharmony between people, and guilt and other emotions that contribute to the upsetness with self…
Be well, and look after your liver, Chinese style. I wonder if a google search will bring this line up in a recipe hunt?
Susan Rose is passionate about the development of higher human potential. She is a specialist in subtle energy – in ways to activate our whole brain, develop firm connection to universal consciousness and enhance the ability to manage health through vibrational medicine. As an educator and holistic coach, she raises awareness of the unseen world around us that affects well-being, happiness and success in life. She is a well-respected international speaker and expert on delving into the holographic universe to release implicit memories at the cellular level for renewed vitality and happiness. She delivers health coaching programs globally via the internet.