This is the second part of my treasury of natural healing practices. This week it’s H-N.
H is for Healing, Hands and Heat
Helping people to heal is my passion. Not only is it possible to heal yourself, in my opinion it’s deeper and longer lasting than what someone else can do for you. I may teach and guide people in how to heal, but the real work is done by the individual. Qigong, meditation, conscious breathing and acupressure are all healing practices. As are clearing clutter, improving your mindset and your creativity.
I can support you to understand and enhance your own natural self healing abilities. I can’t do it for you, no one else can, but for beginners place your hands on your energy centre under your naval and breathe there. Feel the heat from your hands nourishing you internally. Just ‘be’ for 10 slow deep breaths.
I is for Intuition, Imbalances and Interconnected
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners can see and feel imbalances in the body intuitively, through experience and understanding of the complex theories involving the organs, bones, blood and qi. Being tuned into your intuition means quietening the noise of distractions around you, allowing you to experience the world more actively.
In ancient natural healing practices we look at the interconnection between mind, body and environment in order to improve our physical and emotional health. Imbalances in any area of the whole of a person’s life will affect the others.
J is for Joints and Joy
Qigong exercises are low impact and therefore don’t damage your joints. In fact a lot of the fundamental teachings about how to properly perform the exercises specifically talk about being aware of how you’re standing in order to protect joint damage, and many of the exercises target certain joints to help soften and loosen them up. Low impact exercises help us to maintain fitness safely and without causing future problems.
Joy is a thing that many people equate to something that’s hard to obtain. The truth is, joy can be found inside your heart as well as outside of us. In meditation and qigong practice there are many ways to unlock this awareness of joy… because that’s where it starts, it’s already within you. Most of us aren’t aware of it because we’re bogged down with anxieties and clutter. Learning to peel away the layers of tension and the weight of our chaotic thoughts is something I love helping people to achieve.
K is for Kindness and Kidneys
Kindness plays a major role in ancient healing practices. It’s where all healing originates – without kindness towards yourself there would be no impulse to self heal in the first place. Without kindness to others there would be no acupressure, acupuncture and distance healing practitioners.
The health of the kidney meridian is regarded as the foundation of good health in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Daoist healing. In all my qigong and meditation lessons we focus on nourishing the kidneys. It’s where our original energy emanates from, according to ancient Chinese practices. Over-working, excessive drinking, too little sleep, not drinking enough water/warm nourishing drinks, too much cold food and drink, all damage and weaken kidney energy.
L is for Longevity and Life Force
Some very effective self-care practices were developed in China at least 2,200 years ago. The ancient emperors were particularly interested in learning ways to stay healthy, prolong life and maintain virility. A wide range of anti-aging herbs were discovered to enhance the immune system and strengthen health (still used today and now integrated into Western health care too).
The belief that there is a universal life force, ‘qi’, that exists in all living things has endured since around 600BCE in China. Qi gong and acupressure and many of the meditation practices I teach restores balance to the body and mind, promotes the flow and strength of this life force, and stimulates our natural healing system.
M is for Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindset, Massage, Mantra, Mudra and Meridians
Mindfulness practice originates in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and possibly also has roots in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Most modern practitioners learned mindfulness from the Buddhist tradition, like me. Western science has now caught up with the benefits of being mindful, and the practice is used widely. All of my meditation, acupressure and qigong classes involve practicing mindfulness. Mindset starts with whether you feel you deserve to and are able to improve your wellbeing. Thinking negatively or listening to our unhelpful views of ourselves holds us back from achieving real happiness and inner peace.
Meditation is about being here in the present moment. It’s about noticing how you’re breathing, how you’re sitting or standing or laying, and what you’re thinking and feeling. Meditation is not about emptying your mind and stopping difficult thoughts. It’s about feeling more deeply, understanding ourselves better, and clearing whatever is keeping us stuck in life.
Chanting a mantra focuses your energy on transforming negativity, clearing toxins from the body, and calming the mind.
N is for Nutrition
Like everything else in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the main goal with food is to achieve balance and harmony within the body. Food is used both to preserve good health and also to treat sickness. TCM focuses on spleen and stomach and small and large intestine health, as well as how different types of ‘tastes’ affect other organs in the body. The energetic properties of foods are the guiding principle (see chart). The point is to nourish the organs and maintain the free flow of qi by eating supportive foods.
Major principles of TCM nutrition include not ingesting raw and cold foods (as these are extremely yin and therefore weaken the body system), and not overindulging in fatty or sweet foods.
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