A-Z of Ancient Wellbeing – Part 3

This blog covers the letters O-S.

O is for Orifices and Organs

You might notice when you’re run down and over tired (which puts strain on your vital energy, emanating from the kidneys), that you get earache or blocked ears. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the health of your internal organs is associated with the orifices in the face. For example, imbalances in your kidney health shows up in your ears – listening skills, ear pain etc. Another one is the liver and eyes, one that we know in the West, yellow eyes is a known sign of jaundice.

P is for Practice/Practise, Preventing and Pregnancy

A particular benefit of practising ancient wellbeing practices is the focus on nourishing the body as well as detoxifying. Clearing is always followed by strengthening, balancing the body and preventing weakness and loss of health. Practising the holistic approach to health and well-being daily means strengthening and healing yourself physically and emotionally for good.

When I started training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I had two two hour classes per week partly because there is so much to learn, and also in order to become healthy and strong enough to start teaching and passing on the practices myself. I practised the exercises, meditations and basic acupressure principles every day.

There are a whole set of practices and theories surrounding pregnancy, labour and particularly the first four weeks postpartum. This includes diet, rest, nourishing practices and acupressure massage.

Some of my TCM and Daoist healing notes I’ve taken over the years.

Q is for Qi

Qi, pronounced ‘Chee’, means energy. It is also spelt ‘Chi’ in Chinese or Ki in Japanese. Qi is the energy in the body, the universe, in food and the meridians. Within the body there are two basic types of Qi – congenital Qi (the Qi we’re born with), and acquired Qi (derived from the food we eat and the air we breathe, and restorative practices like qigong and Daoist breathing).

Congenital Qi is inherited from you parents; gathered and formed at conception; stored in the kidneys; determines your basic strength, constitution and vitality; cannot be replenished but can be conserved; is essential to development and growth. It is composed of Jing (essence) and Yuan (original Qi).

Acquired Qi can be stored and replenished (by practising Qi Gong, for example), and is post natal Qi. It is composed of Kong Qi (air Qi), Gu Qi (essence of food and grain Qi), Zong Qi (gathering Qi), and Zhen Qi (true Qi) – which is composed of nutritive and defensive Qi).

R is for Rest, Relaxation and Restore

Qigong, Daoist practices, acupressure, etc, are all about balance. The ancient Chinese believed we should live in harmony with the natural cycles of the environment. That means resting more during winter months, at night time and after exertion. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Daoist practices give you the tools you need to achieve balance in your body, your mind, and your life.

The body needs rest just as much as it needs activity. According to TCM, when the body’s energy flow becomes unbalanced through overactivity without enough rest, fatigue can arise. The goal is to restore and rebalance your energy by treating the source of the problem, fixing it for good.

Practicing qigong daily helps you to feel more relaxed and energised, restoring balance. Meditation does the same. Acupressure helps you restore the natural and harmonious flow of energy throughout your body. You can learn all of these practises in my membership group for classes for £21 per month.

S is for Stomach and Stress

My stomach issues disappeared when I started practicing qigong, acupressure, meditation and Daoist breathing techniques, and also eating with a more balanced mindset.

Traditional Chinese Medicine tips to help you maintain good health in your digestive system –

Eat well cooked basmati rice is gentle and easy to digest, it drains dampness and this helps to warm the body (make it more yang).

Cinnamon also helps to warm the stomach, add a stick of cinnamon bark to soup or stew, or drink cinnamon powder mixed with cooled boiled water (add a little honey to aid digestion and strengthen the spleen).

Use seasonal ingredients, ie. foods that naturally grow in your environment and current climate.

Acupressure, meditation and qigong treat the symptoms and signs of stress as well as the underlying causes of imbalances in the body. When emotions become excessive and build up over time, illness can result. Reducing stress levels has been long proven to be an essential part of wellbeing.

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