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Ordering Atlantis Writhing
As an acupuncturist, I find that stagnant energy is behind every imbalance. And because digestion and worry/overthinking are governed by the same channels, one of the best ways to transform fear is through improving digestion. Proper nutrition, exercise, deep breathing, and laughter all move the fears that keep us stuck and allow us to move forward more freely.
In Chinese medicine, the lung meridian helps us create healthy boundaries when it’s well aspected – but if we’ve suffered loss or disappointment, the energy normally used to create boundaries can be misappropriated into masks. Truly there’s a reason why the lung resides within a rib “cage” – we can effectively shut down our authentic selves when we feel unsafe through shallow breathing. To practice reclaiming who we really are, we can begin by laughing heartily at every opportunity! Laughter opens the rib cage and allows us to reconnect to all that we feel, so we can then start speaking from our deepest truth.
In ancient China, it was said the Emperor always faced South to keep a “good fortune” mindset. This practice illustrates how a “glass is half full” outlook is achieved by focusing our attention on all the good in life. There is inevitably something positive to experience if we look for it!
It’s easier to think life is always working out for us if we are calm and centered. Acupuncture can help anyone feel more balanced and thus better able to see the rainbow through the rain. Please share in the comments below if acupuncture has ever brightened your day!
What we believe to be true IS true for us. Chinese medicine teaches that daily cultivation is key to positive change. If your beliefs need a boost, then practice turning your awareness toward something that makes you smile every time a doubt arises. Even focusing on one thing that makes you feel grateful can create a can-do attitude!
The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. Yet often we find that first step to be the hardest. Going for an actual walk daily is a great way to begin moving toward a goal. From a Chinese medicine perspective, walking stimulates the lung and liver meridians; activating the lung helps establish a healthy new routine, while energizing the liver brings life to dreams and visions. If we are thus actively engaged and invested in reaching our destination, whatever presently surrounds us ceases to matter.
Energetically speaking, fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. Thus the need for security often accompanies a longing for adventure. Practice taking a small risk every day – even something as simple as trying a new tea – to teach yourself not to fear the unknown. But to look forward to what’s next.
As cellular biologist Bruce Lipton teaches, growth means being open to what is. And protection is shutting down in the face of a threat. Since an organism can’t be open and closed at the same time, we humans can’t grow when fear shuts us down. And so moving forward along our path usually involves taking a step that makes us feel exposed and even vulnerable. Until we can take a moment to see that, from our new vantage point, there really IS no threat lurking. Only then can we feel lit up by our progress!
This Japanese proverb reminds us that toddlers are great role models for how to be successful. Have you ever watched a 12-month old? They live for fun! They feel good about themselves. They are spontaneous and stay in the moment. And if they fall, not getting up again is never an option.
Trying to control external circumstances only taxes the lung and liver meridians in Chinese medicine, leading to exhaustion and frustration. What we CAN learn to control is our perception and our attitude. Practice seeing everything as a gift or lesson that’s meant to help you.
Or to put it another way … you’ve got to be in it to win it. Which means, essentially, you need to show up and open up to opportunities. To risk a daily habit of vulnerability that’s cultivated by committing to your goals, plans, and visions. From a Chinese medicine perspective, it’s the digestive channels that feed our dreams as well as our bodies by fueling our patience to persevere. Just one more great reason to nourish ourselves in a healthy way!
From a Chinese medicine perspective, the liver meridian fuels our imaginations and feeds ideas. But if liver energy isn’t well rooted, we can become wishful thinkers instead of action takers. Practice grounding daily through deep breathing, proper nourishment, and getting out into nature.
Neck and shoulder tension/pain is the number one complaint that brings patients to me for acupuncture. Since Chinese medicine sees no separation between body and mind, we acupuncturists recognize neck and shoulder issues as pent-up frustration/anger/resentment from “shouldering” too many responsibilities and worries. I often explain to patients that it’s like they are carrying around two 60-lb. suitcases – a burden I help them learn they can set down. Deep belly breathing, stretching, massage, and yoga are all effective remedies for this “boulders on the shoulders” syndrome – which frees up energy for more positive, pleasurable pursuits.