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EAST MEETS WEST IN EMOTIONS
Don’t Hush Your Emotions
With our current metamorphosis from the pandemic, our emotional load has significantly increased. We are experiencing fear, sadness, worry, anxiety, frustration, depression and stress with all the constant change.
In the new earth perspective, we are shedding the old ways, the outdated thinking, and making room for a higher vibration of consciousness. Emotional intelligence is not something taught although it can be learned.
There are so many emotions that aren’t talked about because we hide our true emotions.
Or maybe we aren’t able to voice out our emotions. But certainly we do feel emotions in our bodies.
Emotions can make us sick and cause insomnia, diarrhea, heart palpitations, night sweats, nightmares, stomach aches. We feel nauseous, we cry, we don’t cry, we eat too much and we shut down.
With children, emotions that are suppressed could lead to bedwetting. With youths, it could result in nail-biting, fatigue, lack of focus or motivation, forgetfulness; the list goes on.
Interlude: Create The Solutions Today
Since the pandemic I’ve been given time to focus on other areas of my life, and one that has unfolded has been a connection with individuals in Africa.
What if you were going through life on a normal day with your family; mom, dad, your 2 brothers and 2 sisters, you get into the car with your parents, knowing you’ll return home later, but instead you’re involved in a car accident where both your parents died and you lost your arm from the elbow down?
This was what happened to Richard, who is 25 today, still having to deal with the pain and living without a prosthetic, and has issues trying to make a living with only one arm. A new friend I made in Nigeria, Prosper, found him on the streets of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, begging for food and for someone to take him in this time last year.
Together, Prosper and I were able to help him. Through my phone’s video, I could see how life was like over there, how, for example, people cook without a stove or with only a 3-kg gas cooker. I could see the dirt roads and city streets and how different everything is from my comfortable home here in America.
From this experience, I realize we can all have the same needs, the same concerns, the same emotions and yet live so differently. I believe that when we blend our knowledge and experiences from the different cultures, we can grow and advance together. We can shape solutions for what is needed today, without judging who is right or wrong, or debating on whose dogma is correct. We are intelligent beings with boundless possibilities, our timeless wisdom will not betray us and solutions are waiting to be created.
Let us create the solutions today.
There are many cultural theories and practices based on energy medicine. The Dao or Tao is a place that holds energy relationships using nature as its metaphor.
The Dao relates to wholeness, and unity of the divine. The Dao is wisdom that is present any moment. Wisdom is energy, and all matter is energy. When we address our energetic system, we can foresee and prevent disease, and elevate ourselves to a level of consistent wellness. To attain this greater health and well-being, we would want a free flow of qi or chi in our body by clearing blockages, supporting deficiencies and addressing excess or imbalanced conditions.
Adding these energetic techniques to the global mental health support system would prove beneficial in all areas of people’s lives.
Fear & Anxiety
The last two years have altered lives and brought impactful changes, with fear and anxiety running like rivers through local neighborhoods. In Chinese medicine, anxiety has components of worry and fear, and chronic anxiety leads to anger. Ideas will overlap here, but we can learn more about fear and anxiety from a different perspective.
Fear is the opposite of wisdom. Fear is the lack of trust in the Dao… the Way.
Fear includes both (a) the chronic state of fear and anxiety, and (b) fear with a sudden fright. Fear depletes kidney qi and descends the energy, which shows up as incontinence, bladder issues, and “freezing”. When freezing, we sink, we become inactive and “frozen” in our lives.
We get afraid because we don’t see the big picture. The stronger the kidneys, the less fear one has. We can support the kidneys as much as possible for they are, as a pair, our life force energy, our jing (essence).
Fear kills joy.
A remedy for fear is understanding that the only constant is change.
Anxiety corresponds to the liver and is related to the wood element. Liver energy is Hun.
Hun is responsible for maintaining peaceful sleep with dreams that are good for the soul. It’s also responsible for inner visions, dreams, creativity and growth.
Another part of the liver is the ethereal soul which sustains courage. When this is weak, the person becomes timid; when it’s strong, the person is fearless and is able to face life’s difficulties without being easily discouraged.
Hun maintains our emotions and keeps us balanced emotionally. When emotions are held back or hidden for long periods, the compromised liver qi will cause headaches, indigestion or abdominal bloating. Depression is another problem caused by repressed emotions.
When anxiety is not dealt with over time, anger would be felt. Anger can build and build, and can go on for way too long. This is called sheng nu or swelling anger. Anger is the most depleting of all the emotions because it’s so yang in nature.
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Heart & Mind
Shen is a friend you want to get to know. In the West, we look at the mind as a single entity. In the East, we look at the mind and the heart as one, working together. Spirit and all emotions integrate through the heart. All emotions affect the heart and are recognized by it, so we always treat the heart to help with emotional imbalances. The heart is self-reflective, it is the consciousness that recognizes what we are feeling.
Essentially, the heart houses the mind; the mind and the heart are one in the Shen. Chinese medicine looks at the energetic system running alongside the physical system with each system carrying its own vital tasks and responsibilities in the body’s operations.
From neurocardiology, we now know that there are also neurons or nerve cells in the heart transmitting nerve impulses or signals. The heart and brain are constantly sending signals back and forth between themselves. We can therefore nurture our internal energy as mind-body energy affect each other. By understanding this connection and having the right tools and resources, we can use the mind-body flow of energy to help balance our emotions.
Inhale The Present, Exhale The Past
~Solutions For Mind Relief~
1. Smudging – The Native American Way
Smudging is a Native American technique for calming, clearing, protecting, praying and also blessing yourself and your personal space. Sage, white sage, sweet grass or palo santo can be used together with our intention.
In Native American tradition you would want to follow these steps:
- Be in the right state of mind. With humility, thank the item of smudging; be grateful for the cleansing.
- Set your intention of purpose as you light the sage or the plant used, believing in the purpose.
- As the smoke starts, connect your hands to the smoke. Your hands are now empowered. Bring the smoke to the top of your head first and then toward your body and down toward your feet.
2. Scalp Massage
Scalp massage is beneficial due to the numerous acupressure points all over the head. Stimulating them opens up energy flow to the brain. This helps calm the mind and helps with any Shen disturbance. Western terms of Shen disturbance include mental fatigue, exhaustion, anxiety, stress, brain fog, head injury, concussion and other head trauma.
In TCM they do not treat symptoms, they treat patterns. Shen disturbance falls under mind and heart patterns; so we can now include emotions in our healing solutions.
3. Taiqi Warm Up
I recommend learning any type of Taiqi warm-up movement, which moves your energetic system – as we do need to move our energy to heal. A Taiqi warm-up movement allows the energy flow to calm the mind from states of anxiety and fear. It’s also very grounding, thus helping you return to your center to find your tranquility.
4. Return The Qi
This is the most important and it is done within the basic Taiqi warm up, I feel this is a true treasure. I’ve seen it calm people down immediately; your teens and children can easily learn this. It can be done anywhere and within a few minutes, making a real difference to your mental and emotional health.
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Stephanie Gulu is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Lymphatic Therapist, Life Coach and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Practitioner. She has an Associate Degree in Holistic Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). With 30 years of experience in the field of holistic healing, she combines multi-cultural energy philosophies and intuition in her work. Stephanie comes from a family line of psychics and energy healers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org