So here we are at that really weird time of year when it is neither too hot or too cold. In Chinese Medicine this is the time of year associated with the Earth element. It is a transitional time of year when we benefit from the harvest but also take stock for the coming lean times of the winter months. It is also a time of change.
Change is natural and is the only thing that is certain. But there can be problems if it is resisted, especially if it is forced upon you. Disease or injury are just as much about dealing with change as they are about being ill or in pain. Not being able to work or exercise, or even simply getting up and down the stairs, all test ones ability to deal with change.
Why can change be so difficult?
As you know from my previous blogs, any imbalance of your Qi will affect your health, physically and emotionally. It’s complicated, of course. We are not machines who just need new batteries every now and then. A very fine balance is needed between all the organs in order for there to be good health.
How can Acupuncture and Tui Na help?
The Gall Bladder channel and its points are particularly relevant when it comes to difficulty dealing with change. The channel itself is situated on the side of the body. It starts on the side of the head, travels down the ribs and flanks into the buttock, and then down the side of the leg to the outside of the foot, where it finishes on the inside of the little toe. Perhaps, because of where it’s channel is located, the Gall Bladder is said to control our ability to rotate and turn the body. On an emotional level, a healthy Gall Bladder helps us make decisions and change direction in life.
In my Acupuncture and Tuina practice I find people are often stuck in an old way of thinking, or an old lifestyle pattern, which stops them from moving on. And it’s often these old ways of thinking which got them where they are in the first place. These thought patterns lead to frustration and anger. They ask themselves’ ‘Why me?’. Mixed into this there is also often fear, guilt, regret, self-recrimination, every emotion that goes with a chronic illness/injury etc. And as you know, all emotions, over time, will affect our health.
I’ll be back
It’s all these additional emotions that can make change so difficult. Which is ironic really when you think that as physical beings we are constantly changing. However, the belief that the body regenerates itself every seven years is actually a myth. In actual fact, although some cells die and are lost forever, some are able to rejuvenate. Brain cells are precious; we lose thousands daily and they do not return. The Liver, on the other hand, is like the Terminator, it just keeps on coming back. But given enough abuse and it will eventually pack up. Unfortunately, it is so tough that there are no symptoms of damage until it’s too late!
Bones take up to 10 years to regenerate, whereas skin only two weeks! The cells of the heart also have the potential for regeneration, as do finger tips and toes, the endometrium, the kidneys and the vas deferens (testicular tubes). Other areas of the body such as the bladder, lung, penis, vagina and spinal nerves also have the potential for regeneration, but only with the intervention of stem cells or in a laboratory. Pretty amazing stuff. But don’t chop anything off if you can help it, it might not work every time.