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Our ancestral soul at Solstice time is geared for extra holiday joy but sometimes instead we plummet from seasonal stress, especially after the holiday. Is there a solution–even one for the whole year?
As described in my article in the Malibu Chronicle, (”Staying Balanced at the Winter Solstice, p. 49,) if our emotions are volatile and easily sabotaged, then we can look for cause and effect factors inside and out. There IS an emotional vortex in our middle section that has the potential of being boiled into a block–even though this area is called ”the solar plexus” and should have sunshine flowing out of it. Instead, this pressure cooker boiling in our middle causes heat to get trapped above.
This heat rising in the body is one of the main causal imbalances that an acupuncturist addresses. We can break up this quagmire to alleviate this polarizing of our energy. Sometimes it is just shut down–a dormant area, stifling the normal circulation of blood and chi through the body.
This dam of emotional plaque now results in a hot head and cold feet. Hot upper symptoms are headaches, heartburn, tight muscles, and even ringing in the ears, as the excess energy is under pressure above. Meanwhile below we might have low back pain, weak flaccid intestines, low libido, varicose veins, and cold feet. Heartburn, acid reflux or a hiatal hernia occur right in the emotional center.
In Part IV I will discuss how we can empty out the psychic plaque of our personal drama and be ready to refuel with these special cosmic energies pouring in all the time but especially at the Solstice season. Our solar plexus can again be a SUN radiating out to all parts of the body and out to others. The sunny chakra that knits the upper and lower halves back together. A bright solstice solar light to the world! Let’s drink to that Holiday Cheer and an amazing New Year!
Our ancestral soul at Solstice time is designed to be a blessing, not a curse. So how to avoid the Holiday blues?? While we carry on the traditions of gaeity and solemnity during this season, our emotional centers are often wrought with negative reactions to life’s (and the season’s) challenges, and we can become even more sensitive at this time of year. We may not be part of a circle of loved ones. As a result, we might suffer resentment since our culture programs us to focus on drama and conflict—in films, TV and in our own lives, which requires dramatic tension, adversity, crisis, and lots of pathos.
So the effects of stress are equally traumatic for the body whether we expose our poor nerves to our own real life dramas or to fictional ones; to bad memories of our life time or to the echos of our ancestors’ plights. Over the years the ‘plaque’ of so many griefs, grievances, and resentments collects in the heart and solar plexus area of the body, the center of our emotional life. This build-up creates an armoring across the middle. The free circulation of blood and lymph that we experienced as a child is now cut off at a chest-high bottleneck and no longer flows freely up and down from head to toe. In Part III, I will share how to address to create champagne from this bottleneck.
Acupuncture theorists address emotions and internal organs in the same fell swoop. Dr. Andrew Weil reports on a British study showing the success of acupuncture for depression, and adds his own positive opinion based on his experience. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/WBL02371/Acupuncture-for-Depression.html So, how does it work?
Thousands of years ago, the Chinese discovered a specific interaction among the five major organs that is still unrecognized in Western medicine. The Law of Five Elements refers to particular interactions between the major ‘solid’ organs: heart, liver, lung, pancreas and kidney. Each of these is paired with one of the ‘tube’ organs (like intestines) and each pair feeds the next pair in a certain order. If there is excess energy in the stomach causing heartburn, then there is a single point that can pull this excess energy into the lungs/large intestine if they are deficient and cold. The same energy that wreaked havoc in the stomach can now benefit the deficient lung or intestine. Thus we eliminate two problems with one treatment!
When the major organs are balanced among themselves they work together in harmony, as the ultimate example of Wholistic health! But when out of balance, they can then lead to emotional obstructions and these can result in blockages, pain, inflammation and overeating from stress. If a patient has severe trauma, extended depression, anxiety or other emotional stress, this damages the major organ systems. So we see that treating the whole body affects both mind and body.
In Chinese medicine, each major organ has it own related emotional symptom, but it is a two-way street. There is a feedback loop between the organ and the feeling. The mind can affect the organ, and the organ can affect the mind. Excessive grief damages the lungs or, if the lungs are weak, then melancholy may appear. Obsessive thinking and over-eating damages the spleen; and excessive fear damages or can develop from the kidneys. Excessive worry hurts the liver and likewise, if the liver is toxic then anger or depression may develop. Liver disharmony can also cause some of the “triggers” that lead to cravings and compulsive eating.
So the body is, in fact, more ‘whole’ than most people realize. The internal connections are astonishing. An acupuncturist can work simultaneously on the physical symptoms and the emotional issues using the same few points. Mental, emotional, and physical issues all addressed in the same session. One stop shop!