Rachel Condon, Lic. Ac.
Do you experience any of the following:
Inability to focus
during the day or at night
, especially around the 1-3am hours
/edginess right before bed or first thing in the morning
If so, you may want to keep reading.
We all are aware that
there is a LOT going on
these days, and much of it is distressing, unprecedented (or long hidden or ignored), and uncertain regarding the future. This is undeniable.
At the same time, we have
unprecedented access to information
happening all over the world, 24/7, to keep us all connected and to keep up with what is going on. Never before, at least in our current recorded history of civilization, have we been in this place, and with a population exceeding 8 billion people. That's a LOT of connecting we are doing!! It's amazing and profound and empowering, and at the same time, it's a LOT for our human nervous systems to process.
And too, one could argue,
a lot for our Liver to process
. When I bring up Liver Qi Stagnation with clients, which is one of the most common TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) patterns there is, and one that is rife in the US with its fast-paced, competitive, consumerist lifestyle, I invariably get a response like, well that's strange because I don't even drink, or well, oops, I guess I shouldn't have had that glass of wine last night. And to be honest, while there are certainly cases where excess alcohol consumption is clearly detrimental and having bad effects on the liver, that is not usually what we are talking about in Chinese Medicine.
The Liver has lots of roles to play in balancing the body
, from a TCM standpoint. We've written about them before in other newsletters - check out March/April ones from previous years on our website if you're curious (the time of the year when the Liver energy dominates). But here I want to focus on on specific function, and that is
the smooth flow of Qi in the body.
And that smooth flow is very easily disrupted by the
channels getting clogged with undigested/unprocessed information
- that can be food, substances, medicines, but also literally, information, such as
news reports, videos, podcasts, social media feeds
, etc. You get the idea. And what comes along with that information? Our
Especially these days! And our nervous systems can only process so much at one time.
common signs of Liver Qi stagnation
*Irritability *Depression *Insomnia *Tight neck and shoulders *Headaches *Jaw Clenching *PMS *Constipation *Muscle Cramps
When is the Liver Qi most active during a 24 hour day (according to TCM theory)?
Between 1-3 AM.
So you may see what I'm getting at here... Everything REALLY is connected. And too, I think these days
, we are being challenged to master our impulses more and more, with the deceptive ease of technology at our fingertips 24/7, to be Intentional about how much information we are consuming
, and the effects it is having on our bodies. This is not a call to put our heads in the sands. Quite the opposite -
it's a call to be more nurturing and aware of our own bodies' needs
, so that we can truly be present and responsive to the events happening in our lives and the world today.
Taking time each day to intentionally do just one thing at a time,
whether it's taking a walk (without your phone!), eating a meal in silence or truly engaging with a loved one, do one task on the computer to completion and then step away from the computer, or to ask yourself, before checking the news - can I take in more information right now, or do I need to go stretch my legs instead? - these small things add up, and can really make a difference in how the energy flows in your body - trust me, your Liver will let you know. I'm working on this too, so I speak to myself here as well, this is not easy to do these days, but important reminders, that help us all to take charge of our health and our own bodies and minds.