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Good Life Healing Blog
Written by Kalina Shannon, AP, DOM
Have you ever dropped something harmless such as keys or a piece of paper on the floor and angrily sighed or growled in irritation? Have you ever experienced stress and tension, irritability, dull body pain, tense shoulders, grinding teeth, easy to anger, PMS, menstrual cramps or possibly digestive or eye issues? You may have Liver Qi Stagnation!
In Chinese Medicine, we see the Liver as responsible for the free flow of Qi or energy in the body and when stress, toxins, Liver disease, hormonal imbalances or poor nutrition stagnate it, then the body’s functions and emotional balance may suffer.
What are some things that you can do to alleviate Liver Qi Stagnation?
- Breathe deeply… Oxygen alkalizes, relaxes, brings us out of ‘fight or flight’, and brings us into our NOW moment!
- Exercise… Do something you love to do and get both your Qi and your endorphins flowing. The Liver loves Tai Qi, aerobic exercise, weight-lifting, in fact, any exercise.
- Express your anger in a healthy way. Quit holding it in. Quit raging it out.K
- Keep a journal or find a therapist, close friend or partner who is present and available for you to both vent and process the stressful issues in your life, as well as find dynamic solutions.
- Eat healthy, fresh foods… Some foods that help the Liver Qi and/or nourish the blood are: mung bean sprouts, celery, spirulina, dark leafy greens, beets, berries, and Goji berries.
- Go green… as in bare feet on the green grass, look at nature, lean back against a tree with arms outstretched, do some gardening, walk or sit and reconnect with the rhythms of nature. Put a green plant next to your computer screen. Rest your eyes. Turn off your phones, tvs, and wi-fi when you go to sleep, give your body a rest from the electronic static and overwhelm of modern society.
- Make plans and follow through on them or recommit to a different outcome. In Chinese medicine, our Liver is all about our Visions, Goals, and Decision-Making. Honor that part of yourself and make some dynamic realities come true. If your plans change, chill, be flexible and grow in a different direction to make a new plan with minimal or no frustration!
- See a great Acupuncturist or Herbalist. You may receive dietary, herbal or lifestyle advice along with treatments that could smooth your path, refresh and recharge you on all levels.
Bless your Livers, may they flow smoothly! namaste
The long and thoughtful answer takes into account that, with acupuncture, some conditions respond quickly and some get better slowly over time. Also, each condition and person varies in how much initial and then maintenance treatment is needed. Sometimes, herbal medicine plus acupuncture together are a better solution and sometimes other techniques like deep tissue laser therapy, chiropractic adjustment and yes even modern antibiotics are in your best interest.
Chinese Acupuncture and Herbal medicine are the oldest continuously practiced forms of medicine that exist. Acupuncture has been actively used for 2500 years and herbal medicine for as long as 4500 years. They were developed and practiced separately until the mid 1900s — acupuncture in northern China where the climate was cool and plant life limited, and Herbal medicine in the south where the weather supports diverse and abundant plant life much of the year. Consequently, each form of medicine is a complete, comprehensive modality that was practiced as a stand-alone form of healthcare in its respective geography.
No matter what your ailment, if you lived in northern China you would be treated with acupuncture techniques that had been developed and used for your problem for hundreds or even thousands of years.
The best questions for you as a potential patient to ask your practitioner about acupuncture for your condition are: How much will it help? How fast will it help? And how much will it cost now and down the road? These questions can only be answered after the practitioner learns more about you and the details of your condition. Good medicine is always customized for your individual needs. That is why an important part of my practice is the free initial consultation I offer to every new patient, at my Bradenton (LWR) and St. Petersburg offices.
While there is more than a little disagreement on the subject of dietary supplements, the majority of information is that we should all be taking a few important supplements every day. This is true for everyone, from the chronically ill to the healthiest person, and from the fast food junky to the most health conscious. Our lifestyle choices, the diminishing quality of our soil and food supply and the ongoing pollution of our environment, make it nearly impossible to get everything we need to be optimally healthy.
To build a solid nutritional foundation choose the following three supplements.
First, the most important part of your daily regimen should be a high-potency, high quality multi-vitamin. No, that one-a-day you get at the grocery store isn’t going to cut it. It is simply impossible to fit everything you need into one pill. This multi must contain sufficient vitamin D, B-vitamins, calcium and magnesium.
Second, a toxin-free source of Omega-3 fatty acids – fish oil as it is commonly called. This can be in the form of purified oil from salmon, sardines, anchovies or krill.
Finally, include a solid antioxidant supplement. Antioxidants have been in the news a lot in last few years. You have probably heard about acai, resveratrol, astaxanthin, curcumin or the natural antioxidant properties of fresh fruit and vegetables.
As I mentioned before these three supplements form the foundation of good nutrition. “Foundation” is truly the key word here. If you have health issues of any kind you may well need additional amounts of a specific nutrient(s). For instance, many women and those who are gluten intolerant may need additional iron and/or B-vitamins. Also, some people are getting too much of a given nutrient. Men, for instance, infrequently need iron supplementation and can be harmed by products containing a lot of this essential mineral.
I recommend consulting your physician or other primary healthcare professional for help choosing the supplements that are best for your personal needs.
In future posts I will share with you my product choices for each of these three important supplements or if you would like my help with this process I am currently available at my Bradenton (LWR) and St. Petersburg offices.
To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.