Chinese Medicine Traditional

Being Present, Listening…to Ourselves
By Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM Dip., R. TCM. P., R. Ac.

This can be as simple as listening to our hunger pains or as complicated and intense as listening to a cancer diagnosis.  We are so goal oriented that we forget to enjoy, and do the little things that keep us healthy and happy.      Keep it simple. Slow down to allow your breath in and out.  Eat when you’re hungry. Sleep when you’re tired. Exercise when you have tension… Why is this so difficult? Time! We don’t have time. There are only 24hrs in a day. A lot has to get done. Or do we?  We have to make time for ourselves. Let’s consider breathing for example.  In my practice, breathing comes up more often than not.  A shallow breath leads to a more acidic environment, a deep breath leads to a calmer more alkaline environment. There is a reason why most ancient body practices such as yoga or tai chi, all focus on the breath, and connecting with it.  When we are connected, we are more balanced, we are better decision makers, we respond to situations rather than react. So breathe! 

This brings me to another important health topic- pain.  What is your response or reaction to pain?  Do you ignore it, listen to it, breath into it, medicate it?  Pain is the body’s way of communicating.  If we keep this line of communication open to us we can respond to pain appropriately.  Often times we push pain aside to get on with our day, to get things done. Then what happens?  Where does that pain go?  Wouldn’t it be nice to  explore the first signs of pain rather than a few years down the road when you are facing more severe problems and pain?  This can be difficult.  It takes time, effort and a sense of curiosity of our own bodies.  In my acupuncture clinic, I often ask my patients to have compassionate eyes for themselves and take a look inside, be curious, and be gentle.  Breath into that pain, connect with it and see what’s going on in there.  The body has an interesting way of attaching emotion to pain.  Usually when we connect to our own pain, emotion will follow.  I suggest to stay with it and breath.  At that point the body has an amazing ability to heal and let go one step at a time.    

Lastly, we need to listen to Mother Nature; the four seasons.  Winter is upon us, the darkest time of the year, when our Qi (or Vital Energy) is in the deepest level of our bodies.  It’s when we have more time alone with ourselves and with our thoughts.  (As compared with summer where there are far more distractions and it’s easy to stay active.) This can lead to loneliness or even depression.  In Chinese Medicine, balance is the foundation to its philosophy, a harmony between Yin and Yang.  As we approach the darker months, keep this balance in mind.  Take time for introspection, nourishment and preserving your vital energy (more yin), and, staying active and connecting with your community through music, dance or exercise… (more yang).  Our body tell us to go to bed earlier, eat warm comforting foods, dress warmly, listen! If we don’t , come spring time when our Qi starts to move outward in our bodies, our immunity will be compromised and we will lack the ability to ward off colds and stay healthy.     Be kind to yourself, take the time to listen and enjoy all the wonders in your life.  For healthier kidneys this winter try rubbing your hands together until they feel warm. Place them on your waist towards the back kidney area and rub in circles.  Do this before bed every night while counting your circles. You can start with 10/ night and increase up to 100 as you see fit.  This will improve your circulation, keep you warmer and help you feel refreshed in the morning.  Happy Healthy Winter!

Chinese Medicine Traditional

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine  for every season there is a body system which is effected more by that season, and on the last 18 days of each season is when our Earth element; Stomach, Spleen and Pancreas (orb of influences) is at its strongest in preparation for the season to come.

More Articles by Gigi Vincentine on Eating and Living with the Seasons Through Traditional Chinese Medicine


A Time for Cleansing


Summer Hot Fun Joy Abundance…


The Abundance of Autumn in Preparation for the Winter

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