Have you ever notice your breath tense up or get shallow when you’re feeling stressed?
Do you remember your breath speed up as you watch a scary scene from a movie?
This is because the mind has a direct influence on the breath.
As a Chinese Medicine practitioner I often find myself speaking of flow. We try to find words to explain as best as possible what we know to be true in our experience, and for me the way to healing ultimately is to be in flow. What exactly does that mean?
One of the most basic yet powerful 'take home' practices in ayurveda is called 'Abyangha'. Abyangha is the practice of self anointing or self massage. Each dosha or body type (vata, pitta, or kapha) responds best to a specific carrier oil (i.e. sesame oil, coconut oil, almond oil) and essential oil blend. Each essential oil works best to balance either one, two, or all three doshas. Based on individual assessment, an oil is prescribed and created.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the energy that is behind the body’s life force function is called ‘qi’. Unlike modern medicine, TCM perceives the body’s organs as having different roles in regards to the body’s qi (among many other aspects). Chinese medical theory considers the liver to be the organ in charge of the qi flowing correctly in the body. When someone undergoes stress or extreme emotions, it causes the energy or ‘qi’ to contract. This has a secondary effect of stopping the natural flow of qi - which the liver is in charge of. The qi then either becomes stuck or begins to move in the opposite direction, which affects the body’s normal function. The symptoms that can arise from this are pain, irritability, insomnia, abnormal menses, headaches, and abdominal discomfort among many more.