Today’s self-care exercise will require:
- 1 stainless steel tongue scraper ($5-10 at Whole Foods or on Amazon)
“If Yin is a noun, then Yang is a verb, and life is a complete sentence.” – Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide To Chinese Medicine, pg. 52
We recently started a discussion about the Autonomic Nervous System and I explained the breakdown of the sympathetic nervous system versus the parasympathetic nervous system. That was all a Western/conventional/allopathic understanding; now let’s discuss the same concept from an Eastern/alternative/holistic perspective.
Acupuncture is probably the most popular branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), though it is not the only. Other modalities that are commonly used include tui na (Chinese massage), herbs, moxibustion, and cupping. Acupuncture in its most ancient form is a TCM practice, but there have been many cultures and groups of people that have modified the TCM style of acupuncture and published their own versions of this healing art. For example, Japanese acupuncture is different from Chinese acupuncture, which is different from Korean acupuncture, which is different from European acupuncture. Here in the States, there is medical acupuncture and dry needling. All these different styles insert the same hair-thin needles into various points on the body. I think of it similarly to how there are many different sects and denominations of each religious path. Although most of these groups all agree on the same main principles and ideas, they may diverge on less important practices or beliefs; thus, they create their own school of thought. When I utilize acupuncture on a patient, it is not uncommon for me to blur many of these different methods into one treatment. I will needle common TCM points (of which…
To demonstrate the Mind-Body Connection, I’m going to ask you to wiggle your toes. Go ahead, take a moment to do so.
Now what just happened? How were you able to do that? It’s a fact that your mind told your body to do something, and your body responded by following through with the action. Our minds and our bodies are in constant communication with each other: this is the Mind-Body Connection.
Sigmund Freud advanced the human understanding of our psyche so much when he introduced the concept of a conscious and subconscious mind. A lot of these constant actions (i.e. breathing) involving our mind and body are done on a subconscious level. The breakdown is with our conscious mind.
The sad reality is that, though our mind and body are inherently connected, we live in a state of constant disconnect (on a conscious level). We may be physically working at 11am, yet our mind is disconnected from the task at hand. We’re planning lunch, daydreaming about that future vacation, or replaying the conversation we had in the break room twenty minutes prior.
It’s those activities that unite and connect our mind and…