SIGNS YOUR BODY AND MIND NEED A BREAK
A TCM Perspective
We all deserve a break once in a while, but sometimes we wait too long. Ignoring the signs from your body that it’s time for a break won’t do you any good. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, everything in the body is connected, and your body will give you clues when it’s time to rest. Let’s look at some signs you may need to take a break according to Chinese medicine.
The Mind and Body Connection in TCM
To know how to read the signs, we must understand how the mind and body are connected in TCM. In Chinese medicine, practitioners look at the whole person, not just the symptoms. Everybody’s emotions and physical health are different, so they need to look at everything going on in the body. For example, your emotions are connected to your physical health. In Chinese medicine, certain emotions are connected to specific organs and imbalances can create physical symptoms.:
According to TCM, fear is directly related to the kidneys. The kidneys perform so many functions for our body, it makes sense that they are connected to an intense emotion. So, if you’re experiencing fear, it could affect your kidneys and create physical symptoms such as low back pain. Or if you startle easily, it could be a sign there’s a problem in the kidneys.
In TCM, the liver and anger are heavily connected. If you’re angry all the time, it can take a toll on your liver. Your liver may not function properly, which can lead to problems throughout the rest of the body. Another thing to point out is that liver problems can have you waking up in the middle of the night between 1 and 3am. One may experience PMS or extreme irritability. It’s always important to pay attention to what your body is telling you!
Worry is related to the spleen in Eastern medicine. When you’re in a constant state of worry, your spleen won’t be able to ensure your body is digesting food properly. Your spleen turns food into nutrients and moves them to the proper areas in the body. The spleen can only do one job at a time, and your worry will make your spleen worry and you may experience bloating or digestive issues.
The feeling of joy is connected to the heart, of course. When we feel joyful, it fills the heart and replenishes it. As the heart is full, it’s able to nourish the Shen. In TCM, the heart is at the emotional center of everything, and can control your emotions. When you’re not experiencing enough joy, it can manifest in sleep problems like insomnia or excessive dreaming.
If you’re experiencing problems in the body such as sleep disorders, or other discomfort, listen to them! Your body is excellent at cluing you in when something is wrong. There are several things you can do to restore balance and give yourself a break when you’re stressed.
Giving The Mind and Body a Break With TCM
Once your body is expressing signs that you need a break, treat it with kindness. If your body is showing you signs of digestive issues and pain, it’s time for rest. The best thing you can do for yourself to regain balance in the body and mind is to lower your stress levels. When the body’s nervous system feels safe, it can begin to tap into all the healing capacities. There are many ways TCM can help.
Create a Tea Ritual
Sitting down and enjoying a cup of herbal tea is one of the most common TCM practices out there. Kick it up a notch by making your own tea ritual. This could be having a specific tea mug and a special place you enjoy it.
Make a playlist of your favorite songs and take a load off. Try to do this once a day to give your body and mind some space to talk to each other. Depending on your issues, different herbal tea mixes can help soothe them and we can also imbibe teas for the season.
Everyone is busy, we get it. When we get too busy, the first thing that tends to fall off is self love. Well, without it you may not only be hurting your mind, but your body as well! Practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to stay in tune with your emotions, which can bring peace to physical ailments, as well.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a whole to do but it is crucial to care for our overstimulated senses.Take time for yourself during a busy day and do some deep breathing. Get on the mat and do some yoga poses. Lay in the grass and let yourself be. Meditation doesn’t have to look a specific way. Your body and mind will thank you for taking the time to be silent.
You don’t have to be into needles to enjoy the benefits of acupressure points in TCM. There are several points that can be massaged to calm your mind during a period of stress. All you need to do is locate an acupressure point and press into it while breathing deeply for 3-5 minutes. Here are some of the best acupoints for stress:
This acupoint is great for helping energy flow through the body and for relieving headaches. It’s located between your thumb and forefinger at the highest point. Massage it for relief. Do not use this point if you are pregnant.
This point is commonly used by women to treat emotional and gynecological issues in the body. But, it can be used by everyone for emotional relief. In TCM, this acupoint is known to strengthen the energy of the liver, spleen and kidneys. It will also calm your mind.
This classic pressure point is located between the eyebrows. It will take the edge off and calm your spirit. This one is great for giving your mind a break and some extra love.
TCM Final Thoughts
It’s important to listen to the signals your body gives you. Doing so will allow you to do what you need to do to calm your mind. We need to remember that taking breaks in life is essential! Without them, we’d never get anything done.