Do you have physical tension or pain that you want to really heal? Do you want to develop a better relationship with your body? Do you want to feel like you have control over your health?
Last week I worked with a client who got me thinking about Vitality and it’s relationship to Qi. She is smart, creative, loving, focused, goal-oriented, interested in life, yet she just can’t get out of her rut. “I’m just tired,” she said. I could see it in her face, and after tuning in and allowing my self to be open to her deeper needs, I saw exactly what it was. Her Qi was “sleeping” – it was buried so far inside of her that it wasn’t available for her to use. She couldn’t access it. Thus she felt like she was constantly walking uphill… tired with a looong way to go.
I focused the session on “waking up her Qi.” Every part of her body that we worked on – my focus was to find and access her Qi and attempt to coax it out. I used a somewhat aggressive technique for much of the session, because my goal was to get her energy moving faster and up to the surface. The more Qi you have readily available, the more VITALITY you will feel in your everyday life.
Qi energy is like a river that runs throughout the whole universe. The ancient Chinese and Taoists describe it as “life force”. They believed that Qi permeates everything and links our surroundings together. Like the earth, our physical body is our very own “planet” with it’s own seasons of energy. These seasons are expressed into elements that each house a paired Yin and Yang organ. Yin energies rise from earth and store energy, they are the containers. Yang energies descend from heaven and expand into movement.
As a Shiatsu practitioner, I study and use the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine to balance the expressions of vital energy and treat things like pain, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, tension, injuries, and digestive dysfunction. These conditions are caused in some way by an imbalance in Qi energy. On a simple level, Qi imbalance involves having too much (excess) or too little (deficient) in our energy channels at any given time. To maintain health we need to be able to move, release, hold, replenish, and transform Qi. The Five Elements are the houses that show us what we can do to create balance and restore function.
Wood energy rises in the spring and seeks movement, Fire energy expresses in the summer and seeks maturity, Earth energy centers in the autumn and seeks nourishment, Metal energy descends in late fall and seeks essence, and Water energy rests in winter and seeks renewal. My job is to help restore the balance of these energies in the body – when they are in balance, we experience contentment and EASE.
Each element has a corresponding color, dominant emotion, balancing taste, smell, and sound. The emotions are easy to identify. Too much anger indicates a wood imbalance. Worry- earth. Fear- water. Grief – metal. Depression or mania- fire. Another indicator is organ function. Earth organs are the spleen (yin) and stomach (yang) and have to do with digestion. If you are experiencing digestive problems, there is sure to be an imbalance in earth. Adrenal fatigue is a common complaint that has to do with the Kidney and Bladder organs of water, which have to do with rest and rejuvenation. The heart has to do with circulation, and also extends into our close connections. If we are having trouble connecting, we may look to the heart and work with the element of fire.
If you are feeling the pressure and frustration (Wood) of deadlines and your to-do list, take a walk or do some exercise! If you are feeling lonely or having relationship troubles (Fire), make some time to connect with your own heart and listen to it’s needs and desires. For digestive difficulties, take time to cook your own food. Prepare simple and “sweet” foods, like rice and porridge with butter and honey – the way you would for a child. Not feeling inspired or spiritually connected (Metal?) Make some homemade chai tea, practice breathing techniques, go for a brisk walk, or clean your house (metal loves a clean house!) Finally, if you are feeling depleted, allow your self to rest and replenish in the best way for you. Maybe it’s shutting off the phone and cancelling plans. Read a book. Take a day to sit by the ocean (and walk in the water- all those minerals!) Or just find a way to get better sleep.
If you want to get your Qi energy moving and experience more vitality in your life, why not schedule an Ensoflow Shiatsu session? It does a body (and mind and spirit) good.