Ways to Calm Your Mind
By Stephanie Babauta, LAc
In Chinese medicine, there are many different systems of classification we use to help treat the body. One of those systems is called the Five Elements, which are five specific elements that have a mutual and direct relationship with one another. Each individual element generates the next one in the cycle, and they can also control one another. If there is an imbalance in one particular element, then its relationship with all the other elements can be affected.
The Five Elements in their sequential order are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element is correlated with certain seasons, organ systems, body tissues and orifices, colors, taste of foods, time of day, and even emotions.
With the season transitioning from spring to summer, the element associated with that is fire. And the organ system associated with fire is the heart. The heart has two main jobs in the body. The first is that it governs blood and controls blood vessels to ensure proper blood circulation for the whole body. This is pretty similar to Western medicine’s viewpoint of what the heart does in the body.
The heart’s second job is that it houses the mind or spirit of the body. In Chinese, we call this ‘shen’. The shen is in charge of our mental activities, consciousness, recognition, memory, thoughts and ideas, wisdom or intellect, and also plays a role in the quality of our sleep. The shen resides in the heart because is needs to be nourished by blood, and the heart is the organ that produces blood according to Chinese medicine.
The emotion associated with the heart is joy. Too much joy or too little joy is a sign that the heart or fire element is in a state of imbalance. This imbalance can be a result of many things going on in the body. Some other main symptoms that usually manifest from an imbalance in the heart or fire organ system can be palpitations, insomnia, poor memory, anxiety, mental restlessness or confusion, and/or chest pain.
If you experience some of these symptoms regularly, especially mental restlessness and insomnia, getting acupuncture on a regular basis can help put your fire element back into balance. Another great way to harmonize your shen is meditation.
Starting June 1st, Vitality Acupuncture will be hosting morning meditation sessions from 9:30 am to 10:00 am every Friday. This is a free offering and open to everyone. So, if you would like to learn some new meditation techniques to calm your shen, please join us at our clinic located in Meridian.
For more information, please call 208-629-4920.