Two Sundays ago we went up a mountain called Melchsee Frutt for the second time this year. It was spectacularly sunny, jacket-off walking weather, and it even made me kind of want to learn to ski. I got so mountain high up there and the feeling permeated the following week. We wondered why we didn’t do this more last year? Why did I insist on sitting in fog-filled Luzern, dreaming of the beach and feeling sorry for myself?
The answer I came to realise last week on the acupuncture table. On one hand I wanted to stay in the warm and cosy apartment, not seeing that for a little bit of effort I could be having heavenly experiences up above the clouds (how true is this about life, huh?). And then there was also a deeper feeling of not wanting to enjoy myself perhaps, because that would mean I was enjoying myself… which doesn’t exactly go with feeling homesick. When you feel down, you just get used to it, it’s warm and cosy too and a lot less effort than getting yourself happy.
So fast forward to this year and I am doing many things differently. I am making the effort. I am reaching out and making plans, even though I am comfortable here in this apartment, in these pyjamas. And I’ve been learning many things from Dr Zhu, the acupuncturist, that I’d like to share with you in case they may help you too.
Firstly, if you’re too much in your head, then your body cannot digest properly and you won’t be getting all the nutrients from the good food you’re eating. In Chinese medicine, the spleen digests information and if there is too much going on up there, it will not be working properly for its function of filtering out the old red blood cells.
So I’m slowing down, not trying to cram too much into the day and at the same time wasting less time by having a list of around five things I intend to do. I am eating mindfully, which is always a challenge for me when I have words to write or if I am eating alone. But I am committing to it again. and again and again. I’m having breakfast and I don’t even know where my phone is. This feels like freedom.
You can be in your body more by listening to it. Check in. What food do you want to eat? (this is you talking to your body). For me it’s all about the warm food because it’s winter (ok Dr Zhu told me this). Listen to your body and you will learn to understand it. If you are tired, go to sleep. If you need to go to the toilet, please go. It’s as simple as that.
Secondly, we need to breathe properly. Breathing is the most important thing we can do for ourselves (I say with only a hint of humour). It is so obvious and yet we don’t all do it well. Dr Zhu instructed me to start my morning with Qi Gong and I have been doing this seven minute Lee Holden youtube video every day. That’s right, only seven minuted to health! Here it is here if you’d like to do it too. Click the link.
Thirdly, we need to be happy – all the way to our insides! Dr Zhu said my organs were a bit sad (love this woman) and not working well together so she wanted me to make my organs smile in meditation. And just like that I found this beautiful smiling meditation, again from Lee Holden. Click here if you would like a ten-minute blast of golden light start to your day.
You may be thinking I’m a bit gullible to be believing all this. Perhaps it sounds a bit too simple and I do have a tendency to trust the alternative way more than the conventional. But I have also had two problems that have been healed through acupuncture and Chinese medicine – one muscular and the other hormonal – so I believe for a reason. Plus Dr Zhu taught for 17 years at the university of Beijing and had a ten-year practice in England AND what she’s saying is building on top of what I already have learnt about my body and health from other sources.
The human body is the most miraculous thing on this planet and it can heal itself of chronic illness given the right conditions. The first step is believing.
Next time, I will tell you about the big realisation I had on the acupuncture table… Until then,