The Art of Healthy Balance
The other day I was talking to Adrian, one of my menopausal clients. She was having a hard time because even six years after menopause, she was still having hot flashes, no sex drive, no desire to relate, and not sleeping well at night. She’s taking bio identical hormones and her doses seem to be okay according to the lab tests she’s had.
She’s a busy mom, hard working, on the go all the time, when she comes home she cooks, cleans the house, and wants to have quality time for her relationship, but has no energy left for him.
As always there are many ways to go in treating hormone imbalances and diet, exercise, supplements, and hormone replacement are all part of a holistic picture of healing. But I realized as I was speaking to her, for her, it had most to do with a sense of wholeness. I asked myself, what would bring all the things that she was doing together in a beautiful way.
I love Chinese medicine for many reasons but perhaps the most important is the concept of energy. According to Chinese Medicine, your body is made up of energy. Energy flows through your body in certain patterns. The whole purpose of energy is to have it flowing smoothly throughout your body in a balanced way. When your energy is out of balance, you have problems. The dictionary says that balance is a state of equilibrium, which further means – a state of rest or balance between two opposing forces. In Chinese medicine – two opposing forces would be Yin and Yang. The feminine and masculine energy within our bodies.
Balance is a state where your energy is in flow, you feel connected to what is, and you’re able to get done much more than you ever thought possible. When your energy is balanced, things feel effortless, easy, and freer.
As I discussed treatment options with Adrian, I realized that what she needed was to regain her sense of balance. Her flow. So much of the energy she was putting out every day was masculine in its nature. She needed a softening, a cooling of her energy.
The concepts of Chinese medicine seem a little foreign to us in the west. We often think of healing in terms of concrete action steps that will get us toward a defined goal. That’s fine, and I like having those steps too, but sometimes life doesn’t have a recipe. The recipe is to learn to tune in with yourself, to learn to go with the flow of what your body wants. How do you tune in? Adrian needed a way to tune in with herself, to give herself some loving nurturing attention that would help heal her yin energy – the calm cool part of her energy. So for her, I suggested that she add some herbs to her treatment protocol that would allow her energy to calm and cool, and some breathing exercises that would cause her to center and focus inward so she could be more in tune with herself.
When you find yourself not really feeling better in spite of doing all the right things, its time to tune in. To listen to what your body wants so that you can take action that will allow healing. It doesn’t have to take more than two minutes of your time a day to tune in, but can be as much as 20 minutes. There are many ways to do this, one is to just do two minutes of breathing with your eyes closed. Take slow deep breaths similar to what is done in yoga classes in and out. Then see how you feel. If nothing else, you will feel more relaxed and calm. By practicing this every day, possibly two or three times in a day, you can begin to learn what your body is trying to tell you.