• Spring Qi in bloom

    Liver Qi and emotions

    For conversational purposes only.

    We re-opened the clinic. Don’t worry if we did not call you yet. We are working on the list of people we had to cancel from the last 2 months. We have limited capacity and unlimited cleaning and safety protocols in place. It was a ton of work. I really upgraded my appreciation for company’s and people that have stayed open during this whole thing.

    I have only been back 2 days but wow, breathing threw a mask 8 hours a day is tough. Heather washes every floor after every client, along with every other surface in the room. It’s tough, but that’s what it is and we are happy to do it.

    But to the point of the post. I have notices something completely BIZARRE. In Spring, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the “pulse of your Liver system (versus liver, being your actual organ) is supposed to be FULL, active, vibrant. Like a tree in spring.

    The last two days “pulse taking” where I get a feel for the Qi of a person. If you have seen me I have done it to you, when I hold your wrist and scribble some unreadable notes, well I can read them…

    If you talk to a GP or Nurse that is over 50 maybe 60 years old. They all trained to ‘feel’ the pulse not just count the beat. When you get hooked up to a electrocardiogram all those waves tells Doctors a lot about you. It’s a similar idea.

    This post is a bit technical but it has fascinating applications to the world crisis and may help you a lot in understanding why your feelings are a bit “off” (or a lot off).

    The Liver is like the pantry of emotions, when you build an emotional response, substances are taken from the Liver and the emotion does what it does. BUT, when it’s “empty of energy” it’s like a tree in winter and that is not so good.

    In my 24 years of pulse taking I have NEVER EVER seen anything like this. The technical term is ‘vacuity.’ The ‘pulse’ is just not there. But for ALL of them, it’s absolutely crazy (have I emphasized this enough?)

    The good news is that does not cause some radical disease as far as I know in the short term. If it stays that way for a year or two, I would get worried. But the body is very resilient and works around problems as best it can.

    But what it does do in my view of TCM is radically limit a person emotional and mental ability to respond with a full array of responses.

    How many pandemics have you been through before? For a few people this is not their first rodeo. But I think for 99% of us this is the biggest rodeo we have ever seen. That means it’s new.

    I want you to juggle flaming balls and if you don’t have that figured out by noon, we’ll take away all your stuff. Would that cause stress? Well that’s what’s sort of happened.

    Maybe you can juggle a bit, maybe not. But you start the process of learning and it will take some time. To learn something, you need to combine things you know, things you knew and things you need to know. Which takes resources and time.

    Those resources in TCM come from the Liver (it’s more complicated than that but that would make this article 250 pages long, so lets not do that today). We are being forced to cope with the world. Many times we just shove things we should, could and would cope with into a dark corner of our soul and that is another 250 page book.

    This world situation is tough to do that. We are really forced to learn and move forward. Some will do it faster than others and others will take more time.

    The point is, in my business it depletes the Liver Qi and that can get you to do some weird things.

    Understand you are using resources that you are not used to using. You may get tired quicker than you are used to. It’s is going to be really tough for some of us and that is the reality so as they say on the rodeo “cinch it down and buckle it up.” But those rides are only 8 seconds long. You need to pace yourself as this could go for a while.

    I once had a client that grew up in a war zone. As a small person they would play in the streets, when the bombings started they would hide. When it was over they would clear the streets and go back to playing! It took me a while to process the story. Later I asked, how could they.

    The answer was, we got used to it.

    Take the time to ‘get used to it.’ At the clinic we have always run a good operation and I am amazed how much we had to shift to comply with the various Government departments and regulations. Without some very kind clients and friends in various businesses that helped me acquire the list of PPE, Plexiglas, plastics, vinyls, documents, cleaners….. we’d still be closed. I am so grateful to all of them. And the people that come and the ones that want to wait a while to come.

    I did that post on Mr Rogers (an excellent movie, well I liked it) about how when you see disaster, you see people who come to help.

    Be the helper.

    Recap: due to the ‘new’ stress, likely you and everyone else you come into contact with are having a hard time to cope. NOT necessarily because they can’t cope, but because they have NOT had enough time to learn to cope. They are still learning to juggle. Cut you some slack for having to deal with them (it’s called internal compassion) and cut them some slack for getting out of bed and trying (called external compassion).

    If I had a three wishes, I’d use one to end this catastrophe for the best. But I can’t. Until this works it’s way through. Pay attention to the basics.

    Eat regularly, drink a bit more water, get a bit more rest, do things that make you laugh and have some fun, get your rest/sleep, develop ways to calm yourself. Plan for a future that you want and work towards it.

    Until then, I made this video a few years ago never thinking I’d need some of this stuff at work. Don’t worry I am not dressed in the whole thing.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies