Since the Lockdown I’ve been seeing more and more people who are suffering with anxiety and depression. Recently I resumed my work at Macmillan and, although my first client was booked in for 45 minutes, we ended up chatting for the whole treatment. For my client it was invigorating to simply get out of his house and be able to talk to someone different for a change. I could see his spirits lifting without me even having to put a needle in (Don’t worry, he did get some acupuncture too). You could see that much of the anxiety that he was suffering from was due to lack of human contact.
And now many of us must endure another Lockdown.
Barbaric treatment of the Elderly & Vulnerable
Sadly, it’s the ones who need contact with their loved ones the most who are being locked away. Many of the elderly, with dementia and other serious conditions, are simply fading away because they are being isolated ‘for their own good’. My own Grandmother died last week in a home for the elderly. She was 99 with advanced vascular dementia and she died on her own. We were one of the ‘lucky’ families however, as she was allowed one visitor for a few hours a week…in the garden. On the day she died my mother was allowed into her room for one hour in the morning.
Nan died that same day at 9pm, alone. Is this the world we want to live in, a world where we simply shut people away until the problem disappears with a magic pill?
Living in fear destroys joy
We need to be able to express ourselves to have a health existence, without that we just wither and die. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it’s all about the Heart and Kidney. The emotions associated with the Heart are Love and Joy, while for the Kidneys it is Fear. So lack of love and joy will affect the health of the Heart, and living in isolation and a state of fear weakens the Kidneys. Seeing as many of us have been living in isolation and fear for the best part of a year…well, you don’t need me to tell you it isn’t good.
The relationship between the Heart and Kidneys is a crucial one; the Fire element of the Heart controls the Water element of the kidneys, and vice versa. The Water stops the Fire from becoming a blaze, while the Fire warms the Kidneys preventing them from becoming to cool. So, from an energetic point of view, this year has effectively done everything it can to extinguish our passion for life. It also feels like we are in a permanent state of stagnation, which stops our energy from moving, which affects all the organs.
The Gate of Life
In TCM it is also said that a fire is borne between the Kidneys, known as the Ming Men Fire or Gate of Life (or vitality). This fire acts like a cauldron, boiling up all the waste and fluids in the lower aspect of the body, separating the good from the bad, but also creating a steam that rises up and moistens the organs, keeping the sinews flexible and the Mind clear. And although the Heart has a fire of its own, it is supported by the heat generated by the Ming Men. So if the Kidneys are weakened (by fear for instance), then so too is the Ming Men fire. And when the Ming Men goes cold, the fire leaves you and you are no more.
The Heart speaks and the Kidneys listen
In TCM it is said that the Heart opens at the tongue, so the state of your heart\fire is reflected in the condition of your tongue. The health of your Heart also affects speech and any abnormalities may cause stuttering or aphasia (inability to comprehend or formulate language). Apart from speech difficulties themselves, the Heart also influences talking and laughing. Often a disharmony of the Heart can cause a person to talk incessantly or laugh inappropriately, like that person who tells you a sad story and then laughs at the end.
Can you hear me?
Speaking is important but it is nothing without someone to listen back. Good hearing depends on healthy kidneys. The kidneys open into the ears; if the kidneys are healthy the ears can hear the five sounds. Weak Kidneys may impair hearing and also lead to tinnitus. Hearing can deteriorate with age, which corresponds with the weakening of the Kidneys as we get older. This is nature. As we grow older the yin depletes and so does the yang in turn. One cannot exist without the other. Which again takes us back to the relationship between the Heart and Kidneys – fire and water = Yin and Yang.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have someone to speak to, and more than one person preferably. We are social beings. This is our evolution. The fire is hugely significant to us as humans. Without the discovery of fire, we would still be crawling around in the primordial soup. Fire enabled us to keep warm and ward off wild animals. It allowed us to cook food making it more digestible. It allowed us to bend metals to create weapons for hunting and defence. And where would be without water?
So, if you need to chat, about anything, or you just would like someone to listen to you, give me a call. My door is always open.