As you may know, I recently created a video about relaxation using acupressure. I believe the role of relaxation in healing and addressing various problems is often underestimated. Let’s delve into this concept using Chinese medicine theory as a framework. In our body, we have a network of meridians through which Qi, or energy, flows. These meridians intersect at specific points and are interconnected, this is replicated by the relationship between different elements in the Shen and Co cycles. Each meridian corresponds to an organ or an ‘official’, linking every organ through this Qi network.
Though not an expert in Western medicine, I see parallels here too. The structure of the nervous system, blood vessels, and capillaries resembles a spider’s web, indicating a holistic connection throughout the body, whether it’s blood, electrical energy, or Qi. This interconnectedness extends to the mind, brain, thoughts, and emotions. In Western medical science, deep relaxation and meditation are known to impact brain chemistry, particularly in conditions like anxiety and depression, which are linked to imbalances in brain chemistry. This relaxation counters the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, initiated by the sympathetic nervous system, by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This shift enables neurotransmitters like GABA, the brain’s tranquilizer, to induce calmness and down-regulate brain activity, promoting a state of deep rest that influences both physical and emotional responses to stress.
By achieving a relaxed state, where both mind and body are less active, we facilitate smoother energy flow. This helps avoid areas of intense activity or blockages in the flow of energy, blood, or electricity. While this explanation is simplistic, it serves to illustrate a crucial point: relaxation can naturally and holistically balance our system.
This principle is a fundamental part of the healing process. Consider physical pain, like a painful knee. In acupuncture, this might be diagnosed as a stagnation of energy caused by either a deficiency or an injury. Addressing this involves nourishing the deficiency or removing the blockage. Relaxation aids both scenarios by enabling the body’s natural balancing act. It allows for the unblocking of stagnant energy or blood in the knee and supports the regeneration of core energies, particularly from the kidneys, spleen, and liver.
Knee problems, traditionally linked to kidney deficiency in Chinese medicine, can also stem from spleen deficiency, which affects joint fluids. Both the kidneys and spleen play roles in bone and blood maintenance. Therefore, learning to relax and allowing these systems to function naturally is beneficial in treating such conditions. This is why I emphasize the importance of relaxation techniques when working with patients.
In conclusion, understanding these intricate relationships between relaxation, the nervous system, and our overall health underscores the importance of relaxation techniques in holistic healing. Whether approached from the perspective of Chinese medicine or Western medicine, the benefits of relaxation are undeniable and should be a fundamental part of our approach to treating conditions like physical pain and enhancing overall well-being.