Suffering from a low mood can be debilitating. You may feel like withdrawing from friends and family, you may be constantly tired or restless and sleeping too much or not enough. Feelings of hopelessness, lethargy, upset, worry and anger are all common – and totally natural – but if they become persistent or overwhelming, it’s a sure sign that something is off balance with you. And it’s not all in your mind.
The Chinese approach to mental health is a wholly integrated one. Rather than viewing it as a problem of the mind, we see it as a physical upset in the body. Which is actually really helpful, because it gives us a physical area of the body to focus treatment on.
Chinese Medicine recognises that in addition to its biological function every organ is responsible for an emotion. For example, the lungs are responsible for breath but also associated with the emotion of grief. Anger and frustration are often associated with the liver.
In Chinese wisdom the lungs and liver have a close relationship. This is why taking a deep breath, or exercising, can help so much when you are feeling down.
The message is this: control your emotions and you master your health. It’s healthy to express emotions – as they are all valid and natural. What you don’t want is to let one of them take over, because this is not balance. Even a positive emotion, like being happy, is not healthy in excessive amounts. And so rather than always craving constant happiness, we should aspire to feel an even, quiet contentment. Pleasure can be found in the small things – a cup of tea, or a hug.
Being in a balanced emotional state results in free-flowing qi that will do more to support your wellbeing than any green juice.
Whilst treatments such as acupuncture and tui na can be hugely beneficial in treating low mood, there is so much you can do using yang sheng.
The basic techniques of yang sheng work together to effectively reduce stress and rebalance the organs, resulting in calm and an even temper. Head to the rituals section to learn them.